the staff of the Ridgewood blog
Ridgewood NJ, the Ridgewood Board of Education once again appears to be pretending to be open to public input while their mind have already been made up on an issue . The Board for years has stonewalled residents and has demonstrated that they are far more interested in placating their NJEA masters. Lets face it a budget vote would remind residents every year that the school budget is 2/3 of their tax dollars and that at $110,000,000 it is an enormous . The Board appeared to be tone deaf and was also accused of violating the open public meeting act or at lest actively trying to circumvent it. .
What was most impressive was the large turn out of residents who took the time to tell the BOE how interested they were in Ridgewood schools.
Deputy mayor Susan Knudsen stated off the meeting by expressing that Mondays BOE “joint meeting” with the Village Council violated open public meeting act.
Former BOE president Charley Reilly spoke twice. he heatedly pointed out that the residents and Village Council are too naïve to figure out the School budget, and therefore shouldn’t be allowed to vote.
Chris Kaufman BOE candidate said the majority of the residents favor the vote in April and want more transparency .
Anne Loving stated the public has the right to vote , she also pointed out that the state of New Jersey does not allow us to vote on other budgets , only school budget, if it did we would .
Boyd Loving pointed out that changes in the tax laws limiting the deductibility of property taxes had adversely impacted Ridgewood residents putting pressure for more accountability of spending.
Dan Creed point out a huge increase of 40% in the budget over the last 10 years and BOE debt is up 170%.
Most speakers favored the a School budget vote ,while he majority of the BOE did not and most of the commentators implied the BOE was looking to take away the publics right to vote.
Ellie Gruder summed up the move to November as “an experiment that did not really work “.