- Category: News
HIGHLANDS, NJ - On Tuesday, March 1, 2011, the Highlands Elementary Board of Education adopted their tentative 2011-2012 budget and authorized its submission to the Acting Executive County Superintendent of Schools. Dr. George, Interim Superintendent of Schools reported, “This Board of Education developed the 2011-2012 budget in accordance with the District’s Mission Statement to ensure that each student has the opportunity to become an independent and critical thinker on the path to becoming a life-long learner.” Through fiscally prudent budgetary practices, the District’s budget will decrease $99,128, or 2.7% from the 2010-2011 budget. The District has worked diligently for the past several months to identify cost saving measures, while preparing to develop a fiscally sound budget according to the mandates developed by the NJ Department of Education.
These efforts include entering into shared services agreements with the Hazlet Township School District to operate the business office, which will save the District over $60,000 annually. The current arrangement for interim superintendent services saves the District an additional $6,000 each month. Other cost saving measures contributed to a total budget reduction of $99,128. These combined savings will assist the District in providing the taxpayers of Highlands with a budget that is fiscally responsible, yet able to support the rigorous academic programs provided for our students.
“Our Board is dedicated to meeting the needs of all of our students through a comprehensive educational program, while minimizing the impact on our taxpayers,” stated Karen Horner, Board of Education President.
On Wednesday, February 23, 2011, the New Jersey Department of Education released State aid figures for the 2011-2012 school year. Each school district in the State received a 20% return of the State aid cut in the prior year. “The Highlands Borough Board of Education has dedicated the full $38,401 in State aid increase to direct tax relief for our residents,” said Karen Horner, Board of Education President. A combination of the additional State aid and budgetary reductions will allow the District’s tax rate to remain stable with a projected minimal increase from 56 cents to 57.2 cents.
Next year’s operating budget is $3.6 million, a decrease of 2.7% from the current budget and almost $221,000 lower than last year’s 2009-10 budget. “We are going to operate next year with a budget that is almost 3% less than 2009-2010, while not compromising the integrity of the education provided to our students,” explained Dr. William O. George, Interim Superintendent of Schools.
- Category: Monmouth County
Dr. William M. Toms is Acting President
LINCROFT, NJ - The Brookdale Community College Board of Trustees voted this morning to place President Peter Burnham on unpaid administrative leave, and hired as Acting President Dr. William M. Toms, who retired in 2008 from the New Jersey State Police after 25 years of distinguished service.
The Board also voted to retain an independent auditor to conduct a full-scale audit of the President’s Office and to adopt additional restrictions on travel and controls on expenses incurred by the College President.
Brookdale President Peter Burnham
The Board took these actions as a direct result of information discovered during a financial review aimed at further reducing Brookdale’s budget. That review revealed significant expenses and reimbursements associated with the President’s Office budget that may not be directly connected to Brookdale or are contrary to Brookdale’s adopted policies governing travel, mileage, and other reimbursable expenses.
Supplee, Clooney & Company, a professional accounting and auditing firm that specializes in public agencies including schools, was retained to investigate all expenditures made from the President’s Office budget including all expenses and reimbursements made by that office. Supplee, Clooney was directed to complete their work and issue a report to the Board by the end of the month and will be paid an amount not to exceed $12,500. Peter Burnham was placed on administrative leave without pay pending the results of the auditor’s findings.
- Category: Monmouth County
Called out sick but attended a union rally
FREEHOLD, NJ – Three SCAT employees who claimed they were sick last Friday received suspensions today after county officials received proof of their attendance at a union rally.
The three were among 14 bus drivers and three office workers who called out sick Friday, Feb. 25, leaving 174 developmentally disabled adults waiting for buses that never came. The employees work for the county’s Senior Citizen Area Transportation (SCAT) service, and are members of CWA Local 1038. The suspensions are without pay pending the formal filing of disciplinary charges.
“This action by our SCAT employees is offensive to everyone because it adversely impacted our most vulnerable population,” Freeholder Director Robert D. Clifton said. “The Administration will continue its investigation into those who called out sick until we are satisfied that every employee who misused the county’s sick leave policy is disciplined within the constraints of the Civil Service process. This is a prime example of why Civil Service reform is needed.”
The SCAT office transported those determined to be the most essential riders – people with appointments for dialysis or other doctor’s care. SCAT activated its backup transportation contracts to cover a majority of the other rides. Sixteen other SCAT bus drivers did report to work that day.
“When the county learned that an insufficient number of drivers reported to work, steps were immediately taken to ensure that medical transportation was the top priority and was not disrupted,” Freeholder Amy A. Mallet said. “The county immediately began an investigation into the potential abuse of sick time, and this investigation continues. The vital responsibilities of the county’s Transportation Division far outweigh any individual or group agenda.”
The suspended SCAT employees who called out sick on Friday provided doctors’ notes. However, the county has obtained evidence that proves they had attended a rally outside the Statehouse in Trenton, which was held in support of unionized workers in Wisconsin over collective bargaining.
- Category: Monmouth County
FREEHOLD, NJ – March brings whiffs of warm air, budding trees and the urge to get active again – and Monmouth County is a great place to experience it.
There’s nothing like a parade to usher in the month, and thanks to the St. Patrick’s Day celebration in Belmar that is exactly what we will have on Monday, March 6. Highlands keeps the spirit alive with its ninth annual St. Patrick’s Say Parade on March 19.
Find these and other events on the county Division of Tourism’s Calendar of Events, easily accessed by clicking the Tourism icon at www.visitmonmouth.com. It’s a comprehensive list of things to do, many of which are free and all are family friendly. It’s updated daily, so check it often.
Spring at Holmdel Park
Or, call 1-800-523-2587 for a packet of information to be mailed to you, or visit the office at 1 E. Main St., Freehold, to browse the extensive selection of literature.
- Category: Monmouth County
TINTON FALLS, NJ - The Arc of Monmouth is proud to unveil our new brand identity in the spirit of energy and a renewed commitment to providing opportunities for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) and their families.
This dynamic new logo is the new face of The Arc of Monmouth and it will be on our publications, website, signs, community events and more. The logo will unite our affiliated chapters across the country under the banner “Achieve With Us”, a call to move forward and take the road leading to progress, inclusion and respect.
The logo design reflects the energy and determination of The Arc to support and embrace people with I/DD and their families across their lifetimes and across diagnoses, including Down Syndrome, autism, cerebral palsy and other intellectual and developmental disabilities.
The color combination of orange and yellow is a stand out among nonprofit organizations and its vibrancy will be closely associated with The Arc. This identity was developed over the course of a year in-depth research, professional brand consultants and a dedicated team of individuals including chapter professionals.
“Our new brand identity represents a new day for The Arc of Monmouth and the mission of The Arc. The new logo is bringing the work of a strong and energetic organization front and center and is a bright reminder that we provide opportunity: opportunity for hope, opportunity for growth and opportunity for change,” said Mary E. Scott, Executive Director.