SCOTCH PLAINS—At the regularly scheduled Council Meeting Tuesday evening, Mayor Nancy Malool and the Council unanimously voted a resolution urging the New Jersey state legislature to pass the Fair School Funding Act, introduced by Sen. Mike Doherty (R, 23rd District).
Sen. Doherty’s bill would equalize the amount of money school districts get back. The Scotch Plains-Fanwood School District would receive $38,945,707 back from the state. The idea for the township council to pass a resolution urging Trenton to support this bill was pushed by the Scotch Plains-Fanwood Tea Party. Members of the SPF Tea Party were present at the meeting and spoke in support of the bill and resolution.
The resolution was formally introduced by Republican council member Bo Vastine.
“The influence that this [resolution] might have or might not have on Trenton is in doubt,” explained Mr. Vastine, “but I do believe that as things like this come to the board in our public discussions, it comes upon us as elected representatives… to speak up on behalf of the citizens of Scotch Plains to express our disapproval that we see things continue to head down a path that’s broken and inefficient.”
“If you look around at some of the towns in our area, where millions and millions of dollars are being spent,” Mr. Vastine continued, “and yet there’s no improvement in the level of education, there’s no increase in the percentage of kids that are graduating, we’ve got to do something different other than just throw money at [impoverished school districts].”
“Clearly, school funding needs to be looked at, it needs to be fairer,” stated Democratic councilman Kevin Glover, “I will as well be supporting this resolution because I (also) believe we need a fairer way to distribute our school funding.”
Another important resolution passed by the township council on Tuesday was a resolution “expressing the Mayor and Township support of consolidating services with the Borough of Fanwood.” This resolution passed four to one, with Democrat Mickey Marcus dissenting. Mr. Marcus explained that he felt that the township needed to act on the consolidation with Fanwood instead of spending more money studying the possibility for an additional time.
Councilmen Glover and Vastine also agreed on Mr. Marcus’ sentiment, but both voted yes on the resolution.
“Here we go again, another resolution, another meeting, another study… kicking the can further down the road,” explained Mr. Glover, who criticized the council’s “paralysis through analysis.”
“Residents of both towns… are tired of inaction,” explained Mr. Vastine, “we’re in the 11th and a half hour and we’ve made zero progress.”
In addition to passing the aforementioned resolutions, the council also honored the Scotch Plains-Fanwood PAL 5th grade football team for winning the New Jersey Suburban Football Youth Championship.
Mayor Malool declared the past season to be “the greatest season in the history of Scotch Plains-Fanwood PAL football.”
The Mayor also declared February to be “American Heart Month” to raise awareness for heart disease and how to prevent it, and read a proclamation that urged all township residents to wear red to show support for this very important cause.