Town Topics — Princeton's Weekly Community Newspaper Since 1946.
Vol. LXI, No. 16
Wednesday, April 18, 2007
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School Budget Fails, Bedford, Cunningham Elected

Linda Arntzenius

Voters rejected the tax levy of $56,185,268 toward the Princeton Regional Schools 2007-2008 budget last night by a margin of 69 votes, while electing JoAnn Cunningham and Dorothy Bedford to represent the Township on the School Board, according to results after polls closed at 9 p.m. Tuesday, April 17.

The budget passed by a margin of 31 in the Township, with 675 votes for and 644 against, but failed in the Borough where the tally was 169 for and 269 against.

The $76.1 million budget would have had an impact on property taxes paid by Princeton homeowners, with an increased rate of $1.89 per $100 of assessed value in the Borough (16 cents more than last year) and an increased rate of $1.72 for every $100 of assessed value in the Township (10 cents more than last year).

Commenting last night, Superintendent of Schools Judith A. Wilson said: "I hear in this the frustration of the New Jersey taxpayer, not just the Princeton taxpayer. Every taxpayer in New Jersey has limits and I hope that this result will fuel us to push for greater change in property tax reform."

According to Ms. Wilson, the Princeton municipalities will form a joint committee to review the school budget.

Three individuals contested two three-year term seats in the Township: incumbent JoAnn Cunningham and newcomers Dorothy Bedford and Naomi Perlman. Ms. Cunningham garnered 775 votes and will serve a third term. Ms. Cunningham could not be reached for comment. Ms. Bedford received 678 votes and will serve her first term on the board. "I thank my family and friends who encouraged me to run and those who voted for me," said Ms. Bedford upon hearing the result. "I look forward to working with Judy Wilson and the rest of the board as we focus on the financial issues and a strategic plan for the district."

Ms. Perlman received 597 votes. "I would like to congratulate the elected board members. I wish the school board and Princeton Regional Schools continued success," she said.

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