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School Board Election Moved to November

Residents can no longer vote on tax levy, unless it is more than 2 percent cap.

The voted Thursday to move the school board election to November and all but eliminated a public vote on the district tax levy beginning this year.

The tax levy would only go to voters if it exceeded a state-mandated 2 percent cap.

“This does not give us carte blanche to do whatever we want,” said Board President Donald Pavlak Jr. “There are still hard decisions to be made. Even at the 2 percent cap, we’re still looking at cutting a substantial amount of money out of the budget to get to or under the cap.”

Pavlak said that the district’s budget process and transparency with residents will not change. The state Education Department and county superintendent will still review the budget. At least two public hearings, one at each high school, will be held before the Board approves the budget.

The change will impact this year’s election, with two board members, Kim Essen and Jane Hutchinson, running this year. The measure will remain in effect until 2015.

Officials said they can now develop a four-year, comprehensive financial plan rather than go year to year like they have in the past. The uncertainty of what the district would receive in state aid, and planning on year-to-year basis, made it difficult to get a clear long-term picture of the district’s finances.

“It puts us in a much stronger financial position where we can now project out,” Pavlak said. “Even with the 2 percent cap, how much are we getting in state aid? We don’t know. How can you put a budget together when you don’t know what one of your revenue lines is going to be? You have to base the budget on what we got last year. How do you create financial stability by doing that? You can’t.”

Proponents of the new law hope the move will increase the number of people who vote in the election. On average, only about 10 percent of registered voters go to the polls for school board elections. Pavlak said there have been years where the turnout has been even less than that in Wayne.

The move will save the district approximately $50,000 annually.

Voters narrowly .

The defeat allowed the .

Gov. Chris Christie signed legislation earlier this week allowing school boards statewide to make the changes.

The New Jersey School Boards Association expressed support for the new law, noting the public doesn’t vote on other government budgets. 

“Proposed budgets undergo thorough review by the state Department of Education to ensure efficiency, and they are controlled by the same 2-percent tax levy cap as are municipal and county budgets, which are not presented to voters,” New Jersey School Boards Association Executive Director Marie Bilik said in a statement.

Tell us what you think by voting in the poll or posting a comment at the bottom of this article.

Bob January 20, 2012 at 05:44 PM
leanbean, the whole system as it stands is a joke, and the good old boys do whatever they want, its the Wayne way.
Rob Burke January 20, 2012 at 06:23 PM
@lean - Is that why Collins is off the planning board? And does anyone know whether it's legal for the municipal clerk to also be on the planning board?
Joe videodummy January 20, 2012 at 07:01 PM
The BOE board is the perfect place to be. It's very easy to get around the 2% tax cap by putting off purchases until the following year, and checking the exempt box for any construction costs, increases in health insurance, pensions, gasoline, and state-aid. To go above the 2% cap they will need 60% of the residents approval, the planning board on the other hand will only need 60% of their "boards" approval. Other exemptions the BOE can check off are law suits brought against them, or our schools. Wayne residents would never make cuts to departments that are making money, even if it's only on paper. They're not concerned with how the savings appear, as long as someone who is popular, isn't being laid-off. In Collins case, his move ahead of the Governments independant flood-gate report can be very beneficial, and a simple way to avoid explaining "how to justify it". Our planning board is full of holes and sinking into the river of misery, while our school board stands ready. The cannon is loaded.
Joe videodummy January 20, 2012 at 08:05 PM
THANK-YOU !!! The Wayne Public School District is pleased to announce that, beginning on January 23rd, 2012, parents are going to be able to register onto our new school portal. "Community Pass for Wayne Public Schools". Parents can now view attendance information, schedules and junior high and high school students can view such things as grades and progress reports. In a short time, the portal is going to make a HUGH difference by being able to track homework assignments and all the other necessary demographic information needed.
leanbean January 20, 2012 at 08:17 PM
I think he's off because of the way he acted and talked down to people that were before the board. It's legal for the clerk to be on the board. It seems wrong. But it's legal. The good thing is Collins is off. Plus he won't have all the power for ch77 anymore. Things are looking better for Wayne already.
Rob Burke January 20, 2012 at 08:28 PM
Interesting. Do you know if it's also legal for a councilman to be appointed as municipal clerk without any waiting period in between serving on the council and becoming clerk? I heard there was an issue in union county and the ruling was that a six month waiting period is required by law, but I really don't have any idea whether that's true.
leanbean January 20, 2012 at 08:49 PM
It's been done in the past. Jack O'Brian was council men at large. They made him township clerk. He gave up that job when he was elected to the freehold board.
Bobtwo January 20, 2012 at 08:55 PM
My friend it is because most people work for a living and do not have the time to vote if it is not a recognized election as the November elections are. The BOE election is normally scheduled for sometimes in May and not publicized except for the parents of the school children. Most voters are not aware of it until it is too late. Let's not kid each other. If more people voted than the budget would have been defeated more often.
Rob Burke January 20, 2012 at 08:55 PM
Interesting. But that doesn't answer the question of whether it's legal. Like I said, there was a similar situation in union county that I heard about and supposedly the council-clerk was disqualified from serving as clerk because there was no waiting period in between. Again, I didn't confirm this but it sounded credible. Would be good to know the answer as per the law.
leanbean January 20, 2012 at 09:01 PM
If it wasn't legal? I think Dave Waks who at the time was sitting on the council or Estel Perry would have sued the township to stop it. But chances are that you hears correct. I only know what happened in the past. I know he is being paid more than what Kathy the former clerk was being paid.
Rob Burke January 20, 2012 at 09:04 PM
Don't forget that rules change and what may have been legal a bunch of years ago may no longer be legal. That goes for municipal ordinances, state laws, federal laws, etc. it shouldn't be that hard a question to answer if someone cares enough to look into it. As to Paul's salary I have no information nor do I know what the going rate is for a municipal clerk in new jersey.
leanbean January 20, 2012 at 09:12 PM
Wel I guess you can put your law student buddy on the case. I don't know how to check the records or the laws of the state or Fed. Laws. I was a constrution worker.
Rob Burke January 20, 2012 at 09:21 PM
I would hope the township attorney could answer this question correctly with little difficulty. I don't have any plans of asking him though. Just wondering if anyone knows the answer.
Jason January 20, 2012 at 11:53 PM
@lean, the salaries of all government employees are posted here: http://www.nj.com/news/bythenumbers/ I believe that you can even search by town
leanbean January 21, 2012 at 01:57 AM
@Jason. I only stated that when he was given the job. It was for more than the person before him was making. And she had worked for the township for more than 20 years. He started at over $100,000.00 a yr.
Bobtwo January 21, 2012 at 03:29 AM
Thanks Jason, some interesting info here.
Willy January 21, 2012 at 01:12 PM
So.. Did you hear about the assistant that the board approved to help the new 37 year super we just tired because he has too much on his plate! Lol $180,000 thats why you get paid that much to work! And who is the assistant??? That is paid at 170,000 to support him! Another employee that comes from Paterson school district! His friend! He worked with her for years while he was at paterson! And now we have over $300,000 in salaries for two school directors that came from a failing school system that the state of NJ had to take over! BRAVO school board! So dissapointed!
Al Scala January 22, 2012 at 06:01 PM
Are the parents and teachers aware of this? From what I understand, they are not. Where are you getting your information from? Please share!
Al Scala January 22, 2012 at 06:02 PM
Everytime I hear the word transparency from our Board members, I get sick to my stomach. Somebody should let them know what the definition of this word is.
Bobtwo January 22, 2012 at 06:36 PM
Did I say this before, we were better off with the 600 - 800 dollar a day consultant.
Joe videodummy January 22, 2012 at 11:51 PM
Al. You can learn a lot from a dummy !!!
Joe videodummy January 23, 2012 at 01:47 PM
logon info: https://register.communitypass.net/wps other info on the town web try www.wayneschools.com/district/parent-portal
Pad January 24, 2012 at 11:40 PM
What BS. We keep getting losers from the worse school district in the State. Paterson is full of nepotism, cronyism, outright theft, etc etc. Every Superintendant the State brings in also brings his friends in to jump on the taxpayers cash wagon. Did we need this Asst. Superintendant for $160K a year. She has her teaching certificate for English as a Second Language and her administrator's credentials. Ask anyone in Paterson she wasn't all that good. You would think the BOE would learn after the last two rejects from Paterson took alot of taxpayers money with them. Wise up Wayne BOE!
Bobtwo January 24, 2012 at 11:53 PM
We are probably locked into a contract. If they try to get rid of this new person it will cost plenty of money. This is a joke when the people we (taxpayers) pay make more than the employer and have better benefits, pensions etc. This is not only in the school system but through out civil service.
Al Scala January 25, 2012 at 11:58 AM
Was this the best we can do or did we just let the new superintendent ramrod her in by bamboozeling the Board? We've not had an Ass't Superintendent for the past 4 years or so. We seemed to have gotten by without one. Don't we have 3 very highly paid Directors in our system? With a new Ass't Super, is that going to change? Do we still need three? Pandolfi was taken out of Anthony Wayne and put in the Board office so she could be mentored for her certification. What did this cost us? She's probably around 150k per year! In her place we temporarily promoted her Ass't and put in a new Ass't Principal in Anthony Wayne.. What did this cost us? We seem to be streaming through money like it grows on trees. this Board is out of control. Now they've extended their terms this year by pushing the election to November. Don't forget our kids? This is what our system is all about. With all these high paid salariies running around looking important, are we going to have enough money for our kids, relative to supplies, programs books, etc? Keep in mind, we are faced with a 2% cap on some budget items.
Bob January 25, 2012 at 03:58 PM
Al, this is how the BOE in Wayne works, that Board office is nothing more then a bunch of VERY OVER PAID people sucking up every dollar they can and doing little for it. Its time the bull stops in this town, we dont need to have these over paid big shots who need to hire an ass't, who needs an ass't, who need an ass't. The wast of money is out of control and has been like this for years!!!!!! They are the reason we are being tax to death in this town. As far as doing better with a superintendent, you would think that we would look for someone that did not come from a system that was ran so bad that the State had to take it over, what does this say about the standards of this town!!!! Wayne has become a joke, and this is why so many people are looking to move out!!
Al Scala January 25, 2012 at 04:32 PM
Bob, I totally agree with what you say. Just keep that thought and in November, vote these people OUT.
Pad January 27, 2012 at 02:39 AM
Leave Paterson (The worse school district in the State). Come to Wayne. ( Where we have endless taxpayer dollars to fill your pockets) Sign a contract, leave before fufilling it and we will pay you going out the door out the door. But for your short time here bring in your friends and we will pay them too. When will the taxpayers in Wayne have the BALLS to put a stop to this? Taxpayers are being taxed to death. There are now over 300 foreclosures in Wayne, vacant ratable commercial properties etc etc. You know who makes up for this shortage of tax income coming in? We do the remaining taxpayers, thats who. The BOE members have to go. After all they are just a bunch of political wannabe's using thier position as a stepping stone into politics. The Wayne School District is becoming the laughing stock of the County. Wise up taxpayers, its your money they are spending with no end in sight.
Equality July 02, 2012 at 11:02 PM
When you pay the property taxes, you are legally consenting to the tax bill. Only if they cannot collect the taxes, will they be forced to ask for more aid from the state. Custom or policy of paying the entire tax levy is one of the factors of the formula.
Bob July 03, 2012 at 02:30 PM
Folks, lets face it, its all make smoke and mirrors , they will just do whatever they want in the end as they have always done.

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