Westfield Board of Education Urges Residents to Vote Yes on Bond Issue and Announces that Graduation is Pushed to June 25 at Meeting

November 28, 2012 at 4:52 PM

WESTFIELD, NJ—At the Nov. 27 Westfield Board of Education meeting, members of the board urged residents to vote in favor of a $13.6 million bond issue on Tuesday, Dec. 11.

The bonds would pay for much-needed repairs to roofs at nine schools and three other facilities in the district. The polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m., several speakers reminded the public during the meeting.

As she has at two previous meetings, Business Administrator Dana Sullivan made a presentation about the roof replacement project. She said the state provides school districts with the ability to issue bonds to fund capital projects. Historically, New Jersey has provided state aid for capital projects. However, funding has not been given for capital projects for the past few years.

Sign Up for E-News

If approved, the bonds will be paid back over 20 years, which is the estimated useful life of the roofs, Sullivan explained.

 “Right now, interest rates are very low, which makes it an opportune time for us to issue bonds,” she said.

Board members have decided that a roof replacement project will take place even if the bond issue does not pass.

Board President Richard Mattessich warned that if the district has to take funds from its operating budget, there may be painful cuts to programs and personnel.

Sullivan reinforced that statement, saying that programs and services would be impacted. There would be an increase in class size at all levels, fine arts and other electives might be cut, athletic programs might be curtailed, technology initiatives might be stopped and maintenance to facilities might be postponed.

In addition, potential staff reductions could occur, Sullivan said, noting that about 80 percent of the budget goes to personnel. Teachers in every school at every level might be cut, as well as counselors, secretaries, paraprofessionals, custodians, administrators and librarians.

Board member Ann Cary said, “It might be hard for parents to get passionate about roofs, but they can about fine arts and other programs.”

When the board meets again on Dec. 11, the results of the bond referendum will be known and the board will make its plan. If the referendum fails, approximately $4 million will be reallocated in next year’s budget for the high school roof and reallocations may have to be sustained in succeeding years to complete the remaining roofs.

In other business, the board approved a revised school calendar that now includes three snow days at the end of June. Graduation has now been pushed back to Tuesday, June 25.

Superintendent Margaret Dolan explained that she and the policy committee had looked at other dates, including spring break and Memorial Day, but had settled on the end of the school year as the most practical.

The board gave its approval after hearing from Livingston Street resident Vertina Graves, who urged the governing body to close the schools on Martin Luther King Day because of its importance to citizens such as her father, who had suffered racial discrimination.

Dolan explained that there were few good options for making up school days lost during Superstorm Sandy last month, and the schools would only be open for a half day.

 “You’ve eloquently said why we should honor the day,” she said. “No disrespect is meant at all.”

Dolan suggested that stories such as Graves’s could be told in the schools.

Board member Mitchell Slater picked up on Graves’s comment that the President will be inaugurated that day and suggested that schools incorporate coverage in their classes.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

TAP Into Another Town's News:

Sign Up for E-News


Pedestrian Killed on Route 22 in Union Friday Identified

January 20, 2017

UNION, NJ – The man struck and killed by a motor vehicle as he attempted to cross Route 22 Friday morning has been identified as Edgard Cruz of Union.

According to Union Police, the accident occurred at 9:30 a.m. Friday near the Point Condos and Chick-fil-A.

Cruz, 67, was attempting to cross three lanes of Route 22 East from the Point Condos to the 7-Eleven on the ...

Conversion of Single Family Zoning to Multi-Family Zoning Could Start 'Gold Rush' of Development

January 14, 2017

Dear Editor,

I am writing to oppose the construction of a multi-family residence (6 residential units) at 1481 East Broad Street in Westfield.  The construction of a multi-family residence at this location (RS-12 zone district) is contradictory to the township’s 2005 Master Plan, which has zoned this district for single-family home construction only.  Additionally, it requires ...

Free Public Wi-Fi in Union County Parks and Facilities

January 19, 2017

The Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders is pleased to announce that free public Wi-Fi access is available now in 6 new parks throughout the county. There are now a total of 11 county parks and facilities that offer free Wi-Fi.

“We are committed to ensuring that our recreation facilities are up to date and welcoming to a broad range of activities.” said Chairman Bruce Bergen.

Crisis Listening Line to Offer Suicide Prevention Training and Volunteering Opportunities

January 21, 2017

Are you a good listener? Do you want to make a difference in the life of someone in crisis?

Crisis listening line Caring Contact will be offering Excellence in Listening training beginning March 20 at the First Baptist Church at 170 Elm Street in Westfield. Classes run for three hours one night a week, plus one full weekend, ending June 12.

This award-winning training enables graduates to ...

Westfield Area YMCA Offers Heart-Healthy Tips to Lower Blood Pressure and Reduce Sodium Intake

February is American Heart Month and as a leading community-based organization committed to improving the nation’s health, the Westfield Area YMCA urges the community to help prevent heart disease by monitoring your blood pressure and reducing sodium intake.

According to the American Heart Association, cardiovascular disease is the nation’s number one killer, responsible for 1 in 3 ...

Doing Too Much for Our Children

January 20, 2017

As parents, we all have that innate desire to protect and provide for our kids. Yet, at some point we must ask ourselves, Are we doing too much for them? 

We are all guilty of mild and extreme acts of over-protectiveness and over- parenting that can be very damaging to our children. Many parents are willing to overextend themselves in catering to their children and excessively ...

Westfield High School Students Selected for Region Band & Orchestra

Seven Westfield High School Band students were accepted to the 2017 New Jersey Music Education Association Region Band or Orchestra.  Three of the seven students placed first overall in their instrument: Dale Beyert - Wind Ensemble and Orchestra, Trumpet; Michael Hauge - Wind Ensemble, Eb & Bb Clarinet, and Brooke Walden - Wind Ensemble and Orchestra, Piccolo & ...

Testing Your Resolve

Now that the ball has dropped in Times Square it is time for another annual tradition – New Year’s resolutions. So, along with improving your diet and exercising more, consider adding these:

“Will” you? – I have lost count of how many clients with whom I have met that have a spouse, children and substantial assets but an outdated or even no will at all.

5 Questions to Ask at an Open House

When you go to your next open house, ask the listing agent these key questions to help you make an informed decision. When a property is hot, a public open house may be your best opportunity for due diligence before submitting an offer. While the hosting agent may not be able to answer all of your questions, there is a lot you can learn.

1. How long has it been on the market?  You may ...

Closed Fund Open Mind

Closed-end funds (CEFs) can play an important role in a diversified investment portfolio. They offer benefits similar to those of an open-end mutual fund, but also sport unique advantages.  

Unlike a traditional open-end mutual fund, CEFs have a fixed number of shares available to trade. Their price is not tied to the value of the underlying portfolio. The only way the number of shares ...

It Even Happened to Me

Beware of credit card fraud — it can happen to anyone.

I was shopping at a retail establishment over the holidays and purchased some items with my business credit card. The next day, I was downloading my credit card activity into QuickBooks and spotted some strange charges - they were not large amounts, but they originated from establishments I don't frequent, like ...

Video: Mistreated, Harassed, Abused, Discriminated Against or Retaliated Against at Work?

Have you been mistreated, harassed, abused, discriminated against or retaliated against by your employer?

Watch this video to learn how Westfield employment attorney Fred Shahrooz-Scampato, who for the last 25 years has aggressively represented employees, can help you.

If you are the victim of prejudice or spend every day in a hostile work environment, you can give him a call for ...

Holy Trinity School Spotlight - 6th Grade

Sixth grade is a transitional year for students as they enter middle school.  Holy Trinity School embraces this change through its continued commitment to creating an environment in which its students can grow and develop academically, socially, and spiritually. 

In sixth grade, the curriculum becomes more departmentalized with students rotating classes for various subjects and ...

Imagine Receives Grant of $20,000 from the Northfield Bank Foundation

“We are so grateful to The Northfield Bank Foundation for their generous grant of $20,000 for the expansion of our bereavement support programs at our new center in Mountainside!” said Stuart Arnold, Imagine Board Chair.  “We are moving in the nick of time as all of our Green Groups (ages 10-12 approximately) are full.  Moving into this new space will allow us to ...

South Orange Middle School Students Walkout of School in Protest of Inauguration

January 20, 2017

SOUTH ORANGE, NJ - South Orange Middle School (SOMS) students walked out of school today at about 12:30 p.m. in protest of the Presidential inauguration of Donald Trump.

According to reports, SOMS students began protesting inside the halls at about 12:15 p.m., with the walkout happening shortly afterwards. The protest, which was student-led and organized, was largely organized ...