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>Just in case you didn’t get the memo: Mass email pushes Bob Hutton and Vince Loncto

>Just in case you didn’t get the memo: Mass email pushes Bob Hutton and Vince Loncto

Ridgewood School Election Facts – Don’t be fooled by “spin”

I am forwarding an email signed by several Ridgewood residents urging us to vote YES for the school budget in the election on APRIL 17th, and to support Bob Hutton and Vince Loncto.  I agree that it will be best for our schools and our children if Bob and Vince continue to serve us on the Board of Education, and I support passing the 2012-13 budget.

Please read below and feel free to forward to your friends and neighbors.

(If you’ve already received this, I apologize for the duplication…and if you don’t agree with the information, feel free to delete.)

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Begin forwarded message:

Dear Ridgewood residents:

Ridgewood’s school election on April 17 is crucial: it will have a deep and lasting effect on our schools and our children’s education. We are urging all residents to vote for Bob Hutton and Vince Loncto for the Board of Education, and vote “Yes” on the school budget.  Here are the facts:

* Bob Hutton – 9 years experience & commitment to successful contract
Lead negotiator in BOE’s contract with teachers’ union. Bob is holding the line to achieve a contract we can afford. A change in leadership will weaken the Board’s position.
As member of Board Finance Committee, Bob has helped the District withstand repeated and devastating budget cuts in state aid, while maintaining educational programs & keeping special ed students in-district (saving money).
Instrumental in establishing the nationally-recognized Ridgewood Academy of Health Professionals (RAHP) program.
Bob is running for the one-year BOE seat for one specific reason: to fulfill his obligation to taxpayers by negotiating the teachers’ contract, which makes up 55% of the district’s budget.

* Vince Loncto – financial oversight & increased transparency
Since his appointment last year, Vince has shown he can ask tough questions on behalf of the community.
His efforts have already resulted in more transparency and public discussion of budget.
He is committed to improving the district’s approach to technology and digital learning as well as testing and assessments.
Vince is working for improved communications & community relations, responding to community concerns and keeping taxes flat next year.
Career experience: Chief Financial Officer at CBS, Simon & Schuster, the Walt Disney Company and McGraw-Hill.

 Jim Morgan – would be a negative force on the BOE
Jim has a long, public history of harassing, bullying and antagonizing BOE members and District staff. Not interested in collaboration.
Conflict of interest: He has publicly stated (Village Council minutes 10/27/10) that RHS field improvements and increased use of the fields by children have reduced his property’s value and that he will seek legal action against the BOE and Village. This conflict of interest would affect his objectivity as a BOE member.
Jim appears to be courting the endorsement of teachers, setting up another potential conflict that could jeopardize current and future negotiations and relationship with the BOE.
Has publicly demanded a rush to settle the teachers’ contract, which would compromise the BOE’s position.
Past president of the Ridgewood Education Foundation, whose endowment reportedly decreased under his leadership.
Violated REF by-laws, Article III, Section 3(d), which state that no REF trustee may be a candidate for public office.
Jim is running for the one-year BOE term for political and personal reasons, not seeking genuine improvement or “change.”

Gina Damasco – no real interest?
Refused to answer questions from the Ridgewood News on her platform or positions.
Declined to attend several HSA meetings to which she was invited to meet residents and share her vision for our schools.
 Little or no past involvement in local Ridgewood community organizations or schools (except as a former student).
At the League of Women Voters Candidates’ Night on 3/29, Gina’s platform focused on her desire to apply her legal background to the BOE. The Board already has legal counsel.

* YES ON BUDGET — Tax increase held to 2%
Per-pupil cost well below state average.
Number of administrators-per-student far below both state average and average for similar districts.
Budget has no cuts to educational offerings or staff.
Maintains class sizes.
Small budget increase driven by contractual health care costs rising 20%.

Please forward this email ASAP to your Ridgewood address book. And remind your friends and neighbors to VOTE on Tuesday April 17.

Signed,

Brian Abdoo
Joseph Carey
John Donovan
Jennifer & Stephen Errico
Joel & Beth Holmes
Joe Hurley
George & Liz Kloak
Lee Miller
Loren & Paul Mularz
Ed Seavers
David & Tina Telesco

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