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Voters Back Board In Wednesday Budget Decision

Proposed $59 million budget passes

After voting down the 2010-2011 proposed school budget last year, township residents voted in favor of the over $59 million spending plan this year.

Unofficial results based on initial vote counts Wednesday night show about 1,284 residents voting in favor of the budget, about 60.7 percent of voters. About 832 voters cast a ballot against the budget.

There were 15,181 registered voters this year, of which about 2,129 cast their opinion on the district’s budget proposal, a 14 percent voter turnout.

The vote quelled fears of the Board members who were weary that back-to-back budget defeats would impact students in the district.

"I think that this was a realistic budget, given the economic times. However, we are very grateful for the support of the people," Superintendent Dr. Charles Montesano, who is retiring at the end of this school year, said of his last budget vote in the district.

"It is a very nice feeling knowing I don't have to go into the office tomorrow thinking, 'what do we have to cut?'"

The budget will cost taxpayers about 2.43 percent more in taxes over last year, a budget-to-budget increase of 1.66 percent. The discrepancy comes as the result of the school and municipality operating on different calendars.

The budget includes $1.2 million in state aid, and about $55 million will come from taxpayers in Mahwah.

The budget includes some increased spending on maintenance and special education, and reduction of spending on regular programs, school-sponsored athletics and co-curricular activities. However, the budget does not call for any planned reduction in staff.

The three board members who were up for reelection, Board President Patricia Shada, Peter Wendrychowicz, and Kenneth Angelo, all ran unopposed and will resume their roles on the Board for another three-year term.

In 2010, about 22 percent of registered voters came out to defeat the budget by a vote of 1,736-1,552, or 52.8 percent to 47.2 percent. That resulted in the town council cutting about $250K from the school’s proposed budget.

Budget Vote, Break-Down by District:

District

Yes

No

1

143

69

2

144

90

3

125

94

4

89

76

5

74

62

6

97

49

7

130

66

8

78

54

9

27

10

10

119

51

11

113

87

12

47

52

13

52

37

14

46

35

TOTAL

1284

832

 

 

 

60.7 percent voted yes, in favor of the budget.

39.3 percent voted no, against the budget.

Voter Turnout:

District

# Registered Voters

# Voting

Percentage Voting

1

1397

212

15.2

2

1142

237

20.8

3

1067

220

20.6

4

980

166

16.9

5

866

136

15.7

6

1087

147

13.5

7

1360

196

14.4

8

1,333

133

10

9

406

37

9.1

10

1292

172

13.3

11

1492

202

13.5

12

709

100

14.1

13

1015

89

8.8

14

1035

82

7.9

TOTAL

15,181

2129

14.0

fred stedtler April 28, 2011 at 10:58 AM
Maybe now they can waste even more money. What has happened to the idea of fiscal restraint? and if people are not happy with the decision to go ahead with this budget-they only have themselves to blame for the intense voter apathy. James has a point-why even vote if the Council will force it through anyway?
James Vincent April 28, 2011 at 11:45 AM
Perhaps it is not about being conservative, or about party-line politics, but more about realizing the actual impact of failed school budgets: loss of services, staff cuts that cause larger class sizes, loss of athletic programs (i.e. the middle school athletic and extra-curricular activities program), and an overall decline in the MOST IMPORTANT aspect of any society -the education system. We fund it because it matters to the children in our town.
Roger Pachiderm April 28, 2011 at 12:37 PM
While they did not make it easy to vote (a Wednesday not a Tuesday and polls did not open in the morning - my bad for showing up at 6:45am on my way to work) the vote happen and the majority of those who voted made their voice known. This is investment in our infrastructure. There is nothing wrong with voting for that. As a conservative the only things I believe the local government needs to support are our schools/ libraries, emergency services, roads and parks. Cut out all the other waste but not the 4 things that add true value to the town. Things like senior center activities and non scholastic youth sports should be self supporting by those who participate.
John Camlic April 28, 2011 at 04:56 PM
How very sad that there was so much voter apathy. When I went in to vote in the late afternoon, there was nobody voting. The people working the polls told me that very few people had been in all day. Well fine, people.. now your taxes will go up.... again. So, see if you can afford it on top of the skyrocketing gasoline prices, outrageous food prices.. and now even higher taxes to support more school budget waste.
John Camlic April 28, 2011 at 05:00 PM
James, "we fund it because it's for the children in town." Oh please! How is anybody going to afford anything for the kids with all of the increases? My heart especially goes out to the seniors and those who don't have children who are being squeezed out of their last dime to educate somebody else's kids.

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