Westfield Board of Education Urges Residents to Vote Yes on Bond Issue and Announces that Graduation is Pushed to June 25 at Meeting

Board President Richard Mattessich, right, congratulates Westfield High School Band Director Chris Vitale on the marching band’s accomplishments this season. Credits: Patricia Harris

WESTFIELD, NJ—At the Nov. 27 Westfield Board of Education meeting, members of the board urged residents to vote in favor of a $13.6 million bond issue on Tuesday, Dec. 11.

The bonds would pay for much-needed repairs to roofs at nine schools and three other facilities in the district. The polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m., several speakers reminded the public during the meeting.

As she has at two previous meetings, Business Administrator Dana Sullivan made a presentation about the roof replacement project. She said the state provides school districts with the ability to issue bonds to fund capital projects. Historically, New Jersey has provided state aid for capital projects. However, funding has not been given for capital projects for the past few years.

Sign Up for E-News

If approved, the bonds will be paid back over 20 years, which is the estimated useful life of the roofs, Sullivan explained.

 “Right now, interest rates are very low, which makes it an opportune time for us to issue bonds,” she said.

Board members have decided that a roof replacement project will take place even if the bond issue does not pass.

Board President Richard Mattessich warned that if the district has to take funds from its operating budget, there may be painful cuts to programs and personnel.

Sullivan reinforced that statement, saying that programs and services would be impacted. There would be an increase in class size at all levels, fine arts and other electives might be cut, athletic programs might be curtailed, technology initiatives might be stopped and maintenance to facilities might be postponed.

In addition, potential staff reductions could occur, Sullivan said, noting that about 80 percent of the budget goes to personnel. Teachers in every school at every level might be cut, as well as counselors, secretaries, paraprofessionals, custodians, administrators and librarians.

Board member Ann Cary said, “It might be hard for parents to get passionate about roofs, but they can about fine arts and other programs.”

When the board meets again on Dec. 11, the results of the bond referendum will be known and the board will make its plan. If the referendum fails, approximately $4 million will be reallocated in next year’s budget for the high school roof and reallocations may have to be sustained in succeeding years to complete the remaining roofs.

In other business, the board approved a revised school calendar that now includes three snow days at the end of June. Graduation has now been pushed back to Tuesday, June 25.

Superintendent Margaret Dolan explained that she and the policy committee had looked at other dates, including spring break and Memorial Day, but had settled on the end of the school year as the most practical.

The board gave its approval after hearing from Livingston Street resident Vertina Graves, who urged the governing body to close the schools on Martin Luther King Day because of its importance to citizens such as her father, who had suffered racial discrimination.

Dolan explained that there were few good options for making up school days lost during Superstorm Sandy last month, and the schools would only be open for a half day.

 “You’ve eloquently said why we should honor the day,” she said. “No disrespect is meant at all.”

Dolan suggested that stories such as Graves’s could be told in the schools.

Board member Mitchell Slater picked up on Graves’s comment that the President will be inaugurated that day and suggested that schools incorporate coverage in their classes.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News


I-78 Closed Near Exit 43 in Both Directions During Rush Hour Due to Major Accident

July 19, 2018

BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ — Interstate 78 was closed in both directions following a serious motor vehicle crash on I78 Westbound, near Exit 43, at Diamond Hill Road, according to multiple reports. 

Traffic was being detoured while accident investigation is taking place and all lanes were closed.

According to a report on Breaking News Network (BNN), the ...

Corruption Has No Place in Union County

July 19, 2018

The Union County Freeholders’ decision to appoint State Senator and newly-elected Union County Democratic Chairman Nick Scutari’s chief of staff, Ed Oatman, as county manager smelled of corruption from the start. To place a political consultant like Oatman in the role of overseeing 2,800 employees and running the day-to-day operations of the $500 million county budget suggests ...

Upcoming Events


Sat, July 21, 9:00 AM

Westfield Community Center , Westfield

Rummage Sale


Mon, July 23, 7:00 PM

TD Bank Ballpark, Bridgewater

Southern Maryland Blue Crabs vs. Somerset Patriots

Arts & Entertainment Sports

Westfield Police Blotter: Multiple Businesses Report Thefts & More

July 18, 2018

July 11,2018 3:50 p.m.

A business located on the 100 block of Central Avenue reports being the victim of a theft. Unknown actor came into the business and removed $2,200.00 worth of property.

July 12, 2018 2:40 a.m.

Danny Burke, age 32, of Edison, NJ was arrested for driving while intoxicated pursuant a motor vehicle stop. Subject was arrested, processed and released to a ...

The Somerset Patriots And 9-1-1 On FOX Are Looking For Hero First Responders

July 20, 2018

BRIDGEWATER, NJ - The Somerset Patriots and 9-1-1 On FOX are asking for Hero First Responder nominations from the community.

Nominate a first responder to be recognized on the field during the pre-game ceremony and throw out a ceremonial first pitch at the Saturday, August 4 Somerset Patriots game against the New Britain Bees at TD Bank Ballpark. Three first responders will be chosen ...

IRS Working on a New Form 1040 for 2019 Tax Season

The IRS plans to streamline the Form 1040 into a shorter, simpler form for the 2019 tax season. The new 1040 – about half the size of the current version – would replace the current Form 1040 as well as the Form 1040A and the Form 1040EZ. 


This new approach will simplify the 1040 so that all 150 million taxpayers can use the same form. The new form ...


AtlantiCast: Episode 18

On this week’s AtlantiCast, you’ll find out how accessing care at Atlantic Health System is now easier, more affordable and closer to home than ever, learn which item from the produce aisle could be the newest weapon against cancer, see what Atlantic Health System, the New York Times and Instagram all have in common and much more.



Picking up the Pieces – The Benefits of Account Consolidation

Over a lifetime of investing we often have numerous accounts located at different financial firms.  Rarely are these accounts managed with a grand plan that takes into account all the individual pieces.   Account proliferation can be detrimental to your investment performance, increase your risk profile, and lighten your pocketbook.  

Account consolidation offers the ...

Big Changes in Store for New Jersey’s Employers and Employees

Big changes are in store for New Jersey’s workplaces, with dramatic legislation aimed at improving conditions for New Jersey’s workers. These changes include the enactment of New Jersey’s Equal Pay Act, a new law to help the unemployed, and passage of New Jersey’s Paid Sick Leave Act. Most likely one or all these laws will impact you or someone in your family.

New ...

5 Simple Ways to Save Water this Summer

According to the L.A. Times, the average American uses an estimated 98 gallons of water EACH day.  

Here are five simple ways you can save water, to help you conserve water this summer and take some pressure off of your drains.

1. Unless you are using it, turn the faucet off. How many of us still leave the water running while we shave or brush our teeth?According to ...

26 Homes Sold July 8-15 in Westfield and Surrounding Towns

There were 26 homes sold between July 8 and July 15 in Westfield, Scotch Plains, Fanwood, Cranford and Mountainside`

TOWN          ADDRESS    STYLE            RMS   BRS BTH   GAR   Sale Price

Cranford  115  Bryant Ave ...

Dog Found in Garwood

UPDATE: Reunited with owner.

ORIGINAL POST: Dog found on Pine Avenue in Garwood. He was given food and water. Garwood police now has him. Sweet and friendly. Contact the Garwood Police Department.

It's Not What You Are Eating, It's What's Eating You


Emotional eating can be described as episodes of binge-eating, grazing and/or eating when not hungry to soothe feelings. Emotional eaters have a pattern of eating to cope with stress, emotional conflicts and problems of daily life.

Emotional eating is eating for reasons other than hunger. Instead of physical symptoms initiating the eating, ...

ELL Summer Experience at Westfield Public Schools

Westfield students representing six different languages recently enjoyed a weeklong summer camp focused on providing meaningful enrichment activities for students to continue their English language acquisition while having fun.

The ELL (English Language Learners) Summer Experience ran from July 9-13 at Wilson School, welcoming students in grades 1-4 whose native languages are Russian, ...

Westfield Area YMCA: Take Swim Lessions This Summer

The Westfield Area YMCA is providing a free one-week guest pass to non-members which will also enable access to purchase a week of swim lessons at full member rates during the summer.  The one-week guest pass includes use of the Y’s fitness facilities, land and water group exercise classes and open gym/swim.

“Our goal is to have people of all ages and skill levels grow to ...

Lindabury, McCormick, Estabrook & Cooper Welcomes Stephen A. Timoni to Firm

Lindabury, McCormick, Estabrook & Cooper P.C., announced that Stephen A. Timoni has joined the firm in its Westfield office. Stephen will focus his practice in the areas of Corporate and Health Care Law.

“Stephen brings additional depth and experience to our firm. He has tremendous experience in complex corporate, M&A and health care areas of practice. We anticipate that Stephen ...

Livingston Council Votes on Ordinance to Prohibit Vape Shops

July 19, 2018

LIVINGSTON, NJ — Concern about the increased use of electronic cigarettes and other vapor products were among the reasons why the Livingston Township Council adopted an ordinance prohibiting “vape shops,” or any establishment that primarily sells “electronic devices, liquid nicotine or vapor products,” in the township’s retail commercial ...


Eric Lieberman, 47, of Scotch Plains, passed away suddenly and unexpectedly Tuesday, May 22, 2018 ...
Read more