October 30, 2013 at 9:55 PM
WESTFIELD, NJ --The School Bond Referendum Information Meeting for the public held on Oct. 30 drew a crowd of one.
The bond referendum will be question No. 3 on the ballot for Westfield voters on Nov. 5. If passed, it will allow $2.7 million in state aid to go towards the school's roofing projects, saving taxpayers money.
Aside from the Westfield Board of Education, who held the meeting, only resident Carol Snyder attended.
“I was the turnout,” joked Snyder, who had three children go through the Westfield Public School system, the last graduating in 2010. “It’s a reduction in tax payment. There is no reason why I wouldn’t vote for it.”
Last December, Westfield residents passed the bond referendum to start work on school buildings’ roofs via tax dollars--aid was not allocated at that time. It wasn’t until last May that the state released school construction funding, and by August, Westfield was deemed eligible to receive grants that would pay for about 40 percent of the remaining school roof projects. The bond referendum on this year’s ballot could supersede the one passed last December and includes no additional projects.
One possible reason why there was such a low turnout for the information meeting could be because of the board’s consistent efforts to get information about the referendum out to the public. Every Board of Education meeting since August has mentioned the referendum and its importance. The subject has been covered by the local media, including The Alternative Press. The board and Superintendent Dr. Margaret Dolan in particular have put much information about it online, as well, and the PTO has included it in its newsletter.
“We’ve put a lot of information online,” said Dolan. “There is plenty of information on the website [www.westfieldnjk12.org]. We encourage people to check there.”
Dolan discussed her previous meetings with various community groups about the matter, as well as a resident that she spoke to earlier who told her voting for the referendum was a “no brainer.”
“My hope is that the word is getting out,” said Dolan, “and people are hearing about it.”
For residents who didn’t vote during the senate special election or primary, it is important to check the ballot sent to their residence to see if their voting place has changed. Last June, the Union County Board of Elections consolidated voting places to use fewer schools for security reasons. If you do not know your where your voting place is, you can find out on the Union County Board of Elections website here.
For more information about the bond referendum, click here.