SECAUCUS -- The final outcome for the Secaucus school budget still weighs in the balance because provisional votes could shift the outcome from fail to pass. While the Hudson County Clerk numbers show that the Secaucus school budget passed 908 to 896, the results do not include the absentee ballot votes, which indicate the budget failed by two votes 943 to 941, according to local officials.
Last night, officials and residents gathered at Huber Street Elementary School to watch the numbers come in and left with the impression that the budget had indeed failed after the town clerk’s office counted the absentee ballots.
According to the Hudson County Clerk, provisional ballots are votes that were placed by individuals that showed up at the polls and weren’t in the books, or may have been at the wrong polling center. The county won’t publish those numbers or the absentee ballot numbers for at least another two days.
The school budget was nearly $35 million and called for an average tax increase of $74 in school taxes. The tax levy portion represents $31.6 million, an increase of $620,320, which is within the state's mandated two percent cap. If the provisional votes indicate that the budget did indeed fail, then the mayor and town council will have to review the budget and propose cuts. Last year the budget was soundly defeated by a wide margin.