An Open Letter on the Englewood School Board and School Budget Election
By now, we’ve all heard the outcome of yesterday’s school board election and the defeat of the 2010-2011 school budget.
Before I comment on it, I first would like to thank all of the candidates who ran for School Board during one of the most difficult fiscal environments in years. Volunteering for public service, doing the hard work of campaigning to get your message across to our citizens at a time of great uncertainty is something for which each candidate should be commended.
I would also like to deeply thank our incumbents for their service over this past term of office on the School Board. I would especially like to single out Joan Meltzer, whose years of service in the support of our students and schools have been extraordinary. We all owe her a tremendous debt and a great deal of gratitude.
Before the budget vote, I had stated in an open letter to the City that as your Mayor — and as an experienced business attorney and Certified Public Accountant – it was both my professional and civic duty to advise Englewood citizens to vote no on the budget and return it back to the City for reformulation to get it right.
Today, I am grateful that the majority of this week’s voters determined the same thing.
I want to assure every resident, every student and every taxpayer in the City of Englewood that this can be a win-win for everyone. The defeat of this budget will not harm our students. Nor will it mean larger class sizes, fewer teachers and fewer resources. It does mean that we have an opportunity to take a careful look at our budget priorities, how we plan for them and what we can accomplish effectively and efficiently throughout this difficult budget year.
I am absolutely committed to the excellence of our schools. I will not rest until we do whatever is necessary to allow us to accomplish a budget for 2010-2011 that focuses on directly benefiting our students. Now is the time for all of us to come together to accomplish this goal.
We will move forward together, going through the next steps in a process clearly defined by state law and the rules and regulations of the NJ Department of Education. I will share with you all the details of this process shortly, so please check back at EnglewoodOne.com.
Again, congratulations to the newly elected board members and heartfelt thanks to those who did not prevail. It is the vigor and commitment of citizens who step up and volunteer to serve their community that renews my belief in Englewood and its greatness.
Mayor Frank Huttle III