Monday, September 24, 2012
Mark Friedman says he'll be voting "yes" today.
Monday, September 24, 2012
On Monday, September 24th, as a resident of Westfield, you will be asked to vote on a Bond referendum that would authorize the Board of Education to replace a large portion of roofs over our buildings and to build a lighted turf field with bleachers at the high school field. The total cost of the project is $16.9 million, excluding interest. As a resident and a taxpayer of Westfield, I am asking you to join me in getting out to vote. I will be voting YES! I have been on the school board since April 2011 and I ran with the intention of helping to make change in the District that would benefit all of our constituents. My kids are now out of the schools yet my focus remains being sure that we leave a lasting legacy of academics, community, …
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.
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…
Tuesday, July 12, 2011
Friedman and Slater bring up platform items at end of brief meeting to hire special ed head.
While last Thursday’s Board of Education meeting was called to appoint a new head of special services, two board members used the open comments section of the meeting to put forward two proposals from their platforms. BOE members Mark Friedman and Mitch Slater used the new business section – a regular part of any BOE meeting – to speak out on several ideas. Friedman discussed his proposal on school district management, while Slater discussed the district’s budget. Friedman, who has been pushing what he calls “reengineering” district management since his campaign this spring, used the appointment of Michael Weissman to bring the subject up. Weissman hade been appointed earlier in the meeting as the district’s assistant superintendent of …
Wednesday, July 6, 2011
Dolan says Board of Education has discussed communications for number of years.
The Board of Education’s brainstorming session on district goals included discussion of one issue which was decided to be a part of the individual goals. Board members continued a focus on communication and community engagement, which has been one of the top issues voiced by residents in recent years. During budget discussions over the last two years, residents have commented on the board’s communication strategy, along with Washington residents regarding the redistricting issue. In December, the board voted 5-4 to apologize to the Washington community over how the issues were communicated. Several board members have been elected after campaigns stressing communication. “Can we keep community engagement as an ongoing goal?” BOE member …
Board members offer individual proposals not adopted in consensus.
The Board of Education’s brainstorming session to create new district goals included several proposals from board members on a variety of issues, which were discussed during the consensus discussion and were noted to be important. District officials said the other proposals were not off the table and would be looked at during the school year. Here is a list of proposals mentioned during the meeting based on the BOE member who made the proposal. Ginny Leiz – Gifted and Talented/Finances and Facilities Leiz proposed a focus on the district’s gifted and talented program, including a look at the offerings at WHS. She said this could include a study of the exact program and if changes are needed in the program. She said one area could be …
Friday, May 20, 2011
New board member asks why attorney advice on Washington vote not included.
A routine vote to approve the minutes of a prior Board of Education meeting led a new board member to question what makes it into the official accounting of the meeting. BOE member Mark Friedman, who took office last month, questioned board members Tuesday evening on why advice from board attorney Richard Kaplow to the board at the May 3 reorganization meeting on the continuation of board policies. The advice was given as part of a discussing regarding continuation of the policy governing Washington School redistricting. “I was interested in why that discussion was omitted,” he said. Schools Superintendent Margaret Dolan said interim BOE Secretary Vincent Yaniro is responsible for the preparation of the minutes of the meetings, but does …
Thursday, March 17, 2011
Interim board secretary draws names out of box.
The ballot for the April 27 Board of Education is set. Interim BOE Secretary Vincent Yaniro drew ballot positions during a ceremony Thursday morning. Yaniro drew the names of the eight candidates from a wooden box the board maintains for the purpose. The ballot order is as follows. The ballot drawing was attended by Cary and Friedman’s wife, Debbie, along with Schools Superintendent Margaret Dolan and Yaniro’s assistant. Check out video of the ballot drawing.
Friday, March 11, 2011
Dolan named acting business administrator.
The Board of Education voted Thursday night to suspend embattled BOE Business Administrator/Board Secretary Bob Berman following his being charged in a corruption scandal. The BOE issued a statement Friday morning saying that Berman has been suspended from his position due to the charges from state Attorney General Paula Dow. Dow charged Berman on Wednesday with taking over $13,000 in glass windows and doors for his South Plainfield home from the Metropolitan Metal Window Company in exchange for recommending that the BOE designate the company of the school district’s contractor of record. “The Board of Education takes all allegations of financial impropriety very seriously; therefore, Mr. Berman has been suspended from his duties, pending …
Monday, March 7, 2011
BOE candidate outlines budget policy.
Monday, March 7, 2011
To the Editor, Let’s give it a try! It is that time of the year again, the time when school boards all over New Jersey put in the extra hours to develop a budget that will support the efforts of the local schools and be passed by the community. Since I am running for the school board in the election on Wednesday, April 27th, I would like to offer you my thoughts on this process and the approach that I wish we could adopt in Westfield. “Zero- based budgeting” as described in Wikipedia is a technique of planning and decision-making which reverses the working process of traditional budgeting. In traditional incremental budgeting, departmental managers justify only increases over the previous year budget and what has been already spent is …