In a special meeting held Tuesday night, the Livingston Board of Education unanimously voted to adopt a resolution moving the school board elections from April to the general election in November.
This resolution is the result of a new that will also eliminate a public vote on the school budget, provided it falls within the state-mandated cap, currently established at two percent.
"This is a long time coming," said board member Bonnie Granatir after the resolution was approved. In their meeting agenda, the board had said they believed passage of the resolution was in "the best interest of the Livingston community."
Before voting, the board heard from the public, the majority of which favored approval of the resolution.
Livingston resident Stanley Graboski, a frequent board meeting attendee, summarized the benefits of the resolution under public law 2011:
- Moving elections from April to the general election in November will save approximately $30,000 a year in polling costs;
- While the public will no longer vote on budgets falling within the cap, the school board is required to hold public hearings on the budget.
Other members of the public said by moving the election to November, a greater number of voters will turn out to vote.
Livingston resident Bernard Searle also noted after board members voted on the school board budget in the spring, they will be then be held accountable to the public during the November election. "This is a large opportunity," Searle said.
Graboski also said while school board members will appear on the ballot during the November general election, they will be listed in a separate section, without any political party affiliation.
After voting to approve the resolution, the state requires the new procedures must stay in effect for a minimun of four years.
To review all the facts on this resolution, visit the BOE website.
The next Board meeting is scheduled for Monday, Feb. 13.