By Mike ZummoThe Vernon Township Council will hold a public hearing on Monday, May 13, on the 2019 municipal budget.The public will have an opportunity to speak out on the township’s proposed $26.4 million spending plan, which will come with a $17.75 million tax levy.This year’s levy represents a 5.2 percent increase over last year’s $16.89 million tax levy.The Council approved the introductory budget by a 3-2 vote. Councilman Mark Van Tassel, John Auberger and Patrick Curreri voted for the budget, while Council President Jean Murphy and Councilwoman Sandra Ooms voted against it.The municipal tax rate of about 69 cents per $100 of assessed value means the average township homeowner – with a value of about $215,000 – will see an average tax bill of $1,477 per year.Councilwoman Sandra Ooms, who voted against the budget along with Council President Jean Murphy, said the initial tax rate was going to be about $13.04 per month per average home.After concern, they were given an even higher tax rate ($13.44).“Yes, there was a decrease from the initial draft budget, but still a high increase for the Vernon taxpayer,” Ooms said in a statement. “. I also believe that there is extra money in several line items that are inappropriate and can be removed.:Ooms also was against slashing the emergency services budget to $306,000, from $389,000.“Although the reduction to the ambulance is not large, that is one area that should not be changed,” she said.