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Re: The School Budget
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The way the question is worded is ridiculous. I take JPHurst's point - he's right - stinky options. My argument for voting it down (was) that there were three ways things could turn out:

1 - city council makes things better and does due dilgence, etc (0% chance based on history)

2 - city council just passes it through the way it is (75% because they don't seem to put much thought into anything they do and easiest thing for them to do is pass it)

3- city council makes things worse for one year with respect to the budget (25% likely because they don't seem competent even when they do try)

So to me the only bad option is #3, that they make things worse. From a cost/benefit perspective l still think it would have been good to vote it down just to teach them a lesson since the impact of #3 is only 1 year, but the impact of realizing you can't continue business as usual may have a longer lasting impact. But hopefully we don't have this issue next year as it looks like we have two lawyers on the board now. They are supposed to be nit-picky and used to reading laborious documents like the budget right?

Posted on: 2011/4/29 0:33
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Re: The School Budget
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Which is all the more reason for voters to carefully read the sample ballot before voting and to ask questions as JPHurst did to make an informed decision.
Quote:

Annod wrote:
The questions on the ballots are easy to miss. I almost forgot it too. I think I forgot it one year.

I didn't see much about the budget in the news or here. Even the community emails I get did not mention the budget.

They should make the questions stand out more on the ballot. It looks just like the instructions. One big blur.

Posted on: 2011/4/28 12:45
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Re: The School Budget
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The questions on the ballots are easy to miss. I almost forgot it too. I think I forgot it one year.

I didn't see much about the budget in the news or here. Even the community emails I get did not mention the budget.

They should make the questions stand out more on the ballot. It looks just like the instructions. One big blur.

Posted on: 2011/4/28 11:40
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Re: The School Budget
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It appears the budget will pass. And many voters simply skipped the budget question.

Posted on: 2011/4/28 2:21
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Re: The School Budget
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+1
Quote:

JPhurst wrote:
[snip]
With this explanation, I am, reluctantly, holding my nose and voting to pass the budget. I respect for Councilman Fulop but I am not convinced the City Council will do anything to improve the situation, and have absolutely no trust in the Commissioner, who answers to the Governor. The Governor already did severe damage to New Jersey Schools through his insistence on quashing a Race to the Top Application that deprived the state of $400 million (much more than the "restored cuts" in this year's state budget), and has shown a proclivity to use education policy for ideological political battles.

Perhaps those who support that ideology will use this as a reason to vote "No." I wont.

My hope is that we get a good group of candidates elected and that they will have a majority to engage in the necessary fiscal oversight next year. If they don't, then I may again hold my nose and allow Trenton to intervene in the process.

Posted on: 2011/4/27 14:11
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The School Budget
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In light of today's school board elections, in addition to the candidate's debate there is the question of whether to adopt the school budget. This is where councilman Fulop and the JCEA, who have endorsed the same candidates, disagree. Councilman Fulop has called on voters to reject the budget while JCEA has asked for voters to pass it.

I am indebted greatly to Shelley Skinner, who has set forth this concise explanation of the process if the budget is rejected.

"> We are in unchartered territory but the statute states:
>
> If the budget is not approved by the voters then the BOE has two days
> after the election results are certified to deliver the budget and
> related documents to the city council (and Executive County Superintendent if
the local fair share amount is exceeded in the defeated budget). The city
council has until
> May 19 to consult with the board and determine the appropriation amounts
> for the budget and then certify those amounts to the County Board of
> Taxation. The BOE then has 10 days from whenever the new budget has
> been certified to apply to the Commissioner and ECS for a restoration.
> The city council then has ten days to weigh in on the BOE's request.
> The Commissioner then makes a final determination."

With this explanation, I am, reluctantly, holding my nose and voting to pass the budget. I respect for Councilman Fulop but I am not convinced the City Council will do anything to improve the situation, and have absolutely no trust in the Commissioner, who answers to the Governor. The Governor already did severe damage to New Jersey Schools through his insistence on quashing a Race to the Top Application that deprived the state of $400 million (much more than the "restored cuts" in this year's state budget), and has shown a proclivity to use education policy for ideological political battles.

Perhaps those who support that ideology will use this as a reason to vote "No." I wont.

My hope is that we get a good group of candidates elected and that they will have a majority to engage in the necessary fiscal oversight next year. If they don't, then I may again hold my nose and allow Trenton to intervene in the process.

Posted on: 2011/4/27 12:56
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