MADISON, NJ – As a potential superintendent candidate waited in the wings, the board of education made quick work of Tuesday night’s meeting.
 
The board of education ended the meeting at 8:15 to allow time to interview a candidate for its vacant superintendent role. The board is believed to be in the final stages of its search.
 
Regardless of whom is chosen, one thing is certain: he or she will be facing an unprecedented budget year. Boards of education are likely to be forced to make some tough choices on educational programs and staff over the next several years.
 
This all grates on the conscience of Madison resident Steve Wells who attends every board of education meeting and is a staunch supporter of the education system there.
 
At Tuesday night’s meeting, Wells held up a printout of recently published salaries of Madison municipal workers – many well over the $100,000 mark – as an example of inconsistency in the use of tax money.
 
For example, Borough Administrator Ray Codey was the highest paid municipal employee at $151,535.04, in 2010.  Forty nine Madison employees earned $100,000 or more in 2010.
 
“If you are looking for the many areas in which your dollars are going look at this,” Wells said.
 
For her part, Board President Lisa Ellis is not looking forward to this year’s budget discussions. Like many municipalities, this will be the first year that boards of education are not able to make up state funding shortfalls with reserve funds.
 
“I think that the hardest part (of the forthcoming budget talks),” Ellis said, “is making people come out to vote for something that provides less. However, we need their support and votes so that it’s not even lesser.”