Minutes for April 6, 2010History icon Archived Minutes

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A regular business meeting of the Board of Education was held this day in the Middle School, Old Stirling Road. The following is a record of that meeting.

I. CALL TO ORDER: The meeting was called to order at 7:06 p.m. by the Board President, Mrs. Monahan.

OPEN PUBLIC MEETING STATEMENT - Mrs. Monahan read the following Statement:
In accordance with the provisions New Jersey Open Public Meetings Law, the Board of Education has caused notice of this meeting to be posted in the Board Office and in the Township Office, mailed to the Courier News and Echoes Sentinel, and filed with the Clerk of the Township of Warren.

II. PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE - Mrs. Monahan led the assembly in the Pledge of Allegiance.


Present: Sue Burman, Roberta Monahan, Tony Sardis, Mildred Spiller, Gina Voorhees, and Kathleen Winter

Absent: Dr. Gregory Przybylski arrived at 7:11 p.m.

Patricia Toubin arrived at 7:11 p.m.

Dave Ricci

Also Present: Dr. James Crisfield, Superintendent, Peter Daquila, School Business Administrator/Board Secretary, members of the staff, public, and press.


  • WMS Student Award Winners

    Mrs. Monahan was joined by Mrs. Cooper to present student awards to members of the Quiz Bowl Teams, the National Continental Math winners, the St. Joseph's Math & Science winners, the School Geography Champion & the Gold Key Award winners.

    Dr Przybylski and Mrs. Toubin arrived at this point in the meeting (7:11 p.m.).

  • Discussion with Assemblyman Bramnick
    Assemblyman Bramnick addressed the board members and the audience and explained that he as a legislator will vote on Governor Christie's budget. He fielded questions and responded to the board members and audience.
  • 2010-2011 Budget Hearing
    Dr. Crisfield presented the 2010/2011 Budget Presentation to the board and public. He noted that this presentation was also done on March 31st in order to approve the tax figure and send it to the county tax office for the ballot.










Review of 2010-2011 Budget Cuts

Discussion regarding the budget was held after the public hearing

X. PUBLIC COMMENTARY (including opportunity to speak about items for Board Consideration/Action)

Note on public input at BOE meetings: Board Policy #9322, adopted on April 14, 2008, provides for and encourages public participation in Board of Education meetings. Such participation is governed by the following rules:

1. A participant must be recognized by the presiding officer and must preface comments by an announcement of his/her name and place of residence;

2. Each Statement made by a participant shall be limited to three minutes' duration (limit may be adjusted at the discretion of the presiding officer as circumstances dictate);

3. No participant may speak more than once on the same topic until all others who wish to speak on that topic have been heard; and

4. All Statements shall be directed to the presiding officer-no participant may address or question Board members individually.

The portion of the meeting during which participation of the public is invited shall be limited to fifteen minutes (limit may be adjusted at the discretion of the presiding officer as circumstances dictate).

Jackie Mandelbaum spoke about the reduction in guidance counselors at the elementary schools. She asked the board to reinstate the guidance counselors.

Faye Brady, supervisor of Guidance, thanked the board for the opportunity to work in a district like Warren. As the supervisor of guidance she asked the board to reinstate the guidance counselors and stated that they provide an invaluable service to the students.

Christine Prinzivalli asked what the elimination of 2 K-5 contingency teachers is and how the budget cuts will effect the district's ability to add teachers if enrollment increases.

Dr. Crisfield responded.

Arthur Brovado asked about the effect of salary increases on the budget.

Dr. Crisfield responded that salary and benefits are tied together and that the district is in the middle of negotiations with the teachers.

Mary Ellen Roberts, Technology Coordinator, asked the board to reconsider the cut of the part time tech secretary. She expressed the importance of this position and that this position allows the district to comply with the numerous state required reports.

Kathryn Niemeyer asked that field trips be re-instated since they effect and impact each student.

MaryLou Cebula, Central School Principal, thanked the board for their hard efforts and work on the budget. She addressed the value that the guidance counselors offer to the children, parents, and the school community.

Anne Murphy asked about the cut of the guidance counselors and if other items could be cut in order to replace guidance.

Dr. Crisfield responded.

She also asked about the reduction of the full day to half day kindergarten.

Dr. Crisfield responded.

Kathy Nowler asked about the reduction of the K-5 Spanish program and cutting field trips

Dr. Crisfield responded.

Chris Huss, Woodland School Principal, thanked the board for the efforts on the budgets and deep thought process of planning a budget. He asked the board to re-instate the guidance counselors since their services are invaluable to the students.

Marilyn Brown, Woodland School Teacher, expressed the importance of the guidance counselors and that the guidance counselors effect every student in the school.

Tracey Dario asked about the increase to general admin for the solar RFP.

Mr. Daquila responded.

William Kimmick, Mt. Horeb Principal, thanked the board for their efforts on the budget and asked that the board reconsider reinstating the guidance counselors. The counselors help keep the students in the district.

Kathy Bond, ALT School Principal, thanked the board for their efforts on the budget and for allowing the administrators to speak about the guidance counselors. She noted that the guidance counselors are a valuable resource to the children in the schools and the school community.

Robert Comba, Middle School Principal, spoke about the 0.5 secretary and how important this person is to the state reporting, class scheduling, and supporting the school.

Dr. Crisfield commented on the budget cuts and reviewed the April 6th version of the Cut Options sheet. He noted that there are 2 new items on the right - Transition Kindergarten and retirement savings. He recommended that these 2 items move to the left and that K-5 guidance, health instructor, and 0.5 tech secretary be re-instated and move from the left to the right side of the cut sheet.

Mr. Sardis commented that the reduction of core services should have 1st priority for re-instatement.

Dr Przybylski noted that due to negotiations and input from Trenton the expenses and revenues may still change. He also noted that on March 25th the board had a lengthy discussion about guidance and all the cuts that are on the sheet.

Mrs. Winter noted that the board had a very limited time to determine the budget cuts and time should be spent evaluating these programs before cuts are made. She supports Dr. Crisfield's recommendations.

Mrs. Toubin commented about the guidance counselors and other items on the cut sheet.

Mrs. Voorhees asked for clarification of the capital reserve and if the State would take additional funds.

Mrs. Spiller added that it is imperative to keep programs and supports Dr. Crisfield's recommendations.

The board discussed the possibility of changing the items on cut sheets to reinstate guidance.

The board discussed the possibility of reinstating the health instructor based on Dr. Crisfield's recommendation.

Mrs. Monahan asked for a majority consensus to agree to reinstate guidance counselors in trade for retirement savings. Mrs. Winter, Mrs. Toubin, Mrs. Monahan, Mrs. Voorhees, Mrs. Spiller, and Mrs. Burman voted yes. Dr Przybylski and Mr. Sardis voted no.

The board agreed to the change.

Mrs. Monahan asked for a majority consensus to use $20,000 of retirement to reinstate the .5 secretary. Mrs. Winter, Mrs. Toubin, Mrs. Monahan, Mrs. Voorhees, Mrs. Spiller, and Mrs. Burman voted yes. Dr Przybylski and Mr. Sardis voted no.

The board agreed to the change.

Mrs. Monahan asked for a majority consensus on moving transition kindergarten in place of a Health Instructor. Mrs. Winter, Mrs. Monahan, Mrs. Spiller, and Mrs. Burman voted yes. Mrs. Voorhees, Mrs. Toubin, Dr Przybylski, and Mr. Sardis voted no.

The board did not agree to this change.

Mrs. Burman asked for clarity on field trips and wanted to verify that the PTOs and parents can pay for field tips.

Mrs. Burman asked for information on the tax increase and the amount of the tax increase if the board used the waivers and went to 4%.






  • Board of Education Self-Evaluation Reminder
    Mrs. Spiller noted that the self evaluations are due.
  • Superintendent Evaluation Reminder
    Mrs. Spiller noted that the superintendent evaluations are due.


  • Health Insurance Broker
    Mr. Daquila reported that a program manager is needed to assist the district in the conversion to SEHBP. The board discussed the options and Mr. Daquila will provide additional information on April 12th.
  • Recreation Commission Scheduling of Building Use
    Mr. Daquila reported on the Rec Commissions' proposed changes to the scheduling of fields/gyms. The board was against the change.


Mary Grace Suitovsky spoke from personal experience as to the value of full time guidance counselors in the schools.

Barbara Totenhoff spoke from personal experience as to the value of full time guidance counselors in the schools. She asked if there are any ways to increase revenues for the facility usage.


At 9:50 p.m. Mrs. Spiller moved the following:

WHEREAS, the Open Public Meetings Act, N.J.S.A.10:4-11, permits the Board of Education to meet in closed session to discuss certain matters, now, therefore be it

RESOLVED, the Board of Education adjourns to closed session to discuss:

matter rendered confidential by federal or State law

pending or anticipated litigation or contract negotiation and/or matters of attorney-client privilege

a matter in which release of information would impair the right to receive government funds

material the disclosure of which constitutes an unwarranted invasion of individual privacy

a collective bargaining agreement and/or negotiations related to it

a matter involving the purchase, lease, or acquisition of real property with public funds

protection of public safety and property and/or investigations of possible violations or violations of law

specific prospective or current employees unless all who could be adversely affected request an open session

deliberation after a public hearing that could result in a civil penalty or other loss

and be it

FURTHER RESOLVED, the minutes of this closed session be made public when the need for confidentiality no longer exists.

The motion was seconded by Mrs. Voorhees and approved by unanimous voice vote.

On motion by Mrs. Spiller, seconded by Dr Przybylski, the board reconvened in open session at 10:16 p.m.

The board discussed promotion of the budget to the public.

XVI. ADJOURNMENT: On motion by Mrs. Spiller, seconded by Dr Przybylski, the meeting adjourned at 10:27 p.m.

Minutes recorded by:

Peter Daquila