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Which services would you cut to fund the purchase of 23 acres of Open Space in Media?

A landscape of Media Borough from the Wells Fargo parking lot overlooking S Orange St
Empty Parking Lot in Media Borough, August 2019. Photo courtesy of Dana Marks.

Governing is about making hard choices, guided by realistic policies. The opposition slate in the upcoming Democratic primary fails the test of workable policies. Take their proposal for the acquisition of “23 acres of green, open space in Media.” These are all private properties, most of which are owned by commercial interests and none of which is for sale. Media Borough would have to pay top dollar to acquire any one of them. Private property in our residential areas is selling for about $1 Million per acre. Prices are considerably more in our business districts. (How much more? When asked several years ago about the asking price for a one acre lot in the business district, the owner replied nearly $5 Million.) With interest, the price for those 23 acres is, conservatively, 30 Million Dollars. This is three times more than the Borough's entire annual budget! Media taxpayers would have to bear that truly extraordinary cost. Because state law restricts how Boroughs such as Media can raise revenue, the only realistic way Media could fund the acquisition of private property would be to raise the local property tax. By how much? There are 2170 properties in Media that are subject to the local property tax. This means the average property owner would have to pay an additional $13,824.88, at a minimum (remember, commercial property costs more).

What essential services would Media need to curb or cut in order to reduce this impact on our residents? Will we need to cut back on funding fire, EMS, and police? The library? Will needed traffic calming initiatives and the remaking of Plum Street Mall be set aside? What impact would this tax increase have on property values, which many of our residents rely on to fund such things as college and retirement? What effect will this have on our most vulnerable residents, for whom “affordability” starts with good services and reasonable taxes? The opposing slate does not address these critical questions.

Our Endorsed, vetted candidates recognize the need for a balanced approach to ensure the continued success of our town. They support targeted borrowing (like what was done to fund the new library building) if a suitable property becomes available at a fair price. Join us in helping elect Tray Herman, Lisa Gelman, and Paul Robinson on May 16 and Keep Media on Track!

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