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One School Board Member's Valedictory

As I complete my second and final term as a member of the Ramsey (Bergen) Board of Education and end 38 years of public service—naval officer, career prosecutor, mayor and school trustee—it is time for reflection. Here, then, is my perspective on what it means to be a school trustee. Spoiler alert: My views do not always coincide with those of the New Jersey School Boards Association or the dictates of the New Jersey School Ethics Commission.

At just about every event I've attended as a school board member, the constant refrain is this: "It's all about the kids." Well, it is not solely about the kids, in my opinion; it is also about property taxpayers, the folks who foot 95 percent of the public education bill in most suburban school districts. Taxpayers don't just get short shrift from the public education community, they get no shrift. They are the Rodney Dangerfields in the equation.  Read More 
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Christie and Property Taxes

Letter to the Editor, The Record

I was a frequent critic of Gov. Christie's early fiscal policy, especially his slashing state aid to suburban school districts in 2010. Ramsey, my town, lost $2.2 million in one swipe of the governor's budget-balancing knife, further burdening local property taxpayers.

Statewide, public education lost $800 million, all to preserve an income tax cut for the rich on the theory they would thus be motivated not to move to tax-friendlier climes. A theory since disproved.

Then, the governor redeemed himself.  Read More 
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