Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Death by a Thousand Cuts

Note: In addition to the projected $6 million hole for next year, we just had a million dollars cut from this year's budget. Here's the list (page 10) of the state's cuts, district-by-district.

Your taxes are about to go up again. This week, Dr. O’Malley presented his initial draft budget proposal to the Matawan-Aberdeen school board and he recommends raising school property taxes by 3% to help close a projected $6 million budget hole for next year. Today, I emailed the board my budget proposal that entails a small tax decrease. It’s all about what you’re willing to cut.

Between salaries, benefits, and the like, total expenditures are projected to increase by $3.5 million. State aid will likely be cut by $2.5 million. Hence, the $6 million budget gap.

To cut expenses, Dr. O’Malley has recommended eliminating 39 staff positions, ending summer school, and using one-time measures such as paying our health insurance bill two months late. The $1.2 million in one-shots means we could still be looking at another $4 million budget hole next year, depending upon what happens in the state legislature. So, even with $3.5 million in permanent spending cuts and $1.3 million in tax increases, we’re still looking at more cuts and more tax increases next year.

The argument is tax increases are natural and necessary because costs increase and wages increase and the only significant sources of revenue are government aid and property taxes. But that assumes we’re operating at near maximum efficiency, that there’s no more fat to be cut.

So, let’s talk about what the recommended tax increases will help fund. High school students can take the following classes to meet their credit requirements for graduation – drivers ed, ceramics, acting, computer applications (i.e. Excel and Access), sports marketing, TV production, stock market analysis, food fashion & family (meal prep and sewing), business technology (i.e. working in the school store), stage acting, children’s literature, SAT prep, and choir.

The administration objects to cutting any of these programs, all of which could be done as after-school activities, especially considering that one-third of seniors have failed to score 50% on a HSPA exam and may not graduate.

In the elementary schools, we have three full-time computer teachers teaching six to eight-year-olds how to surf the web and do PowerPoint presentations.

We have custodians earning more than teachers with masters degrees.

We have school psychologists earning supervisor salaries even though they don’t do any supervisory work.

We’re spending over $60,000 a year on student work-study programs.

Among the sports teams, we’re funding golf, bowling, tennis, and volleyball.

We could cut all these programs without impacting our school mission one bit, namely educating and preparing our students to “achieve success as honorable members of society”.

My proposed budget calls for the following:

  • Outsource all staff members and departments that can be outsourced. This will allow us to remove unwanted personnel, take staff off the salary guides, and give them benefits on par with the private sector
  • Eliminate one pre-kindergarten position. This will raise class size but we are not required to provide pre-school programs to the general public
  • Postpone textbook purchases for one year. This is a one-time measure that doesn’t bend the cost curve but we’re in a bad year
  • Eliminate all work study positions
  • Replace elementary computer teachers with self-guided software tutorials
  • Raise class sizes up to 22 students except in Strathmore where overcrowding already has class sizes at 26
  • Eliminate the TV production class
  • Eliminate high school computer instruction. Astonishingly, the school district does not teach any computer programming. (Web page design refers to page layout, not data processing.) Excluding graphic design, the computer courses have very little commercial or educational value
  • Eliminate ceramics
My proposed budget would slightly reduce taxes without adversely impacting our core mission or undermining our future. However, I acknowledge that I am also using $1.7 million in one-time spending measures, which means expanding next year’s budget gap by $500,000 above Dr. O’Malley’s proposal. Even so, from a financial perspective, over the next two years, we’ll be spending $2.5 million less under my proposal. I would also argue from a strategic perspective that my cuts preserve more core services and are more aligned with our long-term goals than Dr. O’Malley’s.

The one other possibility that has been discussed but not seriously considered is for the board to declare it will not consider any adjustments to next year’s teacher salary guide. The issue is whether the district can reasonably budget under the assumption that we won’t cave into pressure and increase funding for salaries.

None of this is easy. We’re talking about terminating high-valued employees to retain unwanted tenured employees. We’re talking about people losing their jobs. But this is what it takes to keep taxes from rising.

The current proposal calls for a 3% tax increase and eliminating positions and services that I consider core to our mission. I have offered an alternative.

For everybody complaining about their high property taxes, remember this - The government didn't raise our taxes all at once. They did it bit by bit. Voting against the budget won’t stop our taxes from increasing. The only way to do that is to contact your representatives on the school board and to do it now. >>> Read more!


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Anonymous said...

The Boe will cave in to the NJEA come June like always. Just ask what happen the fall of 1977.
Why would you vote for a raise last year when you need to make budget cuts this year?

Aberdeener said...

The $30K in raises were awarded before the state announced $2.5 million in cuts and another million in insurance premium hikes.

Regardless, employees generally improve performance when they expect to reap the fruits of their labors. Hence, merit pay was built into the contract.

Poker Don said...

I am hosting a Blizzard Tournament at the VFW tonight.

Anonymous said...

Wow. You still have side stepped the issue what are you going to due come june with the upcoming teacher's contracts expire?
If you reward employees based on performance then Matawan teachers are not entitled to a raise based on students scores.

Fiddle Woman said...

Anonymous said...
Wow. You still have side stepped the issue(.) (W)what are you going to due (do) come june (June) with (when) the upcoming teacher's contracts expire?
If you reward employees based on performance then Matawan teachers are not entitled to a raise based on students scores.

It looks like your score wasn't too high, Anonymous!

Chris Christie said...

What time is the tournament?Will there be wings? Kim and I would like to attend if they are serving those delicious wings.

Anonymous said...

Why are we paying O'Malley so much money when we have Joey to run the district. Oh, Fiddle woman- how can you expect our scores to be high when someone used you for breeding.

Anonymous said...

Excuse me I was typing fast.

Anonymous said...

Joey-Are you planning on volunteering your time after school to teach free computer classes? What will be on your syllabus?

Train Whistle Man said...

Careful there, Anonymous. Don't mess with Fiddle Woman.

Anonymous said...

O'Malley will never cut the programs that you suggest especially the technology program... after all he reinstated it when Quinn cut it, fired the old Technology Director and brought in a new Technology Director, bought a ton of new computers, laptops, Promethean Boards, trainers, curriculum writers, etc. He believes technology should start in Kindergarten (I agree) and that Matawan should be as technologically advanced as possible (we're getting there). If you want to stay on his good side you better back off the technology issue. AND if you want to stay on the public's good side you better not even consider giving him another raise if we are in such dire straits.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...


I'm sure your plan is well intentioned, however have you thought about the ramifications of cutting some those classes. You bemoan the test scores but want to cut classes that keep kids in school. I guess encouraging kids to quit school is one way to raise test scores. But do you really want to do that?

Aberdeener said...


You claim I "want to cut classes that keep kids in school."

Which classes are you referencing?

Anonymous said...

"The administration objects to cutting any of these programs, all of which could be done as after-school activities" Questions: Who will provide these afterschool activities? Who will pay for these after school activities? If the district is going to provide for them after school, like clubs, don't they need to pay stipends to teachers? Won't that cost more money? Also-Did you know that the classes for the wonderful chorus program we have is half of a student's lunch period? Students voluntarily give up their personal time to participate to receive a very minor credit yet this small "extra" class may inspire them to pursue a career in the arts. As a matter of fact just about all of the classes you consider cutting are career choices for college and beyond. Look past the test scores, Joey, there are people out there to inspire to greatness.

Aberdeener said...

1) You can't possibly compare the cost of a stipend to the cost of a teacher's salary and benefits
2) Concert choir is a five credit course. You're referencing the lunch chorus.

Once again, I gave a long list of classes that can be cut. Give me an example of one that shouldn't be cut.

Aberdeen Poker Dan said...

What I want to know is whether the schools serve hot wings and blue cheese at lunch? If so, I won't vote for any budget that seeks to cut this luxury!

Additionally, I am completely against cutting Food fashion & Family. I think we should increase funding to that class so we can start teaching the art of poker and making great hot sauce for hot wings!

By the way, just read in the paper that the Red Bank Elks are holding a benefit Texas Hold'em Tournament starting at 6 p.m., March 12, at the Elks Lodge, West Front Street.

Its not Aberdeen, but I can't pass this up! I'm calling today to make sure hotwings will be served.

The time is here.. said...

What happened to that 0% from last year? Feeling the pain now are we?
Where did everyone think that 0 budget was going to come from?
O'Malley thought he'd be gone already by now. Too bad no one else would pay his inflated salary! Now we will see what he is really made of won't we?

Wonder how all these budget cuts will affect the acadamies? You know the ones with 4-5 kids in each class? I have a feeling non of those classes will be cut.

Anonymous said...

Just to change the subject for a moment. What every happen to the special land deal with councilwoman Gumbs? Have you ever seen offical copy of the survey?

Chris Christie said...

Poker Dan,
I would like to join you at the tournament at the Red Bank Elks.

If you require transportation , due to road conditions, don't hesitate to call me. I will send one of my troopers to pick you up.

Kim is coming too, and she said she will wear a really hot dress.


Anonymous said...

Is there any truth to the rumor Donald Trump wants to build in Aberdeen?

Anonymous said...

Irons and O'Malley got big raises last year in part because of the work they did on Quinns bloated budget with basically no cuts. The stimulus money also covered his ass. Now when hard decisions have to be made he comes up with an increase that is 1 percent under the maximum he can raise it. Can someone pull Chuck out of O'Malleys ass for one second and stop rubber stamping this guy. He played some board members like Joey and the others will do whatever he wants. The taxpayers are once again the real losers and nothing has changed. O'Malley used the circumstances to improve his own position. That million in insurance premium hikes comes from bad negotiations. It should have been negotiated as a shared expense with the people that benefit from it. It needs to be made clear to the union, arbitrators, fact-finders, superconciliators and anyone else that this nonsense must stop. Tax increases are only natural when the board of education does a bad job negotiating on behalf of the taxpayers(employers). When this board determined that taxpayers could afford to pay 100 percent of the teachers health care premiums and over 4 percent salary increases is when the taxpayer is doomed. With O'Malley looking out for himself and not able to make hard cuts the taxpayer is doomed. A line needs to be drawn in the sand now and all this posturing needs to stop. Zero inflation? So what. A deep recession? It doesn't matter. Ten percent unemployment, and wage freezes in the private sector? Who cares? Certainly not O'Malley and this board of education. Property tax bills soaring? Just like always they give the same answer. Deal with it.
It has never become more important for the public to stand up against these outrageous salary increases for little to no progress. Vote this down and demand your elected council members make them make the cuts that are necessary to not put this on the backs of the taxpayers. Our board of education has failed us again and has the audacity to increase taxes. Nothings changed except O'Malleys personal income.

Anonymous said...

Mr Warren,
The classes, sports, and programs you want out are fully used and enjoyed by hundreds of MARSD students.

If your children used any of them, you as a parent would be concerned. But since your kids dont and wont go here - it looks like CUT AWAY is your motto.

It is not fair. There are over 10 120,ooo dollar administrators in this district along with the new "high and mightily educated" BOE, cant anyone come to a consensus?????

thetimehascome said...

If we cut all the sports out how much money would that save?
How about we get rid of football? I'm sure that would save tons of money.
It is all about the test scores anyway, we don't need sports.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous @ 11:37 from your keyboard to God's ears. But don't hold your breath, that rumor's been circulating for twenty years.

Chris Christie said...

Donald Trump is going to build a casino off County Rd.

I have legalized gambling in Aberdeen, and will also be legalizing prostitution there.

I am agreeing to these new laws in appreciation of the delicious hot wings, and exciting poker games given to me by the residents of Aberdeen.

Aberdeener said...

A third of our seniors are at-risk of not graduating. Another third will never see a college degree. Taxes are through the roof. We're looking at a $6 million budget hole. And you won't consider eliminating a ceramics class.

That why our taxes are so high and our academics so low. You need to reconsider your priorities.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Still waiting on a response to Councilwoman Gumbs land deal. You stated she was paid money for land she did not own.

Aberdeener said...

All the documents and data regarding Councilwoman Gumbs' land deal have already been posted.

Either she got paid for land that wasn't hers or she's not being taxed for land that is. Has to be one or the other.

This is an old story. Don't know why you'd be asking rather than searching the blog.

Anonymous said...

I KNOW you pulled that 1/3 are in danger # out of your ass.

Not all children want or should go to college. There are a lot of trade jobs, military, and civil service jobs that do not require a college education. When are you going to stop trying to fit ALL kids into one form? This isn't Holmdel Joe.

Is it true that O'Malley is paying for all Srs college applications that decided they weren't going to apply?

Please answer the question about stopping all sports programs. How much would that save?

Anonymous said...

Whos idea was it to not consider any adjustments to next years salary guide and why was it not seriously considered? What percentage increase are you budgeting for and where did that number come from? Administration? The board should come up with a number the district can afford and budget based on that number. Then no caving, thats all you have. For Christs sake would someone take control and show a little leadership. Show the union that you are serious and stop playing the game.

Aberdeener said...

One-third of seniors failed the HSPA last year. Look it up.

And nobody is talking about eliminating the sports program.

Champ said...

All of your bullets impact the students directly. Except possibly the first. What cost cutting ideas involve the district office? Is this where the 39 positions are?

What about leveraging other districts rather than outsourcing? IT functions for example, desktop support comes to mind.

Aberdeener said...


We can't argue in generalities. Take one bullet point and we can discuss that point in relation to the district's mission.

How would joining other districts be superior to outsourcing? You'd still have union contracts and the employees would become less accountable.

As for budgeting a 0% salary increase, keep in mind the elections take place after the budget is set. We can't guarantee a 0% increase without knowing who's going to be on the board.

Anonymous said...

Who is the former security man that is running for the board of education? What does he want to do to make things better? Is Dr. Gambino going to run again? I hope the board will do right for the children. This budget is very bad for everyone.

Aberdeener said...

By the way, I haven't seen anyone else recommending specific cuts. Does that mean you'd agree to a 13% percent tax increase?

Aberdeen Hot Wing Fan said...

I think County Road would be a perfect place for a Trump Casino. I'm very excited to hear this is in the workings.

I want to make sure I get an application into town before Trump gets his so that I can open up a hotwing stand. With all of those poker nuts coming to the casino, I want to be ahead of the curve.

Thanks GOV!

Anonymous said...

What percentage increase did you budget and where did that number come from? Should you be giving out raises to anyone when, in your own words, are taxes are so high and our academics are so low.

Chris Christie said...

Yes I think its hilarious that I chose County Rd, now that you mention it.

Poker will rule on County Rd.

Champ said...

I'm not looking for an argument. What cost cuts were considered in the district office? Are any of the 39 positions in here?

I wasn't implying leveraging to be superior to outsourcing. If the objective (or at least some part) is to avoid the union - OK.

I'm not sure about what the comment on 0% budget for wage increases is. If it's in regard to my district office query, that's not what I meant. I was referring more to a reduction in force. But, perhaps that is addressed in the 39 positions.

Aberdeen Poker Pete said...

BOOOO on this school budget stuff. I thought we were talking poker and hot wings!

Hey Champ! How's your poker game?

Anonymous said...

Why not look at counting the supervisors and the new position for the reading coach. She should have been let go already.

Anonymous said...

Why not look at counting the supervisors and the new position for the reading coach. She should have been let go already.

Anonymous said...


Michael Vail said...


The idea that we can push off current financial obligations to the future is ridiculous and is ruining this country.

"one-time measures such as paying our health insurance bill two months late"

What does this equate to in dollars and is this not equivalent to taking out a short term loan?

Does Dr. O'Malley have the authority to borrow funds on behalf of the district?

New Jersey is broke, borderline insolvent. Gov. Christie has already raised the idea of slashing school funding and that should make everyone in Aberdeen quake thinking of the potential impact on their real estate taxes. There is no doubt that we will have to cut spending as well as increase taxes.

Can you say bailout?

Anonymous said...

What are the 39 staff member cuts? Is that teachers, support staff, janitors, administration? It is important to know where these staff cuts are to determine what effect it may have. Is RTI gone or any other programs that are not working and are the staff cuts are in those areas?

Aberdeener said...


Sorry if I'm getting a bit agitated but I (along with the rest of the school board) am responsible for closing a $6 million hole. The idea we can cut 10% of the budget without impacting any services is nonsense. Furthermore, if we agree that taxes are too high, then we should really be cutting more than $6 million.

The 0% was in reference to a prior question of why we don't budget for a 0% increase to the teacher salary guide since their contract expires in June.

Of the 39 positions, some are from "central office" but not much. As one example, Principal Olsen has announced her retirement. We intend to promote from within and reduce the administrators by one. We're also looking at the secretarial pool.


Paying the health insurance two-months late does not incur any interest or late payments so it's pretty much an interest free loan, though it is a loan.

Once again, how would you close a $6 million gap?

Aberdeener said...

The cuts are all over. We've cut funding to the RTI program but most of those teachers have tenure so they're either still doing special help or they're being moved to another area.

I can't go into specifics since it involves personnel and the people themselves haven't been notified yet.

Champ said...

I found an org chart on the districts website. Just from looking at it...

Deputy Superintendent has no solid line reports(they go straight to ROM). Do we need that position? If no, can probably reduce 1 secretary. If yes, why?

Mgr Info Systems has one direct report - Network Mgr. Do we need both?

Dir of pupil pers svcs - what reports does this person have?

Aberdeener said...

The deputy superintendent is also the director of personnel so his secretary is dealing with those issues.

Kevin Dugal handles all of our technical issues. Above him is the director of technology. Below him is tech support.

Barbi Siegel is the director of student personnel services and also an assistant principal in the high school. She's responsible for maintaining all student records and student-related legal compliance issues.

Glad you're looking but you've got a long way to go to hitting six million. Just remember - when you remove someone, it's usually the non-tenured who's also the cheapest staff member.

Get ready to pay and pay said...

Unfortunately Mr. Warren and Gov. Christie speak from the obvious. We have a bloated beauracracy in both municipal and school governance. Their are many who have ben given their jobs as a favor or to placate some politician. Not in Aberdeen? Right Aberdeen Matwawn Council members?

Like Christie said today, the days of Alice in Wonderland budgets in this state is over.

Reality is about to bite us all on the ass. Our past sins of the I want my child to get everything and I don't care what it costs, will soon change peoples minds when they are paying their full share.

What we will be paying here is nothing compared to what many municipalities and cities will soon be paying. It will also be devistating on our wallets and pocketbooks.

Get ready.

Give us the truth for once! said...

How much would cutting all sports programs save the district? I know you'd rather cut teachers and reduce educational programs, but why not look at the sports programs if you are going to make cuts?

You'll cut teachers, reduce programs, increase class size, and then blame the teachers again for the drop in scores.

Why not get rid of the acadamies? How much would that save?

Chris Christie said...

I plan on having the casino in Genoa up and running by this summer.

Aberdeener said...

Cutting every after-school athletics program would save roughly $560,000. Eliminating every club would be about another $275,000. Ending the academies would save maybe another $100,000.

All combined, about 1.5% of the budget or less than half of last year's increase in staff salaries and benefits.

Anonymous said...

Please answer my question. What percentage increase did you budget for salary increases that you expect the taxpayers to support? Also what amount did you budget for benefits? These are the main cost drivers and starting in June something can be done about it.

Aberdeener said...

Sorry, but that information's confidential. I didn't even want the board members to have that info.

Anonymous said...

Cut tuition reimbursement. Don't budget for it and make sure it is not in the next contract. How much will that save?

Aberdeener said...

Tuition reimbursement is capped at $75,000. That number will stay in force until a new contract is signed so we have to budget for it, regardless.

pokerman said...

I think you should take all the budget money and give it to Poker Pete, so he can play Texas Hold em with it. That would be sweet.

Aberdeen Whispers said...

Why is there no genda on line for Feb 16 Tue 7:00 pm - Council Meeting Workshop 7PM Regular Meeting to Follow ????

ontoyou said...

So, will those academy classes with 5-6 kids in them lose their classes? If you are getting rid of teachers, one would hope that the classes with 5-6 kids would go first right?
You know the same reason AP Chem. was cut last year. I believe you told us it was cost effective. however we have had academy classrs running all year with less than 10 kids.
Hypocrititical much?

Anonymous said...

Aberdeener - I think that your slash and burn budget would hurt students. Colleges look for well-rounded students and not all students will pursue further education that is only dependent on grades in reading, writing and arithmetic.

We may have a talented student at the high school who needs that ceramics class because she wants to go to Parsons for Fine Arts.

Kindergarten to third grade computer classes are part of what it takes for our children to compete internationally. Not all Kindergarten kids have 3 computers in their house like my daughter.

Contract out teaching? You want to low-bid the education of our children?

Now for what I do agree with:
Get rid of the Deputy Superintendent and other do-nothing positions? Absolutely

Put off or eliminate the purchase of new textbooks? Absolutely -- go further and determine where text books are no longer needed because of emerging technology.

I think that you have taken on the role of those people who would cut education spending at any cost. We must look beyond our personal self-interest even if you don't have kids in public schools, are retired, or your you simply don't have children.

We need to cut the excess meat out of the sandwich; but, you are removing all the meat and only leaving two slices of white bread and some mustard.

I applaud your effort on behalf of the community and your service on the school board; but I think that it is important that school board members care about more than keeping an extra tax dollar in their pocket. That attitude is no better than the Barza group that sold out the board so they could do favors for their friends and family.

This community is better than that.

Anonymous said...

Amen to the above.

Cut activities and classes with hundreds of students so we can look ADVANCED and say we have academies. Less than 10 kids per class.

Makes no sense. But this is what some on our BOE do. Talk like the elite, take care of the elite, and make like they have ALL THE ANSWERS and us simpletons dont know anything.

Get it through your head that EVERY kid is not destined for college and that does not make them bad people in they enter a trade or military. But dont tell that to the elite around here who KNOW THAT college is for everyone.

AND DONT DARE MENTION BROOKEDALE - it is not really a college and only scum go there right?

Property taxes do not and should not have anything to do with achievement. This tax problem did not happen over night. It has taken years for this mess. Low taxes, good scores, and college apps are nice but not a reality in every household. But I am a simpleton who does not have any idea what I am talking about. I have only lived here 30 years and put my kids throught this system.

Matawan is the pinnacle of you get out what you put in. If you are ambitious you will succeed. If you slack off - you better make other plans. But dont tell the know it alls here. It is always someone elses fault.

We have over 14 people in the district making a combined 1.6 million dollars. Check the board minutes. START THERE for why things are the way they are. Then ask the longest tenured BOE members why they voted the way they did in past votes ALLOWING the expenditures to get so high.

But that is to easy and to political.

Al on aberdeen rd said...

Mr. Warren -

I heard to Christie ideas:

a one year freeze on ALL public employee raises- starting this year


all public employees contribute 1.5% of their insurace policy worth toward benefits.

Is any of this true? I saw on the internet he was proposing this today.

SPEDparent said...

Did you know the O'Malley was paying for kids college applications?

Did you know that he wants EVERY kid to send in an application to college?

Did you know he is trying to FORCE special ed. kids who are exempt from the HSPA to take it anyway? How is that for cruel? Take a kid with a 70 IQ and force him to take a test that he couldn't possibly pass. What a stand up guy. All this to get his school district #'s to look good~!

NSecJoe said...

Much like the draconian cuts that will soon have to be made by Governor Christie our school leadership will have to make drastic cuts as well. It is sometimes called trickle down economics. Of course everyone will want their favorite program or teacher saved. But what we all have to realize is that the days of schools being babysitters, school day parents, counselors and more needs to stop. Back to the basics of education was and can be again very productive while keeping the extreme costs in check without giving everything to everyone just because they want it or some supposed expert says it will be the newest thing to revolutionalize education.

The fact that we offer Pre-Pre-K programs at taxpayer expense needs to be looked at very closely also. We taxpayers along with the great many of our fellow taxpayers who have long since stopped having students in schools or those who have never or will never have students in school need some relief from our own selfishness.

Don't give me the typical It takes a village bull either. It takes a realistic look at the nooks and crannies of budgets and expenditures.

Not keeping a great deal of our special needs students in this district have likewise cost us far too much money for too many years, when establishing in district programs were far more cost effective. Don't get me wrong their are students who cannot be given the education and special medical or behavioral care that they require and must go elsewhere. But this district for many years made the taxpayers pay an extreme cost by ignoring the ability to create our own special needs classes while ensuring those who need and deserved other facilities got them. Our district for many years sent every special needs student out of district and those costs were extremely high. To say nothing of the assoctaed costs of transportation to all of these facilities and the instructional time lost in transit.

Our district has made great strides towards an in district placement of special needs students and I applaud that on many levels. But more needs to be done to keep those costs in check while ensuring all students learn.

Many of you know that my wife is a educator having been teaching since 1980. Things have changed from when she signed her first year teacher contract for $13,000.00. Unfortunately what also has changed is the amount of instruction time as well as the type of instruction, which is far beyond the reading, writing and mathematics that we all learned many years ago.

While technology has changed and our children can run circles around us in this electronic and technology age, the costs have grown far beyond reasonable with the multi levels of administrators and the numbers of assistant principal salaries are also a joke.

In 1974 with split sessions and far more students two men ran the show in our high school as assitant principal and principal. How many assistant principals are there in the high school today? Far more then two will for sure be the answer. Why and at what cost?

There is no doubt this district has placated unions, administrators and personnel for too many years. We do not need the number of assistant principals we have. We do not need a Joel Glastien and many others like him with the high salaried while superintendents and business administrators running the district. Such salaries hold the key as they are the salaries of easily three instructors who actually teach students and prepare them for their futures. Joel Glastien has not done that for many years while he has been mired in the internal strife of the prior school board debacle and passed along the outlandish costs associated with their failed leadership, construction projects and far worse.

We need to rid our school district of the many vice principals and the others whose duties are created rather then necessary. Far too many are merely kept busy in the hallways, classrooms and Boiard of Education offices then in classrooms.

Anonymous said...

For years the school board and administrations have raised our taxes to the point they are at now. We are the most highly taxed people in the nation. And were broke. Yet this overpriced superintendent wants us to pay more. If any corporation had that track record the CEO would be history, management would be changed throughout and there would be massive layoffs. It is time to stop listening to its for the children. It is time to cut expenses across the board and let them earn what we can afford. More money has lead to "Partially Proficient" schools, a fancy word for failing. If this keeps up the only employer will be the state. Oh, thats been tried too, They called it Russia.

Aberdeener said...

I'll try to respond to the most recent comments.

1) Teachers and administrators cannot be outsourced
2) Recent studies have not shown that, excluding testing, technology in the classroom improves education despite widespread use. As a software developer, I don't see any value in my children or the district's children using computers at a young age. They're better served using the time for reading
3) Our school offers many fine arts programs and ceramics could be an after-school activity. We have to cut somewhere and ceramics is non-essential
4) The deputy superintendent is a tenured business administrator. He's not going anywhere
5) Academy classes are being used to steer students towards a more rigorous curriculum. They're more valuable and central to our mission than the cuts I've proposed
6) If a class' merit was based upon enrollment, TV production would be more important than any of the advanced math or science classes. That's ridiculous. A class' merit is based upon its contribution to the schools district's mission
7) Brookdale has a 70% dropout rate
8) Nearly all the administrators have tenure and the ones who don't tend to be the better ones. We could operate with fewer administrators if we could choose which ones to keep but we can't
9) We've been hearing about Gov. Christie's idea to freeze salaries and contribute to health benefits but nothing yet and we need to present a budget to the county superintendent by early March
10) I support Dr. O'Malley's initiative to ensure that every student submits a college application. By doing so, we preserve a student's opportunity to choose whether to pursue a college degree or not
11) I don't believe we have any 70 IQ students in the high school. The special ed students attending MRHS are capable of taking the HSPA exam, although not necessarily under the same testing conditions
12) We are developing programs to keep special ed students in-district but it is unlikely that students succeeding out-of-district will take the risk of transferring back
13) Don't blame the CSA for wanting to raise taxes. It's a $6 million hole and you can see from the comments above that parents aren't even willing to sacrifice the ceramics class

Anonymous said...

Many good points from Speced and njoe. The biggest staement is that parents will scream about this teacher and that program being saved. They need to really think before they speak. All cannot be funded just because of those wants and supposed fondness.

Iknowthetruth said...

6) If a class' merit was based upon enrollment, TV production would be more important than any of the advanced math or science classes. That's ridiculous. A class' merit is based upon its contribution to the schools district's mission

So, the BS you gave me/us last year about the AP Chemistry class being drop due to lack of students and how it wouldn't be cost effective was complete BS? Those words came from your mouth Joe so hypocrite status has once again been proven. Funny how the story changes when it suits your BS!

5) Academy classes are being used to steer students towards a more rigorous curriculum. They're more valuable and central to our mission than the cuts I've proposed

More valuable than AP classes Joe?
So, what you are saying is we should have 25 kids in an Algerbra II class, so there can be 6 in an academy alegbra class? Those 6 kids who the board is using to fit into the Holmdel syndrome are certainly more important than the other 25 non academy kids.

You know what is the biggest joke Joe? You keep talking about moving the district forward and moving toward the district goa, yet you are too blinded and self righteous that the things you are using as excuses are the exact things that are moving MOST of our kids AWAY form this goal. There are over 1000 kids i8n the HS, and you guys keep throwing all your money at 35 of them.

11) I don't believe we have any 70 IQ students in the high school. The special ed students attending MRHS are capable of taking the HSPA exam, although not necessarily under the same testing conditions

Wrong again Joe! Please learn what you are talking about BEFORE you continue to spread more BS around here. You are so clueless about this it is embarassing for you. We have many kids taking this test that have no higher than a 3-6th grade readign level. Please get your facts straight.

12) We are developing programs to keep special ed students in-district but it is unlikely that students succeeding out-of-district will take the risk of transferring back

Yes, they are developing programs for those 1-5 kids again. The rest of the SPED kids are getting the same old shit they always got!

10) I support Dr. O'Malley's initiative to ensure that every student submits a college application. By doing so, we preserve a student's opportunity to choose whether to pursue a college degree or not

And paying for it out of the money we don't have? How about the kids who don't want to go to college Joe? How about the ones who can't handle HS yet we are making them at least try? Watch that 70% got way up, just from out students alone.
I bet those #'s are going to look great on paper though aren't they?

8) Nearly all the administrators have tenure and the ones who don't tend to be the better ones. We could operate with fewer administrators if we could choose which ones to keep but we can't

Yes, because the tenured ones are less intimidated by the dictator and his court.Oh, there are some on both sides of tenure that suck, but they sucked BEFORE they got their tenure.

5) Academy classes are being used to steer students towards a more rigorous curriculum.

There were plenty of rigorous classes before they were lumped into the academy group. Kids and parents just had to work hard to get into them. Oh, except for the classes they cut of course due to small #'s.

Joe, some people here only assume form the BS you spew, soem of are much more involved in the schools. Some uf us have had kids there for many many years and actually know what is going on. I know that is a bad thing for you, but I will not let you to continue to BS people and be fooled by your lies and shifting of the statistics.
You are a hypocrite and liar and haven't fooled most of the people who actually have children in the district. We are much more intelligent than you give us credit for. Too bad for you.

Anonymous said...

Years ago the district offered some kind of buyout or incentive to entice teachers at the high end of the guide to retire and many did so. Is this out of the question?

I know you have to plan a budget but shouldn't you be screaming at Trenton to change school funding from property taxes to something else?
Where does all that lottery money for education go??

Matawan Mom said...

Matawan's requirements for graduation involves taking electives in various subject areas to form a more rounded student. Since art is a requirement, Ceramics is a great course for those students with and without artistic talent. Ceramics is not "playing with clay". It is an appreciation in physical art and teaches much the same information as a computer CAD program can- only with real hands on learning. The ceramics program is more challenging than you think. From personal experience- my child took Ceramics "because it fit in her schedule" senior year. She found it to be much more difficult than originally thought. Through perserverance she finally made a piece worthy of the Teen Arts Festival. The pride she felt when her work was exhibited was immeasurable. It also inspired her to pursue art as a minor in college. Don't underestimate the "little" programs. Sometimes, like sports, they have the biggest impact.
One other thing- many of the electives you suggest students take after school will be in direct conflict with competitive sports, work and community service and the teachers that teach them will be earning their salary during the day AND a stipend after school. No cost savings there.

Anonymous said...

How about combining with the schools in the Bayshore Jointure such as Keyport, Hazlet, etc. and having only one superintendent, less Assistants and a joint Board of Ed? Sharing services will save money.

Aberdeener said...


You'll need a new moniker because either you don't know the truth or you're a fibber because you're plainly not speaking the truth.

1) I petitioned the high school to keep AP Chemistry and that decision was made before I was on the school board
2) I've already explained that we're only spending about $100,000 for the academies.
3) A 70 IQ is borderline retardation. You think we've got in-district programs for kids with a 70 IQ?
4) Yes, we're spending money to help kids get into college
5) We've got nearly 70 kids in out-district placements. They and the community would be better served by in-district programs assuming we could meet their needs
6) You make no sense regarding tenured staff

I see you have no ideas of your own. All you can do is complain about the people who are actually trying to solve the problem. Let me know when you have a single actionable idea for improving the district or closing the budget gap. I won't hold my breath.

Aberdeener said...

Matawan Mom,

I don't doubt our students have benefited from ceramics but we can't afford to offer all programs. I could think of lots of worthwhile programs the school district could offer but we don't have the money.

If you want to keep ceramics, then you need to suggest an alternative place to cut.

Our school district is already 4,000 students. At some point, a district becomes too large and less cost efficient.

Also, even if we took your suggestion, Dr. O'Malley has a contract and support staff are generally a percent of the student body.

Iknowthetruth2 said...

13. Don't blame the CSA for wanting to raise taxes.
It was the CSA, when he got hired, who urged the board to settle the teachers contract so that he started off without this controversy. It was this CSA you gave praise and money based on last years budget. Now don't blame him? Last year, no hard choices, this is the year he should earn his money.
4. The deputy superintendent is a tenured business administrator.
If you agree he is incompetent why does this board and the CSA give him raises year after year? No raises and he would leave.
8. Nearly all the administrators have tenure.
If you could use less administrators as you admit, do what every successful business does and choose which are good ones to keep and demand the others do the job. A good CSA(CEO) would use increment withholding for those not performing and they would eventually get rid of themselves. Again no raises, they would leave. So your solution and the CSAs is to keep paying high salaries for dead wood, then hide them, instead of managing them properly. Tenure is a problem, but a good CSA has tools at his disposal if he was doing his job to get rid of these people. He chooses not to use them, just tax us more and keep them around. Just like Quinn, the longer this guy is around the more he is being exposed.

Aberdeener said...

IKT2 -
1) I believe O'Malley was the only CSA in Monmouth County that actually cut spending. If it was so easy, how come nobody else did it?
2) You're assuming the deputy superintendent will quit if he doesn't get a raise. More likely we'll just have a disgruntled senior employee on our hands. Keep in mind, depending on the elections, he could become the CSA in two years.
3) The other administrators are under the MRAA contract. Increment withholdings have to be made with cause and survive a grievance hearing. Doing a crappy job isn't considered cause in the State of New Jersey.

In this economy, I don't see a whole lot of tenured folk quitting. Besides, none of these issues help us for budgeting next year.

How about I make it easy. Instead of $6 million, how about $1 million. Tell me how I can cut $1 million from next year's budget. I've heard lots of complaints and long term plans but I need to submit a budget in three weeks.

If you had to submit a budget in three weeks, how would you cut $1 million?

Here endeth the lesson said...

Damn right is all I can say to several posts above mine. Iknowthetruth along with Big Joe M. and some others hit it out of the ballpark. Back to basics as has been suggested worked in the past and must be implimented since WE CANNOT AFFORD THE NJEA AND THEIR THUGS ANY LONGER. Kids first not unions.

Aberdeen Poker Rulez said...

Don Cheadle was on Poker After Dark last night? Did anyone else see it? It was pretty cool!

IKT#3 said...

Joey nice try. IKT obviously does know what they are talking about. You yourself mentioned on this very site about cutting AP Chem due to class enrollment. You don't remember that? I certainly do mention one woman one here complaining about it and you telling her it couldn't be done for only 4-5 students.

You don't know that we have kids in the HS with kids with a 70 IQ or less? I'm a mom of a special ed. child andI know that to be true! Sad that you don't know that about your own district.

You can't figure out why 100,000 on academies is wrong when you are spending it on a minute % of the kids?

You think it is OK for O'Malley to be paying for college applications, while he is considering reducing staff and increasing staff size?

Again, Joe you are so very obvious at times.

Anonymous said...

The numbers for HSPA were near the numbers this year and 99% graduated. I don't know if that is a way to guage graduation.

Aberdeener said...


I petitioned to have the Chem AP reinstated. When I failed, I gave the school's position. Mine is that we should not have canceled the AP.

You would rather eliminate the academies than ceramics. How telling.

I'll check next week on in-district programs for students with borderline retardation.

Yes, we need to encourage kids to go to college.

Obviously you consider all these things less important than ceramics. Good to know what kind of education you want for our kids.

Regarding HSPA, there's discussion of eliminating the alternative route. That means if you don't pass HSPA, you don't graduate.

Aberdeener said...

Here's my comment in full regarding AP Chem.

"AP Chem was cut because only four students registered for the class.

I agree its outrageous.

Students can still learn AP Chem and take the AP exam by registering for the Educere online course but our district should be offering the course and more students should be registering."

That's what I love about having a written record.

Extra Cheese Please said...

Mr. Warren,

After reading your inaccurate statements regarding SPED students' IQs at the high school, I decided to take the time to help correct them. I am only commenting because I believe that you’re truly uniformed and not purposely passing these remarks as truth. Yes, I believe there is a Cognitively Impaired (CI) class at the High School for students who are unable to find success in a Resource or General Education classroom. This class is meant to enable students with the skills necessary to function in the real world while simultaneously providing an appropriate academic education. However, the existence of this class does not imply that students placed here are the only students with low IQs. In fact, there are many students that are functioning well in a Resource Room or General Education class due to strong parental support and consistent teacher communication.

With this being said, the State requires all students to take proficiency assessments at various academic levels, not just high school. There are alternate assessments (APA) that may be given to students who are excluded from taking the regular test (in this case, the HSPA). However, the State only allows a minute percentage (I believe it’s 1%) of a district’s population to take these alternate assessments. Remember, there are MANY students in out-of-district placements that are severely cognitively impaired or with severe mental disabilities. By this I mean that they are unable to function independently in society and need the assistance of medical providers and/or home care. As a result, districts typically reserve their alternate State assessment “slots” for these students (yes, they are still district students even though they don’t attend district schools and therefore need to take the test). What leeway is left before hitting the 1% mark is usually used to test students in the CI class. However, don’t forget that there are still many students with low IQs that are NOT in this class, but must take the test because of State requirements. Moreover, you would have no knowledge of which students these are because anything in a child’s IEP is confidential. It is a legal document that even Board members do not have access to. So, Mr. Warren, you really wouldn’t have any way of knowing about students with low IQs in the high school.

Aberdeener said...

Extra Cheese,

I was aware of the CI classes but did not believe they had programs designed for borderline retardation.

Thanks for the info. I found it quite informative.

Hold the Pickle said...

Don't you think you should have all the info before you start spouting off?

Aberdeener said...

When I'm unsure, I qualify my statements in contrast to those who simply spout absolute falsehoods screaming that it's the truth.

Hold the Pickle said...

Man, spoken like a true politician.

Anonymous said...

Careful, Joey, don't get the POSP parents upset. They might humiliate you in public. How about just FREEZING salaries and benefits for ALL those whose contracts are up in June. There's an easy million.

Aberdeener said...

You don't get to be the second most hated man in Aberdeen by being Mr. Nice Guy. :)

Future contracts will be negotiated by the future board. There's no way to guarantee the future board won't award raises we can't afford.

F the NJEA said...

Quite obviously the local NJEA members are off today and are on the attack. Stand up Joey you are right far more often then your attackers who are merely protecting their jobs.

Teachers are paid for what they do or don't do to educate our children. That is the NJEA way.

NJEA Motto is "One for all and cover for those that don't teach and merely take up space since they pay their union dues on time too".

Teachers have been too comfortable for too long in their strong arm style NJEA UNION and TENURE PROTECTED positions.

Who are the number one lobbyists in Trenton spending millions of $?

N Never tell us we are wrong

J Jealous we are not your reps

E Everything we need no matter $$$

A Attack anyone who is against us

I say F The NJEA

Anonymous said...

I don't understand your logic. The future board will not be able to give raises if they don't have the money in the budget. That would also insure no retro pay. I believe the truth is you don't have the support of the current board for such a maneuver and this board will be beat at the bargaining table again at the expense of taxpayers who can't afford it.

How does it feel? said...

So, you are saying that AP Chem WAS cut due to numbers.

And you are saying that you did know that we have kids in school with IQ's below 70. Do you think that these kids should also take the HSPA and fill out college applications?

IKT2 said...

Since we don't have a line by line budget and don't make $185,000 a year to do this, it does make it difficult to suggest cuts. But since you made it easy and someone needs to take a hard stand here are some suggestions.
Lose before and after school programs - saves $86,000
Lose alternative education programs - saves $70,000
School sponsored athletics should go back to 08 budget of $653,000 - saves $111,000
Attendance and social work services - Cut $100,000
Guidance - Cut $100,000
Instructional Staff Training - cut $30,000
End summer school - saves $60,000
Cut RTI and all teachers hired for - saves $600,000
Over a Million. Need more
Lose 2 administrators - saves$230,000
Does anyone know where Wayne is hiding these days?
Lose 3 secretaries - $120,000
Pay a normal salary for athletic director - saves $60,000
Raise class sizes where possible.
Privatize custodians.
Boy, this gets easy. Need more?

Anonymous said...

This puts it in perspective:
A retired teacher paid $62,000 towards hr pension and nothing, yes nothing, for full family medical, dental and vision coverage over her career. What will we pay for? 1.4 million in pension benefits and another $215,000 in health care premiums over her lifetime. Is it "fair" for all of us and our children to have to pay for this excess?
Chris Christie

Chris Christie said...

Yes, I said that.

Now, let's talk about something reall important. Poker.

I want to start a poker league,and it seems a lot of people in Aberdeen appreciate poker.

I am making priority #1 the casino I am building in Genoa, right where the coah houses were gonna go.

I will also put a cluck u inside the casino, because they have the best hot wings, and tastiest sauce. I love hot wings when I am playing poker.

Poker this said...

Poker this you idiot!

Tough S said...

F the NJEA was classic. Good job! The truth is hard to take? Is it not NJEA members? Tough shit!

pokerman said...

I am so happy to hear of your plans to build a casino on County Road.

I can not wait to play poker and eat hot wings there!

jibberish posting ???? said...

I certainly hope the idiot above this post enjoyed their special moment of joy. They are just as ignorant and mixed up as their post.

Anonymous said...

Come on Joey, you can't find a way to run this district efficiently with 60 Million dollars. Stop giving out raises all over the place and freeze all spending. Problem solved.

IKT#3 said...

Nice try AGAIN Joe. I never mentioned ceramics in my post to you, but I can understand why you'd want to deflect from the obvious. How telling.

I also never mentioned that YOU yourself wanted to cut AP Chem, I think I said that it was cut because of #'s, which was the info YOU provided!

You think it is good to encourage kids with no possibility of passing college classes to go? While O'Malley picks up the application bills? How telling again!

F the NJEA and BARZA said...

Oh what a tangled web the NJEA weaves when all they do is decieve.


Anonymous said...

What!!!! $60 Million and you can't make it work Joey. Shame on you. What happened to all your grandios ideas of yesteryear of getting rid of the unions and using retired volunteers in the community to do the job. Where's all the 12 years of bloat that BARZA put in the budget? Why can't you take that out? ....

Paking lot BS said...

Parking lot shakedown was just more BS. Typical! Just more deflection and no substance.

LngforMthrEng said...

Ever ask yoursleves what our elected officials get when they retire?

What medical plan do they get?

What is the total amount that they paid into their pension system.

You will be shocked if you dare to look and seek out the truth. Politicians suck. Each and every one of them. They prey on your ignorance of that which they set up to benfefit themselves while they allow us mere morsels.

Did you know that Corzine got $500,000.00 to readjust back into civilain life?

Seek the answer.

Every former Governor gets it when they leave. Maybe McGreedy did not get it since he resigned for being a puffer.

Aberdeener said...

I'll respond to the comments later but wanted to share more bad news.

In addition to the $6 million hole for next year, we just had a million dollars cut from this year's budget.

Here's the list (page 10) of the state's cuts, district-by-district.

Time to cut the FAT said...

Looks like our district better sign up for Jenny Craig. Time to cut the fat.

Spells, Glastein, Martucci = F A T

There is $400,000.00+ right there.


Anonymous said...

Cuts will be made in the school board office just like in town hall. But you can be sure that Kauff and his handpicked town council will be sure to fund the slimy pigs attached to Kauff 100%.

One other 100% guarantee will be the fact that they will slice and dice the people who really do the work on behalf of the taxpayers in town hall. The workers for sure will get screwed under the Kauff budget cut regime. It is after all the Kauff way. Screw everybody but never cut off the money train to Kauff, his handpicked professionals and his Kauff controlled democratic party of deaf, dumb and blind idiots.

Accountability in Government said...

Seems the republican club in Aberdeen is letting the cat out of the bag from the post above this one. Campaign 2011 underway already? Cuts will be made in all businesses but municipal cuts are ????????????????????????. If you don't want services that you have counted on do nothing.

Don't sit this one out Matawan or Aberdeen taxpayers it may be your last chance at acountability.

Matawan Mom said...

How does Kauff always seem to get into these education threads? The person(s) who are so angry at this man are becoming a little scary.

Stay on topic- if money has to be cut then stay away from anything that will negatively impact our children. Losing teachers, programs and increasing class sizes are all terrible ideas. You will just reverse any positive numbers we are beginning to see.

Also- have you tried any ways to raise revenue? Look at Toms River- they named their venues after a nice donation from Poland Springs. They run things like concerts and host events like track and field. Can't we do that. Turn our beautiful football field into a money making venue? What about preschool? Can't we expand that into daycare for pay? You can uses students from Rutgers/ Monmouth doing their student teaching to help teach for free. Teachers and community members could utilize this program to pay for child care that is close to schools and the train station yet could be tied to our early curriculum so that learning begins early (Helping to raise test scores in the future). And what about the adult technology classes that Ms. Cholewa created in the past? We used to offer the community classes in all computer programs at night for a fee. This could be a great asset for people who lost their jobs to get training from the district they pay their taxes to. Does any one else see any opportunities to be progressive isnstead of regressive? The negativity on this blog is dividing our community. We should be working together to find creative ways ($) to get us through.

Aberdeener said...

Matawan Mom,

You can't write a budget based upon "potential" revenues from unproven business ideas. Right now, the only significant sources of revenue are property taxes and state/federal aid.

We have to cut. It's only a question of where.

Aberdeener said...


Glad to see someone finally offering places to cut.

You've got some good ideas. Keep them coming.

Just remember, the administrators you mention all have tenure.

Face reality said...

TENURE is the curse of education.

Millions in dead wood and blated administration but nothing that really educates comes from them.

It is the American way!

Greed and Tenure rules the day.

Kauff is just a small roadblock who has hurt this town in many ways. His damage is no different or any less costly then a BARZA, Spells, Glastien, Quinn and all of the others who sit idly and cash paychecks that they should be ashamed to cash.

Reality sucks don't it?

Anonymous said...

How about sue irons, no tenure there. you can put gladstein in her place. how about cliffwood principal, no tenure there. you can put spells in his place, nothing personal but every non tenured administrator needs to go.

Anonymous said...

Matawan Mom

Isnt it ironic that THIS SITE that you say creates some division and negativity (and I agree) is run by a MEMBER OF OUR OWN BOARD OF EDUCATION !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

That just baffles me. The idea of the site is good, and some points are worthy, but some of the negativty that is spewn here and is allowed and even antagonized by our own BOE member is very disconcerting.

Set the good example Joey!! What if students of our district read this site and see some of the comments you make or allow on here.... impressions??? But you do not care. As long as you are the center for conversation....

IKT2 said...

Get rid of two administrators and move what you have around fill the gaps. If Martucci is getting paid as an administrator let him administrate and pay an athletic director a lot less. He should also not be a part time administrator and full time football coach. This would save money, but moves like this will not be done because O'Malley and the board won't make tough choices because of whose feelings they may hurt or who may be disgruntled. If he was a good manager this would not be a problem. NO raises for the Gladsteins and Spells of this district. To be fair I'm sure others fall in this category. All my other cuts hurt but this district operated a few years back with those budgeted amounts in the areas I specified. Please stop telling us how bad things are, just stick to your pledge of not increasing our taxes and make it work with the $60 million you have. With Corzine and Obama policies we know its bad. If O'Malley is committed to raising our taxes like it seems he is, this is all for naught. The others follow him like a god. If you are serious about not raising our taxes I have more suggestions that won't be popular because as you can see some people don't want to cut anything. To make this right it is going to take guts and not everyone is going to be happy. It is not a happy time.

Anonymous said...

O'Malley would much rather keep paying these people and leave things the way they are to make it easier for him. Just get more money from the taxpayers. Thought he was going to be better than his predecessor, Guess not. Don't run the district efficiently and make administrators work for these six figure jobs. Just add more and increase the budget. He got more, why not everyone else?

Aberdeener said...


You hit the nail on the head. We're dealing with two misconceptions -
1) The way things are now are the way they should be
2) There must be a way to cut spending without cutting services

Considering the poor state of academics, I would think this would be an ideal time to eliminate the superfluous and get back to basics. But the community obviously loves the feelgood programs and would rather cut programs that promote academic excellence than a ceramics class.

Anonymous said...

Yeah Matawan Mom, he should hide behind the bully pulpit and microphones of non attended board meetings just like every other board member. Joey, you at least bring your ideas to the people and (sometimes) listen to what others have to say. I applaud you for that. You think Donoghue is thinking about a solution to our problem and asking for public input. O'Connell and Kenny are figuring out right now how to rubber stamp everything O'Malley is presenting and will be telling us the budget is bare bones and fiscally responsible.

Anonymous said...

The community didn't come up with the academies Joey, O'Malley and the board did.

Keep trying...

IKT2 said...

I believe that last million you talk about is a cut but should be covered by money that is considered in excess surplus by the state. We had 2.5 million in surplus and should use 1 million of that to cover this cut. Am I wrong? So this should be neutral.





Aberdeener said...


I don't know how that $2.5 million is calculated. I think we had $1.2 million in surplus plus another $630,000 in excess surplus that went to tax relief last year.

We need the 2% surplus for rainy days and cash flow issues. Sometimes the municipalities pay late and, as we see, promised monies from the state aren't exactly guaranteed.

Anonymous said...

This information is not going to solve our budget problem at this time, but unless it is addressed our future budgets are bleak. The student/administrator ratio for elementary schools is 207.3. Number of students per administrator. The state average is 276.8. High School is 153.9. state avg 176.3. The student /faculty ratio for elementary 8.7, state 10.8, HS 10.2, state 11.1. The median salary for administrators is $120,000. the state avg is $115,000. Faculty is $62,310 the state avg is $59,545. Our length of day is 15 minutes less than the state avg in elementary schools and 36 minutes less than state avg in HS. Instruction time is 32 minutes less in elementary and 44 minutes less in HS. Our district is paying more in salaries for a considerable amount of less teaching time with smaller class sizes and less students per administrator than the state average yet we can't even be a top performer in our district factor group. Once again this proves more money does not produce better results. Unless this union is seriously confronted our taxes will continue to rise and results will decrease. We will continue to pay more for less. For all you defenders, defend these facts and tell us why basket weaving 101 should stay in the budget. For all those who will defend your beloved teacher come contract time, remember that we are paying them more to teach our children less.

Anonymous said...

In regards to that extra million, Christie says he did not take one dime from classroom instruction, not forced one penny of increases in our property taxes. Don't let them tell you different. So this should come out of surplus and not change the budget one bit, only in the surplus column on the balance sheet.

Anonymous said...

No comment from extra cheese and hold the pickle in your ass. HMMM.

It is not funny said...

The main and most telling fact is that the writing is on the wall for school budgets for 2011-and beyond. It is all too clear as to what Gov. Christie will have to do next year to slash $11,000,000,000.00 form our states finances. It will make this bump in the budgetary road in our school district seem laughable.
What we all must remember is that the same people sitting down in Trenton for the most part are the same leaders who caused these problems. The economy had something to do with it of course. The fact that we pay on both ends while the same politicians sit their trying to fix what they themselves failed to stop or recognize the possibilities is inexcusable. It is a vicious circle that never seems to offer us any relief from the devastating taxes we all pay.

Hold the Pickle said...

Your solution to the problem is to ask where The Pickle is? Very productive. As for my comment, it's pretty simple. The Deener has informed the public of the budget, and he has rejected almost all comments or suggestions that differ from his viewpoint. This is not a blog for an exchange of ideas anymore. It has become a forum of ignorance and misinformation.

Dieter Johnson said...

This blog should be about one thing only...POKER!!!!

Because POKER RULES!!!!!

Anonymous said...

"The $30K in raises were awarded before the state announced $2.5 million in cuts and another million in insurance premium hikes."

These cuts and insurance premium hikes are nothing new in this state. You should have planned for them.

"and he recommends raising school property taxes by 3% to help close a projected $6 million budget"

Tell me you are going to violate you own new board goal of keeping tax increase to below 2%. ANYONE CAN MAY A GOAL, IT IS ACHIEVING IT THAT COUNTS.

Where was your BA on all these troubles? She should have been projecting for them. Doesn't she read the papers. Remember she is not tenured till the vote in April. Once you make that vote on her, she will become a lifer in this district. Think carefully. Are you getting your $130K worth? You don't get a second chance here.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Warren,
It seems your theory on giving the superintendent and his bookkeeper big incentive raises didn't improve performance, but in your opinion made it worse. You don't agree with O'Malleys assessment of increasing taxes 3% and eliminating positions and services that you consider core to your mission. What a change in one year when others advised you and the others to wait a few years to evaluate his performance on budgets and academic improvement. Still not much academic improvement and a disastrous budget proposal. Will you vote against the budget he is recommending and will you support another raise when proposed?

Anonymous said...

I don't know what rock you live under but performance improved dramatically in all schools, the budet passed for the 1st time in 9 years and we didn't have a tax increase for the first time ever!

I am so tired of budget bullshit said...

If budgets in all areas of government are not finally controlled we will all be living under rocks. The everything for everybody budgets must stop. Millions are wasted and we pay for it. Aren't you tired of the bullshit of politicians who only want to see you when they want to get reelected and need your vote? I am.

Anonymous said...

Budget Vote Saturday ! Time to Act !

Budget is increasing 5%, did you get a 5% raise?

TAX IMPACT: If the tax levy is approved, the fire district tax rate will be 4.2 cents for every $100 of assessed value compared to 4 cents last year. For a home assessed at $280,000, about the average in Aberdeen, the fire district taxes would rise $5.60 from $112 to $117.60 this year.


Be advised at the Public Hearing for the Approved 2010 Budget, held on January 11, 2010 the Board Fire Com-missioners of Fire District No. 1, Aberdeen Township, New Jersey voted unanimously to Adopt the 2010 Budget.
Voting for or against the 2010 Budget appropriations will be held on Saturday, February 20th at the Fire House, 490 Lloyd Road, Aberdeen Township. Polls will be open from 2:00 PM through 9:00 PM
The 2010 Budget of Fire District No. 1, Aberdeen Township, New Jersey reads as follows:
Miscellaneous Revenues
Interest on Investments and Deposits 7,000
Uniform Fire Safety Act 10,000
Supplemental Fire Services Program 4,300
Other Revenue-Smoke Alarm & Permit Insp. 30,000
Total Miscellaneous Revenues.. 51,300
Amount to be Raised by Taxation........................... 569,300
Total Revenues 620,600
Administration, Operations & Maintenance Appropriations:
Paid Positions.. 204,250
Fringe Benefits. 84,100
Election Expenses.. 1,250
Memberships, Dues and Subscriptions 1,500
Office Expenses 3,500
Professional Services.. 14,000
Travel Expenses, Meetings and Conventions.. 6,000
Maintenance & Repairs 3,000
Advertising. 1,500
Utilities and Related Expenses. 31,000
Insurance Premiums 49,000
Maintenance & Repairs.. 50,000
Other Operating Materials and Supplies.. 6,000
Training and Education 1,500
Uniforms and Personal Equipment 30,000
Fire Prevention.. 3,000
Firematic Equipment and Supplies 4,000
Supplemental Fire Services Act - Fire Fighting Equipment.. 6,000
Training Grounds - Under Interlocal Services Act 5,000
Fire and Arson Investigation 1,000
Roof and Furnace Replacement 35,000
Total Cost of Administration, Operations & Maintenance. 540,600
Capital Reserve for future Capital Outlays 50,000
Firefighter PPE Upgrade...... 30,000
Total Appropriations 620,600 E. Paul Percussi
Secretary of the Board
Fire District No. 1
Aberdeen Township

Fire Dept. ??? said...

How many paid positions are there to cost $569,000.00? How many leadership positions are there? I do know there are two fire inspectors that came to my store for an inspection a while back. How many people are there that are not volunteers and get paid? Do you have a breakdown of salaries by position? Let us know.

StemlerDrChkngin said...

There was an article in the Saturday or Sunday Asbury Park Press that gave a look into community fire budgets. Find the article and read it as it left me with a bunch of questions. I applaud the volunteer services and all but this is a lot of money every year. What are the qualaifications of those that budget for all of these monies and who really oversees its disbursement. Have they any surplus funds listed from years past.

Anonymous said...

If you start to answer the other questions I have a couple for you. How many commisioners do the volunteer services have and what is the total cost with benefits for all involved ?

I am also not questioning the services commitment although these budgets seem to get little if any attention from a informed public. I have never seen any of this info sent to my house from the services to be informed of my taxes going up or down. Have the budgets ever gone down ? I think the question about any surplus is also important and telling.

Thanks for letting us know.

KellyK said...

Do the fire and first aid commisioners get pension benefits from the state? I thank God we have them and I do not doubt their need for the money but it seesm that the average taxpayer is uninformed as to the real costs and benefits given. These are days when every penny needs to get counted. Again I thank God for their volunteerism but this is significant monies with less of a public involvement then the school board and budget votes. The great majority of voters are probably the volunteers and their families as well.

Anonymous said...

I think O'Malley deserves another raise. Lets pay him more as we get deeper in the hole and the kids suffer with less.

Budget reality prayer said...



We dont need no stinkin surplus.

Said by our

Town Oficials

Fire Officials

School Officials

We taxpayers say use surpluses.

We taxpayers are using all of our surpluses just trying to stay above water and out of bankruptcy.

The pervasive and deeply entrenched attitudes of the above officials all need to change when it comes to spending our hard earned tax dollars.

Ley us pray.

Anonymous said...

To the person who lives over a rock, our schools drastically improved? You must live where the sun doesn't shine because that is where your head is. Ask Joey if our schools drastically improved. To quote his one response "that's why are taxes are so high and our academics so low". One-third of our high school seniors are at risk of not graduating. Money was spent to teach to the test for a slight improvement in some areas and no improvement in others. Our test scores were so low they could only go up and some didn't. No tax increase after Quinns bloated budgets for years was no major achievement, especially with no significant cuts to anything. Quinn was responsible for most of the past budgets that failed because of big increases year after year. O'Malleys first year budget failed. Stop drinking the kool-aid and get some sun.

Anonymous said...

Hey, get your mixed metaphors correct! You have to live "under" the rock to stay out of that sunshine! And the last time I looked, Kool Aid is drunk from an orifice on which the sun does shine. Oh, forget the "hole" thing and use sun screen everywhere!

Anonymous said...

You deaserve what you get in this town. You deserve Quinn again! High taxes and low academics. Well deserved. I heard his wife is running for school board in Matawan!

IKT2 said...

More cuts:
Do you really need to be paying a BA a total compensation package of $145,000, an assistant BA $100,000, an accountant $60,000, a bookkeeper, secretaries, etc, etc, to run a business office. Salaries have exploded in this area in the last couple of years. You could easily save $50,000-$75,000 in this area for a district this size. No tenure excuse here.
In library-educational media services, an easy $75,000-$100,000 again back to '08 levels.
Will a discussion take place at the next board meeting on where the cuts will be and how much, or has it already been decided?

Anonymous said...

Like you come to board meetings! You sit behind this blog and complain. You probably are a fat, unemployed, Matawan HS graduate that complains about everyone but are too lazy to make yourself or your kids be better. Stay a whiner, the world needs more government checks!

Dieter Johnson said...

How much of a raise are you gonna give Omalley this time Joey?

Aberdeener said...


The BA has an accountant. I'm not sure how the secretarial pool is allocated at One Crest Way. I think it would be a very bad idea to replace Sue Irons with Joel Glastein, which is what would happen if you terminated her.

Eliminating the accountant would save 60K but keep in the mind the financial audits before and after his arrival. Considering the size of the district, I'd prefer to keep him.

Him and Irons are the only two without tenure. There's no assistant BA.

Aside from the librarians, I don't seen any major costs for the libraries.

Keep 'em coming. I enjoy seeing your suggestions.

At the moment, we're nowhere close to finalizing a budget. I think Monday's meeting will be quite illuminating.

Wake up taxpayers said...

Illuminating is not the word. Everyone needs to attend the March meeting that was advertised recently in the legal notices section of the Asbury Park Press newspaper. Hey Joey how about putting that little notification gem on the school and town webiste to give a more infomed public a shot. Can't have that can we? Imagine that a well informed public voting on overly inflated and well hidden millions in various budgets with an informed ability to question the highly paid.

Dr. O Malley you had to know this job would be thankless. After all look at the mess that Quinn and bar-za left us taxpayers in when you took over. Most men would have run for the hills. You did not. It is your school district now so good luck.

The admin personnel are not the problem. They do most of the work.

Glastein must go. Oh wait he can't go he has got tenure. Tenure my ass! Glastein is the poster boy for why tenure is the worst four letter curse word for taxpayers. He is diabolical and sits there with that so smug look on his face. The little ferret that he is.

Hey Glastien start looking at retirement places like Pembrook Pines. It is long past the time for you to go south.

Anonymous said...

If Sue Irons does not have an assistant BA, what is the job responsibilities of Dave Palumbo at 90K salary in that office.

Anonymous said...

Hey folks, haven't you learned yet, there are no good ideas except those of Joey Warren. Hey Joey, you didn't know that Sue had an assistant and an accountant? Wake up buddy.

Aberdeener said...

Prior Anon,

You're right, Palumbo is listed as the asst. BA with salary and benefits around 90K. I thought it was much less because he had originally replaced a secretary.

We got a list of "possible cuts" from O'Malley and I thought "accountant" referred to Palumbo. And, yes, 90K is a lot of money so I'll check again to see what he does.

My mistake. I don't know who the accountant is.

Limbaugh Rules! said...

What was it Gov. Christie said?


That is a hint for all of you Rio Linda.

IKT2 said...

As others have pointed out we have a BA, AsstBA, and an accountant that was added because Irons does not have a CPA. The accountant was added to replace a secretary at a much higher salary and then secretaries were brought in anyway. This district never had an AsstBA and doesn't need one and when you add in benefits and all other compensation it costs over $100,000. Irons added all this extra income plus her own salary way above what was paid to do that job in the past in that office and O'Malley approved of it. We can't afford it, so find someone for less without an assistant. Gladstein is not the answer, get someone more qualified who can run that office without all these extra salaries.

Anonymous said...

The financial audits were only bad when Quinns buddy was the interim Business Administrator. He didn't know what he was doing and should not be used as what was the norm. Before that good people did a good job for a lot less money in that office and we need to get back to that.
On another note the district ran the same amount of libraries for a lot less money a few years back and it can be done again. less librarians, so be it.

Aberdeener said...

Thanks guys,

I'm looking into the libraries, now, and I'll check the finance department as well.

Anonymous said...

Don't know where the $90,000 is coming from. His salary is $79,929 plus $20,810 per year for benefits. That's $100,739 and that is going to increase in both areas this year. Stop the lunacy, O'Malley. We can't afford all these luxuries. Someone needs to take a closer look from top to bottom at what is going on besides the bloggers and Joey Warren, and deal with reality.

Aberdeener said...


Thanks for the asst BA numbers. You're right - it is a lot of money.

Part of the salary you mention I think is a stipend for doing the board minutes. Who used to do the board minutes in the past?

Anonymous said...

Really??????????? I will do the board minutes for a SLIGHT reduction in my unjustified property taxes!!!! Tired of being robbed by the the Township of Aberdeen. How many homes are in forclusure in the township? I have not done much research but I do believe we are in the top 5 in monmouth county for the highest taxes. Right? For what, more bs lip service or the bang up job they did on plowing our major roads..what a f'n joke - otta here just as soon as I find a sucker to by my house. Should not be to hard since the reval was way overstated

Aberdeener said...

In property taxes, Matawan is #2 in Monmouth County and Aberdeen is #5 as of September, 2009.

You can see the report, here.

Anonymous said...

The secretary did the board minutes for a lot less money. This is the kind of thing that should drive taxpayers crazy. Money can be saved all over this district, but it is a lot easier to leave things as they are and just get more money from the taxpayers. Business could not operate this way and neither should government monopolies.

John said...

The tax rankings for Matawan and Aberdeen are based on the equalized tax rank? Do you know how this is calculated? Thanks

Aberdeener said...


First, to be clear, we're talking about the tax rate, not tax collections. Let's say you and I both pay 5K but my house is only worth 100K and yours is worth 200K. Then, my tax rate is twice as high as yours because if we were both paying the same percentage, you'd be paying twice as much as me since your house is worth twice as much.

Now, here's the problem. Let's say both of our houses are worth the same amount but your assessment is twice as high because your town did a reval last year but my town hasn't done a reval in twenty years.

How do we then compare tax rates? Using the above example, my property assessment says 100K, yours says 200k but both houses are worth the same. The county will multiply my tax rate by the "equalization factor", which in this case is 0.5.

In short, the equalized tax rate is a way of comparing tax rates across municipalities.

Aberdeener said...

By the way, I was wrong about the CI class. We do offer programs to students with IQ's below 70.

the ghost of Marie Panos said...

I am coming back to negotiate the contract. I am gonna knock Joey and his buddies on their asses. Better call the county and tell them to make room.

Anonymous said...

Still think they should be taking the HSPA Joe? How about the kids with 80?

previous poster said...

Seriously though Joey. Why would you give omalley raises, then try to get rid of regular workers?

Anonymous said...

Marie Panos what a blast from the past. Sure that is all we need a woman like that negotiating contracts again from the grave.
Panos and that cycle of abusing contract negotiations is a thing of the past for a good, fair and just reason. Wait just an NJEA negotiating thugs type minute. The NJEA thugs are just the present day Marie Panos type negotitators. No difference at all when it comes to contracts and negotiating same. It is just the same type of arrogance and disruptive tactics that cost the taxpayers too much back then and even more now. Must have been posted by a teacher going back to 1976 or there abouts to remember that big mouth.

Aberdeener said...

The superintendent has a greater impact than any other person in the district. If giving him a raise cuts our taxes by 1% or increases district performance by 1%, then it's worth the money.

NSecJoe said...

The outcry of paying against paying a man what he may be worth is an outrage? Maybe it is me and I am wrong. Is it just me that finds paying someone for doing a job or jobs well seems so strange when we have paid for arrogance and failure for so many years.

Anonymous said...

Ghost of Marie Panos! Funny funny stuff. You made my day! Thanks.

Anonymous said...

"an outcry against paying a man what he must be worth is an outrage." Where is this outrage when our teachers are called thugs simply because they belong to an organization that secures their livlihoods with collective bargaining? Its two sides of the self same tax coin!

Anonymous said...

NsectionJoe is a most likely a member of a public employee union himself, yet,he blasts the union members of the district.

If he is infact, a union member, I believe that would make him a hypocrite, No?

Anonymous said...

Collective bargaining and the NJEA is an oxymoron/oximoron. Emphasis on the moron. Thugs is the exact word for the NJEA type of bargaining.

MedIation is also a political joke. If this school board stands up against the thugs this year and the NJEA don't like it, LET THEM WALK THE PICKET LINES LIKE THEY DID UNDER PANOS.

NSecJoe said...

Yes I just got a call. So here is my response.

1- I am not now or have I ever been a member of any union.

2- I am a realist and the reality that I see is that many of those in the teachers union begrugingly pay their dues, do not feel well represented and as my late father used to say are stuck with the one who brung you to the dance.

3- Those who so quickly label me a hypocrite would be asked by me one very simple question.

Who is the real hypocrite who does not belive in ones point or position to the point that they hide behind the moniker of anonymous?

Free yourself come out of your anonymous closet.

KoreanWarVetCB said...

Well said Big Joe.

Semper Fidelis

Marie's Ghost said...

Ok Joe, you want me out of my closet? Here I am.

It is I, the ghost of Marie Panos.

I look down on you from my desk in teacher heaven and I laugh at you.

If I still had my mortal body I would sit on you.

Anonymous said...

Only 16 of the districts 550 full time employees are non union. We are in a financial crisis for years to come. The teachers union will not be settling a contract any time soon with the contract they have. Why not start with privatizing the custodians. Custodians making as much as 10-15 year teachers is outrageous with the same benefit package. These are the types of solutions a strong superintendent would be looking into. Instead he wants to tax us 1% less than he legally can and this board gives him more money without solving long term problems. He wants to tax us 3% in a bad economy when he can only tax us 4% when things are good, thus Joey telling us what they intend to do by (SAVING) us 1%. Remember he was the one who recommended the board settle the last contract and now it has come back to haunt us. This system is broken and none of these people are trying to fix it. Same old tax and spend story. It is time for us to stand up to these liberal elitists who think taxing us more solves all of the problems. Stop spending money on the MOST program and teaching parents how to speak English. When is somebody going to realize that people are losing jobs and homes and it is not fair to ask for more money for non essentials. Sixty two million is not enough, they want more to keep everyone happy with all the feel good programs. God forbid they have a disgruntled employee who didn't get a raise while most of us, if we have a job, haven't seen a raise in two years and can't afford benefits. F em all.

Anonymous said...

Marie's Ghost you are killing me. The best part is that Warren (and probably most of board) and O'Malley have no idea who you are/were.

Rex Ryan said...

Just food for thought! Joey needs to remember that when the school budget fails it will be turned over to the people he has been bashing since last September. The Councils of Aberdeen and Matawan. Human nature like it or not has a very wierd way of being revengeful when it has a chance to retaliate. So Joey's prior antics may come back to haunt him and in all probablity hurt the very students he claims to care so much about. Keep up the good work Joey! You may have dug a big whole for our kids with your ridiculous self serving blog. Hopefully the Council people will be better servants of the public than you are. Oh by the way, can't wait for your re-election year. Your chances are like the snowball in hell. Go away you ego maniac, give our kids a chance!

Woo Woo train time said...

Panos was a pig ! As a teacher she sucked as well. Keep chiding the ignorance of the uninformed who may not have lived here since the time of Panos. People still serving in this district probably remember her single minded union montra. *More money for teachers and we don't care who pays*. Times they are a changing. Get used to it.

Anonymous said...

Rex Ryan is right and we taxpayers will once again pay the price. Many council members in both towns not so surprisingly have family members working in the school district. That conveniently ensures that these members cannot get involved in any negotitations, review of budgets and more. Leadership gets sold so cheaply.

KoreaWarVetCB said...

Coming up on twelve hours since Big Joe defended his points. But nothing from the anonymous accuser who said Joe was a union member. I am still loking for where Joe supposedly blasted union members. Just more lies. When people make solid points then get silence in return the anonymous accusers make me laugh. The anonymous are so brave? We are all anonymous to a point. The facts are still the facts. Get used to it anonymous.

Aberdeener said...

I may be new to the neighborhood but I know very well who Marie Panos was. The MRTA is her legacy.

As for the township taking its revenge in the school budget, are you saying they'll demand the district cut more or less because of they're hatred for me? If less, you've got nothing to complain about. If more, maybe we can finally take a hard look at the non-essentials.

Hey, if we can't cut the non-essentials during these times, we'll never be able to cut.

Anonymous said...

My Dad is a Korean war vet too. He's very involved with his local chapter of the Marine Corp League. He is also a retired union official and a proud member of his union for over forty years. The right does not hold a patent on pride and patriotism! Its very unattractive and, quite frankly, ridiculous, when they infer that they do.

Anonymous said...

I agree. You claiming to have served in the military 50 years ago has absolutely NOTHING to do with the MARSD.

Get over yourself.

the ghost of Marie Panos said...

I have spoken to a few of the other dead teachers from the 70's.

We have decided to make our presences known at the next BOE meeting in support of the alive teachers.

We will also begin haunting Joey's house tonight.

Joey, meet my friends Stitch, and Dieter. They are going to be levitating picket signs over your bed this evening.

Jim said...

So, let me see if I have this straght.

1) My property taxes went up, after the reassement and the budget, about 20% last year.
2) Our new governor (whom I did not vote for) won his election on a promise to cut property taxes throughout the state.
3) Shortly after taking office, he siezes fiscal powers from the legistature, then decrees that the school districts do not need nearly as much aid as they're getting because they all have slush funds sitting around. He cuts off the funds.
4) Aberdeen, for one, is either a) choosing not to use the slush fund, or b) doesn't have one, and so for this (and other reasons) will be raising property taxes.

Do I have the story so far?

Aberdeener said...


The facts are a little off but the gist is correct.

Our labor contracts were written under the impression that state aid would grow every year. Once you freeze or cut state aid, that blows a huge hole in the budget that can only be filled by cuts to personnel and services or by raising taxes.

So, yes, the cuts to school districts will result in higher property taxes unless your school district was already planning to raise your taxes to the legal limit before the cuts were announced.

Anonymous said...

Other then Chris Christie being elected Governor most of the other idiots who were in Trenton since Whitmman were re-elected. They cause the problem and you want to criticize Christie for having to fix a $100+++ Billion dollar hole? Take out a mirror and look at the problem.

As for Aberdeen you have to go to the mansion on the hill on Justice Lane to really know what is going to happen with your tax bill. Kauff lives there and Kauff runs the show. Kauff is Aberdeen!

Maybe he can get back some of the $20 million dollars he has so freely given his close personal friends at CME and all of the rest of his confidants to balance our budget and save us all from the financial ruin that Kauff caused.

Mr. Belgio from the great beyond said...

I too will be taking part in the supernatural festivities tonight. Listen for the sound of my ghostly crutches in your hallway around 3AM.

Jim said...


Thanks for the response, but I'm still unclear about this "slush fund" / "surplus" Christie claims to exist. Is it real? Can it be used in lieu of some of the tax increase?

Anon 1:22,

I'm not going to fault the governor for inheriting a mess which has been festering, really, since way back when I was in the high school band and marching in Jim Florio's inauguration parade. I can, however, fault him for winning an election primarily on a single-issue platform that turns out to be the exact opposite of what he does his first days in office.

Aberdeener said...


Under the law, the school district is allowed to maintain a 2% surplus and any excess must be registered as a revenue the following year. That revenue offsets any tax increases.

I guess we'll learn Monday how that excess was calculated, since the million we're losing is far higher than the $600,000 in excess we had last year.

So, yes, we're guilty of saving more money than we were allowed to save. Unfortunately, that money would have gone towards lowering our taxes next year but now it's gone.

metoo0522 said...

I know that this is off topic but, I really didn't think Aberdeen could get any worse. My 20yr old daughter recieved a ticket for her thrid brake light being out.She has never had a ticket before. Both of her regular brake lights were working. So she goes to pay it and they let her that the officer made it mandatory court appearance. Do they need that court cost that bad? I just find it hard to believe that it has come to this. Unbelievable

Sick of it said...

It's bad enough that I'm already paying through the roof for last year's tax assessment. Now the school district wants me to pay for their shortfall with another 3% tax hike? I don't think so. Sounds like the school board is doing an excellent job of driving people out of their homes.

Anonymous said...

Wow, Mr. Belgio, thats a blast from the past. Come to think of it, Mr. Belgio had the blackest hair...sometimes. Did he, and Vinci go to the same hair stylist?

Jim said...

I'm curious how $600k = $1M myself, but that may not be the point.

The law permits a 2% surplus, sure. The law permits a lot of things, that doesn't mean they're always a good idea in every situation.

What if that surplus were allowed to dwindle to 1%? Or 0.5%? What impact would that have on tax revenues?

If it's a rainy day fund, guess what, it's raining. We're in what should be the first recovery year following the Great Recession, and if there's a time to spend your emergency cash rather than take more from the citizens, this is it.

Aberdeener said...

We could shrink the 2% surplus but that would increase the risk of cash flow problems when municipalities are slow with their payments.

Also, we're not yet at the end of cuts. The governor just announced another possible 15% in cuts, which would translate into another $2 million revenue loss for our district.

IKT2 said...

Your gist is not correct. Christie said don't let them tell you different and sure enough you are misstating the truth. Granted it is confusing but here is my attempt.
The total surplus will be $2,461,317. You get that by adding Excess surplus of $550,000 plus Capital, maintenance and emergency surplus of $1,518,052 plus projection of $393,265 (which is taking 6/30/09 fund balance of $1,574,373 and subtracting projected 6/30/10 fund balance of $1,181,108). You lose the $550,000 because that is excess surplus and subtract that from the total surplus of $2,461,317. That total is $1,911,317 of which the state takes 25% or $477,829. So they take the excess of $550,000 plus the $477,829 (25%) for the total of $1,027,829.
That leaves the district with the 75% of surplus(1,911,317-$477,829)or $1,433,488 which is still over 2% of the total budget.
I hope this makes sense.

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