MIDDLESEX COUNTY – Voters approved school budgets in three of four districts in Middlesex County that held school elections yesterday. Statewide, 39 school districts voted on budgets Tuesday and all but three were approved.
Edison voters rejected a proposed $189.5 million budget by a 3,020-2,852 vote margin, according to unofficial results. Theresa E. Ward received 3,723 votes, Lori A. Bonderowitz received 3,231 votes and Veena Iyer received 3,160 votes to win terms on the Board of Education. They defeated John Szilagyi, Jr. (2,210 votes), Ajay V. Patil (1,940 votes) and Sarvesh Kumar Dharayan (1,461 votes).
Metuchen voters approved a $33.4 million school budget 713 votes to 338, according to unofficial results. School board President Jonathan Lifton and Rose de Vries were re-elected with 715 and 621 votes, respectively. Michael Stern received 527 votes to take the third open seat. Erica Doyle received 373 votes.
Voters approved the Cranbury school district’s $14.9 million budget by a 171-39 vote, according to unofficial results. Pramod Chivate, Linda L. Penney and Lindsay McDowell were elected to three-year terms and Dominique Jones was elected to a two-year unexpired term on the school board. They had no opposition on the ballot.
In New Brunswick, board members Benito Ortiz, Pat Sadowski, and John Krenos were re-elected, defeating a slate of challengers that included Sean Monahan, Stephanie Rivera and Martin Arocho by a nearly 2-to-1 margin. The district’s $27.3 million budget also passed, according to the New Jersey School Boards Association.
Legislation enacted last year allows communities to decide whether to hold their school elections on the third Tuesday of April or during the General Election in November. A total of 501 communities will hold school board member elections in November this year. The law eliminates the requirement that voters in November act on the school district’s proposed budget as long as it remains at or below the state’s 2-percent levy cap.
This year, 41 school districts held April elections. Two of those districts, Newark and Paterson, are state operated and voters in those cities select school board members but do not act on the proposed budget. In the other 39 districts, voters elect board members and act on the budget. Overall, there were 163 candidates on the ballot to fill 119 seats.
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