SPECIAL MEETING OF THE MAYOR AND COUNCIL OF THE BOROUGH OF KENILWORTH HELD ON TUESDAY, MAY 15, 2007.
Mayor David read the Notice of Requirements of the Open Public Meetings Act stating that this Special Meeting is for the purpose of addressing the defeated Kenilworth Board of Education School Budget with action to be taken.
Upon Roll Call the following Council members were present: Lawrence Clementi, Peter Corvelli, Anthony DeLuca, Kathi Fiamingo, Fred Pugliese and Robert Taylor.
Mayor David stated that our Auditor John Swisher is also in attendance.
Mayor David led the Salute to the Flag.
Council Discussion on proposed cuts to the School Budget:
Councilman Taylor – stated he thinks a one tax point reduction is proper. Taking it from the Maintenance line is valid since there is still money there so they can continue with a modified long range maintenance plan.
Councilwoman Fiamingo – agreed with Councilman Taylor. Council has an obligation to cut the budget. The one point decrease does not impact on their programs and not significantly on their maintenance line.
Councilman Clementi – stated he also agrees with a one tax point decrease from the maintenance line.
Councilman Pugliese – stated he doesn’t know if he agrees with taking the whole $87,000. from the maintenance line. He questioned if some can be taken from the employee benefit line.
Mayor David – asked Council if everyone is comfortable with the amount to be cut ($87,000.) which represents one tax point and not impacting on any educational programs.
Council all agreed to a one tax point decrease.
Councilman Pugliese – stated regarding his suggestion to cut some money from the Benefits line, since the Borough is anticipating an 8% increase in benefits and the school is anticipating a 10% increase, perhaps the percentage increase is somewhere in between and we could take some money (1% would be $40,000.) from the Benefits line and thereby not take the full $87,000 from the Maintenance line.
Councilman Corvelli – asked the Auditor if the Board of Education can transfer monies from one line to another.
SPECIAL MEETING – MAY 15, 2007 PAGE 2
Auditor John Swisher – replied; yes they can.
Councilman Corvelli – stated that in line with that he agrees with Councilman Pugliese to perhaps take some from the Benefits line.
Mayor David – stated that at last night’s Joint Meeting with the Board they asked that the Maintenance line not be drastically cut. He, at the meeting, questioned if a cut could be made in the Secretarial budget since they have 5 Administrators and 7 or 8 secretaries.
Auditor John Swisher – stated he counted 8 secretaries in the budget with salaries varying from $20,000 to a high of $49,000 plus benefit costs.
Mayor David – stated he would prefer to also cut some in that area (secretarial).
Councilman Clementi – stated that perhaps we can take some from all three areas – secretarial, benefits and maintenance.
Mayor David – stated that we cannot force the Board to take from those lines, they can take the money from anywhere they choose.
The consensus of Council is that maintenance is needed and to take some of the total amount of $87,000 out of the budget in the other lines suggested.
Mayor David – stated that Council has to allocate a dollar amount to be taken out of each line item identified.
Auditor John Swisher stated he would now make the above changes to the Resolution.
Mayor David opened the meeting to the public for any comments on the school budget.
MEETING OPEN TO THE PUBLIC
Maryann Finistrella, 43 Epping Drive, stated she understands that Council has to cut somewhere, but she asked where are the people who voted “no” on the budget. The Board did not pad their budget and she wishes the Governing Body would cut a littler lower than $87,000. The Board is trying and we have to get that out to the public.
Anthony LaPore, 39 North 6th Street, stated he understands the Governing Body has to cut something but is a whole tax point necessary. In taking away from the maintenance department some of those items are safety items as well as health items and $17 is all you are talking about – is this all worth $17. The Board of Ed did go below the CAP of state requirements and your
Resident Anthony LaPore’s comments (cont.)
auditor didn’t really find anything except for $87,000 in the maintenance budget. You don’t want our buildings to deteriorate because it is going to cost more in the long run. He urged the Governing Body to say no cuts are necessary since the budget came in below the state mandate and we are only talking a $17 tax savings. He asked where are the people who voted no so they can explain where they want cuts. He asked the Governing Body to reconsider.
No one else from the public desiring to be heard, Mayor David closed the meeting for public comment.
Mayor David asked for a motion to take a brief recess until our Auditor returns with the resolution.
Motion to recess was made by Councilman Clementi and seconded by Councilman Corvelli.
Return to public meeting
Mayor David stated that our Auditor has come up with some amounts in four appropriation lines for a total of $87,000 cut. He read the amounts to be decreased from the various line items; Secretarial & Clerical Salaries - $28,000: Social Security - $3,000.; Health Benefits - $9,000. and Cleaning, Repair & Maintenance - $47,000.
Mayor David – asked Council members if there is any further discussion on this.
No further discussion, Mayor stated that the Borough Clerk will read the Resolution.
RESOLUTION NO. 1
Introduced by Councilman Taylor
Seconded by Councilman DeLuca
Resolution to reduce the Board of Education Budget by a total of $87,000.00.
Copy of Resolution attached.
Upon Roll C all the vote was unanimous approval.
There being no further business, a motion to adjourn was made by Councilman Clementi and seconded by Councilman Taylor.
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