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Point Boro Residents Narrowly Approve School Repairs Referendum

Less than 100-vote difference

A $15.9 million spending plan to repair roofs and boilers at several Point Pleasant Borough schools passed public vote by less than 100 votes.

Unofficial results from the Ocean County Clerk's office show 940 votes approved the referendum, while 846 voted no. The yes votes had 52.63 percent of the 1,786 total votes.

The project would raise taxes by $81 a year based on the average home value. 

Voters had between 2 to 9 p.m. to get to the polls, on a day forecast for poor winter weather. The school district had early dismissals for its students due to the threat of snow.
But despite the poor weather and the non-Election Day referendum, the 1,700-plus residents came out to help decide the fate of what Point Borough Schools administration was saying is a very dire project that now comes with state reimbursement.

The district says the state will be reimbursing the school district 40 percent of the cost of the project.

The plan addresses “critically needed” repairs and improvements to  according to the district. For example, three of the schools’ roofs are more than 24 years old, have been assessed for repairs and are out of warranty.

Point Boro plans to address the roofs at Nellie Bennett, the high school and middle school, then assorted boilers and heating and ventilation units.

The bonding would be repaid through debt service payments in the school budget, after the state’s 40 percent funding.
proud December 11, 2013 at 07:40 AM
Less than 1800 votes.
Da Poppa December 11, 2013 at 07:59 AM
The 40% state funding is a pie in the sky estimate. That amount of money has not been promised by the state. The number, when finalized, will be closer to the state average if 29%, not the unobtainable 40. Less than 100 votes, on a miserable day for weather and venturing out. You know the school staff never had to leave their school to vote. We need to start taking back control of the school system and Boro council. Work outside the parties to make the voice of the citizens heard.
Art Penrose December 11, 2013 at 09:19 AM
@Da Poppa; The 40% state funding was NEVER listed as an estimate, but as a hard fact. 40% was, for all intents and purposes, the selling point for this whole project. If this number is only an estimate, an investigation needs to be started. It would be complete fraud on the part of the school board officials.
Beach Girl December 11, 2013 at 10:52 AM
So we should just let the schools fall into disrepair? They have said $81 a year increase in taxes. I think that's fair. I would like to come from a town who not only cares about educating the children, who will some day run our country, but also takes pride in our town and the upkeep of our buildings. A good learning environment is essential to the learning experience.
bayboat December 11, 2013 at 12:23 PM
@dapoppa Why are you upset about staff voting in theschool? Should they have left, walked around the block, then come back and vote?
Beach Girl December 11, 2013 at 12:27 PM
There were no voting booths in my child's school. FYI
Ann December 11, 2013 at 12:57 PM
I feel that maintaining our schools is very important, but it is the constant misrepresentation, but our Mayor and council that has me upset. $81.00 increase may not seem like a lot for some, but for those on fixed incomes, it is. This coming on the back of the $3 million dollar land purchase is just too much. In times like now, we need to "spend smart"... it is time for Point Pleasant to start doing that.
Beach Girl December 11, 2013 at 01:11 PM
I believe that by investing in our schools and recreation centers , Point Pleasant is spending smart. We have to think of the good of the whole community, not just one demographic. By continuing to educate, update and provide programs for all in the community we are allowing for a more interactive relationship between the children and adults who reside there. Maybe looking at things from a global perspective with positive eyes would be a welcome change for some in our community who are fixated on the negative and the fright they feel when things change. Sometimes to you have to give a little to get a lot.
Victor December 11, 2013 at 03:36 PM
amazing how they coerce the parents into voting their way. I guess these people don't care if the taxes go up so just keep letting these leeches take your money. what's that old saying? "You can fool all the people some of the time, and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time."
Beach Girl December 11, 2013 at 03:43 PM
I do care if taxes go up. I think $81 a year to better our community is a smart choice. Clearly your have your opinion and I have mine. I don't feel coerced or duped, I am not bitter about other people benefitting from my tax dollars. I am thinking maybe a little injection of positivity into your day would be helpful. Perhaps feeling good about helping others would help make that change. Happy holidays!
bayboat December 11, 2013 at 03:47 PM
@Victor Could you describe the coersion? Blackmail? Torture? Bake sales?
Denise Di Stephan (Editor) December 11, 2013 at 04:17 PM
DaPoppa: The staff didn't need to leave "their school to vote?" Any school in particular or are you referring to all 4 schools? In any case, there are no polling places in any of the schools, so there are no staff members voting in the schools. Also, some of the staff do not even live in Point Boro and therefore cannot vote in Point Boro. Also, one's designated polling place is based on one's home address, not place of employment. So even if schools were polling places, staff could not vote there unless they were assigned to those polling places based on their home addresses.
Victor December 11, 2013 at 04:52 PM
hahaha, probably bake sales bayboat. Thank you and Merry Christmas to you too Beach Girl. sorry, but I just get wound up when they tell you it's only 81. a year. Maybe it's only 81. to them but it's grocery money for us.
Art Penrose December 11, 2013 at 06:47 PM
@Beach Girl; From your posts, you state you have a child in school. Then you go on to say "We have to think of the good of the whole community, not just one demographic." Sounds like you are referring to those on fixed incomes. How unfortunate you are. This town was built by that "one demographic" and they did a pretty good job. Your child is lucky to be in a school that the "one demographic" has built and maintained and staffed for a very long time. If that "one demographic" wants their hard earned dollars spent wisely then I think they have earned that right.
Victor December 11, 2013 at 07:05 PM
well said Art, it's also hard to understand how with all of the the tax money that the school gets they never seem to have enough. do they even have a budget?
Beach Girl December 11, 2013 at 07:47 PM
I'm sorry you feel attacked, I was speaking of the entire community whether you have children in the school now or or had them in the past. There really isn't any reason for you to feel defensive. The point of living in a small community is to support every member of that community. I understand there is a possibility of a senior center replacing the current rec center once the new once is built. I would also feel good about paying a reasonable increase to have that made safe for those who would use that resource. I find it interesting that if my comments aren't in agreement with yours, the immediate response is to try to shame me or twist my words to make them negative or discriminatory. Again, I would like to live in a community that takes pride in keeping it up to date and safe as this is how our whole community will benefit. I don't recall referring to any "group" in particular earlier and "one demographic" doesn't necessarily refer to people on a fixed income. As you pointed out, "one demographic" built this town and made it desirable to live here, so I know they would want to make sure it is the best it can be and continue to maintain the buildings they put into place. That is the mark of a truly wonderful community, which I know we are.
Rick Ricky December 11, 2013 at 07:51 PM
Beach Girl, Its 81.00 dollars for this individual school project,Then there is the new community center project. Then the increase for automatic school increases every year, Then there is the water charges&sewer increases, Then it is everything else that was overlooked, Increases do to the underestimates cost of all the above. Etc... It winds up being more like a $500.00 dollar increase for the year. Where&When does it stop? Maybe you or your husband have a job where you get a guaranteed raises every year. This has nothing to do with different opinions. This has to do with affordability. Times are hard, people are out of work, college graduates can't get jobs, people that do have jobs are not getting raises, haven't in a few years. Every Year they all come up with a new story of what is needed in the schools, towns, police departments. How about staying in your means like everyone else. People just can't keep on buying. They have to stay with in their budgets or they will go bankrupted. Some things need to be cut or do without. That is how budgets work. Not to keep on asking for more or doing more.
Beach Girl December 11, 2013 at 08:14 PM
Listen I hear you, I don't have disposable income. My point was this particular issue, to me, is smart spending. We have to contribute to the community to make sure it stays in good repair. We have to pay school taxes and for the police force etc. Frivolous spending on things that are unimportant would bother me. I am not saying you or anyone else is wrong for feeling the way you do, I just don't agree. If I recall several things were cut from the school budget for this school year. I think you have some valid concerns regarding the budget for the town. Getting involved by running for office and effecting change with a hands on approach would be welcome I am sure. Maybe they need one or all of you to look at their plan with a fresh pair (or two) of eyes. I appreciate your enthusiasm and vigor with explaining to me your side of the story, get out there and tell the community leaders your concerns. Hopefully this will not incite more upset toward me and my opinion on this subject. I do feel good about getting a lively discussion going, that is how great plans are made!
Rick Ricky December 11, 2013 at 08:44 PM
Beach Girl, I don't have a problem with different opinions or smart spending. Yes, Smart spending? That is what I have a problem with. Sometimes you have to wait on projects during hard times. I can bet there is a lot waste and bad deals made in all these budgets that neither of us have any ideas. You have to be on the inside. They are real good of hiding or disguise purchases. I have to disagree with you. They really don't want anyone looking at their plan with a couple fresh eyes. They don't want to have any one different that is not going to go a long with their intentions or plans. You can tell community leaders until your blue in the face. They are all going a long with the plan and anyone who tries to break it up gets ostracized or booed. There is to many involved that is part of the special interest groups who are benefiting by it all. That is how I truly feel. Even those who knows what is going on is wrong are to afraid to speak out because they know the repercussion that will follow. I just don't know. Point Pleasant is on its way of being unaffordable like some of the other bordering towns. I mean it is a great town for those who's families are benefiting by it all or have really outstanding jobs. For everyone else they are one step out by being forced to move out.
Beach Girl December 11, 2013 at 08:53 PM
You could be right, as we know, corruption is rampant in certain area community governments. I hope our little town doesn't fall prey to the same fates we have seen ruin other such communities.
Victor December 11, 2013 at 09:53 PM
too late, looks like the foxes have taken over the henhouse.
Gary December 12, 2013 at 07:09 AM
@Rick Ricky; I completely agree with you. It is a little disheartening to think they are doing the right things with the money when you constantly see so much waste around the school. A prime example is having multiple trucks, with a couple guys in each truck plowing the school parking lot on Tuesday after that gigantic storm that left nothing on the ground except a little slush and mostly water. There was absolutely no need for them to take 3-4 passes through the parking lot dragging the plows and pushing nothing around. I understand that those guys want to make money during in-climate weather but that was a complete waste of money. Overtime for the guys in the trucks, wasted gas using the trucks, and wear and tear on both the tucks and plow blades. Not to mention beating up the parking lot that was just resurfaced within the last couple years. Or how about when the BOE sprinklers turn on to water the grass WHILE ITS RAINING?!? Really? How about using some of the "budget money" to install a rain sensor and stop wasting water, which by the way make it more expensive for the rest of us. It just really sounds like a bunch of greedy people who aren't making smart decisions are the ones who are trying to do the "smart spending".
Mark December 12, 2013 at 10:22 AM
This town is really disgusting me. How stupid do you have to be to have voted for this. Taxes are sky high - the town services are horrible...garbage collection 1x a week...no street cleaning...leaves will sit there and rot until next year...what are they going to do, patch the roof with gold leaf? Or more like pad the wallets of a bunch of cronies? Did anyone even read that letter that was sent to residents about what has really been going on with the salary padding in this town's school system -- and if so, you still felt the need to vote for this??
Victor December 12, 2013 at 11:02 AM
"You can fool all the people some of the time, and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time." except in Point Pleasant.

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