Red Bank Regional Moves Board and Budget Votes to November

District officials say move will save money and benefit from greater voter turnout.

Expect to find a few candidates for the Board of Education on your ballots in Little Silver, Red Bank and Shrewsbury this November, and possibly (but improbably) a district budget vote.

The regional high school district's board voted Wednesday to move its board elections from April to November in response to .

The new law also allows schools to bypass a budget vote if their budget raises the tax levy by less than two percent.

The move passed unanimously, with little discussion on the board.

"We've done our homework on this," said Board Member Michael N. Megill.

Board President John Garofalo asked the public in attendance if they had any questions or comments, but no one came forward. Informally, three audience members said they supported the move.

Sending districts Shrewsbury and Little Silver have voted to move their elections, and Red Bank has yet to have a board meeting to vote on the matter, though Superintendent Jim Stefankiewicz indicated they will likely approve a move as well.

"It makes a ton of sense," said Garofalo. "One, it costs us money to have the election in April. The voter turnout for school board elections is very small. Hopefully moving them to November, you're going to have a bigger voter turnout."

Stefankiewicz said it ensures districts will work responsibly financially.

"It works to ensure that districts are working within the two percent cap that was designated by statutes, so that's important. If it goes over that particular cap on the tax levy, then it goes to the voting public," Stefankiewicz said.

"Like Mr. Garofalo said, there's going to be a larger portion of the public voting on that, which is really a better democratic process."


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