Yesterday, River Edge voters opposed the $16.8 million 2011-12 school year budget and newly mandated 2% state cap levy of $13.1 million. The final tally of votes was 1,790 (against) to 1,482 (in favor) of the budget.
The budget, which would have maintained all current staffing levels, programs including class trips and an installation of a sonic wall for internet security, now has to go to the River Edge Council for review.
Once all of the votes are reviewed and determined to be official by the County Board of Elections, which could take a few days, district officials including Superintendent Dr. Tova Ben Dor and Business Administrator Debbie Trainor will meet with the Mayor and Council.
The Council has two options when reviewing the budget - to either approve as is or recommend a reduction. If a reduction is recommended, the Board of Education and school administration would then have to determine where cuts could be made or apply to the state education commissioner for restoration of the funds.
Even though the district received $169,228 in state aid for the 2011-12 school year, cuts were still made to the budget including the replacement of items for Buildings&Grounds and a variety of upgrades to Roosevelt and Cherry Hill will be postponed.
With two open three-year Board of Education seats up for grabs, incumbents Mary Kay Buckley and Sheli Dansky returned to the board.
Buckley garnered 1,987 votes, Dansky had 1,668 and long-time challenger Gyuchang Sim received 891.
Buckley, a homemaker, sought her third term. With a bachelor's degree in accounting from College of the Holy Cross and a master's in business administration from Fordham Business School, Buckley devotes her time to volunteer work.
While Dansky sought her eighth, she works as a school-based therapist and earned a master's degree in counseling psychology from Teacher's College, Columbia University.
There are 6,845 registered voters in River Edge.