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Welcome to Laurie Goodman's blog. I use this space to share news and opinions about education and schools in Ridgewood, the state of New Jersey and the nation, in addition to other issues I'm personally interested in. I invite you to share your thoughts, feelings, questions or opinions, too, by posting comments on any blog entry. Please observe basic courtesy -- keep your comments focused on issues, no personal attacks or bullying, please. Contact me directly at: lauriegood@mac.com

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

School budget is defeated 2601-2508

updated 4/21/10 @ 8:10 AM

The unofficial budget results show a defeat in a close vote. The absentee ballots still need to be counted, which will happen tonight, so updated numbers should be available in the newspapers in the morning.

Updated results 4/21: Yes = 2537; No = 2639

We'll have plenty of opportunity to deconstruct what happened. For now we need to act quickly to get the Village Council the information they need so they can set the new tax rate. Will keep you posted on the process, timeline, etc.

But first, a quick humorous (sort of) story:

Tonight at 5 minutes before 9:00 I left the Planning Board meeting at Village Hall in order to head to the Ed Center for the election results. As I was going down the stairs, a man ran past me, saying, "I need to hurry up and go vote the budget down!" I sort of gasped, and he said, "They're firing guidance counselors and buying flat screen TVs for the classrooms!" I told him, in the interest of full disclosure, that I'm on the School Board. He said, "I don't care. I admit, I don't know anything about the issues...I just know the union is killing us and the crazy taxes have got to stop!" I tried to say something, but he didn't want to listen and ran off.

So there you have what is may be a classic "no" voter: semi-informed, angry about high taxes and not interested in having a conversation because he's in a hurry to send a message. Sorry if I sound bitter -- can you indulge me for one evening? Tomorrow I'll get back to proactively engaging with the public (I hope I meet that guy again someday, so I can better explain the issues -- and the facts) and working to move our schools and school finances forward. Good night.

17 comments:

Anonymous said...

Come on Laurie, until you seriously make cuts to Cottage Place, there is no way to win over the public.

Regina needs to go! As does the purchasing agent just hired in January. Make those cuts and maybe, just maybe, the public will have some faith in you all.

Laurie Goodman said...

Not ignoring your comments, I'm in meetings all day for work. Will post tomorrow.

Anonymous said...

Angry & uninformed...yup, the Ridgewood Teabaggers came out in force for this election.

Anonymous said...

And yes, the PR person needs to go too. She/he is a BOE luxury we can't afford.

Anonymous said...

Maybe if he were not in a hurry he would have explained more about his reasons for voting "No". Those who voted "No" are not necessairly uninformed, they just disagree with you. A lot of smart people voted "No". Maybe the Board needs to learn more about what the real reasons were and not dismiss them as "classic "No"" voters.

Anonymous said...

The world is changing and this train has arrived an passed but the train behind this one (2.5%) hard cap if it happens will be a real eye opener. It on the way and you will need to ask voters every year after if they want the increases. You know there no way you will get to pass extra`s for the BOE.

Anonymous said...

Over on The Ridgewood Blog, they're crowing about defeating the budget and "the HSA moms who troll Ridgewood like it's Stepford."

The person animosity over there towards moms and children is revolting. Simply revolting.

Anonymous said...

And so there you have it, the classic “yes” voter for the budget. Someone who quickly maligns over 2600 residents for voting no and having the colossal nerve to disagree with a “fully” informed resident. After all, how dare this hard working resident question the fully informed board member. Perhap, Laurie, he would have had time to chat, if he wasn’t to busy working his ass off to pay his mortgage and the never ending increase in taxes in ridgewood, thanks to a run away BOE. Forgive him; he was in fully panic mode. The BOE and Laurie where working

Laurie Goodman said...

Hang on! I'm not maligning anyone! It was a funny moment, like something scripted in a movie...and I think I knew it was an omen.

And if you've read my blog even a few times before this, you know that I welcome questions!!! (If this is your first time here, welcome.) Seriously, if the gentleman had actually questioned me, I would have answered and asked him some questions about how he was feeling...I would have at the very least corrected the mistaken belief that the district was firing guidance counselors in order to buy flat screen TVs. One guidance counselor has been cut, yes, but there are no flat screen TVs!!!

I am ALWAYS happy to have a conversation. I am respectful and willing to listen. Try me. The day before the vote I posted my email and home phone here and practically begged people to call for the facts...try me.

I realize I asked for this by writing a blog, but the whole conversation-by-anonymous-comment thing is a bit problematic at times.

But thank you for reading and thank you for participating at least anonymously in this communication. We all will have plenty of communicating to do going forward.

bill said...

Unfortunately we are all put through this ridiculous vote every year Laurie. The real problem lies in what you reveal about what a "no" vote won't do.

We all wish a "no" had the power to not only send a message but reduce teacher benefits and impact thier raises if that is the message we wanted to send. Unfortunately that is not within the power of a futile "no" vote but that is what people who vote "no" want it to achieve.

The whole thing is stupid.

Anonymous said...

Oh yeah! Blame those ol' Ridgewood NASCAR lovin', NRA packin' teabaggers for sinking the budget. After all, they are the dominant demo.

Anonymous said...

3:41 said...

"The person animosity over there towards moms and children is revolting. Simply revolting."

Re-read the post in context. The writer was speaking about the uninformed man, not hating kids or moms.

Anonymous said...

I wish people would realize that now is not the time to TALK about pushing back on teachers. It's just TALK. The contract is the contract and I respect the need for the BOE to work within its legal obligations. The REA could have done something...they did not...the end...for now!

I have spoken to you directly in the past and I do believe you "get" the need to be tough with the REA next year. Go get them, Laurie!

Anonymous said...

Just for the record Laurie, there are at least a 1/2 dozen flat screen TVs at RHS hanging from the walls. Of course, they do not work because there is no power or cable access to for them. The fellow is right, we have flat screen TVs but cut guidance consolers from the high school. Something is wrong with that picture. Too boot, Cottage Place is bloated with educrats. We are not fooled by the "communication" efforts by the BOE's PR person to spin a tale of how you have done your best. It is not good enough. Until you trim to the bone the bloat at Cottage Place, you will find support tepid from all but those who think we should spend more.

Laurie Goodman said...

Clearly our best was not good enough. Got it. We have work to do and we'll do it.

Not going to worry about the comparison of a "half dozen" TVs vs. one guidance counselor. That is pretend "choice" that never existed. The balancing of priorities is just a tiny bit (!) more complicated than that. If only it were so black and white...

Anonymous said...

"Oh yeah! Blame those ol' Ridgewood NASCAR lovin', NRA packin' teabaggers for sinking the budget."

You forgot to add "knuckle-scrapin'", but essentially you're right.

The ignoramuses who get their news from Fox & the EIB network would have us teaching creationism & the glories of the Confederacy if they ran public schools.

Anonymous said...

11:47 AM, you are such a bigot.