Monday, May 04, 2009

School Budget, Parade Up for Discussion

Random image: A cat and his rat.

Tonight's City Council meeting has several discussion items of interest.
One is about the July 4th celebration, which was a bone of contention in the budget talks last year. Some folks felt it was not a necessity in these hard times and therefore could be skipped. Officials said recently the parade line item in the budget just passed was for last year's event. The city will have to decide whether to hold the celebration and chalk up the costs in the FY 2010 budget.
Another item lists a presentation by the New Jersey Commissioner of Education, unnamed on the agenda, on the failed school budget. Voters rejected the local school tax levy and normally the City Council would have the power to review and change the amount. However, under the School Funding Reform Act of 2008, Abbott districts must increase the local contribution to school costs and the higher tax levy for this year was mandated by the state. Will Lucille Davy herself appear tonight to talk about it? We'll see.
An update on school construction is also on the agenda. As readers may recall, the Schools Construction Corp. burned through millions of dollars without completing its mission and was replaced by the Schools Development Authority. Plans for a new middle school were set aside. It should be interesting to hear what is going on.
The meeting is 7:30 p.m. at City Hall Library, 515 Watchung Ave. The agenda is posted on Council President Rashid Burney's web site if you want a preview.
--Bernice Paglia


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