Ridgewood BOE Seeks to Eliminate Budget Vote
Tuesday September 24, 2013, 11:25 AM
BY LAURA HERZOG
The Ridgewood News
Ridgewood school administrators are discussing whether to get rid of the school budget election.
The 2013-2014 budget vote, which is no longer required by state law, cost about $30,000 in election spending, according to Superintendent Daniel Fishbein. The expense seemed large in comparison to the turnout. This past April, only 12 percent of registered voters went to the polls, a historically low turnout for Ridgewood.
The budget, requiring an $85 million tax levy, passed with 55 percent of voters in favor and 45 percent against. The last time the budget was rejected was 2010, and the Village Council ultimately trimmed about $100,000 from the spending plan, a small amount relative to the multimillion-dollar budget.
According to Board of Education (BOE) President Sheila Brogan, Ridgewood has usually attracted a turnout of above 14 percent.
Ridgewood is not alone in its low turnout, and even this year attracted a higher percentage of budget voters than Bergen County overall. According to the Bergen County Clerk’s Office, only about 14,000 voters turned out to all participating Bergen districts’ elections this April, about 10 percent overall.