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The Abington Citizens Network
where Abington, PA residents can share ideas and join forces to build a better community

The 2022 Proposed Abington Budget
Summary Page and Call to Action
 

The largest tax hike ever ... 22 % . Why?
Combine  that with the nearly 10% hike in 2020
Your Township taxes have been raised over 30% since 2020
The plan was conceived by Manager Richard Manfredi literally 2 years after his arrival
 
Abington should understand WHY  they just got $19 million and still want a tax hike .

 

   Yes you CAN do something about this . Please read the paragraph below and then contact ALL the Commissioners ---  because ALL will vote on this.  Tell them No vote without a workshp, anser our questions and fixx the tiny print.  Even if YOU are not going to read it - please help others who read it on your behalf. 
  

The budget itself is here : https://stories.opengov.com/abingtonpa/published/bO3Q3bhQH
  After you read the paragraphs below, please CONTACT YOUR COMMISSIONERS  with a single click
         
https://abingtoncitizens.com/TwpGovt/Commissioners.htm


Tell them:

1)  we need the tiny print fixed ...NOW 
 
2)  we need all questions  asked to be answered, and also, please, published  on a page ( without our names )
      so we can benefit from what our fellow residents have found

3) we need a proper budget workshop BEFORE  any  hearing or approval of this massive document 


  THE LARGEST HIKE ABINGTON HAS EVER HAD - BUT WHY????
     

       The 22% tax hike is the second portion of the  30% tax hike Manager Manfredi planned in 2019  to start in 2020.  In 2020 he imposed only 1/3 of his planned total. The other  2/3  was supposed to come in 2021, if there wasn't too much fallout from the 1st giant hike. And you all took it on the chin like the strong silent ones you are. 

    Then Covid hit and the 2021 plan was ditched.  We were $5 million down in revenue for 2021 but he got by smoothly, by taking $5 million from the fund balance.  But for 2022 the Township is set to receive $19 million in Covid rescue funds - far more than any losses we suffered.  Despite families
still  reeling from lost jobs and businesses, and despite the $19 million that fell from the sky, Manfredi is instituting the 22% anyway- the greatest tax hike Abington has ever seen that I am aware of - and I have been here  45 years and seen a lot of budgets.  And some of the things he INSISTS he needs are nothing more than "Wish List" items --- others are even undesirable to the residents he serves  and still others are far more helpful to developers than they will ever be  to you and me. If the deverlopers were doing what we WANTED that might be good. But largely, they are not. 

       As noted above, this giant 30% was part if his plan back in 2019 - just 2 years after he arrived here. And he did something else new when he arrived .... he withheld budget documents  until the last moment. So none of  the  massive list of "wish list " projects that ended  up getting approved when the budget was approved was EVER properly vetted by the public.   Business is not supposed to be done out of the public eye  - and please recall that this Manager has also changed your speaking rights 4 times in the 4 years he has been here - each time taking away more and more of
your rights.....  to ask questions,  to make significant comments and to, in essence , participate in your government .  And that is not a small deal. It's really a big deal.

       Your Commissioners
 hope to pass this massive budget Dec 9, 2021  while nearly everyone is busy with the holidays. Without a single proper workshop permitted.

      
$ 8 million  of the first $9 million of those $19 million in Covid funds were decided completely out of view of the public . The public had not one word to say about their use before they showed up in Manfredi's presentation.  Again - some of those  things are not only  NOT necessary but not even desired. Their cost should have been used to reduce taxes .  Besides withholding documents and presenting everything last minute and with no workshop,  no numbered pages for reference, teeny tiny print that cannot be read even with a magnifying glass,  a new digital format that requires a tutorial to use, Manfredi also removed all the standard year to year comparisons  we all relied heavily on that were directly in each line of every department budget. Items that belong together like department organizational charts, dept narratives  and dept salaries  that perenially had been together, were flung in 13 different places  from the main department budget, requiring a scavenger hunt to understand any individual  department. And Manfredi  KNEW this - because we told him  last year . So this year, he made it worse.      The Budget Director  herself couldn't even locate the salaries  quickly. when asked to do so. That is the woman who created the budget.  Salaries are not able to be sorted by department and the bizzare naming system is something you could figure out.  The manager is under T for Township Manager , one assistant is under E - one is under A and one is under S . Manfredi has sometimes  given the same  item 4 or 5 different  names  in the same document. He simply  continues re-naming everything he can so there is no year to year consistency. And his bosses, the Commissioners allow it . I think Code Enforcement and Land Development was renamed at least 3 or 4 times since his arrival - though it was the same for nearly the whole 45 years I was there. Parks and Recreation has become Culture and Recreation . Code Enforcement and Zoning now are somehow combined under Community Development with a young, brand new  director who has no training,  background or experience in these very important areas -- never  worked in those departments .... yet now is Director of them all,  right at a time that we are undergoing the most intense zoning challenges from every quadrant .  Who do you think will be running that show?  Not our novice director.

      Can you see the plan behind the chaos?  Even the auditors will have to "guess" at half of it.  Oversight becomes exceedingly difficult . Employee positions  are renamed, combined, shared ... so no one knows whose in charge of what and who gets paid how much.  When the Finance Director was put in charge of  Public works, there were ultimate 3 salaries involved --- his, the Consultant who was the former head of Public works who was really doing the work for him,  and the retirement salary that the consultant was also drawing.  That's how Mr Manfredi was saving you money ----by tripling the costs . The same will happen in 2022 in Code and Zoning - and many other places.

     Good management  provides for clear oversight and  those who need overseeing aren't allowed to abscure it.  The Commissioners, particularly Hecker and Spiegelman, are doing just the opposite here - allowing their hand-picked  "accomplice" to muddy all the waters he can. 

       The Township promised they would answer questions that were emailed in to onlinebudgetbook@abingtonpa.gov   but so far they have answered nearly none of them. So Manfredi's word is not good. Have they answered some of yours?  Try it and let me know.    Last year he answered nearly none - but then said in public he had answered them all. 

Spiegelman and Hecker know all this .... and allow it. 

Abington residents can call me at 215-885-0504 if you are concerned

 IF YOU WOULD  LIKE TO JOIN OUR GROUP DOING BUDGET INFORMATION SHARING
  .... every extra set of eyes is helpful.  What one notices, another doesn't .

Again, please:
 CONTACT YOUR COMMISSIONERS  with a single click
https://abingtoncitizens.com/TwpGovt/Commissioners.htm


Tell them:
1)  we need the tiny print fixed ...NOW 
 2)  we need all questions asked to be answered, and also published  on a page ( without our names )
3)  we need a proper budget workshop BEFORE  any  hearing or approval of this massive document 


Thank you for your help

 

 

 

   This site is a forum for information sharing and idea sharing.  Please feel free to send your  view  and please be sure to  tell us about any information you believe to be incorrect - write  lel@abingtoncitizens.com

 

 


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Knowledge is power. Stay informed to help shape your community and make a difference.

Abington Township, with John Spiegelman in charge, revamped the entire Township website at the end of 2015 and broke all the links to the information we had archived on this site for you.   In 2017, Manager Richard Manfredi arrived and assigned someone not qualified to redo the entire website again. They not only broke all archived links we had reinstated, but made everything as impossible to find as they could. Nearly all of our comments and recommedations to fix the Township website have been wholly ignored.

So we do need volunteers to work together helping the Township create a site that is functional and accessible.  We will be reinstating links as we find them....if the data is still available. So... please let us know if you find a broken link. Send us the URL of the link  and the name of the page it is on, and if we can, we'll reinstate it.
Thanks for the help.

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