Politics is local and we can have the most impact on our school boards

Your superintendent is the highest paid, most powerful public official in the municipality. Do you know his name?

Elected board members, although well intentioned are easily led by their paid employees; teachers & administrators.

Do you know what they're all doing? Well here in New Jersey they represent at least 60% of your property tax bill and budgets grow at an astounding compound rate each year.

Friday, October 8, 2010

RTBOE Goals and Group Think

On July 14, 2010 the RTBOE met to discuss goals for the school year beginning September 2010. The results are posted at RT GOALS but don't reflect discussions.

I arrived a bit late to discussion of rules governing public commentary at meetings.  Member Fred West suggested one minute comments followed by a two minute board response (a mini-filibuster of sorts). The group think was that most comments are" "unsubstantiated negative criticism"  and a total three minute limit, at the President's discretion will suffice.  So the rule is; If you're disliked, you'll be gaveled at the 3-minute mark.

On to budgets.  Sue Salny suggested that each district department head present its financial wish list in a public forum.  Not a bad idea since part of a BOE's job is financial oversight in conjunction with the community.  Never the less Superintendent, Gary Vitta insisted he make all budget decisions before going public.  Sue and the group-think" quickly caved to Vitta's desire.

The next topic was budget surplus or taxation in excess of required expenditure.  Vitta said he'd never even considered limiting surplus.  WOW!  RT clearly needs new, fiscally strong members on the ballot in April 2011.  Rumor has it that Diane Power is stepping down.  So give it a thought

Discussion segued  to community relations.  Fred West blurted that if 41 "no votes" had flipped, the budget would have passed.  Mike Puzio interjected that voter anger will subside.  Groupthink doesn't understand the budget failed despite restrictive polling hours or that residents resent taxation imposed by highly paid bureaucrats who don't reveal details.  Anger like that doesn't fade, it festers.

Ted Doty

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