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Brielle Voters Come Out Strong For School District!

April 29, 2011

The overall spirit of the school community in Brielle, on Thursday morning, could not have been any higher.

“Kids, teachers — are really happy, really happy,” said Brielle Elementary School Superintendent Christine Carlson.

“We are having our custodian put a sign in front of the school,” said Mrs. Carlson, thanking the voters for passing the budget.

According to unofficial results, the 2011-2012 school budget for Brielle passed — 538 to 362.

The budget totals $12,734,869, which also includes debt service, is slightly more than the current school year’s $12,347,163 budget.

The now approved 2011-2012 budget will raise $12,147,081, or 95 percent of the total budget, through local taxation.

Under the 2011-2012 school year spending plan, the tax rate will be 72.9 cents per $100 of assessed valuation, a tax rate increase of 1.3 cents over the current year’s budget.

The 2010-2011 tax rate for school purposes was 70.9 cents per $100 of valuation.

The average price of a home in Brielle is approximately $750,000. On that home, the tax increase for the upcoming school year will be approximately $100, based on total Brielle property valuations of $1,684,327,233.

The same homeowner will pay a total of $5,407 in taxes for school purposes.

A home assessed at $500,000 will see an annual tax increase of $65, or about $5.42 a month; a home assessed at $800,000 would see an annual tax increase of $104, or $8.67 a month; and a home assessed at $1,000,000 will see a $130 annual increase, or $10.84 a month.

Additionally, residents cast their votes on Wednesday for the available three, 3-year board of education seats.

According to unofficial results, incumbent Tedd Vitale and newcomer Eliot Arlo Colon, along with write-in candidate Magdalis “Madaly” Jones will likely be sworn into those seats at the board’s reorganization meeting set for Wednesday at 7 p.m.

Mr. Vitale and Mr. Colon were the only two candidates to file for the seats, which were left open by the expired terms of Mr. Vitale, Kevin Roddy and Ray Shea.

Mr. Vitale, according to the results, received 624 votes. Mr. Colon received 575 votes.

According to the results, Ms. Jones, who sparked a write-in campaign for the open third seat — received 89 votes.

Kevin Roddy, a current board members who did not seek re-election, received 43 write-in votes.

Brielle Elementary School Business Administrator and school board secretary Ed McManus said, “My understanding is I will not receive certified results until Monday or Tuesday.”

“But upon certification from the clerk of elections, the third candidate will be the one who receives the most votes, which so far had been Mrs. Jones,” he said.

Last April, the school’s budget failed in the election, and, a second budget question calling an additional $420,673 to provide extra funding to support 5.5 instructors and extracurricular activities also failed.

The BOE restored some cut programs through specially designated enterprise funds, which allowed the district to set aside money for the programs in profit-generating accounts.

An array of extracurricular and sports-related activities and school programs were also reinstated through a “pay-to-participate” policy.

Last year, the school district cut 23 teacher and teacher aid positions due to financial constraints, causing an increase in classroom sizes.

Mrs. Carlson was very pleased this morning with the budget results.

“The numbers were resounding,” said Mrs. Carlson.

“We are really excited to have full day kindergarten,” added Mrs. Carlson, with funding from state aid.

“We are so happy that at every voting poll, people came out in strong numbers to give their opinion — in strong support of our schools,” she said, on Thursday morning.

Mrs. Carlson said she was pleased with Mr. Vitale returning to his seat, having Mr. Colon on board, and, with working with Mrs. Jones, if she indeed received the most write-in votes and accepts the position with the board.

“The candidates are outstanding,” said Mrs. Carlson.

“Tedd has been a great leader and Mr. Colon has served on our education foundation and is a committed member to our school,” she said.

“And, I look forward to working with Ms. Jones as a new board member — and moving forward,” said Mrs. Carlson.

Because the budget passed, Mrs. Carlson said no further positions will be lost at the school, though the school had to cut some — including one custodian; one full-time and one part-time elementary school staff position; and one full-time and one part-time teacher assistant position — to create a budget under the 2 percent cap mandated by the state.

“There are some losses, but that will be it,” she said.

“I think it was a very proud day for Brielle, and exciting to me personally,” added Mr. Colon, on Thursday morning.

Mr. Vitale and Ms. Jones were not immediately available for comment.

Please see the May 5 edition of The Coast Star for the full story.

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