MICKLETON — East Greenwich Mayor Dale Archer spoke about local school system funding at the township’s Committee meeting on Aug. 23. Earlier in the day Archer attended a forum promoting Gov. Christie’s plan to redistribute state aid to New Jersey schools.
Christie’s plan would award a fixed $6,599 to the schools for each student. Archer has supported Christie’s plan because he believes it would be the most lucrative for East Greenwich.
Archer figured the plan would bring $1,900 in tax relief to township residents. “That would be life altering,” Archer told Christie, meeting the Governor for the first time. Christie responded, “You’re absolutely right.”
Archer has been bothered for years by the difference in funding for some of New Jersey’s schools. The mayor said that Christie used the example of Asbury Park, whose school systems are given $33,000 for each student. But their graduation rate is only 60 percent.
Archer claims he doesn’t blame Kingsway Regional or the East Greenwich school system for their tax increases. “Over 63 percent of our taxes are allocated to the school district each year,” Archer noted. “The board members, superintendents and administrators work diligently to provide a quality education for our children and always display the proper demeanor and mindset that the monies are spent responsibly. Our superintendents are doing more with less.”
Archer has long argued that there are school districts in New Jersey receiving 143 percent in funding, while Kingsway Regional gets 47 percent and the East Greenwich school District receives 49 percent.
In resolutions, the Committee authorized pay increases for Public Works Foremen Robert Mann, and Timothy Barton. Archer observed that the township stayed with a flat tax rate, but was still able to grant the raises. “Very exciting and well deserved,” Archer commented.
Another adopted resolution saw the promotion of Stephanie McCaffrey from billing clerk to assistant to clerk. “The move helped to clarify her position, because she’d been doing the jobs already,” explained Committeeman Stephen Bottiglieri.
Also, the Committee approved a resolution for a raffle application from the Kingsway Education Foundation. Their event would be held on Sept. 23.
Elsewhere, the Committee passed an amendment of an ordinance regarding appointments and promotions within the East Greenwich Police Department.
In other news, Solicitor Mark Shoemaker said that a local business had expressed an interest in expanding and coming to a financial agreement with the township.
Also, Archer reminded meeting attendees of the upcoming East Greenwich Day Parade on Sept. 10. Then he announced that East Greenwich had received a firm commitment from Royal Farms to open a business in town.
Royal Farms would be developing at the vacant restaurant located at the intersection of West Cohawkin Road and Berkley Road. The restaurant had previously been occupied by the Berkley Diner and a KFC.
“We will have a new ratable,” Archer mentioned. “This is very exciting news.”
— by Robert Holt