March,  2012

Memos at random


County Council provided an additional $425,000 to enable the Department of Special Services to purchase gasoline and No. 2 bunker fuel for the remainder of this fiscal year.

Wayne Merritt, acting general manager of the department, told Council that gasoline is now costing $3.25 a gallon, up from $2.57 originally budgeted. As a government, the county does not have to pay state fuel tax.

Council was told that a pilot program to reduce gasoline expense by monitoring idling time, speed and driving habits resulted in "significant change immediately" and will be expanded throughout the entire motor pool.




Michael Falstad, of Arden, will fill the seat on the Brandywine School Board to be vacated when Patricia Hearn's term expires at the end of June. The Department of Elections for New Castle County cancelled the election scheduled for May 8 after the filing deadline passed with Falstad the only would-be candidate for a five-year term. Hearn's seat was the only one up for election this year. School board members serve without pay.

District spokesperson Alexis Andrianopoulos said she did not know Falstad and could not provide any information about what, if any, involvement he has had with the district. He did not respond to a Delaforum request for information.




The five public school districts in New Castle County refused to participate in county government's moratorium on residential property foreclosures for non-payment of back property taxes.

That was revealed at a meeting of County Council's finance committee considering legislation to forgive penalties on unpaid back taxes if the full debt is repaid by May 31. Council on Mar. 13 enacted that ordinance, which does include school taxes.

Each of the school districts has a tax rate considerably higher than the county rate. The county finance department collects both taxes but passes through amounts collected in the shool levy to the respective districts.

Both the foreclousre moratorium -- created in February by County Executive Paul Clark in an executive order -- and the amnesty program apply to owner-occupied primary residences.

The moratorium applies to properties whose owners enter into repayment plans and make a 'good-faith' effort to comply with their plan.




Hearing some of our Republican friends talk about having to get the country back on track makes us wonder when was it was last on track. In 2008 at the end of the Bush presidency when we were spiraling into the Great Recession in the wake of the Wall Street debacle? In 2000 at the end of the Clinton presidency when there was a booming economy and a federal budget surplus?



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