Friday, December 9, 2011
Legislation would also eliminate budget votes for towns below 2 percent cap.
New Jersey's April school elections and budget votes have long been ridiculed for the few who cast ballots and the little impact they have on what is the biggest piece of a home owner's property tax bill. But despite repeated proposals over decades and across administrations to change the process or move the elections to November, none yet have prevailed. Now, breaking the stalemate, Democratic leaders yesterday moved quickly on a bill that would allow districts to shift the school vote to November, while also eliminating any budget vote at all if the budget is within the state's 2 percent tax cap. If above the cap, the excess spending would be put to a separate vote. The bill, sponsored by state Assemblyman Louis Greenwald (D-Camden), the…
Thursday, April 28, 2011
Voters take to the polls for Livingston school election.
Behind the scenes on election day, Livingston had a host of volunteers making every vote count. The volunteers dedicated their time to make sure Livingston voters could perform their civic duty at polling places throughout the town. Just 3,000 voters turned out for Wednesday's school election, 14 percent of the more than 20,600 residents registered to vote. That's pretty typical of a school election. In Livingston, it took just 25 minutes to tally the votes once the polls closed. Barry Funt won the seat on the Livingston Board of Education adn voters overwhelmingly approved the school budget. Kids got into the act too.
As parents elect a new school board member and vote on the budget, citizens of tomorrow get a say in their futures as well.
As parents and kids hit the polls to vote for candidates (School Board and Student Council) and issues (the school budget, a new menu choice at Mt. Pleasant Middle), democracy was busy at work. While the adults were blasé about the actual process, many elementary school students were delighted at the opportunity to have a say in matters that relate to them. “I’m finally old enough to vote!” exclaimed 6-year-old Sam. The kindergartener, who was voting for the first time at Hillside Elementary, was clearly relishing the experience. She had no idea who she was going to vote for, but she was looking forward to signing the “Your School, Your Vote” poster the kids signed once they had voted. Over at Harrison, a fourth grader named Adam …
Wednesday, April 27, 2011
Livingston voters overwhelming pass the tax hike for school spending and elect Funt by 240 votes.
Barry Funt has won a seat on the Livingston School Board, receiving 54.7 percent of the vote in final, unofficial returns Wednesday night. The $100.8 million school budget was approved by a wide margin. This was an election with little disagreement over the school spending plan but with two candidates vying for one seat on the school board, separated by their views on an ongoing ethics issue. Funt defeated Ray Leibman by 240 votes, a slim margin in an election that both candidates said was influenced by the ethics charges and censure of three members of the current school board. “It was the ethics issues that got me into the race to run,” Funt said, “but I think the larger issue was getting other voices involved.” At the school …
Thursday, March 24, 2011
The League is presenting a forum to learn more about the school board candidates.
The League of Women Voters has a question for the candidates for the Livingston Board of Education: Why Are You Running At This Time? It’s nothing personal. The League is interested in learning how the candidates plan to meet head-on the myriad challenges facing public schools. Livingston will elect one of the two candidates, Barry Funt or Ray Leibman, when voters go to the polls on Wednesday, April 27. With just a month to learn about the candidates, this week they answered the first in a series of questions posed by the League and the West Essex Tribune. Their responses provide a preview to the opportunities to hear and meet Funt and Leibman at public forums scheduled in April. Funt ran two years ago for the New Jersey State Assembly. He…
Thursday, March 10, 2011
In April, voters will decide between Ray Leibman and Barry Funt.
It will be a two-man race for the Livingston Board of Education: Ray Leibman vs. Barry Funt. The candidates will compete for one open seat on the school board, according to petitions filed this week. Funt is no stranger to politics. He ran two years ago for the New Jersey State Assembly. Leibman sits on Livingston’s 20/20 Vision committee. The candidates are vying to replace Antonio Calcado, who after 12 years of the board, decided not to seek re-election. This week, school leaders adopted a $100.6 million tentative budget. On election day, voters will be asked to approve the amount to be raised through local taxes. They will also select one of the two candidates to serve as a volunteer decision maker on school issues. While their …
Tuesday, March 1, 2011
He'll leave with the kindergarten class he came in with.
Antonio Calcado – who joined the school board when this year’s LHS graduating class were kindergarten students -- will not seek a fifth term on the Livingston Board of Education, Calcado announced on Monday night. “Since I came into office with the Class of 2011, I thought it was only appropriate that I leave office with the Class of 2011,” he said. Antonio Calcado is vice president for university facilities at Rutgers University. While on the school board, colleagues said they valued his experience as the district undertook renovations to the schools and negotiations with the teacher's union. “The thought of serving five terms is just way over the top,” he said. “This is not a job for life, but rather a job for all of us.” Calcado’s seat …