Monday, February 13, 2012

Public Notice: Hoboken Board of Education Meeting- February 14, 2012: Changing Voting Dates? Teacher Contracts? Introduction of 2012-2013 Budget?

This month's Hoboken Board of Education meeting contains a 56 page slated agenda (see below) as well as a very important decision by the Board concerning the Board of Education elections and budget approval process. Basically, the decision is whether to move the Board of Education elections to November or to let them remain in April. This has become a very debated issue in Hoboken and around the State of New Jersey over the past few weeks. There is also an outside chance that aspects of the teacher's collective bargaining contract may be presented or discussed.

a) The money saved, approximately $50,000, would only be saved once every four years. Is saving $12,500 a year really that significant?

b) From all data presented it seemed that more people come out to November elections when higher-level people were being elected.

But the data also show that there is a wide disparity in participation between the top names on the ballet and those lower. Thus the person at the top of the ballot may get 50% of the registered voters, but the person at the bottom of the ballot may only get 35% of the registered voters.

Thus, even if a May election gets only 25% of the registered voters, a change to November might not increase the participation to 50% (or whatever), but may only get participation increased from 25% to 35%. Some data even show a participation of LESS with a November election.

c) It will cost more for candidates to run. It will cost candidates to become more visible. Take, for example, municipal elections being held in a Presidential year. There will be a huge amount of discussion and publicity, articles, columns, blogs, meetings and discussions. About the President. This will make it much harder for the critical issues that face Montclair to get the attention those issues deserve.

If it costs more to run as a Municipal candidate, fewer will run. And with people contributing to National campaigns, fewer dollars will be available for the local candidates.

d) There is no actual data guiding us. We don’t know if this change will work.

e) Having more voters turn out does not imply that more “informed” voters will vote. It is reasonable to assume that anyone putting in the effort to come and vote during a Municipal only election will be familiar with the Municipal candidates and the issues. During a national election a voter may have little knowledge of the Municipal candidates and elections because that’s not the reason he came – he came to vote for President, Representative, Senator, etc

f) Last--and not least, I think its a very open question whether it is advisable to change Board members, and potentially Board majorities, in the middle of the academic school year. There is great potential for instability educationally when Board leadership changes in December, January or February.

Happy Valentine's Day! -Dr. Petrosino


DATE: Tuesday, February 14, 2012
TIME: 6:00 pm: Closed Executive Session
7:00 pm: Public Meeting
LOCATION: Hoboken Board of Education Meeting Room
1115 Clinton Street
Hoboken, NJ 07030


6:00 pm: Closed Executive Session
7:00 pm: Public Meeting
1. Report of School Superintendent
2. Report of Interim School Business Administrator
3. Board President Report and Board Committee Reports
4. Approval of School Superintendent Agenda and School Business Administrator Agenda

Any matters relating to the above items that may come before the Board. Please be advised that the Board may be required to go into closed executive session during this meeting to discuss litigation, negotiations and personnel items. Action may be taken on all agenda items.

Published by order of the Board of Education of the School District of the City of Hoboken

William Takacs
School Business Administrator / Board Secretary

Stated Session Agenda February 14 2012