Town Topics — Princeton's Weekly Community Newspaper Since 1946.
Vol. LXII, No. 16
Wednesday, April 16, 2008
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Quinn, Bliss, Haughton Elected; Budget Passes

Ellen Gilbert

Voters in the Township and Borough approved the Princeton Regional Board of Education’s $72,694,856 budget in yesterday’s election. In the Township, Walter Bliss was reelected to the school board with 1,021 votes, along with newcomer Dan Haughton, who had 792 to Naomi Perlman’s 696. Mr. Haughton will fill the seat occupied by Township resident Jeffrey Spear, who stepped down after nine years on the board. Tim Quinn, who ran unopposed for the single vacant seat representing the Borough, received 421 votes. The board will hold its next meeting on April 22. All three will serve three-year terms.

In the Township 1095 voted for the budget, with 468 voting against it. Borough voters endorsed the budget 324 to 249. More than the usual amount of anxiety attended this year’s budget vote, a consequence of the rejection of last year’s proposed budget. In her recent presentations of this year’s budget, PRS Superintendent Judy Wilson was careful to emphasize that this year’s suggested 3.32 percent total tax increase fell below the state’s suggested 4 percent cap, and that a considerable effort had been made to make it as economical as possible without sacrificing excellence in education.

The $57 million tax levy that will now be imposed to support the 2008-2009 budget was based on property values. It will translate into an increase of $332 per year for the average Borough homeowner with a property valued at $349,000, or an increase of nine cents to $1.965 for every $100 of assessed property value, and a $45 decrease per year for the average Township homeowner, with a property valued at $431,000 a one-cent decrease to $1.6997 for every $100 of assessed property value. The proposed $56,965,650 tax levy will be added to other fund balances, tuition expenses, state aid, and charter school aid, resulting in the $72.5 million operating budget for the upcoming school year.

Sounding a hopeful note about the work that lies ahead, Mr. Quinn said, “I’m honored by the support I've received from the voters and look forward to working with my fellow board members and with administrators, teachers, parents and all in our community who are committed to excellent public education for every student.”

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