Candidate Statements

Why I Am Running for the Chatham Board of Education

Michael Ryan, candidate for the Chatham Board of Education

The SDOC is facing difficult challenges. Increasing enrollments, inconsistent state aid, and rising healthcare costs will continue to put pressure on the SDOC budget and, as a result, our community for the
foreseeable future. Implementation of the following techniques and proposals will enable the SDOC, BOE,
and the voters of Chatham to come together to meet these challenges in a fair and balanced manner while maintaining and perhaps increasing the academic success of our students.


The SDOC budget and the BOE decisions affect many groups of citizens including parents with school-aged children, single adults, empty nesters, parents of children with special needs, and the group that has
made most of our success possible, our beloved seniors. I am running for a seat on the BOE to encourage each of these groups to actively participate in the political process and give them a voice. I will advocate for and propose that the BOE establish official committees, chaired by a board member, that will routinely meet with disenfranchised groups such as seniors and parents of children with special needs who are often not included in important dialogues. Further, I will encourage the restructuring of BOE meetings themselves to move routine day to day agenda items to executive session. Public BOE meetings should allow for public debate, questions, and more importantly answers.

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With so much uncertainty regarding how or if the state will provide funding to schools, the voters of Chatham should be the ultimate decision makers with respect to the SDOC budget, capital projects, and governance of the BOE. If elected, I will support a non-binding referendum asking voters, and only the voters, to decide whether they wish to once again be able to vote on the SDOC budget and if term limits should be implemented for BOE members. In addition, I will propose that the district explore the opportunity to hire, or contract with, a professional risk manager to provide guidance to the SDOC and the BOE on matters such as shared services opportunities or insurance programs available to properly manage workers compensation and rising healthcare costs.


The BOE must ensure the SDOC is properly run while still maintaining is fiduciary obligation to the voters of Chatham, whose interests they must first and foremost represent. The voters of Chatham deserve the right to debate and decide for themselves what are the highest priorities and the best use of the taxes they pay to the district. In the spirit of inclusion and accountability, I believe in and will fight for full and complete disclosure, public education, and debate of all proposed capital improvement plans, contracting strategies, and non- clinical expenditures. Further, I will fight for full disclosure of all capital reserve funds held by the district prior to any new referendum proposals made to the voters. I believe it truly “takes a village,” and our combined efforts will continue to provide the children of Chatham with the tools to become not only successful in the “now” but to become life-long learners and good, balanced citizens who will value education for generations to come.

• Committees to represent each voting interest
• Community Working Groups
• Risk Manager to lower Healthcare cost

• Referendum for Voting on Budget
• Term Limits
• Disclosure of all Capital Reserve Funds prior to proposal of referendums

The opinions expressed herein are the writer's alone, and do not reflect the opinions of or anyone who works for is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the writer.

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A Week at the Library of The Chathams Monday, February 19 – Sunday, February 25, 2018


By Galina Natenzon

Friends of the Library are continuing their book collection in preparation for Annual Book Sale.  Kids are off from school on Monday for Presidents’ Day – bring them to the library!  We have plenty for them to do.  For adults, Professor Licklider’s second lecture on North Korea will take place on Tuesday.  The ...

A Week at the Library of The Chathams - Monday, February 5 – Sunday, Sunday, February 11, 2018

A Week at the Library of The Chathams

Monday, February 5 – Sunday, Sunday, February 11, 2018


By Galina Natenzon

Friends of the Library book collection continues.  The tax season is here, and dedicated volunteers are here to help you with you tax returns!

For information about all programs or to sign up, please call the library at 973‑635‑0603 or go to ...

Imagine a Chatham Toboggan Ride from the Top of Fairmount Avenue to Main Street

Did you know….
there was a time when Chatham kids could ice skate from downtown Chatham all the way to Florham Park? And that a toboggan ride could last from the top of Fairmount Avenue down to Main Street and beyond?

Those were the days!

This was back in the early to mid-1900s. The Passaic River meandered through grassy meadows and woods on the north side of Chatham. The marshy ...


February 20, 2018

To the Editor,

I told my daughter I needed to write about gun violence. Know what she told me? “Mom, be sure you’re not too polarizing. People won’t listen.” She’s right. At age eleven she’s figured out that we adults need to be reminded how to speak to one another in order to fix a problem. But I have hope and belief that we can fix that discourse in our ...


AtlantiCast: Episode 12

On this week’s episode of AtlantiCast, decade of excellence makes headlines, as Atlantic Health’s place on Fortune Magazine’s 100 Best Companies to Work For List leads off the newest episode of AtlantiCast. Also on this week’s show, check out the newest “hybrid” operating room at Morristown Medical Center and find out how Atlantic Health is helping local ...

AtlantiCast Medical Minute: Atlantic Orthopedic Institute’s Scoliosis and Spinal Deformity Center

On this episode of the AtlantiCast Medical Minute, we’ll take you inside the Atlantic Orthopedic Institute’s Scoliosis and Spinal Deformity Center, with the center’s director, Jason Lowenstein, MD.

Video Link:

AtlantiCast Episode 011

Breaking Atlantic Health System news on this week’s AtlantiCast! Plus, find out why Morristown Medical Center is one of the best hospitals in the nation when it comes to recovering from joint surgery, see the newest center for fighting brain cancer and an Atlantic Health System red-carpet premiere!


Mindfulness and Meditation Courses Beginning March 2018

February 20, 2018

Mindfulness and Meditation Courses Beginning March 2018

-Space is limited as classes will be small-

MADISON, NJ – In celebration of the new spring season, come experience and enjoy Mindfulness and Meditation with Wendi L. Dumbroff, MA, LPC. Dumbroff is a Licensed Professional Counselor in private practice in Madison, New Jersey, where she specializes in individual, family, ...