Thursday, April 17, 2008


Budget passes; Setser, Kortvelesy, Beatty win

MILLVILLE -- Voters approved Tuesday the $9.79 million tax levy for the 2008-09 school year and elected Dan Kortvelesy, Fred Setser and Michael Beatty three open, three-year seats on the Board of Education. Connie Johnson and newcomer Mark Krull won one-year seats. There were a total of 11 prospective candidates.

The winning candidates -- including three incumbents, but not Millville Senior High student candidate David Gifford -- will be sworn in Monday.

Kortvelesy received 512 votes; Setser received 528; and Beatty received 457. Johnson received 416 votes and Mark Krull received 397.

Voters also approved Millville's first tax rate increase in six years. The 2-cent tax rate increase will generate $291,000 for the district and cost about $20 in taxes for a household assessed at $100,000 each year, Business Administrator Bryce Kell said.

The budget the school board submitted to the state already included 40 position cuts; tuition increases for Millville's sending districts; larger class sizes and cuts in programs.

Beatty, who was re-elected to his second term, said board members were concerned about voters defeating the budget, which he said would have meant more cuts for the district.

"We're very pleased the public supported us," he said. "We tried to put it in front of them and tell them how much we needed it."

Most of the candidates gathered at City Hall to watch the results unveiled on a large screen.

Krull eagerly awaited the vote totals, hoping for his first term on the board.

"I had no idea if I'd flop or if I'd be the top person," he said. "I feel good. It was a lot of hard work by a lot of people."

Johnson was re-elected to her fourth term, and said she wasn't nervous about the outcome.

"I've been through it before," she said. "I'll work to ensure the quality of education for our children and watching over the tax dollars."

The city reported 1,001 residents voted, a 6.29 percent turnout of registered voters.


Post a CommentPost a Comment View all CommentsView All Comments

Obsta principiis

We cut 40 teachers, taken away numerous programs, raise tuition from the sending districts that will raise the senders taxes to cover the costs and we do it for the "benefit" of the children. WTF. I cant wait until 5 years from now when 200 teachers will be cut and most programs eliminated and the only people at school will be the students wondering what the h--l is going on. Someone once said, 'Plan now for a stable future', I would like to be enlightened by the originator of this phrase as to what the future will be, according to him.

Posted: Wed Apr 16, 2008 10:52 pm

Warren Peace

I agree!! I asked workers at the polls and they said that the state mandates the hours. I think mainly teachers and more affluent vote. Some community activists and political leaders do too.
I mean its set up for low turnout but as a citizens paying taxes, folks should TRY a little harder to be informed!! Right Question

Posted: Wed Apr 16, 2008 11:43 am


Six percent of registered voters may have made some good choices, but 94% made the bad choice to stay home. These elections need to be moved to one of the regular election days with normal polling hours! Otherwise, they are little more than a joke.

Posted: Wed Apr 16, 2008 8:37 am


The voters made some good choices this time around. They seemed to know who they wanted and it was good to pass the budget and avoid more problems with the school budget Cool

Posted: Wed Apr 16, 2008 7:30 am

Post a CommentPost a Comment View all CommentsView All Comments

Originally published April 16, 2008

Print this article E-mail this to a friend Subscribe Now

Zoom Photo


Friday, April 11, 2008

Abbot Funding

Hello You can go to website for the Department of Education and and go to
this page
for info on Spending and revenue for Millville

Local Taxes
Comparative Spending Guide 2008
Operating Type ABBOTT (Total of 31
School Districts)
Summary of Vital Statistics

Revenue Sources-

Cost Per Pupil State Local Taxes
BRIDGETON $14,295 87% 4%
MILLVILLE $11,886 78% 10%
VINELAND $14,833 81% 11%

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Sunday, March 30, 2008


I have been campaigning hard to become a member of the Millville School Board.
I have had the pleasure of meeting many people from all over Millville and I am humbled
by the response. I hope to meet you at the Shop Rite, Wawa, High Street or at your door. I am eager to hear your concerns.

Finally, perhaps the school district could set up a "hot line"/ Website for teachers, staff, parents, community members, and students for suggestions on how to save money. The bottom line is that the next few years are going to be difficult and we need to work together to make it work. I just found a forum called our schools matter on the web

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Why I wish to serve on the Milllville School Board.

As I was introducing myself at the Shop Rite yesterday, I was asked by a teacher why was I running. This is a good question.

I am seeking a seat with the Millville Board of Education. I can offer a fresh perspective on issues facing our schools. I am a dedicated community activist who has been over the past 5 years been involved in efforts to make Millville a better place. I care about our city and have demonstrated this in my actions. I am an active member of the Center City Neighborhood Group, Neighborhood Policing Task Force for the past year. I have collaborated with city leaders, artists, and neighborhood leaders to continue positive change in Millville. I wish to bring my experience to the Millville Board of Education.

As a board member, I will encourage planning and dialogue between city and district leaders, teachers and staff.

The Millville School District is facing significant challenges that will require thoughtful planning. The state of New Jersey is cutting back on funding for Abbot Districts while maintaining mandates that are in some cases are costly. I want to be your voice in enhancing our children's learning experience without creating undue hardship for Millville taxpayers. The long term revitalization of Millville depends on our kids and our schools.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Millville Board of Education Passes Budget


TOTAL BUDGET $99,474,746 $96,747,208

TAX RATE 66.5-cents 68.5-cents

AMT RAISED BY TAXES $8,803,739 $9,792,246


REMAINING SURPLUS* <2-percent> <2-percent>

TAX FOR HOME ASSESSED AT $125,000 $831.25/yr $856.25/yr

TOTAL CLASSROOM INSTRUCTION $45,592,171 $48,821,778

TOTAL ADMINISTRATIVE COSTS $36,507,690 $34,839,682

The proposed 2008-09 budget of $96.7 million shaves more than $2.5 million from the current budget. Despite the cuts, the budget includes a 2-cent tax increase, class-size increases and the delay of eventual technological upgrades.

State funding - Millville received roughly $1.3 million in additional state aid - was sighted as the primary reason for Millville's budget woes

There was some good news as Bryce Kell, the district's business administrator, reported that Millville's request for a tax waiver was approved by the state.

The waiver, which allows Millville to propose a tax increase of more than 4 percent, was necessary to keep the number of employees needed to be let go to 40. Officials said that number would likely have been higher had the tax waiver not been approved.

Superintendent Shelly Schneider said during Tuesday night's public hearing on the budget.

"You will not see any growth to programs," she said. "In fact, due to fixed costs, cost of living, increased pension contributions and increases in salaries, we needed to make serious cuts. In fact, there will be a need for tax increases, tuition increases, larger class sizes and cuts in programs and positions."

The budget calls for the elimination of 40 positions and a 2-cent tax rate hike, the first school tax rate increase in six years, said Bryce Kell, business administrator.

Money originally slated for school-sponsored activities, health services, and general and school administration services will be slashed under the proposed, according to the list of proposed appropriations for next school year.

"School-sponsored activities" refers to Gifted and Talented after-school programs and will decrease from $20,000 to nothing on the proposed budget, Kell said.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Hard Times Ahead!

Here is a recent article concerning Vineland schools. This is what our new funding formula could have in store if we Millville have not planned ahead.
Trapped Vineland OKs raises

Thursday, March 13, 2008


VINELAND -- The city board of education Wednesday night approved a set of pay raises for the district's four assistant superintendents, with Board President Frank Giordano casting the lone dissenting vote.

The decision followed a public hearing, in which both taxpayers and district employees -- some in danger of losing their jobs in recent budget cuts -- urged the board to vote down the raises.

Last week, the board approved what they called a "fluid budget" for the 2008-09 year, calling for the first school tax increase in six years as well as 7 percent budget cuts to every school in the district.

The proposed $189 million school budget includes a 2.5-cent tax hike for residents and eliminates up to 22 teaching positions.

The cuts were necessary, according to Vineland Public Schools Superintendent Charles Ottinger, because of a new state school funding formula that would have otherwise forced residents to pay an additional $20 million in taxes towards the district. The 2.5-cent tax increase covers $500,000 of that amount.

The three-year contracts containing the raises cover a time period from July 1, 2007 to 2010.

According to Ottinger, Assistant Superintendent of Administration Keith Figgs will receive $145,626 the first year, with 2.62 percent increases in subsequent years up to 2010.

Assistant Superintendent of Business Kevin Franchetta gets $131,086 in his first year of the contract, and a 3 percent raise each year up to 2010.

Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum Mary Gruccio will be paid $125,313 and receive a 4 percent raise in subsequent years.

Assistant Superintendent of Secondary Education Ted Peters is set to receive $135,453 the first year, with 2.62 percent raises in the next years to come.

Peters' position is one of those on the chopping block in the proposed 2008-09 budget.

The three-year contract will dictate his salary until next year's budget takes effect.

Ottinger defended the board's decision, stating everyone else who received raises in the district were awarded a 4.4, 4.6 or 5 percent raise. (Like Millville, perhaps??)

He added the assistant superintendents did not earn the highest salaries in the district, pointing to members of the Vineland Administrators and Supervisors Association as the top earners in Vineland Public Schools.

"Everyone else's raises were settled before, but this happens to be taking place during a budget crisis," said Ottinger. "The 2.62 percent increases are simple cost of living raises, and the others are higher because they are paid less. I think this is fair."

The superintendent did admit the school district should and would have settled for lower raises had he known of the coming crisis. (Did we plan ahead for the future??)

The board was originally scheduled to hold a public hearing on the pay raises on Jan. 15. However, it was pulled from the agenda, as members said they needed more time to discuss the issue.

While Giordano declined to comment on his vote, many residents in attendance stood up to speak against the measure, stating they "had no idea" why the board would consider such salary increases at a time when teaching positions are in danger.

"Now's not the time," said John McGee, a security officer at Vineland High School, adding he turned down his own pay raise after learning of the budget cuts. "I know someone who works in the cafeteria. She makes nothing, works hard, and she's going to be fired because of the cuts.

"You're going to lose a lot of people at the bottom, and you're at the top. It doesn't show what's good for everyone."

Other district employees who work directly with students questioned the wisdom of the raises in the face of budget cuts they say will affect children.

"I don't see why this would happen when so much -- I mean the safety patrol and everything -- is being taken away," said a library aide at Petway Elementary School. "Things are being cut that affect our children at the lowest levels. I just don't understand."

A counselor at Landis Intermediate School asked whether the 570,000 in raises over three years could be used to save a teacher's job.

"I think it's unconscionable that there are pay raises for some of the top jobs when cutting so much," said East Oak Road resident Amy Camp. "And there's no place the raises are coming from but my pocket. I don't see where it's justified at this point in time."

The board took its time explaining their vote, trying to stress how hard for them the decisions to approve both the budget cuts and Wednesday's raises were.

"I understand everyone's concern. But everyone deserves cost of living pay increases, and these assistant superintendents go above and beyond the call of duty," said board member Paul Spinelli. "The cuts in the budget are indeed fluid, and we're going to try and put back as much as we can."

Both Ottinger and Board Vice President Jacqueline Gavigan expressed feelings that the board's hands were tied as far as the budget was concerned, and if people wanted to speak out, they should attend the public meeting with state Education Commission Lucille Davy -- scheduled for today at Cumberland County College for 4:30 p.m.

Gov. Jon S. Corzine in December unveiled the revamped school funding formula, providing all school districts with at least a 2 percent increase in aid next year, with many middle-income districts set to receive up to a 20 percent boost.

The intent of the new formula is to help ease the property tax burden on residents by basing aid on the needs of individual students in a district, no matter where they live. However, under this proposal, the state's 31 Abbott districts receive smaller percentage increases than their wealthier counterparts.

Those districts are currently seeking to challenge the new formula in the state supreme court, according to Ottinger.

"This is the biggest fight this board has ever faced," said Ottinger