Westfield BOE Creates Website Regarding Sept. 24 Bond Referendum

The site includes a summary of the bond proposal, Q&A, voting information and more.

The following is a press release from the Westfield Public School District:

A new website, www.westfieldnjk12.org/bond2012, has been established by the Westfield Public School District to inform residents of the upcoming bond referendum to be held Monday, September 24, from 7 a.m.  to 9 p.m. 

The capital projects which are being proposed through the bond referendum include replacement and repair of the majority of the school district’s roofs which have exceeded their life expectancy, and the installation of turf and lights at the field to provide a multi-purpose, safer playing field.

Only capital projects can be considered for a bond,” explained Board President and Finance Chair, Richard Mattessich. “The Board has unanimously approved of the roof and field projects, particularly in light of the favorable bond interest rate environment, and given the number of years that the Board has been considering these capital improvement projects,” he stated.

“We have been asked many questions regarding the bond and developed the website to explain our goal of properly maintaining the integrity of our 12 buildings and addressing the 30 percent growth of our high school population in the last ten years,” he added.

The website includes the following sections: Summary of the bond proposal; Questions and Answers; Letter to Residents from the Board of Education; Powerpoint presentations on the roofs and field; Schedule of meetings on the proposal; Voting information – including absentee ballot application download; and a Contact Form to e-mail the Board.

 “We welcome comments and questions from the public either via e-mail or by attending our meetings, which are listed on the website,” added Mattessich.

Steve Matorone August 16, 2012 at 01:08 AM
Well I feel much better now about the turf field- count me in- what a difference this makes.... What a crock....
James Gilmartin August 16, 2012 at 03:43 AM
The School Board is totally out of control. Stop the spending! If a roof leaks then we should fix it. Replacing them all is fiscally irresponsible. We dont need a turf field with lights. A turf field will not benefit the education of our children. What we do need however is tax relief in these most difficult times. I pray that the voters send a message on election day that School Board has just gone too far. James F. Gilmartin
Westfield Taxpayers August 16, 2012 at 06:01 PM
Vote No to BOE Pet Projects! The BOE has been so insulting. First their roof presentation shows all of the 'deferred' maintenance, the loss of state funding for maintenance, then they try to tell us the roofs have been maintained. I guess that's basically a lie?
Jeff B August 16, 2012 at 06:43 PM
If 85% of the roofs are in need of replacement now, they could not have been in good shape in 2010. That was the year when the Board, in effect, decided that the ridiculous 3.9% teacher raises for three years were more important than budgeting for roof replacement for the next several years. If you do the math, without those raises there would have been enough money to replace the roofs, with no need for this bond issue at all! However, the Board has never been able to make the tough choices - if they could portray the easier ones as "for the children".
A.John Blake August 17, 2012 at 12:59 AM
Has the BOE ever said when the Kehler field has to be "repaired"or "undergo maintenance"? What is the projected cost? Wheen is it scheduled? Has the Board set any user fees for the Leagues that use the fields? Why do our tax dollars subsidize these leagues? Has the BOE made any comment on who is paying the costs of the special election the Board ordered? Can anyone deny that the expectations are great for a huge turnout for this presidential election and the best thing the BOE can hope for is an apathetic low turnout that has been normal for special elections. Forget the alleged desire for early start on the roofs. The BOE wants a low turnout so it can spur on their usual followers to get out and vote and hope everyone else forgets. A.John Blake
Gary McCready August 17, 2012 at 01:51 PM
The funding for something like roof repairs is an interesting exercise in planning; point repairs are done as needed, but as most people realize, eventually it becomes necessary to replace an entire roof. Based upon the number of roofs to be done and how quickly need to be done, the financial folks at the School Board (employees and board members) determine if the work would be better rolled up into a bond, whose rates, right now, are perhaps advantagous to the district. It is always a trade off to try to build up monies not yet needed in a budget for future (tax now for work later) versus getting a bond to fund it (doing work now and paying off over time). With the 2% tax increase functional limit, it is difficult to raise the additional money when actually needed. Personally, I'm a sucker for those 0% funding offers as long as the price of the item is not inflated in the first place.
BOE Watcher August 18, 2012 at 09:35 PM
Maybe the Board can get a great deal like they did on the windows at WHS...or maybe like the air conditioning that took 10 years to install after the previous bond. These guys should really be trusted to borrow on our credit. Yikes.


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