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School Budget Vote Gets Heated

Vote Ridgewood NJ

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 “.




9 thoughts on “School Budget Vote Gets Heated

  1. BOE = Arrogant with a capital A.

  2. The president of the BOE, Vince Loncto, counted the Yea and Nay votes incorrectly. Which tells me a lot about how he manages that massive budget.

    22 people spoke in favor of letting the residents vote.
    3 were opposed.

  3. I think we start with a 5% spending cut across the board starting with Teacher benefits. I love teachers too but they need to switch to a benefits package from this century. Next is administration. We can probably do without 10% of them. That might even leave some money for arts and enrichment programs. How about teaching our kids about personal finance and not spending more than you make? Oh, wait, that would not be in the BOE’s best interest would it. Cut spending – stop the madness. No taxation without representation. Give us our vote!

  4. Th three who were opposed were halaby, winograd, and reilly

  5. I now consider myself past the age of caring anymore. For years I got myself all worked up over this topic and other town business. As of now, I have mentally accepted the fact that the town is unable to be fiscally responsible and it is better to leave in 18 months than give myself high blood pressure. You will know when things have changed when the council votes on fiscal facts and not emotion. Call the bluff: cut compensation and benefits and see how many people actually quit. I expect not many and I base this answer on first hand experience in private business.

  6. Last time I remember a budget not passing via vote, it went to the village council. They cut a minimal $100,000 (or some pittance) and the BOE got their way.
    Our vote will tell them how we feel but in the long run it isn’t changing how they run their budget.

  7. Charlie Reilley looked like he was having a stroke, he was livid.

  8. Let’s not die over this.

  9. Winggrad is still kissing up looking for that cheap apartment

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