22 March 2008

Just the Facts?

I think I have mentioned before that I am a newspaper junkie. I suppose I just need to always know what's going on. Newspapers are still the best source of information - because they are filled with facts. Except of course on the editorial page!

The editorials and letters-to-the-editor often go beyond facts in an attempt to find the truth. Truth can be defined in all kinds of ways - philosophers have been debating the meaning of truth for thousands of years. One thing is certain - truth ain't just a big pile of facts.

A letter in this week's Hillsborough Beacon has a great example of this. The letter writer tells us that in 2007, Hillsborough's municipal taxes went up 10.7%. Our township committee told us that our municipal tax increase raised our property taxes 1.4%. Both of these statements are facts - but which is the truth?

You can read the Hillsborough Township press release about the tax increase here. This is the relevant paragraph:

Last year’s $2.86 total Hillsborough tax rate will see the municipal portion rise by 4 cents or 1.4%. The new municipal tax rate will be 39.8 cents per $100 of assessed value under the proposed budget.

How does 1.4% turn into 10.7%? The municipal portion of your tax bill is tiny, only about 13% of the bill. It takes a 10.7% increase in MUNICIPAL taxes to raise the TOTAL tax bill 1.4%.

Let's look at it another way. Hillsborough could actually DOUBLE your municipal taxes - increase all the budgets of every department to provide unheard of services to the residents - and your overall property tax bill would only go up 13%. Incredible.

Taxpayers don't normally separate the different portions of the tax bill when thinking about how much property tax they pay. Combine this with the fact that Hillsborough is the entity that bills the taxes and collects the taxes - and you can see why the 2007 tax increase was described as being 1.4%. That's the number that gives the most information - the most useful information - to the Hillsborough taxpayer.

You won't read this information on the editorial page. Instead you get something like this:

Now add to this – our political “leaders” lied to us last year when they said taxes only went up 1.4 percent in the municipal budget and so municipal taxes, actually went up 10.7 percent.

Which contains no useful information at all - despite being "full of facts".

I leave it up to you to decide which speaks to the truth.


  1. I never really gave all that a lot of thought before, but your blog makes township officials look bad. Your explanation makes it clear that this statement from the township website is in fact false:

    "Last year’s $2.86 total Hillsborough tax rate will see the municipal portion rise by 4 cents or 1.4%."

    I think that IS relevant. And useful. From your explanation, it was the overall tax bill, NOT the municipal portion, that rose 1.4% in total. So the 10.7% for the municipal hike is true. Again, it wasn't an area I focused on previously.

    Will my comment be deleted as the first comment on this page was?

  2. Val - the first comment was random spam, with links to a spam web site.

    Your comment will stay!

  3. Sadly Mr. Gillette, we are here once again watching you twist the facts to help cover up for the lies and unethical behavior of our very own elected officials! I have pointed out your conflict of interest previously in that you enjoyed the financial and political support of the local GOP and you are a political appointee of the Republican Party. That surely could explain why you so strenuously support these people in their reign of dishonesty and abuse of the voters.

    But let's go to the subject and information in your blog. Clearly you are trying to cover up for the dishonesty of our elected officials. The MUNICIPAL portion of the taxes for a resident of HIllsborough went up 10.7%, NOT 1.4%. If I have to demonstrate simple arithmetic to you, then there is no room here and frankly you should not be posting anything in public!

    Only if you allow the elected officials, and specifically Anthony Ferrera who was quoted in the township article, to mislead the voters, again, then that is the ONLY way to come up with 1.4%. To do so, you have to take the MUNICIPAL portion of the tax bill, and then DILUTE it with the entire tax bill including the school tax, to come up with 1.4%.

    Are you saying you agree with this slight of hand Mr. Gillette??? Our municipal taxes went up 10.7% and our elected officials called it 1.4% and you think it's okay???? I am appalled at your conduct on this as well as on numerous other issues like this where you support the lies of our elected officials.

    By the way, the readers should know about the Hillsborough Beacon's Editor who specifically agreed with MY revulsion to this outright lie by our elected officials. Perhaps Mr. Gillette you would like to respond to what the editor had to say about this issue - or are you going to prevent the readers of this blog from knowing ALL the facts like a dictator would do????

  4. Mr. Gillette wishes to have us all beleive that the most imnportant piece of information to a HIllsborough voter, is NOT how much the elected officials raised the local or municipal portion of the taxes, but only by how much that is represented in the entire tax bill?!

    Oh really? I'm a Hillsborough resident and if I want to determine whether our elected officials are doing a good job with the budget THEY control (not confused with what the SCHOOLS need and spend), then I want to know how much THEIR portion of the budget, and taxes, went up!!!

    Mixing in the school budget amount in order to dilute the municipal increase is intentional lying and that is precisely what the editor of the local newspaper stated in an editorial on this precise issue!

    So Mr. Gillette, if your dentist raises his rates by over 50% this year, and only tells you that it's going up 1.4% of your entire health care budget, that would be okay with you????????????????????

    This is so ridiculous an argument Mr. Gillette, you are obviously trying to give cover to your political cronies in Hillsborough. You have gone WAY WAY out of your way to excuse their total lack of ethical and moral judgment on this important issue.

    There is no doubt in anyone's mind but yours Greg! If the Township Committee inceases their budget by 10.7% then they are obligated to tell us taxpayers that our municipal taxes are going up 10.7%. They are NOT allowed to confuse THEIR budget with the SCHOOL budget and therefore diminish a large tax increase from their end.

    I guess the readers who come here can eitehr agree with you, or they can agree with myself, the editor of the Hillsborough Beacon and their own pocketbooks when they realize the municipal taxes wnt up 10.7% and NOT 1.4% as was advertised to intentionally hide the large increase from the public.

  5. As was reported in the newspapers at the time, the municipal tax went up 10.7%. No one is disputing that.

    Mr. van Lier - I post this blog now - not last year - because of YOU!

    Your constant allegation that we were lied to - that we were told taxes went up 1.4%, when they really went up 10.7% - deserves clarification - and I have given it. Don't care if you don't like it.

    And the repeat of that accusation in your LTE this week - without any background information to explain how these numbers are derived - is actually WORSE and much LESS USEFUL than the information provided in that press release which you find so disgusting!

    Who is manipulating the voters? I will let the readers decide.

  6. Math - the average voter, when told that their municipal taxes are going up 10% - bearing in mind that Hillsborough is the biller and collector of said taxes, and that people don't typically apportion their taxes in their head when thinking about this stuff - will immediately believe their TAXES, their TOTAL PROPERTY TAXES, are going up 10%. In other words, $100 a month or whatever. People in the know, like Mr. van Lier, and Val and myself know what these numbers really mean. Others just want to know the total hit to their pocketbook.

  7. Val - I really don't care if my blog makes township officials look bad. I am not here to apologize for them, or burnish their image. I think this post and many others makes that perfectly clear - now if you could only explain that to Mr. van Lier!

  8. As with my previous attempts to engage in an adult and meaningful dialog with you Greg, you choose to ignore the most important points that I've raised.

    So I'll keep asking until we can be assured that you are avoiding them on purpose because you don't like the answers and not merely overlooking them.

    The overall thrust of your blog entry is to confuse the tax issue and to make it appear that our elected officials did NOT lie to the voters. Yes or No? It seems obvious to me, and as I stated, I am in total agreement with the editor of the Hillsborough Beacon with who held a similar conclusion as mine.

    Let's be more specific, you are claiming that the Township Committee's deceptive figure of 1.4% is a MORE ACCURATE or MORE USEFUL number?????

    It's an outright lie!

    For our elected officials to say the municipal portion went up 4 cents might be true and factual, but to extend that to say it only went up 1.4% requires FUZZY math!

    IF they had said that the IMPACT of the municipal increase made the overall tax go up 1.4% is quite different than saying the municipal portion went up 1.4%.

    The municipal budget went up 10.7%. The tax payments for the municipal budget went up 10.7%. You are working with smoke and mirrors to try to make it add up to only 1.4% which is not merely fuzzy math - it's an outright lie!

    But I shall ask again - why didn't you inform the readers of your blog that the Beacon editor had important thoughts on this? Why haven't you admitted that your Bd of Ed campaign relied heavily upon local political support and that you are a political appointee??? The readers deserve to know if your judgment is colored by conflicts of interest.

    An example I used in my first response to your utterly ridiculous blog went unresponded to but it still represents the best way to show the total falsehood of your argument!

    YOU wish to claim voters can't understand the tax increase complexities and they only want the final number??? You are joking, smoking or lying to make such a claim!!!

    So you are in effect saying that your dentist can raise his rates 50% in one shot, and all you want to know is, "What will my final health care bill be at the end of the year?" hahahaha! So sad it's funny!

    In order for us voters to judge how well our elected officials did with managing the township, we look at where the money is going and what tax increases other towns have imposed on their taxpayers.

    The way to see how well the elected officials managed the money is to restrict that look to ONLY the budget they control! By folding in and diluting the municipal budget with the much larger school budget, you are excusing the municipal officials by hiding the tax increase behind money that the Township Committee has no control over and so we cannot judge how well the Township Committee managed THEIR budget.

    It scares me that you have such a poor understanding of this, or worse, and that you have a vote on the Bd of Ed budget. Scary indeed!

  9. Let's get right to one of Greg's specific points - something he refuses to do in response to what I write because he cannot provide answers to suit his hidden political agenda.

    Greg wrote - "And the repeat of that accusation in your LTE this week - without any background information to explain how these numbers are derived - is actually WORSE and much LESS USEFUL than the information provided in that press release which you find so disgusting!"

    Greg, your inability to comprehend simple concepts makes me believe you are not being honest, but I'll provide explanation for the readers who might wish to read it.

    You want to say it's LESS useful to make the simple statement that the municipal tax increase was 10.7% - than it is to dilute the municipal budget with the school budget and then to report the municipal increase as 1.4% when in fact it's how much the municipal increase adds to the total tax increase in percent.

    You wish readers to believe that it's more useful and accurate to not JUST talk about the municipal budget and how much THAT went up alone??? You want people to ONLY know how much the municipal budget increase affects the total tax bill???

    Naturally then, there would be no way to judge how well either the school board or the governing body performed versus their own budgets, because you don't think they should be separated! You want them added together?!

    Then how do you suggest that we taxpayers judge whether Hillsborough's governing body did a good job with municipal spending? We cannot compare ourselves to other towns using your numbers, nor can we judge from one year to the next since we would need to know what the school budget increases were, subtract those from the total tax increase, and then to finally separate the municipal portion out.

    You see Greg, you made a specific point and I answered it in detail with facts and logic. You dodn't have to like it but unless you are merely avoiding the issue, any serious attempt to discuss any issue requires each side to respond to what the other said - as I've done with each point you raised.

    It seems that you do not want readers to really get the facts and information and so you either intentionally refuse to discuss certain aspects, even the most important ones - or you choose to ignore certain points in order to keep them covered up for some other agenda.

    Either way, we see what you are doing and we read what you are writing. The readers can see for themselves whether you are interested in facts, in in apologizing for a bunch of dishonest politicians.

    Who is manipulating the voters? I will let the readers decide.

  10. Mr. van Lier - The township press release was poorly written, at best. What can I say? I didn't write it. I don't apologize for it. Yes, it should have been clearly worded that the impact of the increase caused the entire tax bill to go up 1.4%. This is the way I understood it at the time - any interested person could easily understand that.

    I understand all of these issues perfectly and understand the math perfectly. It is important for people to know that the 1.4% number is not "made up", but actually has relevance in this discussion. Your LTE, I assume for the sake of brevity, does not include any information about the 1.4% number, or how it was derived. This implies that it came out of the air - which it did

    If my dentist bill was 13% of my healthcare, and he raised his rates 10% - yeah, I would want to know what kind of a hit this would be to my total healthcare bill.

    I agree that voters need to know that 10.7% figure. That's why I am glad we have the newspapers reporting for us - including the editor of the Beacon.

    I was at my BoE election fundraiser. I saw the checks in people's hands as they handed them in at the door. I personally collected individual checks for amounts ranging from $100 to $300. Are you saying that there was a massive conspiracy to repay all of these individual contributors from some phantom GOP slush fund? I personally contributed $300 and my friends and family contributed hundreds more - we never received any money back for this. This is a serious accusation - and is completely unfounded.

  11. This is so sad, to know that you Mr. Gillette are actually in elected office since you clearly can't provide credible discussion items, in fact you make no sense whatsoever in most of your response! But that is what happens when you try to cover up a hidden agenda - you simply cannot get it to make sense!

    Greg wrote - "Mr. van Lier - The township press release was poorly written, at best. What can I say? I didn't write it. I don't apologize for it. Yes, it should have been clearly worded that the impact of the increase caused the entire tax bill to go up 1.4%. This is the way I understood it at the time - any interested person could easily understand that."

    No Mr. Gillette, we've already established that the average voter would NOT understand this - that the average voter would read that press release as saying the municipal tax increase is 1.4%. In fact, the elected officials didn't even point out, not even once, what the actual budget increase was!!! Yet you apologize for them (although you claim you aren't) by saying the 1.4% number is actually BETTER???!!!

    Such utter nonsense! However you seem to at least admit the press release was poorly worded. A more apt description would be - The Township Committee lied and stated that the municipal tax increase was only 1.4% when in fact it was 10.7%.

    You argued Mr. Gillette, that the 1.4% figure was actually BETTER than knowing the 10.7% figure?! You most certainly apologized for or at least tried to help hide the outright lie, or "poorly worded" part of the press release.

    Greg wrote - "I understand all of these issues perfectly and understand the math perfectly. It is important for people to know that the 1.4% number is not "made up", but actually has relevance in this discussion. Your LTE, I assume for the sake of brevity, does not include any information about the 1.4% number, or how it was derived. This implies that it came out of the air - which it did

    My letter to the editor states the facts perfectly Mr. Gillette, IT's YOU who is confusing and clouding the issue! It's very simple. The Township Committee raised the budget and so taxes, by 10.7%. In their own press release announcing this, they didn't EVER say it went up 10.7%!? They instead tried to fold in the school budget over which they have No Control! And they STILL "poorly worded" the issue which is as far as you will go in describing the simple fact that ANY resident reading that press release would only read "1.4% municipal tax increase!"

    Greg writes - "If my dentist bill was 13% of my healthcare, and he raised his rates 10% - yeah, I would want to know what kind of a hit this would be to my total healthcare bill."

    Nonsense Greg! IF your dentist raised your rates 10.7% and he did NOT tell you how much HIS percent increase was but instead told you your overall health care bill was going up 2%, the very next question would be "Please tell me how much YOUR increase will be WITHOUT adding anyone else's costs and bills". You and I know this but you are "acting" dumb to provide cover for your pals. We can all see this readily.

    Greg wrote - "I agree that voters need to know that 10.7% figure. That's why I am glad we have the newspapers reporting for us - including the editor of the Beacon."

    Yes Greg, we can agree that because our elected officials cannot be relied upon to give us good information, and YOU cannot be so trusted, then we MUST rely upon other sources of information like the Beacon and the letters to the editor.

  12. Mr. van Lier - I'll give you the "dentist" example - you have a point. I want to know ALL of the information - give me all of the numbers, I can handle it.

    Hard for me to understand how I could be making our elected officials look bad, according to Val, yet "apologizing" for them, according to you. Could it be that I am just giving my own opinions on this and other matters? Why yes, I believe that's true.

    Actually, I can be trusted - because I gave the best explanation of this incident. Better than the Township Committee and better than you in your LTEs. I explained where the 1.4% number comes from, and explained that the municipal budget is only a small portion of the property tax bill.

    This is much more useful than shouting "they lied, they lied, they lied". Unless of course you have some agenda other than informing the public about this issue.

    Are you withdrawing your BoE election campaign accusations? Now that I have provided eyewitness testimony to the fundraising, I was hoping you would reconsider your baseless accusations.

  13. Mr. Gillette, I have read your numerous posts, heard your voice at CSC meetings and I've seen your response to dialogs like this and in my opinion you can't be trusted to comment on what time of day it is, let alone an issue as important as tax increases!

    The Hillsborough Republican Party massively defrauded the voters with outrageous lies - and your blog entries on the change of government were EXACTLY in support of their lies, distortions and disgusting behavior! This is pure fact!

    Here is an absolutely clear and perfect example of your conflict of interest - where you have provided "political cover" for dishonest politicians - and these are people to whom you are in debt in more than one way.

    This is simple Greg but you continue to try to make it confusing.

    The Hillsborough TC raised municipal taxes 10.7% and in their press release right on the official town website, there is not one single mention of how much the municipal budget or municipal taxes were going up IN PROPORTION TO ITSELF!!!??? The reader, as we agreed, would only conclude that municipal taxes were going up 1.4%. Even YOU agreed that this was "poorly worded" but your first attempt was to actually claim the 1.4% figure was BETTER or more USEFUL???

    You continue to lie for and apologize for the liars who told our voters that the new form of government would surely RAISE taxes when in fact there is NO LOGICAL argument for this!

    You continue to insist that my letter was somehow deficient, yet you cannot argue with any of my arguments and can only try to turn the focus away from the critical points.

    You try in vain to claim the 1.4% figure is better than the 10.7% figure, and after finding you cannot make that argument stick, you switch the subject. Actually the 1.4% figure shows that the elected officials INTENTIONALLY lied because it shows they calculated the school budget into THEIR increase as a means to DILUTE their increase in order to fool the public!!!

    Therefore, you initially claimed that the 1.4% figure was a FACT and you went further to claim it was a BETTER number. We now know that the 1.4% figure, which even Val pointed out, is NOT a fact but is a lie and YOU merely called it "poorly worded".

    No Greg, if the TC had included the simple fact that the budget went up 10.7%, that municipal taxes were going up 10.7% therefrom, and that this translates to a 1.4% increase in the overall tax bill, THEN they would not have lied.

    But our elected officials LIED! And you have worked very hard to excuse them! There is no excuse for someone like you who provides cover for dishonest politicians! And I do not make this statement on this nor on only one or two other instances similar. I base this upon a campaign of dishonesty by you that I saw glaringly during the Change of Government issue.

  14. Mr. Gillette has direct ties with the Hillsborough Republican Party and the elected officials in Hillsborough who lied to the voters repeatedly in numerous important issues like tax increases, change of government, Transload facility at the VA Depot and much much more!

    Greg here claims his blog was the best source of information on the local tax increase???!!! NONSENSE! HE falsely claimed that the 1.4% figure was correct as stated, which was to say it was the municipal tax increase which we now know it wasn't! Then he claimed the 1.4% figure, the one that was NOT a fact, was in fact BETTER than telling the residents, the taxpayers, that their municipal budget and taxes were going up 10.7%?!

    Greg Gillette ran for Bd of Ed in Hillsborough and in his campaign he sent out letters soliciting contributions and suggested ways for the businesses to "hide" contributions over $300 by sending them to individual campaign committees. Greg's campaign rasied and spent $20,000 for a volunteer position that typically sees candidates spend about $200 up to $500 for a handful of signs.

    There's more! Greg and his fellow candidates are all political appointees of the local political powers-that-be. IN fact, one of his running mates is the town prosecutor who makes a nice amount of money off of his appointment and so has a direct financial connection to the political machinery. This political machine in Hillsorough has engaged in acts of deception, scare tactics, and political paybacks that would require many pages of text to fully detail.

    In 2004, the elected officials wanted to kill the petition for change of government and they held an ILLEGAL meeting to do this! They then wasted tens of thousands of taxpayers' money to appeal a very strong, very clear judge's decision because they wanted to delay the vote on the issue.

    When the petition hit the ballot in 2005, the political powers that Greg is aligned with, spent over $20,000 with scare tactics like claiming the new form of government would cost $700,000 according to "township experts".

    Greg Gillette's campaign used the EXACT same contractors for his campaign materials as those used by these dishonest, despicable politicians!!!??? No mere coincidence this!

    For Greg's part, his blog entries during the most recent change of government issue completely failed to Shine the Light of Truth on the most important issues but instead helped to provide cover for the lies of the elected officials.

    We know without a doubt that Greg is unable to be open and honest and trustworthy where the issues involve the Republican Party of Hillsborough and our elected officials. This recent case where Greg tried to cover up the lies of the elected officials by trying to rebut the simple facts and truths I included in a letter to the editor, is testiment to this conclusion.

    If Mr. Gillette wishes to try to show any of these facts to be inaccurate, I wil lrespond with detail to show and to prove that I am correct. You see, I have no political allegiance that twists my vision. I have only one agenda - to serve my community, to help make Hillsborough a better place, and to simply help our voters to see through the veil of falsehoods and deceptions that are built by people like Greg Gillette and his political pals.

  15. More simple truths completely ignored by Greg Gillette and so raising questions about his objectivity!

    The Township Committee of Hillsborough raised the town's budget by 10.7% in 2007. In their press release see on the town's website, there is NO MENTION at all of this increase in percent, which is the most prevalent form in which to present the increase!

    The Township Committee therefore was NOT open, up-front and inclusive with their information - at best!

    Since the usual form of presenting budget and tax increases to the public is to say what the percent increase is relative to just that budget (and NOT ridiculously adding the SCHOOL budget), then it seems much more probable that the Township Committee intentionally left this figure out of the pres release in order to HIDE the damging information!

    So, without even considering the use of the 1.4% figure, we can really only conclude at best the politicians were not forthright and open with the public. However, it seems reasonable to conclude that they were in fact HIDING this information, this very high tax increase, from the voters of Hillsborough!

    Now, consider that the average reader only reads that there will be a 1.4% municipal tax increase - this is where it seems the ONLY possible explanation is that the 1.4% figure was calculated and pplied to intentionally lie to the voters! There is no other logical explanation given the facts!

    Although the blog author tried to cover this up, he failed to comprehend the simple words saying the municipal portion went up by 1.4% and he called it a fact, and yet here we are knowing full well that the municipal portion of this tax went up 10.7%.

    This is not confusing. It's simple. The elected officials of Hillsborough - including Anthony Ferrera our own Mayor, and Carl Suraci - LIED to the voters of Hillsborough and this is NOT the first instance of such outright dishonesty!

    If anyone wishes to read more on this subject, unlike Greg Gillette who wants to HIDE this information, please go to the Hillsborough Beacon at pacpub.com and go back to the editorial around the time the press release came out! The Beacon editor also took the Township Committee to task for lying to the public!!!!!

    Yet Greg Gillette has done everything he could to try to make this seem like the elected officials were actually doing a GOOD thing, despite providing less than full disclosure and by making false statements?! Yikes! But it is all explained in my previous comments - political conflicts of interest and the presence of unethical, dishonest and rather ruthless people in public office.

    I have no agenda, no desire for anything except to see honest, decent people serving the public here in Hillsborough instead of the self-serving politicians who are there today!

  16. Mr. van Lier - Is that all you've got?

    I have not hidden any information -unlike you who hid the details of the Rutgers Study to fool and manipulate the voters of Hillsborough. I have given the facts about the municpal budget increase. My blog entry about this was about providing accurate information - which both the township committee and you Mr. van Lier seem incapable of. Your LTE implies that the 1.4% figure was made up out of thin air - and it was NOT. I tried to give you the benefit of the doubt, excusing your letter for its brevity - but NO, you don't WANT the public to know the truth about these issues.

    I have no agenda - unlike you who used YOUR blog WHILE YOU WERE A CSC COMMISSIONER to promote your agenda of government change.

    I have given you a chance to withdraw your utterly baseless allegations about the 2007 BoE campaign - and you have not.

    You are rude, obnoxious, and vile. Yet I have let your incoherent ramblings remain here, unedited, undeleted, for anyone to see. You, on the other hand, deleted all of the comments from your blog. Why did you do that? Because you do not want a dialogue - you want a monologue.

    Proceed with your monologue.

  17. Finally Mr. Gillette, we are seeing into your true personality. No wonder you are aligned with the local politicians who repeatedly lie to the public.

    Funny thing here is that every point I've made about why you cannot be trusted, was ignored by you because it is simple fact and reasonable conclusion. And right now I will prove beyond reasonable doubt, that every one of your despicable accusations about me are vacuous.

    That means Mr. Gillette that you have NO GROUNDS to call me any names whatsoever, but we can easily and accurately describe you as dishonest and supporting those dishonest politicians who are running Hillsborough into the ground!

    You claim your blog allows comments, that YOU personally allow this??? You and I both know only the Courier-News can delete comments Mr. Gillette, it is not up to you and you alone! You lied!

    Next you claim I deleted the comments from my blog??? Are you truly this nasty, this ignorant or are you so filled with hate and narrow-minded bigotry that you cannot comprehend simple truths? My blog was stopped and stripped of everything a long time ago. I have not added ANY posts Mr. Gillette however, while I was blogging, comments were fully allowed. Since it is inactive, the content resides wherever, stripped and with no activity and so no comments.

    Your entire point on this displays your hate-mongering mentality, and your inability to deal circumspectly with simple facts. You call me names yet you have no basis to do so.

    You make another vacuous and nasty accusation about the Rutgers research study!? You claim I hid the details to fool and to manipulate the voters???

    Now Mr. Gillette - we see that you are obviously a pathetic and disgusting LIAR because you have stated over and over that you were present at most CSC meetings and that you saw the rest on Channel 25!

    This means you are completely aware of the facts, but you choose to LIE about them to malign me! That is actionable libel MR. Gillette! You know the truth but you are lying to try to save your pathetic reputation by ruining mine.

    FACTS - The Rutgers research was provided while Dr. Reock was at a CSC meeting Greg. He answered our questions and was available for the public to question. Therefore, your silly accusation that ANYTHING was hidden from the public to fool and manipulate them is FALSE!!!

    Here is another precise LIE that YOU personally made on this issue of government change. You were at the meeting when it was proven that the Jackson Twp 39% tax increase was NOT due to the change in gvoernment, but occurred BEFORE the change!!! YEt how did YOU portray this critical piece of information? DId you inform the voters that RALG and your political Republican Party pals were lying??? Nope. You helped them to spread the LIE!

    These are facts that are beyond question Greg. You are a liar plain and simple!

    You continue to AVOID the issue of how YOU helped to excuse your pals in office of their lie about teh tax increase. You try to claim, vacuously again, that I was not honest and truthful. That I hid the critical information?!

    I know the readers will see through your nonsense and will wind up at the truth! My letter did NOT imply that there was no basis for the 1.4% figure as you say. My letter, simply enough, said that your political pals LIED in claiming the municipal tax increase was just 1.4% when it was infact 10.7%!!!

    You have even failed to support your own disgusting cover-up of their lie Mr. Gillette! You claimed their 1.4% number was accurate but now you have admitted it wasn't (but you will never say they lied because they are your political cronies, right?). You went even further to try to claim the 1.4% figure was MORE USEFUL - but we found out through my questioning that you cannot support that utterly idiotic claim of yours and so your agenda to make the lie seem not a lie, has been revealed!!!

    So far Mr. Gillette, I have proven that you lied and you attemped to cover up for political officials who are guilty of repeatedly lying to the people of Hillsborough. You may not like the names we can call you based upon this list of facts, but if someone lies, we can call that person a LIAR!

    However, we see that not one single accusation you leveled against me is credible, let alone true! That makes you nasty and hate-mongering on top of being a liar and of supporting dishonest, self-serving politicians.

    We shall end this with the simple reiteration that you hold political appointment and that you spent a HUGE amount of money to run for a volunteer position where spending is usually minimal - and you used the exact same contractors as your political pals.

    Although you have not admitted to these simple truths, it does not make them untrue and by your avoidance, we shall derive the knowledge that you know you are guilty but wish to hide that, in addition to the many other unattractive truths that people should know about you!

  18. Regarding the Charter Study Commission and my role Mr. Gillette - while you TRY to claim that either myself or the CSC hid information from the public or that we/I promoted government change, you have yet again failed and so can only be judged to be lying, or perhaps unable to comprehend simple facts.

    While Mr. Gillette's political pals were telling people that taxes would go way up if the form of govt changed, and he actually helped them in this lie, the CSC and Glenn van Lier provided ALL the necessary information in public meetings that were taped and played on Channel 25! The CSC hid NOTHING and Mr. Gillette knows this but since he is basically dishonest, he is trying to rewrite the historical record!

    Didn't the CSC include the facts and information that supported the recommended form as well as inforamtion that did NOT support the final form in their report and in their discussions???

    Didn't the CSC have solid and detailed reasons for selecting the form as recommended for the ballot? Did YOU use your blog to inform the public about the most critical information on this important issue Mr. Gillette? No you didn't! You completely failed to address anything that was not in support of the lies put out by your political pals. If you think this to be untrue I will copy and paste parts of your own blog to prove it beyond any reasonable doubt!

    The beauty of dialog and debate is that the facts will shine through and the lies and garbage will fall to the side like rotten wood crumbles under the power of the weather.

    So, Mr. Gillette can call me vile and accuse me of hiding information but he has been shown to be the liar and I have proven my facts to be solid and and my justifications profound. There is no basis for me to be called vile, unless you think it's okay for politicians to lie to the public! Then perhaps I am vile for pointing out when they lie - although here in Hillsborough that's nearly a full-time job!

  19. The Courier News has ZERO control over the comments and content of this blog. I am the sole administrator - and can delete posts as I see fit, or even not allow posting at all!

    Although I can see why they needed such an arrangement in your case!

    Now please, continue...

  20. Good for you Greg! However, the remainder of the lies you've made still stand!

    Since you refuse to admit to your filth, I'll keep adding them as we go along!

    In one of your CSC blogs you state that you had an open mind on the subject of change of government, however you leaned perhaps even heavily towards keeping the existing form?! That is a lie and a few of us know it!

    In another forum you argued with someone very strenuously that not only did you NOT have an open mind, but that it was perfectly fine to NOT have an open mind?! The person with whom you were dialoging even suggested that before any facts and discussion were begun, it was foolhardy to NOT have an open mind! But you very strenuously stated that you had already made up your mind and that it was okay to NOT have na open mind.

    We see that you again, wish to change history. But that's called LYING - when you say something that isn't true!

    There's a lot more, so every time you make nasty, ignorant posts, I will add to the list of your lies and deceipt.

  21. I have NEVER seen people argue with such veracity when everyone in the augment is correct.

    It’s actually pretty simple.

    The local portion of our taxes did go up 10.7%. However since the local portion of our property tax bill only represents 13% of our overall tax bill our actual physical payment (because of the local tax) went up 1.4%

    Simply said if you were paying $10.000 your bill went from $10,000 to $10,140. That my friend is the plain and simple truth no matter how you wish to twist it.

  22. 08844 has posted to the Courier blogs many times before and is without question one of the many supporters of the unethical, dishonest politicians currently abusing the voters of Hillsborough!

    08844 wishes to condense this issue into something it most certainly isn't! He wants readers to think that Greg was right, that no one was dishonest, and to emphasize that which helps his political pals who raised taxes by over 10%?!

    By diluting the impact of the municipal tax increase, by pointing out that the school tax is so much larger, it tries to make it seem like the municipal incease is minor and perhaps not worth discussing!

    NONSENSE! The Hillsborough elected officials are responsible to us voters for THEIR budget and we don't care how the school budget affects the municipal budget.

    We have every right to judge the performance of our elected officials on what THEIR peformance is relative to THEIR budget.

    The average municipal tax increase around Somerset County is closer to 4% than it is to the 10.7% which was created by the inept and dishonest people currently in office in Hillsborough. Further, on top of a 10.7% increase in 2007, we suffered a 14.3% increase in 2005!!!???

    But, in the final analysis, the actual facts here are several and critical.

    Greg Gillette provided cover for his political cronies by first proclaiming that their lie about taxes going up 1.4% was in fact, true! Yet we now see that the elected officials lied!!! THey said the MUNICIPAL portion of the tax went up 1.4% but the MUNICIPAL portion actully went up 10.7%!!!

    That's the critical issue here, but Greg and 08844 do NOT want people to read that part! Oh no. They want people to be confused and to think the municipal tax is so low that it isn't even worth discussing!

    Greg Gillette went so far as to not only ignore the lie from his political pals, he ignored that no where in the official press release did the officials even tell the public what the municipal increase was at all (10.7%) which adds significantly to the lie - but Mr. Gillette has the audacity to try to argue that the 1.4% number was more USEFUL, a BETTER number than the silly 10.7% number???

    Naturally a logical argument cannot be made to support this utterly ridiculous claim so Greg tried variously to switch the topic to avoid the critical issues.

    Simple? Well, yes it is. But when people like Greg Gillette and 08844 come here not to discuss facts and issues, but to promote a hidden agenda borne of politics and absent morals and ethics, nothing is simple!

  23. Wow. I've never gotten twenty-three comments. Impressive.

    Well, I'm just going to go back into my hole and keep a low profile until all this blows over.

    Flying under the radar,
    H. ap W.

  24. I am finished commenting on the 2007 tax increase, but I wish to say one more thing.

    I owe an apology to Mr. van Lier. On three separate occasions I have referred to his CN Blog, and to the fact that, although the blog itself still exists and can be viewed, all of the comments have been deleted. I sugeested that Mr. van Lier had removed these comments for selfish reasons.

    I understand now that this is not true. Mr. van Lier's CN Blog obviously operated differently than mine does currently. I was not aware of this until it was inadvertently brought to my attention by Mr. van Lier himself.

    I do not believe Mr. van Lier deleted the comments from his blog in any sort of attempt to hide information from the public. I am now sorry for suggesting that he did.

    Mr. van Lier, I ask you to please accept my sincere apology.

  25. Mr. Gillette, if you wish to truly come clean and I appreciate your apology, you are still remiss on several other items that frankly are much more important and therefore require further attention!

    You made a number of other false accusations and so I request retraction and apologies for those as well, assuming you genuinely want to get this behind you.

    Specifically, you wrote the following - ". . . you who hid the details of the Rutgers Study to fool and manipulate the voters of Hillsborough."

    You and I both know this is totally untrue and it's a despicable lie, undeniably so. The importance of the item and the clear issues of fact makes an apology of absolute necessity, if you are trying to be honest.

    More items that cannot be left in light of the very nature of the false accusation - " I have given the facts about the municpal budget increase. My blog entry about this was about providing accurate information - which both the township committee and you Mr. van Lier seem incapable of."

    We know now that your statement that the municipal tax increase as stated by our elected officials, 1.4%, is factual and represents Truth - is totally false! You make the claim that your blog provided accurate information - which we seem to all agree it did not. But worse and furthering the overall problem is that you accuse me or my letter as not being accurate - that I am not interested in Truth?! This of course is preposterous and you cannot make the case using facts.

    As I've said over and over, my letter was very clear - or so a reasonable person can conclude! IT clearly and simply stated that the muni tax increase was 10.7% but our own elected officials falsely claimed it was 1.4% - so are they lying about this or are they totally arithmetically-challenged? Instead of using your blog to point out to readers that our elected officials were WRONG and that their press release was at best "poorly worded" or more likely an act of intentional fabrication, you argued that the inaccurate 1.4% was not only valid as factual, but was a more useful or better figure than the accurate 10.7% figure?!

    Therefore, you falsely accused me of not wanting the Truth to come out - which is again undeniably false and not a minor accusation!

    Just another one of the significant false accusations of merit that you published - "I tried to give you the benefit of the doubt, excusing your letter for its brevity - but NO, you don't WANT the public to know the truth about these issues."

    Your initial blog language does NOT excuse my letter for "its brevity" one little bit! In truth you defamed me repeatedly and falsely as already proven above, and you end with the unbelievable conclusion that my letter "contains no useful information at all" even though I am the one who clearly proved beyond any shadow of doubt that our elected officials provided inaccurate information in their press release and I provided perfectly reasonable and logical argument as to why this must be considered to be an outright lie and an attempt to fool the public!

    IF you wish to truly unburden yourself with false accusations, then a retraction and apology on these very substantial items must be forthcoming!

  26. No Sir

    I’m not some political hack as you elude. I just have a very different view point from you. Say what you want BUT I came right out front and said: “The local portion of our taxes did go up 10.7%.” How can you take my statement and say I’m now a supporter of unethical, dishonest politicians currently abusing the voters of Hillsborough and I’m condensing this issue into something it most certainly isn't! He wants readers to think that Greg was right, that no one was dishonest, and to emphasize that which helps his political pals who raised taxes by over 10%?!

    Did you miss my Opening line? Let me repeat it ::: “The local portion of our taxes did go up 10.7%. How can you even think I’m hiding or twisting that when I AM AGREEING WITH YOU????

    However Glenn, and I do understand your excellent point that our elected officials must be held accountable, but the bottom line is no matter how you slice it my dollars and cents example is a fact. $10,000 taxes paid becomes $10,104 Taxes paid IF our local budget goes up 14%.

  27. 08844 wants the readers to believe what is simply untrue! 08844 has posted many comments to the Courier-News blogs and he is completely supportive of the Hillsborough Republican Party who repeatedly lied to the voters of Hillsborough, especially in 2007 when they coordinated a massive campaign of voter fraud.

    What does 08844 attempt here?

    First, I am not "eluding" anything or anyone. I believe the word he was looking for is "allude". If 08844 is trying to say I'm avoiding (eluding) something, he needs to make that point more clear.

    More to my specific point, this is what 08844 wrote - "How can you take my statement and say I’m now a supporter of unethical, dishonest politicians currently abusing the voters of Hillsborough and I’m condensing this issue into something it most certainly isn't!"

    This is easy, although the explanation cannot be short!

    This individual tries to connect his one statement here with my opinion that he supports the dishonest people in elected office in Hillsborough. That is not the case and clearly, that is not what I said! This individual has a nasty habit if constantly switching words, twisting meanings, to create an "illusion" of reality that suits his agenda du jour!

    To wit, look at this fabrication. 08844 wrote - "He [Glenn] wants readers to think that Greg was right, that no one was dishonest, . . . No, 08844, I very clearly said Greg was WRONG because while he said the Township Committee was being truthful, factual and perhaps even that their incorrect 1.4% muni tax increase number was BETTER or more useful, we all agree that this was INCORRECT and most likely the result of a LIE - a despicable outright LIE!

    Whether the TC pulled the 1.4% number out of a hat, or whether it was an actual calculated amount that diluted the municipal tax increase by adding the school budget which is NOT controlled by the TC, it is undeniable that the elected officials LIED and that is simply unconscionable!

    It's one thing dear friends, to see the opinions of people who might not have the facts nor the benefit of extensive background on an issue and so we can excuse opinions that are out of line with the truth and the complexities of real life situations. In this case, 08844 most certainly twists things around to do exactly what the blog author did - he ends the comment by diluting the large municipal tax increase with ALL other taxes in order to make it look smaller and less of an issue!

    0884 writes - "How can you even think I’m hiding or twisting that when I AM AGREEING WITH YOU????"

    No, 08844 only agreed that the 10.7% municipal tax increase was correct, and he even went so far as to agree with me that our elected officials should be held accountable. BUT - he ends his post by comparing apples with watermelons!!!

    By showing ALL taxes, including the total of School, County and Local taxes and listing next to THAT amount, how much the local tax increase will be in dollars, any reader will see the local tax impact is small. But that is NOT holding our officials responsible for THEIR portion of the pie!

    We need to focus on EACH part of where our taxes go! If ANY individual piece goes up by more than around 3% to 4%, we should all raise questions! To see how each budget increase reflects the performance of those who we elected to control that budget, we cannot ignore ANY increases nor allow ANY part to increase 10% without cause for alarm and concern.

    The average municipal tax increases around Somerset County are close to 4%. Here in Hillsborough, our municipal budget increased 14.3% in 2005 and then increased 10.7% in 2007!

    We taxpayers of Hillsborough should be very concerned, indeed! And our concern should not be restricted to just the instant issue of budget increases but the larger, and potentially more critical issue of the dishonesty and unethical behavior of our elected officials. In fact it is entirely possible that the dishonesty and immoral chracter of the elected officials has given us this high incidence of tax increases!