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Council Members, Citizens' Committee Will Probe Defeated School Budget

Council President Brian DeLuca announces who will review defeated school budget proposal

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.

disgusted homeowner May 04, 2011 at 11:59 AM
The " meaningful" cuts should have been made on the municipal budget. This was the best school budget presented in years. Shame on Brick voters for voting backwards.......
patriotmfd May 04, 2011 at 12:21 PM
Toms River School system mired in corruption, http://www.app.com/article/20110503/NJNEWS/110503018/Conflict-interest-Toms-River-schools-paid-millions-firm-Ritacco-link ….. many employees and contractors feeding at the property tax trough in Toms River… lets see TR School Sys 200 million budget with 14,650 students that equals $ 13,605 per student per yr. With plenty of money for the Ritacco gang… Compare that to Brick student costs at proposed budget 136 million with 9,901 students equals $13,737 per student------plenty of money to waste here too. … Just saying these Administrators need to be trying to reduce spending….not keep raising taxes… there is plenty of money to teach the students, maybe not enough for the extensive benefit plans that teachers and administrator get. the more they spend the more crumbs drop into that trough. We need leaders willing to make the hard CHOICES………….. Stop the tax & spending…….how about getting rid of an Assistant Administrator’s Assistant for starters
brickmom May 04, 2011 at 12:47 PM
Interesting "panel" that was assembled by Mr Deluca. 5 people to represent 75,000 and all of them are Wolf/Talty supporters. Guess there wewn't enough volunteers to be a part of the "committee", so Mr Deluca felt it necessary to take 2 people from the same household...wish your budget was as trasparent as you are Mr Deluca! Think I understand why Coach Wolf wrote that letter before the election. Politics truly does make strange bedfellows. Good luck to the children of Brick w/ this "committee"!!
David Lee May 04, 2011 at 01:16 PM
Are you serious? Have to tell you that I think that DeLuca picked everyone who put in a request to be on the committee months ago. It also seemed that he picked people who take the time to go to Board meetings and have opinions about what is good for the kids. I was surprised that the committee DID NOT include the regulars from the council meetings. I would have had a problem with that. They picked people from BOE meetings. I think it was the smartest move I have seen them do in a while. But I suppose you can paint anything as "political" and undermine the process. Right "brickmom"?
79 May 04, 2011 at 02:11 PM
I found out a few years back, that there was a news story that came out about the alarming amount of "Autistic Children in the Township of Brick" AND later found out that the reason for this amount was because the Brick School System had a "very good and well known program" for such afflicted children. The usual rate per child "without" this affliction was around $12,000 per year to educate and for the child with this affliction "it cost many, many, many. many times more money per year too educate this child AND I heard as much as close to $100,00 per child per year". AND that the large population of these affiliated child which affected this story were caused because MANY families moved "from other areas of the state" and even from well to do towns and their income were much ABOVE the norm of a Brick income and moved ONLY to get extended services in Brick Township AND pay less taxes from where they once lived. Therefore, the Brick residents were footing the bill that CONTINUED to grow in expense every year. I feel ALL children should be able to get the best education possible. However, if what I was told IS true and a fact?? ....seems a little unfair by any one's standards and another cause for such a large school budget ??!!
Mickey May 04, 2011 at 02:39 PM
David Lee, you jump on "brickmom" by painting her response political & undermining the process. yet is was fine for you to declare, that you are "suprised" that DeLuca didn't stack the committee with council meeting regulars. it would then appear, based on your experience observing the political process, this is how things are done in Brick. why is it impossible to then think others might feel that was/could be the case here ?
Doug May 04, 2011 at 04:38 PM
They may not have voted backwards on purpose. I feel that people were confused at the polls by the way it was presented and most probably thought they were defeating the municipal increase and approving the school budget. :)
Barbara Christie May 04, 2011 at 04:43 PM
They need an auditor who is not connected with brick town politics to look at the school budget and make sound financial decisions for the residents of brick. Same with the brick budget that the residents of this town just gave cart blanch to the mayor to spend spend spend. I am still beside myself that people actually voted to raise their taxes instead of holding the mayor and his staff feet to the fire and make them accountable to account how they spend OUR money.
Thomas May 04, 2011 at 08:58 PM
what would you like to do then 79?
79 May 04, 2011 at 09:07 PM
It wasn't a "question" Thomas, it was an observation or something I had heard that MAY be the reason for the larger then "normal" school budget in the Township of Brick "Thomas".
Joe May 04, 2011 at 11:32 PM
Its time to cut the fat from the bone. These schools are well funded and overstaffed. Ever wonder why the students were better educated years ago? Its because schools years ago were not Social Liberal Experiments. You went to school to learn Reading, Writing and Math. I don,t need anybody teaching my kids to understand the Gay lifestyle and promoting multiculturalunderstanding. Give the kids a Textbook, a Blackboard and a committed Teacher. Oh yeah, and by the way not everybody is cut out to go to college. Finally, we should be given a referendum on the legitamacy of the NJ Supreme Court. It was this GANG of Thieves that created the ABBOTT SCHOOLS. Taking money from all of NJ Towns and giving it to CAMDEN, Trenton, Newark and basically all the African American Schools. How about that for Racial discrimination. Give us our damn money back Clowns!
D.G. May 04, 2011 at 11:52 PM
It's that what happens when people choose the trash pickup before their children's education? When I went to vote, I noticed that the question relating to the school budget was on the top right (facing) corner and the "main" question on property taxes was on the lower right. A lot of people where talking outside, after voting and some people where saying they missed the property tax question so therefore, they voted "no" to the school budget question thinking that that was the question also relating to the property taxes. Hmmmm.....I for one, didn't missed it. Many where surprised that there was a second question because they only noticed the question on the top. Unfortunately, our children will suffer for this. When there is a law in place (2% cap) to protect people from being gouged by this town (or any other), when raising property taxes, putting it to a vote to override it , is unconstitutional and violates people's rights. Why should someone else decide the fate of my property? Isn't that what these laws are created for?
clamdigger May 05, 2011 at 01:29 AM
1ts of all ENOUGH ALREADY about the referendum vote. It's done and over with, nothing will be done about it even though there was a BIG difference between the BOE vote nad the referendum. Susan Dyer at the Board of Election pretty much told me that it's not unusual for people to "just choose not to vote" if they are undecided and from the conversation I had w/ her this situation will not be looked into even though there was a 10% difference. The sad point is there are 50k voters registered in Brick and only 1/3 of the people considered this an important enough issue to get off their lazy butts and VOTE! That's the disgraceful part of this whole thing! As for the BOE, I voted NO and will continue to vote NO until the cows come home or the teachers stand up to the NJEA. We (the state as a whole) are being ruined by that union.
George May 05, 2011 at 01:56 AM
There should have been two separate elections on the money issues the voters were confused.
fried pickles May 05, 2011 at 02:36 AM
Im actually happy about the people DeLuca picked. They are all about the kids. They will 100% do what they can to take care of them and focus on what really matters in education.
clamdigger May 05, 2011 at 03:06 AM
George; confused? Every registered voter get a sample ballot in the mail. Every voter gets at least a week to review that ballot, read the news and familiarize themselves with the events concerning their choices for an election and any budget decisions. If people cannot take the time to make their decision before they step into that booth shame on them. It's a very simple process to make any notes on your sample ballot, mark off your choices and follow along with the ballot in the booth, you have all the time you want. It's very disappointing that homeowners that are not "official residents" are prohibited from voting on tax issues even though they own real property in town. On the flip side of that non property owning rental residents are allowed to vote on tax issues such as we just had, I find that very unfair to those who own real estate in town. Finally, when only 1/3 of the registered voters get off their a$$es and step into the booth, it a said day for the residents of any town when 2/3 of those able to vote decide to "abstain", it shows they just don't give a flying f@#*. No matter which way you vote, have some guts,step into the booth and make a decision. I don't want to hear excuses about work,school, sick kids,vacation, whatever, if you are at work it is your RIGHT TO VOTE and it shall not be infringed upon. Youhave the right to vote and no boss can stop you. He doesn't have to pay you but the polling places were open for 14 hours 7am-9pm.
Thomas May 05, 2011 at 05:46 AM
thanks for the feedback "79"
disgusted homeowner May 05, 2011 at 12:05 PM
Clam, it will be the folks who were to LAZY to get off their duffs to vote who will scream the LOUDEST on Aug. 1st, when they open their new Brick tax bills. Then you will hear the crying. There will be major flooding all over town from the tears............
Doug May 05, 2011 at 04:12 PM
I happened to personally know some of the folks picked for this task by DeLuca. I have full faith in their integrity and honesty. They are truly committed to the kids and want to get the school system back on track for the kids. I am proud to know them and I know that they will do the right thing.
Hank Buck May 05, 2011 at 04:13 PM
Confused? Please correct me if I am way off. Why do they co-mingle the ballot questions in the first place? Obfuscation? No, not our public servants. I read the story on the review of the budget and I think it says that there are two options. Make cuts or massage the budget proposal for the next ballot. If this is true then it just lends itself to more of the same. Just cut it and be done with it. What a system!
Mickey May 05, 2011 at 08:11 PM
Doug, is it true one of them is a teacher ?
brickmom May 05, 2011 at 08:36 PM
I heard through the grapevine that 1 is related to Mrs. Kight
Mike May 07, 2011 at 12:30 PM
I still have a problem with the Council make ANY cuts to the school budget. To allow the Council to weigh in on how the other should more responsibly spend their money is a joke. One elected body, asked for an almost 15% increase, the other stayed below the cap, and the former will make recommendations to the latter. It would appear their hypocrisy knows no bounds.
brickmom May 07, 2011 at 07:24 PM
I agree Mike!! One elected body, the BOE, saw to the confines of economic responsibility. The other, Brick town council, used leverage and political connections, Mr. Wolf, in order to bully the tax payers. Now the town council has the final say as to the financial decisions for the other. Something is wrong here!! I sure hope that Mr. Wolf gets what was promised to him in return for his endorsement of the town referendum. I am sure Mr. Kight and his buddy Mr. DeLuca will see to the "back-room deals" that were obviously made prior to the election. Don't turn your back on any of these people Brick, Lord knows who'll be throwing the dagger 1st.
Doug May 07, 2011 at 07:34 PM
We need to be careful with inaccurate information. The TC does NOT have final say on the School budget. They can only review it and make recommendations for cuts. The BOE reviews those recommendations and makes the decision to follow their recommendations or make cuts in other areas. I am not a fan at all of our current TC, mayor of the previous BOE. We have new members on the BOE that, I believe, will do what is right for the kids and not for themselves. Also, there is no Mr. Kight on the BOE.
Doug May 07, 2011 at 07:35 PM
Mickey, that I do not know. Of the people that I do know, they are not teachers.
brickmom May 07, 2011 at 10:04 PM
Doug, you need to get your facts straight and read a little more closely! Town council will do 1 of 3 things; 1. they leave the budget alone; 2. they cut a monetary amount from the budget and recommend where the cuts should be made; 3. they simply make a monetary cut to the budget. If they do indeed make a monetary cut to the budget, the BOE MUST accept the amount but does NOT have to take the recommendations as to WHERE the cuts should be applied. While, there's no MR Kight on the BOE, his wife IS there, and Mr Kight has a relationship w/ Mr DeLuca, as evidenced by their extensive chat at the back of the meeting room the other night.
Bye Bye Brick May 07, 2011 at 11:30 PM
This whole town blows. I lived here all my life, and just gets wosre and worse each year. Now that I have a young child who's entering school I'm moving. The school systems overall test scores are the worst around, and the old people in this town keep voting the school buget down each year. What do they care? ( At least they still have garbage pick up!) Would have been much cheaper in the long run to vote down the 16% tax hike and pay to have your trash picked up. They really pulled out some good scare tactics on this one, No more garbage removel and we'll have to fire 29 cops. They might as well just said they were going to cancel Jepordy and Wheel of Fortune if they didn't vote yes. Oh well, have fun reeping what you have sewed. Hopfully you old timers keep mowing each other down in parking lots all over town, in hopes this town will move foward and become a decent place to live again. bye for now
Doug May 08, 2011 at 12:02 AM
You come off as sounding bitter. Anyone that is currently on the BOE is a far cry (in the right direction) from the people that were there up until the recent voting. I know how it works and it certainly doesn't work any different for the current BOE as it did from the previous boards. Try to remember that the people voted down the school budget, so what takes place now is no different the previous defeats.
Mark Story Jenks May 09, 2011 at 12:35 PM
Be carefull what you hope for. You're ageing too.

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