Tuesday, October 2, 2012
Rosanne Kurstedt will succeed him.
In a statement read by Westfield Board of Education President Rich Mattessich, Board Vice President David Finn resigned from his position effective immediately, citing an "urgent family medical matter." Mattessich and fellow Board members Mitch Slater and Ginny Leiz thanked him for his three-and-a-half years of service. The Board voted unanimously to elect Rosanne Kurstedt vice president. Finn's term was scheduled to end in January and he was not seeking re-election. As such, the Union County Superintendent said the Board does not need to fill the vacant seat in the interim. It will serve as an eight-member board until then. Check back with Patch tomorrow for additional details and more from tonight's meeting.
Wednesday, June 27, 2012
New deal includes 1.9% annual salary bump, requires WAAS members to increase insurance contributions
The Westfield Board of Education approved a two-year contract with the Westfield Association of Administrators and Supervisors (WAAS) at the board's meeting Tuesday night. The contract, which will become effective next month, includes salary raises in increments of 1.9 percent for each year. The contract was approved by a 6-1 vote. Board Vice President David Finn, who served as the chair of the team that negotiated the contract on behalf of the board, said in a statement that he was pleased with a timely process that he said was both fair to district employees and fiscally responsible for taxpayers. “The focus of the board is to control health care costs and keep the overall cost of association contracts under the two percent cap,” Finn …
Wednesday, January 25, 2012
The Board of Education will vote at its Tuesday, Feb. 7 meeting, seeking more time to solicit public opinion on the issue
When deciding between acting efficiently or allowing another two weeks for transparency, the Westfield Board of Education erred on the side of caution Tuesday night and opted for the latter. After a half-hour discussion about whether to move the school board election from its current date in April to the November general election, the Board voted 7-1 to delay its vote on the matter until its next meeting on Feb. 7. The Board’s decision, made two weeks after Gov. Chris Christie signed a law permitting districts to decide whether to move their elections from the spring to the fall, was primarily done to enable Board members to solicit community input and gauge public opinion prior to voting on whether to keep or change its election date. “I …
Thursday, August 25, 2011
Walker asked entire board to read statement.
In a change from previous years, Board of Education President Julia Walker changed the practice for the annual reading of the Board of Education ethics statement. Earlier this year, Walker had the entire board read the statement instead of reading it alone. Walker said that she believed this would allow the entire board to understand the meaning of the statement. Check out video.
Monday, August 22, 2011
Development committee considering endowment possibility.
A new Board of Education committee is exploring the possibility of creating an outside foundation to assist with raising funds for the school district. BOE member David Finn said the new development committee he’s chairing is currently studying ways to raise outside funds for the district. He said the possible endowment is needed in the wake of declining state aid for the school system. “What we’re looking to do in my mind is partner with as many organizations in town like the Education Fund, the United Fund, the Boosters and the Theatre Guild,” he said. “We’re looking to enhance and improve the amount of partnering in the district.” Finn said the new endowment would not compete with the existing groups that raise funds for the school …
Tuesday, August 16, 2011
Finn says board should be "proactive" on rankings.
The Board of Education is planning a more proactive approach to New Jersey Monthly’s rankings of high schools for 2012. Board of Education members David Finn and Mitch Slater have indicated that they would like the BOE to form a committee to examine how the magazine calculates it’s biannual ratings and also discuss the rankings system with the statewide publication. Westfield High School’s ranking plummeted from 27 in 2008 to 41 in 2010, continuing a downward slide in the past several rankings. Last year, Schools Superintendent Margaret Dolan said that the way the district interpreted new state guidelines on class size calculations caused the drop. The new guidelines showed a rise in class sizes at WHS from 19 in 2008 to 26.4 in 2010. “We …
Thursday, July 28, 2011
BOE discusses proposal from Slater and Finn to use bonus aid to end fee.
High school and intermediate school parents will continue paying the student activity fee when school starts in September. The Board of Education briefly discussed – and dismissed – ending the activity fee during Tuesday evening’s meeting. The fee was implemented at the beginning of the 2010-2011 school year in response to Gov. Chris Christie’s decision to slash state aid by $4.22 million in March 2010. BOE members Mitch Slater and David Finn pressed the possibility of using part of the $845,000 in bonus state aid to eliminate the activity fee. The BOE decided Tuesday evening to use the majority of the bonus aid to hire new personnel and upgrade the high school technology lab. Slater and Finn pressed using the funds for tax relief. The BOE…
Wednesday, July 27, 2011
Board votes to spend over $500,000 of bonus state aid on new teachers and technology.
The Board of Education approved the use of bonus state aid for hiring purposes, defeating a tax relief proposal for the second straight meeting. The board approved spending $586,500 of the $845,449 in bonus aid that Gov. Chris Christie gave the school system on July 13 for personnel hiring and technology upgrades. The decision followed a recommendation from Schools Superintendent Margaret Dolan to spend the funds in this direction. With Dolan and board members noting they want to deliver tax relief as part of the 2012-2013 school budget, the board adopted the plan Dolan delivered. She said the plan was developed based on pressing enrollment needs and keeping class sizes down in the elementary grades. Dolan’s recommendations included: Dolan…
Monday, July 18, 2011
Board places extra state aid in budget, to make final decision at future meeting.
The Board of Education punted a final decision on whether or not to use additional state aid for property tax relief or additional spending in the school district. The BOE voted during an emergency meeting late Friday afternoon to designate the additional $845,448 in state aid for inclusion in the 2011-2012 school budget, but deferred decisions on the exact spending and left open the door for using part or all of the funds for property tax relief. The board, which officially learned of the additional aid authorized by Gov. Chris Christie on Wednesday, learned Thursday that they had to make a final decision on possibly using the funds for immediate property tax relief before Tuesday afternoon. Acting Education Commissioner Chris Cerf …
Thursday, July 7, 2011
Leiz raises questions about process used to determine fund transfer.
Following months of calls to create a maintenance reserve fund for the school system, the Board of Education voted last week to deposit an estimated $1 million from the 2010-2011 budget into a fund and authorized several projects to spend the funds on. The funds, taken from unspent line items throughout the budget, which ended on June 30, will be spent on a series of facilities projects. The move comes several months after the school district’s auditor advised the Board of Education that the district needed to build up the capital reserve fund, which totaled slightly over $800. “In view of the fact that the district had budgeted very little capital maintenance, the board has decided to use the funds for maintenance,” interim BOE Business …