BAYONNE, NJ - A resolution that could have moved elections for Bayonne Board of Education from November to April failed to get a sponsor at the April 28 meeting – even from Trustee Michael Alonso, who proposed it.
The lack of sponsor defeated the measure without a vote.
While a technical glitch was blamed as the cause of his apparent failure to sponsor the resolution when his phone connection to the meeting disconnected, Alonso said later that it had the wrong language.
“What I wanted was for the board to approve a referendum on next November’s ballot for voters to decide,” he said. Since returning to an elected board four years ago, Bayonne has voted for trustees in November, preventing residents from voting on the budget.
“This doesn’t allow voters to vote on a budget unless it goes above the spending cap,” Alonso said. “While people argue about the cost of holding the election in April, I tell them they lose the right to decide on the budget which could cost them more overall.”
Moving the elections from April to November as initially proposed, was brought forward by mayor Jimmy Davis before the first election was held, and was one, he said at the time, that could save Bayonne taxpayers as much as $200,000 per year.
Alonso, who also shared his concern that voting for Board of Education candidates in November forces local school issues to the back burner as state and federal elections take most of the attention, said that he does intend to bring the proposal back.
“It was the wrong motion. It shouldn’t be to move the election. It should be to put the question on the ballot for the town to decide if we should move the date,” Alonso said, adding that another option might be to allow residents to bring the matter forward through a petition.
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