Editor Elizabeth Alterman email@example.com
9:51 am on Thursday, January 24, 2013
This is a fantastic program for the district and the work being done by Nancy and Jeanine has been outstanding. The feedback from teachers, parents and students has been equally outstanding. We still have a way to go to get caught up with some of the leading districts in the area of technology but there is a good game plan and we are allocating the required resources to improve in this area.
3:54 pm on Friday, December 7, 2012
WP- Thanks for your comment, it is appreciated. I understand your point of view for sure but I would hope that if you had strong feelings on an issue, whether it be roofs or something else about the schools, that you would reach out to a Board member or someone in the administration. I understand the hesitancy but part of why I ran for the Board was because I had some of the same feelings that you do. I am trying to make it that more people feel comfortable about speaking up. The Patch isn't the way to do it though, in my opinion. Come to a Board meeting, talk to a Board member; it can be a productive experience.
3:51 pm on Friday, December 7, 2012
Pete- I hope you see this, was not quiet sure where to reply so that it was close enough to your comment. "Well aware that building maintenance is to be included in the budget"-- i have to disagree with you. It might be semantics to you but building maintenance is in fact in the budget and we spend hundreds of thousands of dollars per year on routine maintenance, that have allowed us to keep buildings that average 75 years old in good working condition. Although you and many others don't care to hear this, the rules of saving money that could be used to replace roofs have changed in the last few years. For the longest time, school boards could not save money for major repairs and it was almost all NJ school districts "strategy" to bond for large expenditures like roof replacements; one of their buildings or many. I was not involved at that time so I can only tell you what I have been told. I was like you before I joined the Board almost two years ago. I thought that I had all of the answers. In fact, I had very few because I had not invested the time to learn about the rules imposed on school boards from the state and other governing bodies. One of these days, I would be happy to sit with you and explain what I have learned and perhaps hear the good ideas that you might have for going forward.
3:45 pm on Friday, December 7, 2012
FD, If you had really been paying attention, you would know that over the last 12 months, we have replaced furnaces in multiple buildings and that came from the operating budget. The District spent over $2 million dollars on an aging infrastructure, including those furnaces, windows, bathrooms etc. These are all items that needed to be done. I cannot speak for prior Boards and honestly I won;t speak for the members of the current Board. I speak only about my opinion and goals. I will work within the rules that the state has set out for us in order that we can provide a sound education for the students of Westfield as well as an infrastructure that will support us for many years to come. You asked me a question. I do not expect that ALL capital repairs and improvements be paid with bonds and I think that we have demonstrated that fact over the last 12 months. Thanks for your question.
12:18 pm on Friday, December 7, 2012
EP- one thing to keep in mind-- the School Board operates based on the desires of the parents of Westfield who have charged us to maintain and improve upon the educational offerings that we have available for the kids. There has been no message delivered, at least that I have heard, that they are willing to make do with less in the schools. Sure, we can reduce services but the lions share of the statements that I get from parents is to add this add that and and most seem very willing to pay more in taxes to continue to develop what we do. For sure, we should look for ways to be more efficient and save where we can and we will do ever more of that in the future, but unless parents are willing to moderate their expectations, costs will go up to support new initiatives.
12:13 pm on Friday, December 7, 2012
As long as we are talking about other bonds, anyone read about the bond issued by the town to pay back taxes of people who got positive tax appeals? You see, its very easy to throw the stones. Perhaps we can all try and make the process productive rather than argumentative which so many on this board have done with respect to the roof bond issue. I for one, would love to have seen more people, especially the ones that write on this board, come out to a meeting every now and then and offer up their suggestions. We all would love to hear what you have to say.
2:40 pm on Sunday, November 4, 2012
McKinley does not have power at the moment. Stay tuned to the Patch for updates on schools for tomorrow.
6:20 pm on Saturday, November 3, 2012
You will be able to listen to the call at WestfieldNj.gov in a few hours.
6:00 pm on Monday, September 24, 2012
I believe that you are correct and I believe that this has been the factual information provided to the public by the BOE and our experts since the very beginning of the discussions. This is not new information.
4:09 pm on Monday, September 24, 2012
Jeff, as a corporate finance savvy individual, I imagine that you could not believe that this project will cost $40 million dollars. If you followed the facts that have been published about the bond issuance, you would see that the total cost of the project (over the 20 year life of the bonds) will be $16.9 million in principal repayment and an additional $6 million in interest. The total cost is right around $23 million dollars. Based on the average assessed home in Westfield of $182,000, the 20 year cost to the average homeowner is $2,256. These are the facts. There would be no monies coming from the ordinary operating budget to fund these projects. If the vote should fail, any near term fixes to the roofs, as an example, would be funded out of the operating budget. No semantics, just the facts.
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