Once the Brick Board of Education reorganizes Thursday evening, members of the township council and a committee of citizens will begin combing through the defeated school budget, Council President Brian DeLuca said Tuesday.
The tax levy which would have gone to support the school district’s $136 million budget was rejected by voters on April 27, meaning the township council will get to review the proposal and, likely, make cuts to the levy. DeLuca said Tuesday he would push those reviewing the budget to recommend specific areas where cuts should be applied. Legally, however, the township council only has the power to certify a tax levy – recommendations of which areas should be cut are not binding.
“It’s a lot of hours and a lot of time,” DeLuca said, of the budget review process.
The day after the ballot proposal was defeated, DeLuca that the tax levy and, thus, the school budget, would be cut. He reiterated that point at the township council meeting Tuesday.
“A cut, indeed, we will have,” he said.
School district officials have already forwarded financial information to township officials. DeLuca said a committee made up of council members Anthony Matthews, Michael Thulen and he would represent the governing body, along with township Business Administrator Scott Pezarras.
Additionally, DeLuca said, he collected resumes of citizens interested in joining a potential committee to be formed if the budget were to fail and has chosen a number of residents who applied to act as a second set of eyes probing the spending plan. Residents Karyn Cusanelli, Nick Cusanelli, Vic Fanelli, Steve Kirby and Jim Altobello will form that committee, DeLuca said.
According to New Jersey League of Municipalities, township councils tasked with reviewing defeated budgets must choose whether to apply cuts and certify a revised tax levy by May 19.