HILLSBOROUGH, NJ - Three current members of the Hillsborough Board of Education and two other candidates are running for three seats on the board in the Nov. 5th General Election.
The candidates for the three, 3-year terms in Hillsborough are current school board members Joyce Eldrige-Howard, 75 Weber Ave.; Gregory Gillette, 401 Conover Drive and Jean Trujillo, 5 Eric Court..
Also running are Paul D. Marini, 16 Harvest Drive, treasurer of the Hillsborough Elementary School HSA, and John P. Oliver, 233 Woods Road.
Polling places in the township will be open from 6 a.m.-8 p.m. on Election Day for the school board election, as well as the Township Committee election, with Democratic challenger Jeffrey Wright running against incumbent Republican Mayor Frank DelCore. Voters will also elect two members of the Somerset County Board of Freeholders, Somerset County Sheriff, and two members of the state Assembly in the 16th District.
The nine-member school board will have a busy agenda going forward in 2020.
The past year has been marked by controversy for the school board. Voters defeated a March referendum that would have funded all-day kindergarten and provided financing to reduce debt. The board has been locked in a stand-off with the Hillsborough Education Association over a new contract, which expired in June. The deadlock has been referred to a state mediator.
Budget shortfalls have also led to the board imposing fees on busing as well as students having to pay to participate in extracurricular athletics and club activities.
The board has also announced $35.4 million referendum that will be presented to voters on Dec. 10th. If passed, the money would be used to pay for improvements at all the district's nine school buildings and to retire debt from previous bond issues. Several public meetings have been scheduled in advance of the vote.
If the referendum is approved, it would mean a $42 reduction in taxes for the average Hillsborough residence with a property value of $350,000, according to Michael Callahan, Human Resources director for Hillsborough Schools.
The nine-member school board approved the referendum unanimously at its Oct. 14th meeting.
The state Department of Education will contribute 40 percent of the cost, approximately $14 million, but only if the referendum is approved by voters, according to Callahan.
"The proceeds from the referendum would be utilized to pay for critical infrastructure and capital improvements," Callahan said. "Unlike a previous referendum which failed this past March, Full-Day Kindergarten is not linked to this referendum."