PJ Blogger and the Staff of the Ridgewood blog
Ridgewood NJ, The Ridgewood Board of Education Election (to vote on the Board of Education budget and elect one Board of Education member for an unexpired 1-year term and two Board of Education members to three-year terms) and the Ridgewood Municipal Election (to elect three Village Council members to 4-year terms) will be held on the same date, May 12, 2020. These elections will be a Vote by Mail election only. There will be two separate ballots in the envelope sent to you, one for the Board of Education and the second one for the Village Council. Vote by mail ballots will be mailed to all registered voters, no later than April 24, 2020. The Vote by Mail ballots must be postmarked by May 12, 2020 and received at the County by May 14, 2020. Therefore, please vote your ballot and mail it back, as soon as possible so that your vote will count. The envelopes included with the ballots are postage paid.
Since 2006 the Ridgewood blog has chronicled the Ridgewood School board plunge from one fiasco to the next . From early days of the “math moms” and TERC math , to the original Orchard field ,”tell your kids don’t eat the dirt” ,toxic waste , to the turf field in a flood zone battle , to the Marty Brooks stupidity , to school promoted virtue signaling walkouts, to the over spending and over the top budget proposals one thing has remained constant , the Ridgewood Board of Educations unwillingness to listen to Taxpayers , parents and students .
In recent years it has finally caught up and the entire Village has suffered from a rash of stupid decisions made or promoted by the Village council and the Ridgewood School Board over the last 15 years .These ill informed inept decisions coupled with state financial irresponsibility and changes in federal tax laws have placed the Village of Ridgewood and the Ridgewood School district in a very tenuous situation.
Michael Lembo has a long history of public service , Hyunju Kwak is a highly educated and a product of New Jersey public schools and most readers know or know of Saurabh Dani , who sums up our attitude best in his own words, “My goal is to ensure that the best education possible is provided to district students. It is critically important that decisions are made with complete transparency. Taxpayers’ concerns and rights must be respected and appropriately responded to. As a community member, I have been a strong and consistent advocate for this, committing countless hours of my time to learn about BOE business and participating in discussions of these important issues. As a BOE trustee, I would work tirelessly for the entire community to ensure that these standards are met.”
The team of Dani, Kwak, Lembo is devoid of the usually special or micro special interests that have dominated Ridgewood politics since the 1990’s . Dani, Kwak, Lembo have demonstrated 3 important qualities the combination of which has been lacking on the the Ridgewood Board of Education for some time , They are : quality education before personal interest, interest in listening and responding to the public and finally ability to work .
Deliver a quality education for all Ridgewood students
Provide our children and staff with a safe and secure learning environment
Respect community input: keep taxpayers’ right to vote on the school budget representing nearly 70% of our local tax bill, and respond appropriately at public meetings
Perform a top-to-bottom review of the budget, and consider sharing similar services with the Village to reduce costs
Establish a robust multi-year vision with benchmarks for community feedback and self-assessment
The key being ,”Respect community input: keep taxpayers’ right to vote on the school budget representing nearly 70% of our local tax bill, and respond appropriately at public meetings” With a $115 million school budget the school board vote has the single largest impact on peoples lives in the Village of Ridgewood and for those of you who sense the Village for what ever reason has taken a wrong turn and heading in the wrong direction this is your chance to start the process of righting the ship.