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Voter Turnout Steady Throughout Westfield School District

Polls are busier than past school board elections, workers say.

After months of debate, today Westfield residents have the chance to vote for or against the $16.9 million bond referendum proposed by the Westfield Board of Education that would fund two multi-million dollar capital projects—district-wide roof repairs and a lighted turf field—bundled into one bond referendum. 

While turnout has been mixed, with voters coming out in large numbers at McKinley School and fewer at Jefferson, poll workers agreed that the overall response has been greater than for past school board elections.

While the bond referendum has been polarizing, poll workers unanimously agreed voters have been "polite and courteous."

James Zavetz, working the polls at McKinley School, said as of noon, voter turnout was "very high," but added that voters are keeping their opinions to themselves, respecting the signs that say no politicking within 100 feet of the polling entrance.

"They're pretty silent on how they're voting," Zavetz said.

Workers at Edison Intermediate School said they saw the biggest crowd between 7:30 and 9 a.m. and except voting to pick up again after school is dismissed. 

The turnout at Franklin School was deemed "slow and steady" by poll workers. 

Check back with Patch this evening for updated coverage of the special election.

Brent Crudite September 24, 2012 at 08:28 PM
I wonder if all the cowards that have not used their real names during this Bond Campaign will out themselves after tonight if the NO's win. Personally I really appreciate all the folks that have used their real names and I take what I read from them more seriously. Stand up and be counted O YE anonymous ones..
Walkin Westfield September 24, 2012 at 08:31 PM
the 20 year bond that has to be paid back is alot more than $16.9 million. Once you add in interest and replacing the plastic turf not once but twice, (Sid Fey/Houlihan is less than eight years old and already needs replacement. ) the amount owed is over $25 million dollars.
Walkin Westfield September 24, 2012 at 08:33 PM
Keep Westfield Green, Vote NO
Charlie Bowman - Archer Digital Photography September 24, 2012 at 09:07 PM
Could you please include a link to something that backs up that statement about field replacement? I have not read anything about replacing Sid Fey/Houlihan. What information do you have about Kehler?
paola briones September 24, 2012 at 09:34 PM
Thank you Brent. I agree...no need to be afraid about voicing your opinions and disclosing your name.
Donnie Darko September 24, 2012 at 09:59 PM
WW- You are a pathological liar- give it up- let people vote on the facts- stop your lies- Why not say it costs $50 MYN- you are just dead wrong and making a fool out of your self- Anyone that works in finance knows that the numbers are correct- the bond counsel they mention has to legally approve them before it gets this far- Maybe its time you get your HS equivalency- or if you really went to school IDENTIFY yourself - Walk right out of Westfield- no room at the Westfield INN for you
Walkin Westfield September 25, 2012 at 12:51 AM
No info on Kehler, here is a copy paste from goleader.com: "The town will be applying for $387,500 for the repair of Sid Fay and Houlihan turf fields. Should the town receive the grant, the other half of the money would come from the town’s “trust fund” which is made up from user fees. Installation of the $1-million synthetic turf field at Sid Fay and Houlihan Fields, at the corner of Rahway Avenue and Lamberts Mill Road in Westfield, was completed at the end of 2005."
Charlie Bowman - Archer Digital Photography September 25, 2012 at 12:56 AM
I believe the technology for the proposed field is different than that which is at Sid Fay/Houlihan. I don't think you are comparing apples to apples on the maintenance required and durability. For example, I think the lifespan on the surface at Kehler will outlast that at Sid Fay Houlihan.
jonah September 25, 2012 at 01:50 AM
We just won! Early reports are of the defeat of the bond measure. The BOE used taxpayer resources to mount their campaign. Those opposing the field have had to resort to patching information together, scraping together a few hundred dollars for signs and going door to door. While we did not have the benefit of a sales team, engineers or the vehicle of the coaches/sports boosters - whenever we scratched the surface we found inadequate answers and whenever we talked to our neighbors they responded with a "no" to the field. Westfield residents are reasonable people. Give us these issues as separate bonds. Be forthright about the pros and cons. People will support good spending when it aligns with reason. The power of community won over the local machine politics, and I have no issues signing my name to that. Jonah Gensler
JC September 25, 2012 at 02:01 AM
Without the turf field, the cost to replace or repair the 10 roofs is still $13,600,000 or $1.36 million per roof. Today I asked a councilman from a nearby town how it could be so much? He agreed that sounded excessive! When they split the referendum, we need more clarification on why or we should vote no for that also.
JC September 25, 2012 at 02:11 AM
Additionally the BOE should not have proceeded with this referendum and wasting tax dollars. Instead they should have listened to their constituents that public opinion was overwhelmingly against it to begin with. The current BOE is not representing the citizens.
Mike V September 25, 2012 at 02:24 AM
Taxpayers won today and showed the BOE that we will not stand for irresponsible spending. Let's see how they respond and if we don't like it we should throw them out of office.
Stanley Tucci September 25, 2012 at 02:25 AM
Why are you idiots (JONAH AND JC) boasting- did you see Princeton voted by a 2-1 margin to fix their roofs and put a turf field up- Thanks alot - lets see how many residents near the HS actually run for The BOE next time- or show up at meetings the other 50 weeks of the year- Pathetic- Go party tonight- and tell your kids to bring umbrellas and wear Hard Hats tomorrow...
Luis Oquendo September 25, 2012 at 02:37 AM
I think alot more of us residents that live near the school will now attend more BOE meetings since it seems that they like to try to sneak things by unannounced. If it wasnt for a few this would have passed and nobody would have known till they saw their tax bill. So I thank you those who brought this to light.
paola briones September 25, 2012 at 03:43 AM
Respect your fellow neighbors. Its ok to disagree but please show some respect.
JC September 25, 2012 at 04:38 AM
Stanley, not boasting. If the roofs are leaking, it only shows prior BOE mismanagement not attending to this sooner. Despite numerous posts, no one has yet explained how a roof costs almost $1.4MM to replace. Are we putting on retractable roofs so the kids can get some sun on nice days?
JC September 25, 2012 at 04:58 AM
Stanley also check what the Princeton referendum was for. Not $16+MM, but $10MM of which $1.6MM is for athletic improvements, not almost $4MM. Remaining Princeton funds are for capital improvements far more than just roofs.
Old facilities and fields September 25, 2012 at 02:37 PM
the increase in your tax bill would have been less than you spend on dinner. dont balme the defeat on the increase in the tax bill
Old facilities and fields September 25, 2012 at 02:50 PM
In Garwood, a $3.2 million bond was approved by a 5 to 1 vote in August to construct an Athletic Field Complex where the borough's Little League field now stands.
Old facilities and fields September 25, 2012 at 02:51 PM
In Springfield, after years of debate and wrangling, a turf field complex for shared municipal and school district use at Jonathan Dayton High broke ground this month and should be operational by fall 2013.

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