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Public Forums on $32M Middletown Schools Referendum Scheduled

The referendum goes before voters on Tuesday, March 11.

The Middletown Township Board of Education will hold two public forums on the $32 million referendum set to go before voters next month.

The first hearing will be held Tuesday at 8 p.m. during the board's meeting at Middletown High School North. A second hearing will be held on Thursday, March 6 at 7 p.m. at Bayshore Middle School.

The $32 million project would upgrade heating systems at the high schools and middle schools, as well as cover roof replacements for the high schools, middle schools and Bayview, Fairview, Leonardo, Lincroft, Middletown Village, Navesink, New Monmouth, Nut Swamp, Ocean Avenue and River Plaza elementary schools.

State funding would account for $12.9 million of the project, with the local share to be covered by $19.3 million in bonds. The district would not receive the state funding should the referendum not pass.

The special school district election on the referendum will be held Tuesday, March 11 from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Deborah March 03, 2014 at 11:18 AM
With all due respect, passing of this referendum will enable ALL schools to have roofs that are WARRANTIED for 20 YEARS. That is NOT a band-aid approach. In fact if you have been paying attention you would realize the handling of the roofs prior to this point as well as going forward should this referendum not pass WILL be patchwork style. We do not have enough money in capital reserves to pay for the roofs. They would have to be handled piece meal style over the long term. Who's to say in the meantime a roof won't fail and injure a child? I am not trying to be an alarmist but the ceiling already crashed in TWICE in my child's classroom last year. We are incredibly lucky that no one was injured. I would prefer the district make due with the tax dollars we are already assigned to pay, however after looking at the budget carefully we can't. What good is it to consider building new additions or buildings which will cost considerably more money than the proposal on the table? In that scenario we would still have buildings with dangerous roofs. I am none too happy about the situation we have found ourselves in - buildings ignored in lieu of "other" improvements, however, this referendum does not lead to a domino effect of redistricting. That is a separate issue. Thank you for your time.
Johnny Local March 03, 2014 at 11:26 AM
Joe, I never said it won't cost you anything to pass the referendum. I said the $13 million the state will kick in is free. It will end up costing you more if the referendum fails. Again, this referendum has nothing to do with redistricting. That is a separate issue that has nothing to do with these repairs......... "It is time to take an objective look at the state of the schools...." That is exactly what the administrators did. They brought in experts to advise them on the best option and this is the plan that they came up with. Your kids are gone now so maybe you forgot how nice it was to have a neighborhood elementary school close by. You want to see what outraged parents look like? Tell them that their local elementary school is going to close and stand back and watch the fireworks.......... If we have 17 schools and if the life span of a roof is 20 years, it's reasonable to expect to be replacing a roof somewhere in town almost every year on average........... Are you suggesting that you deserve a tax rebate because your kids are out of school? Everyone benefits from having a community of well educated kids, like yours. When you sell your house to go to be near your kids out of state, the value of your home will be, in part, determined by the quality of our school system........... It's easy to throw around comments like you are "throwing your money into the abyss". You mean the "abyss" that provided your children with an excellent education that contributed to their success?.......... Have you looked at the numbers? Do you know what it costs to educate a kid here compared to other towns? There is nothing out of line with the cost of education in Middletown. It takes a big investment to educate children no matter where you live. I think that the folks running this district do an excellent job of it. I give them credit for doing a difficult job for an often thankless public.........MaverickMom, you lost me at Cody and I prefer not deal with someone who puts quotes around their words to make it seem like they were my words. You are only here to mislead and spread rumors.
joe smith March 03, 2014 at 02:01 PM
Yes i do know how irate the parents were about keeping their elementary schools. They were irate back then and nothing has changed. Its the same scenario over and over again and nothing changes. I didn't care if my kids went to the local elementary school. This is a great place to raise kids so what's the diff if you put them on a bus to go across town? It's not like these schools are spaced a million miles apart. Plenty of people who send their kids to private schools put their kids on buses. Obviously we cannot afford to maintain 17 buildings and it is unfair to burden the taxpayer with this expense. All I am saying, in my view, is that it is time for some long range planning. BTW I said my kids got a satisfactory education, not excellent. Also, a major concern for a home buyer is expense and taxes are a big chunk. Personally a majority of these buildings leave a lot to be desired and telling a prospective homeowner they have heat and a roof is an expectation and not a perk. I'm sure the people on the board do the best job possible but i am distrustful of their knowledge or leadership because here we are once again with a maintenance issues that should have been addressed on an annual schedule throughout the years, not done piece meal, hence my abyss reference. As to your assumption that I deserve a tax rebate because my kids are not in school. How did you come to that conclusion? The state used to issue homestead rebates, do you remember? But it was phased out based on income levels. And one other thing the last thing I want to do is follow my kids when I sell my home.
commonman March 03, 2014 at 04:18 PM
Fix the old schools and long term planning sb looking at building new schools what is the alternative?
MaverickMom March 03, 2014 at 07:09 PM
At the board meeting they said half the roofs have already been fixed Deborah. If we do a referendum, it should be address the overcrowding with a long term that encompasses everything plan like Joe said. Passing this referendum now (I believe we have until next year to do so per the grants) is too rash and not well thought out. This reminds me of, 'we have to pass it to see what's in it'
Deborah March 04, 2014 at 10:04 AM
Good morning Maverick Mom - You are correct that they reported fixing some roofs. The full answer is that they fixed sections, but not enough if my child's classroom has collapsed twice. There are also buckets in Thompson, and other locations catching water that is coming in through multiple ceilings. I too, prefer for these repairs to come out of the budget that we already have but there is not enough in capital reserves due to the 2% budget cap. I should be clear that I am not interested in raising taxes. By far, I prefer a conservative approach, however, I have looked at the budget and we do not have the money. I completely agree with the obvious fact that the population is only going to increase and we need to focus on a suitable fix for that. Like you, I do not want redistricting, but these are separate issues. The reason for the timing of the March vote is because the money has to be secured withing 18 months, interest rates are low, and also because then construction will begin this summer when children are not in the schools. Here are the two options the district is considering and what it will actually cost homeowners based on an average assessed home of $375,500: • 20 year bond with assumed interest rate of 3.60% *Tax impact $4.37 per month or $52.39 per year. • 15 year bond with assumed interest rate of 3.16% * Tax impact $5.22 per month or $62.67 per year. I urge you all to reconsider your no votes.
Johnny Local March 04, 2014 at 10:26 AM
You appear to be getting desperate Mavy. Now that your previous scare tactics about redistricting and additions have been knocked down you are resorting to out and out lies. This is from your post above:........ "I believe we have until next year to do so per the grants"............ That's not true Mavy. In fact, according to the district website it clearly states:.......... "Last round of ROD grants was 5 years ago and there are no current plans for additional grants".............. One of two things is going on here MaverickMom. Either you clearly do not have an understanding about the most basic facts regarding this referendum, in which case no one should pay attention to your scare tactics............. Or you are intentionally lying to mislead the public, in which case no one should pay attention to your scare tactics..................... You are sounding more and more like a politician than a concerned mother Mavy..................... Here are some excerpts from some of your previous posts on The Patch:.................... "Brush pick up was changed more than a year ago and makes sense from cost utilization perspective."..................... Huh? "cost utilization perspective"? Who talks like that? I don't even know what that means. How for you utilize a cost?................... You sound like you must have some sort of investment background MaverickMom. Let's see. a politician with an investment background. That could be lots of people. We need more to go on....................... Oh, BTW, here is an interesting fact about one of our local politicians: "Mr. Fiore is employed as a Senior Vice-President with Prudential Investments"....................... Maybe I should ask Tony what "cost utilization" means. I'll bet he could help me out with that one................................ More from you MaverickMom on The Patch:.... "I gotta agree with Jesse, Paul and our esteemed former Mayor Tony Fiore here."................. Well, you sure do like Tony Fiore, Maverickmom.............. What other local politicians are you fond of?.................. Another quote from MaverickMom from the Patch:.... "Gerry (Scharfenberger), keep doing what you've been doing because you're doing a fantastic job. You bring reasonable and intelligent viewpoints coupled with open and objective approaches. How can I get a sign for my lawn?".................. Wow MaverickMom, I can't tell who you like more, Gerry Scharfenberger or Tony Fiore. Did you ever get that sign?............ So let's put the pieces together MaverickMom, shall we? You sound like a politician. You apparently have a background in finance. You adore our local Republican politicians. An maybe the most telling fact is that you like to post on The Patch, just like Tony Fiore............... Speaking of Tony, why hasn't he weighed in on this topic? His name has been brought up a few times............... So, although no one from the township committee is posting here trying to scare people using their real names, all the evidence points to MaverickMom actualy being Tony Fiore.....................Why don't you just fess up MaverickMom? Tell us why the township committee is on this forum trying to make certain that the referendum doesn't pass with misinformation and lies?.............One more thing "MaverickMom". Mrs. Fiore called, don't forget to pick up milk on the way home.
Belford Bob March 04, 2014 at 11:47 AM
What's your infatuation with the former Mayor Jim? Didn't he beat you pretty bad twice in elections? Maybe he isn't weighing in on the referendum because it's not his place to. It's a Board of Education decision. Expect a post from 07748 or Pilgrim any second now. Maybe even ASimon? Red Herring!!!
Johnny Local March 04, 2014 at 12:45 PM
So Belford Bob, your history on The Patch is pretty much the same as Joe-The- MaverickMom-Fiore's. You two support the same candidates and the two of you launch tag team attacks on Democratic candidates Some of your Patch quotes of note"......."A real leader for Middletown. Vote Mayor Scharfenberger".........."Middletown needs Scharfenberger and Settembrino".................... They sound more like campaign slogans than opinions to me............... So we know now that MaverickMom is Joe Fiore and we know that you and MaverickMom act in unison. You guys supported the BOE candidates that were shills for the committee and you both want to see this referendum defeated................Why don't you come clean and tell us why the township committee is trying to defeat this referendum?
Belford Bob March 04, 2014 at 03:23 PM
It's no wonder you can't get elected Jim. Are you going to run again? I visited the Mayor at her last weekday office hours and asked her about the referendum. She didn't tell me to support it or to knock it down but to make my own opinion. I'm sorry that I support winning candidates such as Scharfenberger, Settebrino, Fiore and Murray. At least they offer solutions unlike you and that looney bird that you keep running year and in and year out. Why don't you come clean and just admit that no matter what the Republicans say, you will be the opposite. If Mayor Murray and the TC come out in support of the referendum, will you oppose it? Red Herring! Jim Red Herring!
Johnny Local March 04, 2014 at 03:59 PM
First of all, I am not Jim. I just hope that my posts here don't reflect poorly on him. I may not be able to convince Tony-The-MaverickMom-Fiore or you, B-Bob, but that doesn't matter. There are two people who know that I am not Jim, me and Jim, that's all that matters..... Maybe you can clarify something for me there B-Bob, I'm a little confused. First you said that maybe Tony-The- MaverickMom-Fiore wasn't commenting on the referendum because it was a board of ed issue, not a committee issue. Then you said you consulted the mayor about it. Why did you consult the mayor about a board of ed issue? Matter of fact, if it is a BOE matter, why were you discussing it with her at all? Is it because you know the Committee has a dog in this fight that you can't talk about? Why do you have to ask the mayor how you should think about the referendum?
Belford Bob March 04, 2014 at 05:55 PM
You are a negative reflection. Don't worry Jim. Or Asimon, 07748, or Pilgrim or whoever you are trying to be. Go ask your buddy Middletown Mike why he is leaning towards voting NO.
MaverickMom March 04, 2014 at 06:58 PM
Wow, Jim is getting incredibly desperate here. Talk about trying to deflect. The fact remains, the grants expire next year. There is no scare tactic here, it's simply a matter of doing the job in an complete an efficient manner. It is clear that this referendum will lead to redistricting because the board cannot come back to the people for more money to build additions or new schools. The schools have overcrowding problems but here is the real question, if the schools are in such disarray that the referendum must be done and done now, WHAT IN THE HECK HAS THE BOE BEEN DOING ALL THIS TIME? We have money for architects (whether or not the referendum passes), we have money for the election, money to have already fixed half the roofs, we have money to pay all of these fees but we do not have money for more hot lunch pilot programs, kids share books, and no money for hvac systems where kids are using winter clothes in schools so they don't freeze! This board is showing it's continued incompetence. Now they want a referendum without a complete plan. Who spends this kind of money on such a shortsighted and incomplete plan??????
MaverickMom March 04, 2014 at 07:00 PM
Oh and I love how a stay at home mom with kids in the schools is suddenly the former mayor. Now that is the type of desperation and misdirection we know the BOE for. What is next, more turf fields instead of fixing the schools?????
MaverickMom March 04, 2014 at 07:07 PM
If anyone has read the statement from the school, it says we need to spend money to save money. Who manages based on that logic? So we are getting 2% increase from the BOE this year in all probability, referendum increase if passes, town will most likely raise taxes. As I recall from past meetings, about half of the roofs have been fixed by not having to go to the taxpayer for more. The biggest issues facing the schools right now is still not going to be addressed until after which is overcrowding and will certainly mean redistricting down the line. We need to see a full accounting of the whole project to include what funds the BOE already has. I find it difficult to believe that the BOE does not have any money if they can find hundreds of thousands of dollars to pay the architect even if the referendum fails.
Johnny Local March 04, 2014 at 08:31 PM
And what was the reason that Belford Bob was talking to the mayor about the referendum that he said had nothing to do with the township? That's right. Belford Bob wouldn't answer that question would he? One thing is certain, the committee couldn't give a hoot about the education of your kids, they have proven that over the years. Why does the township committee want to see this referendum defeated?
MaverickMom March 04, 2014 at 10:41 PM
Deborah, if roofs are collapsing then why didn't the BOE fixed these immediately given they have money for all the things I listed here? Not only that, but I've been to meetings where they discussed owning land, why isn't that land being sold to support the infrastructure we have as it's been stated they can't or won't build on it? You want us to believe this referendum is the only way? Didn't Mr. Aveta mention this 2yrs ago and infer the BOE could sell some of it's holdings to help with the infrastructure. I get it, let's build more turf fields instead of fixing the roof.
Johnny Local March 05, 2014 at 08:18 AM
MaverickMom, all I am doing here is trying to show that the township committee is working against the school district because they have their own agenda. Not only that, but that the current township leadership has a history of working against the interest of the school district and our students. Their blatant opposition to this referendum is no exception.................You keep bringing up Chris Aveta. Thank you. Chris Aveta epitomizes why the township committee should not be involved with decisions involving the education of our children.....................Chris Aveta took an oath and swore that he would adhere to the state code of ethics for school board members and he would be an advocate for our children on the BOE...........................He then took the trust that the public had placed in him and refused to represent our children, deciding instead to represent the township committee, who had worked to get him on the board.....................As chair of the finance committee, instead of advocating for our students and obtaining the most resources available for their education, he kept the increase to the budget at half what the state allows to impress his cronies on the committee and further his political ambitions................Because the increase to the budget is based upon the previous year's budget, the damage Chris Aveta has caused to our district is having long range consequences....................When Aveta was head of the finance committee why did he insist on an unsustainable 1% increase to the school budget? Why didn't he take advantage of the meager 2% allowed by the state and put money towards repairs?.......................Now, after the parents of Middletown have overwhelmingly rejected his politically motivated presence on the BOE he continues to do the bidding of the township committee along with Belford Bob and MaverickMom......................Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me...........................The voters made the mistake of misplacing their trust in Chris Aveta once. Don't trust him when he tells you that this referendum is not good for the district, it is......................Don't trust them when they tell you this referendum is about redistricting, overcrowding or building additions....................This referendum is about the state offering us $13 million to help with needed repairs, nothing else. Let's vote yes and take the money because after this referendum the offer is off the table and we will pay much more in the long run.
commonman March 05, 2014 at 11:29 AM
What mess this town is my friends were right I should have moved to holmdel when I had the chance crazy when u think about all the crap that goes on in a small town makes me think that anyone who wants to be involved with politics or school board is a self absorbed know it all that gets high on being in control because the either don't have a job with any power or just lonely because as far as I can see no one gives a sht about the future of the towns kids makes me sad I have no idea what to believe anymore
commonman March 05, 2014 at 11:30 AM
Someone just tell the truth
MaverickMom March 05, 2014 at 01:15 PM
The truth is out there and the ROD grants state that this referendum can be voted down forcing the board to come back with a qualified plan and we will not lose the money. Johnnylocal is doing the town a disservice by spreading these falsehoods. Simply put, the BOE has failed the township letting the schools get this bad and haven't even made their case here. We will not lose the money by voting no instead, we'll force the BOE to come back with a better plan that is more thorough which is what should have happened from the beginning. I do agree commonman, as you see from the johnnylocal, it becomes too political when our kids schools should be the focus.
Johnny Local March 05, 2014 at 05:17 PM
At this point MaverickMom I don't see any point in correcting your misrepresentations. If anyone has read the posts to this point they know that you are a shill for the township committee. All you are doing is throwing spaghetti against the wall in the hopes that something will stick. You have no cohesive argument and you are grasping at straws trying to scare people. You are all over the place and I don't want to add any validity to your nonsense by addressing it.
MaverickMom March 05, 2014 at 07:44 PM
You can't add any validity because what you have said is factually wrong. This is not a 'one and done' as is being told to the public. The presentation where they say, 'if this referendum doesn't pass the money goes away' is blatant lie. The grants are good until next year meaning, we have until next year to approve this. We can vote this down, force the BOE to come back to us with a coherent plan that addresses all of the issues and accounts for all of the spending in complete fashion. Simply put, voting for this insures redistricting. What part of, 'a rumor at this time' do you not understand? I was at the meeting, I heard that with my own ears.
Marguerite Stocker March 06, 2014 at 10:54 AM
You are wrong, MaverickMom, on too many counts to list. Most importantly, if the referendum does not pass, the BOE will not have access to any portion of those funds. Period.
danielle March 06, 2014 at 12:05 PM
I don't care much who voted for who and who is or isn't using a pseudonym. This shouldn't be a political issue. There is so much misinformation regarding the referendum here that I couldn't begin to address it all. This referendum has NOTHING to do with addressing overcrowding or redistricting. It is solely about resolving our issues with roofs and HVAC. We need a safe comfortable place for our kids to go to school. The BOE (and believe me, normally I disagree with them more than not) has a solution that saves me money in the long term. 20 years of warranties is nothing if not fiscally responsible. Voting Yes to this referendum is not a vote against addressing the overcrowding issue. In fact, once it passes and construction is on its way, I am confident the people will force the BOE to spend its time focusing on a concrete solution. What I am failing to see anywhere in the dissent in another solution...Got a better idea? Please I am all for supporting a plan that doesn't cost my family more money. I simply haven't heard one that gets these roofs and HVAC fixed in a more timely and cost-effective manner.
MaverickMom March 06, 2014 at 07:13 PM
It does have to do with overcrowding Danielle as the BOE will never be able to turn around and hit the taxpayers with another referendum to do construction. That means they will be forced to redistrict. The issue came up during the last meeting and the comment was, 'this is a rumor at this time'. I would rather have a referendum that includes these repairs and addresses the overcrowding. This is being rushed, is not well thought out, is misleading the people the people about the one and done, and the BOE has assets it could sell to help alleviate the burden to the taxpayers.
Johnny Local March 06, 2014 at 08:51 PM
MaverickMom says: "It does have to do with overcrowding Danielle as the BOE will never be able to turn around and hit the taxpayers with another referendum to do construction." Now it all makes perfect sense. That's what this is all about isn't it Tony-The MaverickMom-Fiore? The committee must want to float its own referendum but you guys don't think you can "hit the taxpayers" for another referendum so it's time to throw the kids under the bus again. Just like you did when you put Chris Aveta on the BOE and he underfunded the budget so much as head of the finance committee that we couldn't hire the teachers we needed. It's easy, all you have to do is flood the local forums with lies about overcrowding and having no plans, say the super is lying, say they are rushing it, mention turf fields, redistricting or anything else you think will upset the parents and bingo, the school referendum gets knocked down and you guys can float your own referendum. It doesn't need to be the truth, it just needs to scare people. Tony, I knew if you talked long enough you would spill the committee's beans and we would learn why you are so desperate to defeat this referendum. You guys must want to float your own referendum to put a feather in your cap and those pesky children in town are spoiling your plans. First they want libraries and now they want roofs in their schools that don't leak. The nerve of those kids standing in the way of your political ambitions. Screw em, right Tony? It won't be the first time.
danielle March 06, 2014 at 09:57 PM
I believe this plan is being voted on and "rushed" because if we do not declare our intention to use the grant to the state by June, we lose it to another district. The deadlines for this grant are a state issue, not a BOE one.
MaverickMom March 07, 2014 at 08:11 PM
Only problem is we don't lose it. We have 18mos so lets' see a real plan
Marguerite Stocker March 11, 2014 at 11:20 AM
Again, MaverickMom, you are incorrect. If it doesn't pass, we lose all of the money from the rod grants. Please don't continue to misinform people.

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