the staff of the Ridgewood blog
Ridgewood NJ, The Blog has learned from several sources that newly elected councilwoman Pamela Perron is spreading misinformation about the initiative to consolidate local elections to November. When questioned at meetings as well as in emails with various residents, she is unequivocal that residents will still get to vote on the School Board budget proposals . . . sometimes. When called to task on this, she spews various legalese, but does not amend her hard-line stand.
Since this elected official refuses to be clear, The Blog is here to clarify: If the local elections are moved to November, citizens will not get to vote on the School Board Budget. Got it? You won’t vote if the increase is 2% or 1% or even if it is a flat 0%. In fact, even if they reduced the budget you won’t get to vote. So you will have no say in how your money is being spent. If they want to put in gold-plated windows at the Ed Center, you will not have a say. The only way a vote would be triggered is if they exceed 2% in the base budget – but they can avoid this (as they have often done) by dipping into the cap bank, applying a vast menu of “waivers,” etc. Recently the budget was actually almost 4% over the previous year, but we could not vote because the “basic budget” did not exceed 2%.
When citizens are permitted to vote, there are plenty of people who participate at meetings with their valid input and ideas. And the board listens When we are not permitted to vote, historically the public does not even
bother to comment on the budget discussions because, really, what is the point? If the vote is moved to November, be aware, public opinion on the allocation of funds will cease to exist, no matter what the budget increase is or isn’t.
Councilwoman Perron extolled the “virtues” of Jeffrey Voigt during her reorganization speech, saying he had helped her so much in the run-up to her swearing-in. So we know that she learned from him how to be the world’s worst public servant. Therefore it should come as no surprise to any of us that she is advocating for citizens to lose one of their most important voting privileges.
VOTE NO on the One Village One Vote public question.