Dear Roselle Residents,
The School Board Election coming up on November 7 will help determine the course of our community for the next 30 years. Your vote will not only determine the educational path of our children, but it will also have implications for the financial stability of our families. In our conversations with parents and families, we are constantly asked our opinion of the $59 million Mind and Body Complex project. We want to be very clear that we are absolutely in favor of new schools and a recreation center for our community. "However, we are not in favor of putting unnecessary financial strain and tax burdens on the people of Roselle, many of whom are already struggling to make ends meet."
We must explore smarter options to bring projects to Roselle. In our opinion, this project is being forced onto Roselle residents by a powerful law firm, a wealthy developer, and a well-connected broker who are all using public officials to advance their agenda. Ask yourself: Did the community-at-large have an opportunity to vote on a project that would cost $59 million? Were residents invited to a Borough-wide meeting to give us total clarity on this project? Were we afforded the opportunity to offer our input on what we would like to see in the recreation center? Did anyone receive a financial breakdown explaining the cost of this project and the impact it would have on the families who own and rent homes in our community? The answer to each of those questions is NO.
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Within our Borough, we currently have over 1700 homes in some stage of foreclosure, over 250 vacant or abandoned homes, a median household income that has dropped to $43,000, and countless residents questioning whether or not they can afford the annual tax increase. The families of Roselle love our community and have worked hard to maintain a decent quality of life. Instead of making decisions that overburden our families, we should take measures to protect them by developing fiscally responsible solutions that meet our needs and are within our means. The developer is projected to make over $5 million the first day of the project. How much of that money will benefit our children and families? As citizens, we have every right to question if this project will actually help or hurt our community.
The Roselle Board of Education has a $50 million annual budget that outsiders want to control. So much of the Board's time, energy, and resources has been focused on the Mind and Body Complex that the issues immediately affecting our students and families have been neglected. We should be focusing on retaining good teachers, increasing transparency in our administrative offices, hiring more support staff for our special needs program, alleviating overcrowding, and ensuring parents are informed and have input on district decisions - all important issues that this project will not solve. What good is a new early childhood school if we cannot keep qualified teachers from leaving our district? At some point, we have to listen to residents and deal with the reality that we cannot afford this $59 million project that is being pushed on us by this law firm, broker, and developer.
We care because we are dedicated parents, community leaders, and hard-working taxpayers who love Roselle. Our campaign is about ensuring responsible decisions are made in the best interest of the students and families of this community. We are not running against other people, but rather against corruption, pay-to-play politics, and fiscal irresponsibility. Most importantly, we are standing for the advancement of Our Children, Our Community, and Our Future! We know we cannot do this alone, so we are asking for your support and that you vote Team Roselle 345 on Election Day, November 7, 2017.
Team Roselle 345
Archange Antoine #3
Keyanna Lovett #4
Johnny Davis #5