School District Elections To Be Held Wednesday
School district elections will be held on a Wednesday for the first time this year, in Bay Head and around the state. This coming Wednesday, April 27, voters will cast their ballots on the proposed 2011-2012 school budget, in addition to selecting who will occupy the open seat on the town’s board of education.
According to updated figures from school officials, the proposed 2011-2012 Bay Head school budget totals $3,410,367, which is approximately $86,697 more than the 2010-2011 budget, which totaled $3,323,670. The current school tax levy is $2,726,220, and the proposed 2011-2012 school tax levy is $2,780,744, an increase of $54,524.
The proposed 2011-2012 budget would result in a school tax rate of approximately 18.8 cents per $100 of assessed home valuation, according to the school board, a slight increase over the rate of 18.3 cents per $100 of assessed home valuation for the current year’s budget.
If voters approve the proposed 2011-2012 school budget next week, a Bay Head resident with a home worth $1.5 million, the average assessed value of a home in the borough, would pay about $2,815 in school taxes for the upcoming school year, up $70 from the current school budget.
The school district will apply $130,285 from its surplus account to the 2011-2012 budget, leaving $135,466 in the surplus account. During the current school year, $150,000 was drawn from the surplus account to be applied to the school budget. Also, the district was recently awarded $29,537 in state aid for the 2011-2012 school year, up from no state aid for the current school year.
If any town’s school budget is defeated at the polls, state policy dictates that the budget be reviewed by that town’s council, which then has the power to cut the budget, leave it as is, or increase it — an option that is rarely exercised. At that point, the school district can either accept the council’s proposed changes or appeal them to the New Jersey Department of Education [NJDOE].
Also on the ballot in next week’s school elections will be a question asking voters who they would like to see take an open, three-year seat on the Bay Head Board of Education. Barring a successful write-in campaign, Bay Head resident and school board incumbent Benjamin Hinds will win re-election to the school board, as he was the only candidate to file by the March 8 deadline to appear on the ballot.
There are five total seats on the Bay Head Board of Education. The seat currently held by Mr. Hinds is the only one up for election this year. On Wednesday, voters can head to the polls at the Bay Head Municipal Building, located at 81 Bridge Ave., from 3 to 9 p.m., to cast their ballots. Check a future edition of The Ocean Star for Bay Head school district election results and coverage.