September marks the beginning of the school year. As a member of the Hoboken Board of Education for the last three years, I have learned many things. One thing is that there are very few easy solutions. I have also learned to work with people who hold very different points of view from my own. Most times we have been able to agree on educational issues. But on some issues, we will never see eye to eye. I disagreed with the 4 percent increase in school taxes this year because the ability to vote on the school budget had been taken away from the public by the same people who felt that taxpayers should pay more. Interestingly, the rise in school taxes was conspicuously absent from Mayor Zimmer’s correspondence which accompanied our tax statements this summer.
Cooperation has yielded some positive results at the Board of Education. Last year I presented a goal to cap legal fees for the year. I am proud to report that, with the cap in place, we not only met the goal but legal fees decreased nearly thirty percent below the cap. Our overall goal should move the district even closer to the state average. I am also proud that, after many interim hires, the members of the board together were able to agree on a permanent business administrator. This is important for bringing stability to the business office.
Such successes, while small, are steps toward improving the district. Yet, many areas remain where we can continue to do better. I hope that this is yet another year when our students and teachers can build upon the progress that they have been working to achieve. As always, I welcome anyone to contact me via email Peter.Biancamano@hoboken.k12.nj.us with any questions or concerns.
Hoboken Board of Education Member