BOE Member Isaac Goldsmith: Why I will be voting “NO”

boe goldsmithSubmitted to TLS by BOE member Isaac Goldsmith. Regarding the referendum to permanently increase property taxes, I will be voting “NO”. All my children live within the courtesy limit, so I would potentially lose all busing.

I do NOT think it makes sense to permanently raise taxes for a problem that can hopefully be solved in the near future. This can hopefully be accomplished by either cutting expenses, increasing revenues (not taxes) or increasing state aid. I would even be open to raising taxes temporarily to fund infrastructure improvements (ie. buying our own buses or special education equipment) that would solve the problem in the long run. (Although a bond offering may make more sense.)

The problem is that there is no “silver bullet” that will solve the problem and it will take a mix of ideas.

Most people I speak with are unaware of how the formula used regarding allocation of property taxes to the BOE can potentially cause an increase in the BOE deficit for every new house built even with sky high property taxes. Also that some of the BOE expenses are mandated by the government but aren’t funded by the government. In addition, things that you would do logically for a business that is having financial difficulties are not legal for the BOE to do.

There may not be a solution other than the state to increase funding, as the state monitor himself said that we have a revenue problem and not a spending problem. Most importantly, we need the elected officials on the local and state levels to start pushing to fix this problem.

These are my personal opinions and do not represent the BOE or any other member of the BOE.

Lakewood Board of Education Member
Isaac Goldsmith MS, CLU, CFP

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  1. Its very simple . Its almost insulting our intelligence to be asked to vote for a PERMANENT tax increase in order to get a TEMPORARY 4 months worth of courtesy busing . If you want us to consider a huge PERMANENT tax increase ,then offer us a plan for a PERMANENT solution to courtesy busing .

  2. The main reason to vote no is because Mr. Azzara cannot be trusted for one second! He reneged on a deal that took weeks, possibly months of negotiation and required significant sacrifices on both; the residents and schools alike. He reneged on that deal only a few months after agreeing to it! What will stop him from doing the exact same thing-only this time AFTER raising our taxes permanently?? I don’t know the answer to that question. Until I do- I will be voting NO!

  3. I agree with Mr Goldsmith.
    I support the idea of a bond offering to expand our own fleet of buses which has already proven to be cost efficient. There are many other benefits to the public of expanding our our fleet, most notably is the accountabily factor. How many times have we experienced the scenario that we wait for our children’s bus to pick them up and either they show up late or they’re a no show at all. I already pitched that idea on numerous occasions to State Monitor Mr Shafter as well as the director of transportation.
    I am not in favor of voting affirmative on the referendum.
    Joel Schwartz
    Former BOE Member.

  4. After speaking with a few lawyers who know education law, etc. it seems like the State ordered referendum is a big trick. If the town votes for the referendum, this will be proof that Lakewood is a RICH community, and does not require State funds, and thus will legally not have to fund as much as they would otherwise legally have to.

    Please, do not, just stam, not vote yes, But please see that the State and the State judges get the clear message that the majority of town cannot afford this tax increase. So please VOTE, NO!

  5. The school Board is short of money even without courtesy busing . This is because of the flawed formula. There is a 2 per cent cap on raising the taxes so they have a problem that because of the flawed formula the expenses are rising faster than the 2 per cent cap . By voting to give them this 6.5 million ,you are bailing them out of their problem because now they are allowed to raise your taxes next year by another 2 per cent ON TOP of the 6.5 million . So in effect they got a free 10 per cent tax raise that they could not get without a yes vote today . This is a sly trick on the part of the monitor to bypass the 2 per cent cap by trying to talk you into the fact that you will now get busing for a few months . Do not be fooled .

  6. I went to vote tonight, and the polling site was pretty empty. They are running it very efficiently and quickly. I was out in 2 minutes. Please vote!! Excercise your privilege as a citizen! We are given the chance to have an input, don’t be flippant about it.

  7. I remember when the district had its own fleet of buses. The drivers were let go because of cost, salary, ins, maintence, etc. So please explain how getting our own buses will save money, cost of brand new buses, fuel, ins, drivers salary who then become unionize. Then the buses are no longer in service but after 20 years the bond is finally paid off.

  8. Vote No now! The state and school employees may have encouraged all people who attend public schools and do not pay taxes to vote yes for their transportation. Remember It’s not only for parochial school some public school students will also be affected.

  9. I did not agree in 1998 when the district got rid of the scores of busses that it kept in the middle school parking area. Everyone was for privatization. Always thought that one day the district would rebuild the fleet so that it would be half of the total.

  10. I’d like to see the school day go back to a 9 a.m. start – or
    earlier, and the kids have a normal day on Friday. We lost educational hours ( that we paid for in our tuition) just to be accomodating! Our kids can’t afford this!

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