During a special meeting held at Borough Hall, both the Board Of Education (BOE) and the municipal governing body voted last night to approve the moving of the BOE election from April to November. During the BOE meeting, members of council and the BOE offered their comments regarding the proposed move and accompanying removal of the budget vote.
“The parents will lose their right to vote on the budget if it’s under the cap,” councilwoman Tanya Torres stated. Eliminating the public vote on the budget was a concern to the councilwoman as well as BOE member Chris Miller.
“13 days we had to decide our fate for the next four years,” Mr. Miller commented, referring to when the BOE was notified on January 24th of possibly implementing the changes this year. His comments touched on both the drawbacks and the positives of the law which included the savings associated with not having an election in April.
BOE member Troy Gerten stated in his opposition of changing the election date this year, “We’re finding out information on a daily basis – the good and the bad – of this legislation.”
The biggest issue for Mr. Gerten was the budget and how it will impact the school year since the budget goes from July 1st to June 30th of the next year and the vote on a budget – if it goes above the 2% tax levy cap – will be held in November.
But a majority of both the BOE and the governing body were in support of the change. First ward councilman Andrew Casais remarked with respect to the BOE’s budget process now that there will be no vote on it unless it exceeds the 2% cap, “I think this will give incentive to the public to have increased public input during the meetings.”
After the discussion was ended, the BOE voted with six (6) members voting ‘yes’, Mr. Gerten and Mr. Miller voting ‘no’, and Dr. Parrell abstaining. Although it was not necessary for the municipal council to vote since the law stated that either government body could pass the resolution to make it a binding decision, the members on the dais voted with councilwoman Torres being the only ‘no’ vote.
The BOE election for candidates will now be held along with the general election on November 6, 2012. BOE members Roseann Rinaldi, Alex Balaban, and Barney Leingberger will extend their current terms for another eight (8) months until December of this year.