The following is a Letter to the Editor from Long Valley resident Lisa Woodring regarding the upcoming school elections.
On Wednesday, April 27, we all have something important to do. We must find a few minutes in our day to get to our polling place and vote to support our schools. You may have heard that our school board representatives are running uncontested in Washington Township, so maybe you're feeling less of a need to cast your vote. In actuality, your vote is very important, so I'm writing to you today as a friend to ask that you please VOTE YES in support of the Washington Township K-8 school budget, and the West Morris Regional High School District (WMRHSD) budget supporting our high school.
Both budgets will mean progress for our students in all grades, while being mindful of the economic times and the pressure on us, the taxpayers of Washington Township. The K-8 and WMRHSD budgets increase the tax levy by only 0.41%, and 0.48% respectively. Both of these increases are far below the 2.0% cap set by Governor Christie. For those of you who have kept up with the issue surrounding tax allocation among the five municipalities included in our regional high school district, it is clear that this political issue has provided a distraction from the budget priorities. Thanks to the high school BOE's 7-2 vote to table the resolution, we will not be seeing a referendum on this ballot to change the tax allocation formula. Even so, this issue continues to swirl around in the four other municipalities–Chester Township, Chester Borough, Mendham Township and Mendham Borough. Some Chester and Mendham residents may be inclined to vote no on the budget in order to send a message to the BOE. That means that Washington Township residents must be sure to get to the polls in larger numbers. Let's show Chester and Mendham residents that Washington Township is serious about supporting the high school district, in spite of the divisive words being thrown around at board meetings and in newspaper articles.
The polls are open from 7:00 am to 9:00 pm, so we should all be able to get there. Vote on your way to work, on your way home from errands, or bring your kids so that they know you care about their schools. Also, please remind your friends and neighbors to vote. We have great schools - let's keep them strong! I believe that both budgets deserve our support - I hope you agree and will VOTE YES on Wednesday the 27th.