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Toms River School Board Special Meeting Thursday to Decide November Election

Toms River Regional School Board will meet 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 9 at High School South

Toms River Regional will meet 6:30 p.m. Thursday at to discuss possibly moving the April school board election to November.

The special meeting is outside of the regularly monthly public meeting of the school board, and was called for the specific purpose of deciding whether to hold elections on the same day as the general election each November.

According to legislation signed by Gov. Chris Christie in January, school board elections normally  could be moved to coincide with the general elections . Either a school board or municipality can vote to make the switch, or voters can petition the municipality for a referendum on the prospect.

School districts near Toms River Regional to make the switch to November: Central Regional, Brick and Manchester already have voted to change from April. Toms River Regional serves Toms River but also Pine Beach, South Toms River and Beachwood.

The legislation not only allows to move the elections to November, it also says that if a school budget is under the state-mandated 2 percent hard cap it would not have to put it up for a vote by the public.

The public would lose the opportunity to vote to approve or vote down a school budget, leaving the budget in the hands of elected school board members. Public hearings on the budget would be held still, but the new system would be similar to how township budgets are approved. Only budgets outside the cap would be part of a referendum vote for residents to decide.

Moving the school election, which is a non-partisan election, to November would also pair it during the partisan contests, but proponents say this would also increase voter participation.

Previously Toms River Regional Business Administrator Bill Doering said the move to November would save the school district about $100,000 in election administration costs. It would also allow for longer-term budget planning, he said.

The meeting is earlier than the regularly scheduled school board meetings, and will begin at 6:30 p.m.

Under the new format for school board meetings, public comment will be held at the beginning as well as the end of the meeting.

 

Spock's Brain February 07, 2012 at 08:07 PM
If the vote is moved to November, the budget can be raised without the passing a budget referendum as long as it does not exceed the 2% cap. Here’s the catch. The bogus 2% cap has so many loopholes that we could see increases as high as 10%. That would be a $20 million increase that could cost the average taxpayer about $300 this year alone. If this move is made, our School taxes will skyrocket. Come out to the meeting and tell the Board members to keep this election in April.
1stcav February 07, 2012 at 08:45 PM
DON"T MISS THIS SCHOOL BOARD MEETING !!!!!!! They are trying what the fire district tried , to pass something they know WON"T pass if people are informed...DON"T let them do this to you, the TAX PAYERS of TOMS RIVER...TR south @ 6;30 I believe, BOE tries too pull the wool ( 20,000) dollars worth, over the tax payers eyes...Seems this bunch is JUST as bad as the last bunch....Dennis, Frank whats going on ?????
Mike L February 07, 2012 at 09:02 PM
I'm all for moving the elections to November.....BUT letting them(Old BOE members) approve their own budget is ludicrous. This 2 percent CAP is a sham, they can get around it with no problem at all, we need to have it ALWAYS aproved by the people of this town, it's our monies that they are playing with.....Just to show you how it can be gotten around, remember the Township Budget that was approved with a 2 percent cap also, soon after there were so many ordinances voted on by the Township committee totaling over TWELVE Million put up as a Bond Ordinance...just another way of getting around the budget...in that 12 milliion was included funds for Bey Lea Golf course, Township pensions and new trucks for the public works department, items that should have been in the regular budget........ PLEASE don't let the "Old BOE members" get away with this budget, come to Toms River South this Thursday evening at 6:30 PM.....notice they scheduled it for a very inappropriate time for its citizens. Buy the way did anyone else get the brocure sent out by the Fire Commissioners regarding the ELECTIONS on 2/18/12.....Its looks like the "Fire Elections" is actually for there raise in there (our) budget also.....First time I have ever received something like this since I moved here in the 70's....REMEMBER' TOMS RIVER SOUTH, Thursday evening at 6:30 its your money they want and will take.......
toms river 50 February 07, 2012 at 09:56 PM
Dont let the old Rittacco crowd steal anymore money vote in April. Also lets see how it works in other towns that want to raise taxes!!!!
Transparent C February 08, 2012 at 12:31 AM
Spock - you don't seem to know the law that was signed at all. There are almost NO loopholes and the 2% is 2% of the local property tax levy, not 2% of the total school budget. So before you look at the negative, understand the overall issue is that the schools are now being held to the same standard as all other governing bodies. I am not saying I am for or against but at least be really "informed" before weighing in.
Martin February 08, 2012 at 01:12 PM
I received an anonymous "robo-call" yesterday saying the school board will take away our right to vote on the budget if it approves this Thursday night. That and the local fire district budget are the only parts of our of property tax bills that we have a say in. Either (A) get rid of the fire budget election and move its candidate voting to November (how much is it costing us for 1/2 of 1% to vote on it?)... or (B) let us vote on the township budget too (to get some financial accountability from Kelaher & Cronies Inc.).
Ken G February 08, 2012 at 02:07 PM
I actually am in support for this. We all should know there are people who have no clue on anything about the budget and go out and vote no just because they can! It's a way to stop the abuse! HOWEVER, I still think there needs to be public information on the budget.
Mr. ? February 08, 2012 at 03:00 PM
No, Transparency C, You don't seem to grasp what Spock said. Toms River suffered a 5.6% increase in taxes last year. 3.6% was the increase in the Toms River's levy share of the districts overall increase. Now remember, all of this was within the cap. So, call it what you will , but Christie's 2% cap is a joke on all of us, and especially as a sales pitch for stupid taxpayers. Debt service on bonds, pension and health care obligations, and emergency appropriations all circumvent ( loopholes ?) the 2%cap! Go check out the Asbury Park Press today's article "Surprise! local property taxes up again" Ocean County property taxes just increased 13 percent! So where is a 2% cap. This is the problem, quote the Press..."A 2% cap on property tax increases proposed by Gov. Chris Cristie was adopted....."...and that is not true! "There are almost NO loopholes and the 2% is 2% of the local property tax levy, not 2% of the total school budget" We are talking about increases in budgets, thereby increasing property taxes, right?... and by much more than 2%!!
Ken February 08, 2012 at 04:11 PM
Since I normally can not make the BOE meetings I usually try to read on their site everything that goes on at the meetings, of course they do not put everything. From all I read I think we should all be able to vote on their budget. They waste so much money it is unbelievable. Everyone should either try to go to the meetings or read this. Of course now that I put this they will probably say even more behind close doors or put less up on their web site.
Transparent C February 08, 2012 at 04:30 PM
I do understand that nearly every town in NJ has seen almost 20% in increased property taxes since Christie started his reforms (which merely shifted the tax from state income and corporate taxes to local property) . In any case - if they are over the 2% under this law it must be put to the voters. I am not saying it stops tax increases, but there aren't as many loopholes as he inferred. As for the debt service issue - that has always been seperate from the annual school operating budget and people should realize that if the community supported school expansions and construction - it was a long term debt commitment, like a mortgage, and stop expecting costs to decline. That is simply not realistic. The best any governing bodies can do until real school funding reform is implimented - is survive with something stable and avoid these major increases as we have seen. I agree with you.
Mr. ? February 08, 2012 at 08:32 PM
As said debt service on bonds is not included in Christies 2% cap. Look at the Tr regional budget for how much of that budget is debt service on bonding. Look how much money in total is bonded. make sure you are sitting down! TR municipal stayed within the cap at 1.9% will using open space funds as well as other added revenue sources which exceeded the cap. They just bonded 12.8 millon!
Spock's Brain February 08, 2012 at 09:06 PM
Transparent - You are 100% wrong about the 2% cap. It is full of loopholes. Please go to the following link for the Toms River 2011 Municipal Budget. http://www.tomsrivertownship.com/downloads/budget/2011-Budget.pdf The numbers to look at are located on Sheet 11, Line 6. This is "The Amount to be Raised by Taxes for Support of Municipal Budget" - AKA, The Property Tax Levy. 2011 Municipal Property Tax Levy........ $61.2 Million 2010 Municipal Property Tax Levy........ $56.9 Million That is a tax increase of $4.3 Million or 7.6% The last time I checked, 7.6% is more than the 2% cap. I hope this clears things up.
Mr. ? February 08, 2012 at 09:33 PM
Sorry, "added revenue sources which exceeded the cap" I did mean to say: exceeded 2%.
HR February 08, 2012 at 10:06 PM
Let's put the 2% issue aside for a second. Do you trust the TR Board, after years of turning a blind eye, to do what's in the best interest of the Toms River? Until they earn our trust back they should be given no freedoms.
Mr. ? February 08, 2012 at 10:17 PM
Thanks, Transparent, for your research and math on the 7.6% increase on the municipal side. if you add the 3.6% of the school purpose side, and assuming school taxes are 50% ( maybe more ) of the levy then you come up with a 5.6% overall, AND OVER THE 2% CAP!, increase in taxes. Why don't the taxpayers and voters understand this? Do they ever compare tax bills one year to the next? What a shame!
Mike L February 10, 2012 at 01:29 AM
Ladies ang gentlemen, bend over the Old Board of Education members voted for the new budget requirements and the People lost. With more than 300 people at the meeting and more than 90 percent of the people speaking against voting for this and some wanting to table it for another year, they stucket it to us and went against our wishes. Just think, that the 2 percent per year increase, that we can see, will increase our Taxes, minimum $300 each house each year from now on and on and on".............. I wish to thank all those at the meeting, excluding the Old BOEmembers for going to the meeting, but as you see they close there ears to us.......The Tax Payers of Toms River.
Mike L February 10, 2012 at 01:32 AM
Next they will be giving Rickey R all the monies he wants"..............

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