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Letter to the Editor: Say "Yes" To Voting on School Budget On April 27

A member of the board of education urges citizens to vote.

On April 27, Holmdel residents have a unique opportunity to say “yes” to a local budget that includes no tax increase. 

You can also say “yes” to a few other things as well.

  • You can say “yes” to a budget that finally addresses long delayed maintenance projects and infrastructure repairs, such as repairs to the parking lot at the Satz School and the High School.
  • You can say “yes” to efforts to address growing class size and bolster our reading program with additional teaching support throughout our four schools.
  • You can say “yes” to a district that has made a concerted effort to control expenses, such as $1.8 million in energy savings over the last two years.
  • And most of all you can say “yes” to an educational system dedicated in providing children with multiple avenues for success—academically, athletically, and artistically.

I can’t speak for the school board as a whole, but I can offer you this personal perspective as a neighbor and fellow taxpayer.  For many years, I have talked to residents about the concerns they face, and the number one topic has always been taxes.  I’m extremely proud of the hard work by everyone associated with our school district from the administration to teachers to the parent groups to the school board, who have all worked together to achieve this milestone of a “zero” percent increase without sacrificing the high standards associated with one of the finest public educational programs in the country. 

Now you have the opportunity to place the final piece to the puzzle.  Please participate on April 27 and vote in this year’s school budget election. 

Mike Sockol

Ray April 25, 2011 at 04:00 PM
Though Mike is writing as an individual, and so am I, I'd like to point out that all nine board members have voted YES to adopt and present this budget to the residents for approval. It's not easy to come up with a ZERO % TAX INCREASE budget; it's the result of much hard work and long term planning (such as energy conservation program, union contract negotiation, and efficiencies in operation) plus a little luck (such as the partially restored State aid, which we pass to the residents for tax relief). A Budget Newsletter has been delivered to every household in Holmdel a few days ago. It has more details about the budget and also shows some results of our investment in terms of student performance. You can also get more information about this budget as well as other school news at: http://www.holmdel.k12.nj.us/ Finally, I'd like to reiterate that even though the budget has NO TAX INCREASE, it still needs to be approved by the residents at the poll, so please remember to vote YES this Wednesday, 2-9pm, 4/27. Thx! Ray Tai President, Holmdel BOE
Dean D'Ambrosi April 26, 2011 at 12:24 PM
There is a question that has been bothering me. First it is great that we have a zero tax increase this year in the budget and great work by the school board! I really applaud all of your efforts top limit expenses and utilize the additional state funding to offset the increases in the school budget! My question is this: We received additional funding from the state and that helped offset the increases in the school budget to help us reach the zero tax increase. If we did not receive that funding we would actually have an increase in the taxes by almost 2% because of the increases in the school budget. What happens if the additional state funding goes away next year? It seems to me that if it does go away the tax payer might be looking at a significant increase in taxes to cover not only this years budget increases but next years increases as well. Thank you again to the school board for all of your efforts, I am just concerned that this budget might not do enough to limit future taxpayer exposure.
Mike Sockol April 26, 2011 at 02:46 PM
Dean, as always, a very thoughtful point. Right now, our school district receives 93 percent of our local funding from Holmdel taxpayers, which means we are less susceptible to the ups and downs of state funding, but we are extremely susceptible to swings in property values. So naturally the future of the Lucent property (as well as other commercial properties within Holmdel) will have a major impact on how we can continue to control taxes while maintaining the services that residents expect, which includes a quality public school system.

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