BOE Elections (SOMSD)

sprout

I'm just starting to dig into the BOE election: 8 candidates for 3 seats.

There is a lot of information available on the Village Green, plus another forum tonight and a meet-and-greet on Sunday Nov 4th: 

https://villagegreennj.com/sponsored/we-have-the-links-village-green-2018-boe-election-roundup/

I don't think I'll have time this year to make a summary sheet of the candidates' positions... so if there is anything like that already out there, let me know.



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Jamie

Candidate websites:

Marian Cutler: http://www.trzaskacutler4boe.com

Shannon Cuttle: https://cuttleforboe.com

Javier Farfan: https://www.boe2018.com

Narda Greene: https://afasomsd.com

Michael Laskowski: https://afasomsd.com

Annemarie Maini: https://www.boe2018.com

Bruno Navarro: https://navarrosoma.com

Christopher Trzaska: http://www.trzaskacutler4boe.com



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sprout

Thanks Jamie.

With several paired candidates on a slate, it's possible to simplify the links down a bit (sorry -- I couldn't help it):


Candidate websites:

Marian Cutler and Christopher Trzaska: http://www.trzaskacutler4boe.com

Shannon Cuttle: https://cuttleforboe.com

Annemarie Maini (incumbent) and Javier Farfan: https://www.boe2018.com

Narda Greene and Michael Laskowski: https://afasomsd.com

Bruno Navarro: https://navarrosoma.com




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yahooyahoo

There are a few candidates still on the official ballot that have dropped out.  Please don't waste a vote them.

They aren't listed above. I will need do some quick research and post here.



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yahooyahoo
yahooyahoo said:
There are a few candidates still on the official ballot that have dropped out.  Please don't waste a vote them.
They aren't listed above. I will need do some quick research and post here.



Felisha George

Avery Julien

James Wilkes

I believe all three still appear on the ballot. However, they have dropped out of the race.


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joan crystal

All three appear on my sample ballot.


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lukeysboat

does anyone know where the candidates stand on the proposed bond to fix up the schools?



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DaveSchmidt

When I chatted with Mike Laskowski at a meet-and-greet last weekend, it was refreshing to hear him express, unprompted, a desire to work with the Black Parents Workshop to resolve the complaints in its lawsuit against the district. After initial skepticism, he said, he came to understand that the problems are real and the plaintiffs sincere in wanting to address them. That’s not a consensus opinion; all the more reason I appreciated his candor.


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ctrzaska
lukeysboat said:
does anyone know where the candidates stand on the proposed bond to fix up the schools?


About which aspect?  It’s a sweeping issue.  


In short, the 93m we need urgently.  The 93m stemmed from a starting point of 217m, the details of which I’ve recently OPRAed and received, having been ignored since I started asking for them this summer.  Some components of the 93m are a bit overkill; some of the 124m difference are not.  


Re the 34.5m/38.5m this is (primarily—still going through details) capacity driven based on several factors, not least projected increases in the student population and existing space shortages, including (IMO) a high percentage of students not attending their zoned school as a result.  Ficarra had linked this to integration plans, which I found more of a PR move than anything.  


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joan crystal

For those who do not know, ctrzaska is one of the candidates running for a seat on the school board.


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yahooyahoo

We need a new superintendent. Where do the candidates stand on the search?

The current BOE needs to be held accountable for this debacle.


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annielou

Everyone tossing about astronomical figures that will end up costing the average tax payer a bundle per year, on top of Trumps crazy tax cut scheme. Is there no consideration on how this will impact average earners or those on fixed incomes? People will most definitely be priced out but I don’t hear a lot of talk about that.


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susan1014
annielou said:
Everyone tossing about astronomical figures that will end up costing the average tax payer a bundle per year, on top of Trumps crazy tax cut scheme. Is there no consideration on how this will impact average earners or those on fixed incomes? People will most definitely be priced out but I don’t hear a lot of talk about that.

 My sense is that there is concern, but that we’ve gone too far in cost control in the past, and allowed out school facilities to decay.  Now we have to pay the bill (did I hear 600 per year per average house?)


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Michael
annielou said:
Everyone tossing about astronomical figures that will end up costing the average tax payer a bundle per year, on top of Trumps crazy tax cut scheme. Is there no consideration on how this will impact average earners or those on fixed incomes? People will most definitely be priced out but I don’t hear a lot of talk about that.

 Comes up a lot, but the sad reality is this is the cost of deferred maintenance.  The argument the current BOE is making, that if you don't get on top of these repairs they will be treated as emergency repairs and cost a lot more.  

So yes, taxes are going up due to this, but question is how much and how soon.  

The real problem is the wacky way this state funds local education with an over reliance on local property taxes.  



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annielou

Did this issue come up at yesterday’s gathering for seniors?


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joan crystal

Yes. Sheena mentioned it.  Her estimate of cost per homeowner in South Orange was a bit higher than that posted above. No estimate was given per homeowner in Maplewood.


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annielou

So what was the ensuing discussion?


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weirdbeard
yahooyahoo said:
We need a new superintendent. Where do the candidates stand on the search?
The current BOE needs to be held accountable for this debacle.

 What debacle?  Hiring Ramos?  That was several years ago and I agree was a debacle.  Dr. Ficarra, on the other hand, has been the best super this district has had in years.  It's a shame that by law he has to be an interim.  He has made definitive and hard choices that urgently needed to be made, and has brought in skilled interim admins who have started whipping some of the departments in shape that had previously been left in shambles.  Bringing him in was one of of the best things the board could have done.  My opinion, of course.


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joan crystal
annielou said:
So what was the ensuing discussion?

 There was no discussion.  


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annielou

Do we have any numbers on how many senior home owners are facing consequences of rapidly rising taxes? I understand some of the meeting addressed housing but this issue specifically seems to have no remedy


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FilmCarp

Respectfully, annielou, I have to point out that if people had been paying just a little more for the last thirty years this would not be necessary.  But it's always no.  Everyone says no.  And it always gets worse.   Maintain a little, or repair a lot.  We have to do this.


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yahooyahoo
weirdbeard said:


yahooyahoo said:
We need a new superintendent. Where do the candidates stand on the search?
The current BOE needs to be held accountable for this debacle.
 What debacle?  Hiring Ramos?  That was several years ago and I agree was a debacle.  Dr. Ficarra, on the other hand, has been the best super this district has had in years.  It's a shame that by law he has to be an interim.  He has made definitive and hard choices that urgently needed to be made, and has brought in skilled interim admins who have started whipping some of the departments in shape that had previously been left in shambles.  Bringing him in was one of of the best things the board could have done.  My opinion, of course.

Totally disagree.  Ficarra needs to go asap.

You must have no children in the high school.


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ctrzaska
susan1014 said:


annielou said:
Everyone tossing about astronomical figures that will end up costing the average tax payer a bundle per year, on top of Trumps crazy tax cut scheme. Is there no consideration on how this will impact average earners or those on fixed incomes? People will most definitely be priced out but I don’t hear a lot of talk about that.
 My sense is that there is concern, but that we’ve gone too far in cost control in the past, and allowed out school facilities to decay.  Now we have to pay the bill (did I hear 600 per year per average house?)

 Reeeeal ballpark estimate would be to add about a dollar per $1,000 in assessment then round up a bit.  Too many unknown factors to pin it to more than a range (I’m not at all thrilled that they’re tossing out single numbers). 


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ctrzaska
FilmCarp said:
Respectfully, annielou, I have to point out that if people had been paying just a little more for the last thirty years this would not be necessary.  But it's always no.  Everyone says no.  And it always gets worse.   Maintain a little, or repair a lot.  We have to do this.

 ^This.  


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annielou

No disagreement on that, but a fixed income often can’t handle even a $50 swing in a monthly budget. I also understand that the main problem is how schools are funded, but there’s little comfort in having to wait for that monster to be resolved. There are hundreds of families who have been paying their fair share for years but now simply can’t afford to do so. It’s a difficult problem when you are looking to “age in place”.


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yahooyahoo
annielou said:
No disagreement on that, but a fixed income often can’t handle even a $50 swing in a monthly budget. I also understand that the main problem is how schools are funded, but there’s little comfort in having to wait for that monster to be resolved. There are hundreds of families who have been paying their fair share for years but now simply can’t afford to do so. It’s a difficult problem when you are looking to “age in place”.

 https://www.state.nj.us/treasury/taxation/ptr/eligibility.shtml


Like  
Michael
annielou said:
No disagreement on that, but a fixed income often can’t handle even a $50 swing in a monthly budget. I also understand that the main problem is how schools are funded, but there’s little comfort in having to wait for that monster to be resolved. There are hundreds of families who have been paying their fair share for years but now simply can’t afford to do so. It’s a difficult problem when you are looking to “age in place”.

But the question is  what has been "fair share"?   Since for the last 30 plus years, there has been minimal maintenance because everyone always says no,  it would mean people did not pay their fair share.  And now we have a mess but there is no benefit to the majority by holding off.  



Like  
Michael
yahooyahoo said:


weirdbeard said:


yahooyahoo said:
We need a new superintendent. Where do the candidates stand on the search?
The current BOE needs to be held accountable for this debacle.
 What debacle?  Hiring Ramos?  That was several years ago and I agree was a debacle.  Dr. Ficarra, on the other hand, has been the best super this district has had in years.  It's a shame that by law he has to be an interim.  He has made definitive and hard choices that urgently needed to be made, and has brought in skilled interim admins who have started whipping some of the departments in shape that had previously been left in shambles.  Bringing him in was one of of the best things the board could have done.  My opinion, of course.
Totally disagree.  Ficarra needs to go asap.
You must have no children in the high school.

 What is your complaint about Ficarra --- I find him to be honest and reasonable.  It is up the BOE to work with him and set the vision while not just being a rubber stamp. 


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JBennett

If you are worried about your taxes (as I am), then I think you should consider voting for one of the candidates who is against the proposal to have two sequential middle schools that would be for grades 5-6 and 7-8, since that proposal will require additional bussing that would more than equal the cost of the slightly larger bond in 5-6 years.

The candidates who are clearly against this proposal are Marian Cutler, Chris Trzaska, Narda Greene, and Michael Laskowski.  

Javier Farfan said he was against this proposal at a debate, but his running mate Annemarie Maini has been equivocal.     

Bruno Navarro said he was for the 5-6, 7-8 proposal.

I do not know where Shannon Cuttle stands.  If anyone knows what Shannon's stance and would like to share I'd appreciate it.  

Honestly, I oppose the 5-6, 7-8 proposal for the social and academic welfare of the students, but the budgetary cost would be $800-$900 per bussed student.  


Like  
yahooyahoo
mikescott said:


yahooyahoo said:

weirdbeard said:


yahooyahoo said:
We need a new superintendent. Where do the candidates stand on the search?
The current BOE needs to be held accountable for this debacle.
 What debacle?  Hiring Ramos?  That was several years ago and I agree was a debacle.  Dr. Ficarra, on the other hand, has been the best super this district has had in years.  It's a shame that by law he has to be an interim.  He has made definitive and hard choices that urgently needed to be made, and has brought in skilled interim admins who have started whipping some of the departments in shape that had previously been left in shambles.  Bringing him in was one of of the best things the board could have done.  My opinion, of course.
Totally disagree.  Ficarra needs to go asap.
You must have no children in the high school.
 What is your complaint about Ficarra --- I find him to be honest and reasonable.  It is up the BOE to work with him and set the vision while not just being a rubber stamp. 

The BOE gave him carte blanche on personnel decisions.

Now we have an interim principal at CHS (who did not want the job), and interim director of guidance, and an interim athletic director, plus several guidance counselors turned over right before the new school year started.  The high school administration office is in disarray.



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