There are some financial issues going on involving Lakewood’s Township Committee and Board of Education and I think we, the people of Lakewood, deserve some explanation.
This Tuesday night, the Board of Education adopted their annual budget with a modest 2.9% increase to the tax rate, which amounts to a $121.18 increase for the average townhouse, and a $167.55 increase for a single family house assessed at $557,100.
Even with this increase, the board stated that they are unable to fund much needed after-school programs. They turned to the Township Committee, who in previous years, covered these programs from the regular township budget. This year, however, Mayor Coles told the school district officials that the township’s own budget is very tight and therefore, the committee can’t commit to funding the after-school programs.
Additionally, it was reported in local media that the very same Board of Education just authorized pony therapy for the coming school year.
The Township Committee just adopted their own budget which includes an 8.2% increase to the tax rate – as explained earlier. However, the committee hasn’t given us any explanation as to what they need the extra money for.
So, 1) why is the Board of Ed funding pony therapy before after-school programs, and 2) what is the Township Committee using all their extra money for, and why do they claim their budget is so tight when in fact they are raising our taxes so much this year??
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinion or position of GreaterLakewood.