PHOTO: Lakewood School District Seeks Voter Approval for School Upgrades

ballot referendumSAMPLE BALLOT: The referendum which seeks voters’ approval for approximately $34,000,000 in school upgrades for the Lakewood school district, will take place on September 30.

The district is hoping to install HVAC systems and roof upgrades at Lakewood’s public schools. The state has agreed to provide debt service for the projects in the amount of 40% of eligible costs, which are $29, 371,401.

The 40% state aid is only available to the district if the referendum is approved.

See the attached sample ballot.


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  1. We would love that the public schools should have the best building possible, unfortunately we can not trust the current administration especially Helen Tobia who are the ones that cause the chaos for the private schools…

  2. Yes your right it is about the kids and not the board! But the problem is the administration contrlos the funds and they are diverting and not spending it on the kids so I agree with everyone in the comments “We Can’t Trust The BOE” VOTE NO and send Mike Azarra and Helen Tobia back to camden (sorry camden I know you didn’t end off with him nicely, but we have no place for him here)

  3. The only way any patent will vote fir this is if the board changes their attitude about how they are tresying yhe non public schools .Just treat them fairly. Right now the attitude is what can we do to create issues to make it more difficult for the non publics. Its nit the elected board but a small handful of administration officials.

  4. Does every single school build really need their entire hvac redone, or is it once we are doing one, lets do them all? Here’s a better idea, the buildings are full of empty classrooms, consolidate the schools a bit, and sell the building that has the highest upkeep costs, and use that money for future reasonable maintenance. It’s allways easier to just redo, replace and upgrade with someone else’s checkbook.

  5. What you guys don’t get is that if you don’t vote for it, they will still do the repair and all the money will come out of our pocket. This way at least the government will pay 40%

  6. $34,000,000 for HVAC instalation and roof “upgrades”? Is the budget and breakdown available to the public somewhere? Let’s assume the HVAC per building is $500,000, or better yet, $1,000,000 per building. Now let’s say each building’s roof will cost $500,000 per building. How many buildings does the Lakewood BOE have? Are there really 23 buildings to be repaired? How do they expect us to vote for this blindly without seeing a breakdown of projected costs and without seeing whether they got actual bids or an engineer’s estimate? And if this were to be approved, will they be making public the bids they got and how they compare with the winning bid? “Trust us” isn’t good enough for $34,000,000.

  7. I would vote YES on the REFINANCING lease-purchase issue.

    I would ‘likely’ vote YES on the ROOF repairs and RELATED (??) repairs if the administration would stop keeping the numbers a secret and provide the public with a legitimate breakdown showing a line item and justification/explanation of each expense.

    I would vote NO on the HVAC issue. The current tax burden for the school district is already too heavy on the average taxpayer – and even more so on the many of us who are struggling to make ends meet. The HVAC upgrade includes providing CENTRAL AIR CONDITIONING to all the school buildings with state of the art machines. This is a LUXURY the hardworking taxpayers cannot afford. Additionally, the already expensive electric bill will go through the roof to run these huge systems. I have no problem replacing the current units on an as-needed basis. We don’t live in Beverly Hills or Short Hills where we can afford to pay for all these EXTRA luxuries.

    As it stands, we were never provided any real numbers. The power-point marketing stunt is also meaningless because all it does is repeat the same general information in picture format. It specifically fails to add any more specifics. It’s beyond unbelievable that these people are asking us to approve close to THIRTY FIVE MILLION DOLLARS in taxpayer responsibility without giving us a true and CERTIFIED line item breakdown.

    (Interestingly, the State does not consider the entire HVAC/Roofing/Related expense as an “eligible” cost. It may be that $126,000.00 is relatively small compared to the HUGE $29,497,241.00 – but that’s still a whole lot of money that we are to become responsible for. Where is that “ineligible” money going??)

    Instead of their spending all the time (and our expense) to produce a marketing power-point Presentation – they should have instead produced a simple paper budget (or included it in the power-point) showing exactly WHERE every dollar is being spent, HOW MUCH each item is costing, and WHY each item is truly necessary.

    Finally, it is unfair for the administration to trick the public into voting YES by grouping these 3 issues into one question. They are 3 separate issues and should be 3 separate questions. I will cast a NO vote until the administration comes back with real answers to our questions!

  8. To Alan,

    Take a visit to any Lakewood public school. There are no empty classes. The classes are jam packed, in many cases 30 plus students.
    If anything they are going to need a new school at some point in the future

Comments are closed.