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Ridgewood School Board Trustee Examines the School Budget Vote

Ridgewood School Board Trustee Saurabh Dani

Ridgewood NJ, Ridgewood village council and Board of Ed members don’t run as Democrats or Republicans. We don’t need Muller report affecting our local elections for representatives who are making decisions which affect our affordability of our primary residence, I.e. our property taxes which pay for local roads, police, fire, leaves and garbage pickup, schools and education. We need to keep these elections and representatives independent / detached from national politics.
Please remember this fundamental reason for April/May vs November elections. it’s not just about timing or consolidation. It’s about our fundamental right to vote on the budget and to keep local elections independent from national influence.

Q1. Why school budget vote cannot happen in November?
Answer: Because schools start in September, the budget must be approved before September. The state law does not allow default vote on school budget with November elections. As long as the tax increase is within 2% plus waivers the budget does not get a vote by residents. Certain waivers can be used to go above 2%.
Q2. Isn’t the turnout low in April / May election?
Answer: Not when the issues matter and the residents are aware of those issues.During council elections right after high density housing approvals, the resident turnout was more than any November BoE vote counts.
Q3. If local elections are held in November, do we vote on two ballots?
Answer: NO – The local question and local representatives are printed after all national races and national / state questions. Since it’s not the same column (D/R – 1/2 for local elections), many voters can get confused and vote on party line across all rows, including local choices which are almost hidden because they are waaaaay at the bottom of the ballot.
Q4. Does moving everything to November consolidates elections?
Answer: No, moving to November does not consolidate. It eliminates the budget vote as long as the budget increase is up to 2% plus waivers, which can go beyond 2%. We do not get an option to vote on budget if the election is moved from April to November and the budget increase is up to 2% plus waivers.
Q5. With November election, Is the cap really 2%?
Answer: 2% cap can be waived using “assumed costs”, for example in 2018 Ridgewood used insurance premium waiver to exceed 2% with an assumption that the health care costs will go up by 17%, which in reality only increased by 1%.

12 thoughts on “Ridgewood School Board Trustee Examines the School Budget Vote

  1. Thanks for this. So One Village /One Vote is clearly attempting to eliminate residents right to vote.

  2. Who is the Trustee in question? No name in article.

  3. Thanks Mr. Dani for this information. Ms. Loscalzo and Ms. Winograd are trying to screw the public, as always with the two of them.

  4. Q2. Isn’t the turnout low in April / May election?
    Answer: Yes. 14%

    There, fixed it for you…

  5. Do we really need $115 million for schools. We remember a few years ago when the budget hit 98 million. Everyone was jumping out of your skin. Now it’s 115 million come on. And what about the police and fire budgets are getting ridiculous too. We said it a few years ago in another 2 years no one is retiring in Ridgewood anymore and staying in their homes for a long period of time. It’s just not worth it. Why would you. Pay all those taxes for one if you don’t have kids in the school system forget it, time to move see ya.

  6. Vote NO on this ill conceived idea to consolidate the votes. It would eliminate our ability to vote on the school budget. I want to vote on the budget. Damn right I do

  7. Mr. Dani and Ms. Kwak are the best. Rurik Halaby and Douchebag Jeff Voigt are against them, so that proves Dani & Kwak are good.

  8. After that we start over looking police and fire budgets. Then this shit is going to hit the fan. You’ll see. And don’t give me any bullshit regarding first responders. Because other towns that are the same size or if not bigger covered pretty well.

  9. “They’re trying to take away our right to vote” – wrong

    They are moving the election to a day where historically a significant number of people vote compared to lackluster turnout in the spring. 25/hundreds of districts vote on their budget. Why does ridgewood have to be one of them?

  10. If some people are too lazy or too disinterested to bother and vote in the spring, then that is on them. I for one want my right to vote on the school budget. I’ll be running a big fat NO on this terrible plan

  11. Mr. Dani, didn’t the then BOE vote to return all of the unused waiver to the taxpayers when health care costs did not increase as originally projected? Isn’t that an example of the BOE members listening to the voters?

    You didn’t answer this question, what happens when the budget is rejected by the voters? The Village Council gets to CUT the school budget. Let’s just let that sink in.

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