May 14, 2007
A Special School
Budget Meeting of the Township Council of the Township of Roxbury was held on
May 14, 2007 at the Senior Center at Horseshoe Lake at 8:00 pm.
OPEN PUBLIC MEETING STATEMENT
Notice is hereby given that A Special Meeting of
the Township Council of the Township of Roxbury scheduled for Monday, May 14,
2007 at 8:00 PM. This is to allow the
Township Council to discuss the 2007 defeated School Budget.
Adequate notice of this meeting of the Township
Council of the Township of Roxbury was given as required by the Open Public
Meetings Act as follows: Notice was
faxed to the Daily Record, the Newark Star Ledger and the Roxbury Register on
May 9, 2007; notice was posted on the bulletin board in the main hallway of the
Municipal Building on May 9, 2007.
CALL: (Present) Councilwoman Kathy DeFillippo, Councilmen
Richard Zoschak, Fred Hall, Jim Rilee, Martin Schmidt, Tim Smith and Mayor John
Raths, Township Manager, Anthony Bucco, Township Manager, and Janet Rieth,
Deputy Township Clerk
Auditor from Ferraioli, Wielkotz, Cerullo & Cuva arrived at 8:00 PM.
At this time the Board of Education opened
COUNCIL LIAISON REPRESENTATIVES, COUNCIL COMMITTEES AND NEW BUSINESS/OLD
Old Business: None
REQUESTED/REFERRED BY COUNCIL MEMBERS, MANAGER, ATTORNEY OR CLERK
- Review of 2007
Operating School Operating Budget
Raths advised that there are three resolutions before Council tonight for a
total revision of $204,000.00 or one tax point. One resolution reflects the straight revision of $204,000.00;
one reflects a revision of $124,000.00
and $80,000 for services to hire a qualified special education supervisor and
the third for $154,000 and $50,000 for hiring a special education supervisor.
Bucco advised that the school district receives extraordinary aid, which is not
budgeted, in the approximate amount of $250,000. Therefore, the auditor, Tom
Ferry, has recommended that $150,000 could be increased in revenue in
the budget. There is an additional
$54,000 that could be saved as a result in the decrease in the transfers to
cover deficit in the “Enterprise” fund and the auditor believes that the food
service Enterprise fund will have sufficient retained earnings based upon its
prior years figures and would be able to sustain a decrease of $54,000. That is the total of the $204,000 revision
to the budget. The two modifications to
that would be if Council decides to provide the School Board with $50,000 to
help offset the cost of hiring the special education supervisor, or whether the
Council decides to provide the Board with $80,000 to help offset those costs.
Mack, Superintendent of Schools, commended Tom Ferry on the excellent job he
has done. Mr. Mack further discussed
the possibility of opening the school in Berkshire Valley for special education
and that a full time administrator would be needed for that location. The current
cost of special education is $2.7 million and any chance to defray those costs
is appreciated. While they welcome the
$50,000, that amount would not put an administrator in the special education building.
Badini, Board of Education President, stated that the Board appreciates all the
work that has been done and hopes that the Council will allow the $80,000.
Castriotta, Board Member, questioned if there is a written report of what the
auditor found. Mr. Ferry stated that he
made a recommendation to the Mayor and Council, which Mr. Bucco explained
tonight. Mr. Bucco advised that a
formal written report was not prepared. The only report that he prepared and
addressed to the Council was the two line items which were discussed tonight.
Mr. Rilee advised that an analysis of the budget was not done.
gave the Board of Education and the public a synopsis and advised that
extraordinary state aid, approximately $250,000.00, is given at this time of
year. Historically this has gone into surplus. Mr. Ferry stated that the Board could use
some of this surplus so it does not impact on budget line items. The other line
item is the Enterprise fund, which is the cafeteria. The State of New Jersey
allows a certain dollar amount to be put in the budget in case the food service
has a deficit. This fund has
approximately $100,000.00, which is enough of a cushion to absorb
Mr. Hall explained
what has taken place in the Township in the last 7 to 8 years. In the last 8 years there have been five
failed school budgets and the net impact of all of these reductions is
approximately $2.7 million. Mr. Bucco stated that the Council has decided not to fund the special question that was
on the ballot.
regarding the use of the Berkshire Valley building. Mr. Smith stated that there is no set date to open the building,
but it is hoped that there will be a sense of urgency and that is part of the
reason that the Council is taking less of a reduction. Mr. Mack stated that special education is a
high priority of the District and it would be a high priority to get the
Condit St., Succasunna, commended the Board of Education and the Township
Council and is impressed that the Community is working together. He is glad to hear that there may be a
special education facility in the Township.
Robert Kluska, Emmans
Road, Flanders, stated that he totally supports all of the expenditures for the
education of the students and discussed various concerns with the school
Mrs. Chesler, Righter
Road, Succasunna, stated that taxes are driving seniors out of town and this is
why seniors vote against the budget.
Ralph Nappi, Landing,
spoke about various concerns with the budget, especially the cost of special
Reger Road, Succasunna asked if once an individual plan is written for a
special needs student and the parents agree to the plan, can the school
district do anything about the spending.
Mr. Mack stated that once the plan is written the school district has no
say in how much money is spent.
Mr. Rogers, 20 Main
St, Succasunna, discussed the cost per student for busing and asked if there is
a seat provided for every student who is eligible. Mr. Badini stated that a seat is not provided for everyone. The district takes into account those
students who may be driving.
Patricia Road, Flanders, stated that she wants the schools to stay strong and
feels that the Council and School Board are doing a good job.
Debbie Kleinsorgen, 28
Joyce Drive, asked that the Council think of the students when considering
Mrs. Chesler, Righter
Road, Succasunna, stated that none of the seniors want anything essential cut
from the budget.
Bednarcik, Condit Street, Succasunna, asked what the cost is per student in
Roxbury and where it ranks in Morris County. Mr. Mack stated that at the high
school it is approximately $13,000. The
elementary schools are lower, but it is towards the bottom in the County. Mr. Mack further stated that Roxbury has the
lowest starting teacher salary in Morris County.
Cornhollow Road, Succasunna, thanked the Council and the Board of Education for
the effort they have put in to bring this to a conclusion.
Ed Kirchgessner, 27 Honeyman Dr, Succasunna,
stated that he does not want the seniors blamed for the budget defeat.
Mel Prestamo, Reger Road, Succasunna stated that
apathy, not the seniors, defeated the budget.
Judy Waldron, Mechanic Street, Succasunna,
stated that she does not blame the Board of Education. She puts the blame on those who let this
town grow out of proportion.
Mr. Zoschak stated
that the State of New Jersey recently passed a law to help the Boards of
Education and municipalities. Boards of
Education can now join the Joint Insurance Fund and Health Insurance Fund to
help with insurance costs.
stated that, on the last Master Plan, the places where housing can be built
were drastically reduced. Certain types
of development will not bring children, but will bring ratables, which will
help reduce taxes. He agrees that
academics are very important, but he also feels that extracurricular activities
are important and it is difficult to
find the balance when looking at where to cut money from the budget.
Mrs. DeFillippo stated that there is a silent
majority that did not come out to vote. She further stated that she hears what
the public is saying, that they want to be able to compete with other towns,
but we have to be careful about spending the money.
Mr. Hall stated that
the largest growth in Roxbury Township happened between 1990 and 2000 when
there was a 17% to 19% increase in the residential population. Since 2000 that has decreased to 2% to 3% on
a yearly basis. The reason this
happened is due to zoning and proper planning to eliminate as best as possible,
a high residential growth in the Township.
The Council also purchased property for open space. He further stated that we must accelerate
our shared services opportunities.
Mrs. Castriotta, Board
of Education Member, stated that trying to get apathetic people to come out to
vote is a very difficult situation.
This is something that needs to be looked at for the future.
stated that there are steps that can be taken to get more people out to vote.
He feels that the time of the Board election must be changed; however, at this
time, this is not supported by the School Board Associations of New
Jersey. Mr. Rilee further stated that
mandates, such as the cost per student for Special Education students, tie the
hands of both the Board of Education and the Council.
thanked everyone for the effort that was taken.
07-175 A Resolution
of the Township Council of the Township of Roxbury Pursuant to N.J.S.A. 18A:22-37 Certifying to the Morris County
Board of Taxation the Amount of $45,666,113, (Including $43,503,488 for General
Fund Expenses and $2,162,625 for Debt Service) to be Raised by Real Property
Taxation to Provide a Thorough and Efficient System of Education for the
Roxbury Township School District for the Fiscal Year 2007-2008
made a motion to adopt Resolution 07-175.
Mrs. DeFillippo seconded the motion.
Mrs. DeFillippo stated
that while she understands that the $80,000 would be more helpful, she cannot
support that because the majority rules and the budget did not pass.
Mr. Zoschak stated that nothing was taken away from the
Mr. Badini asked if
the Board of Education cannot hire a special education supervisor with the
$50,000, can anything else be done with it.
Mr. Bucco stated that the Council is making recommended cuts through
certain line items and increases to line items in regard to anticipated
revenue. The Board of Education does
not have to accept those specific recommendations. The Council will be authorizing a tax levy and what they do with
it is up to them. The resolution recommends that the Board pursues the course
of action for the special education supervisor and uses the $50,000 towards
that, but they are not required to do that by law.
Mr. Zoschak – yes Mrs. DeFillippo – yes
Mr. Hall – yes Mr. Rilee – yes
Mr. Schmidt – yes Mr. Smith – yes
Mayor Ciaramella – yes
Motion carried 7 - 0
ORDINANCES FOR DISCUSSION
OF PROPOSED ORDINANCES
AND ADOPTION OF ORDINANCES ON SECOND READING
RESOLUTION FOR DISCUSSION
AND ADOPTION OF RESOLUTIONS
of the Township Council of the Township of Roxbury pursuant to N.J.S.A.
Certifying to the Morris County Board of Taxation the amount of $45,696,113 (including $43,533,488 for
general fund expenses and $2,162,625 for debt service) to be raised by real
property taxation to provide thorough and efficient system of education for the
Roxbury Township School District for the fiscal; year 2007-2008
Previously discussed and adopted
At 9:40 PM Mr. Rilee made a motion to adjourn the Special
Meeting. Mrs. DeFillippo seconded
All In Favor - yes
MINUTES APPROVED BY COUNCIL
DATE: September 25, 2007
ROLL CALL: Mr. Rilee – yes Mr.
Smith – yes
DeFillippo – yes Mr. Hall – yes
– yes Mayor Ciaramella - yes