SECAUCUS – School board trustees and officials plan to go to the county clerk’s office April 24 to review the absentee and provisional votes for the school board budget, which failed after a nearly split vote. Business administrator Ron Smith said that the school administration has not received a certified official notification on the school budget outcome from the county board of elections office.
“The election has not been certified yet,” said Smith. He said that he doesn’t consider the review an official recount but that the outcome could change.
On April 17 the first returns on the budget indicated that the budget had passed but when absentee ballots and provisional votes were included the budget failed by two votes with 944 voting yes to 942 voting no, according to the town clerk.
There were only three provisional votes: 1 yes, 1 no, and 1 did not vote on the budget.
The total operating budget proposed for the 2012-2013 school year was almost $35 million. The tax levy portion represents $31.6 million, an increase of $620,320, which is within the state’s two percent mandatory cap. The budget imposes an average increase of $74 per household in school taxes.
A failed budget goes to the Mayor and Town Council for review. They have until May 21 to make a decision on whether to leave the school board budget intact or make cuts.
Smith said that he already turned the budget over to the town in case the official outcome does indicate that the budget failed. – Adriana Rambay Fernandez