Mahatma Gandhi once said “A 'no' uttered from the deepest conviction is better than a 'yes' merely uttered to please, or worse, to avoid trouble.” On March 27, I voted to stand up with the taxpayers of Hoboken and vote no on a school board budget raising taxes by four percent. My "no" vote was an expression of my conviction that the citizens of Hoboken deserve the right to vote on what to do with their money, especially when asking them to put more of their hard earned money into our schools.
Mrs. Sobolov, in her recent letter to the editor seems to have selective memory when it comes to the way she voted a year ago. It was her and her allies who removed the right of the public to vote on what to do with their money. Now, the first chance the board majority had at raising taxes without the public being able to vote on it, school taxes are on the rise by four percent. We now have a nearly sixty-five million dollar budget for a school district with just over 2200 students including charter enrollment.
I ask the members of the Board who voted yes to raise taxes and voted to remove the taxpayers right to vote on what to do with their money a couple of questions. Why wouldn’t you put a four percent tax increase up for a public vote? What were your ideas to try to reduce the amount of this tax increase? It was Mrs. Sobolov and her allies who stated that moving the elections to November and removing the public’s right to vote on the budget would save taxpayers nearly forty thousand dollars a year when they just voted to increase taxes by nearly two million dollars in one year alone.
Certainly, all members of the board have their opinions and have a right to share them; I would hope they would not use selective memory in basing their ideas. I have been and will continue to be a strong advocate for all of the Hoboken students as well as all Hoboken citizens/taxpayers. When I feel people are not getting a fair deal, I will not vote yes on a budget just to please or avoid trouble; I will stand with the now voiceless public when voting and discussing their hard earned tax dollars.
Hoboken Board of Education Member