Verona Passes Budget; W. Orange, Cedar Grove Don’t


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School election results were mixed across Essex County, but more school budgets passed here than elsewhere in the state, where voters rejected 260 of the 479 school budgets up for consideration.

In a strong turnout for an off-season election, Verona voters approved our $27.5 million school budget by 1130 to 1048. School superintendent Charles Sampson thanked voters last night for their support, saying “We are appreciative of the support our community demonstrated for its public schools today. We are confident that our school budget maximizes our resources and effectively balances student needs and fiscal accountability. We are fortunate that Verona places such a high value on the education of its children and we take that responsibility seriously. A hearty thank you to all community members.”

The $39.7 million  budget for the Caldwell-West Caldwell School District also passed according to the Caldwells Patch, which translates to 3.71% more in taxes there. The Web site reports that West Essex’s $34.9 million budget passes (3.99% in higher taxes), as did the $10.9 million budget for North Caldwell (4% tax impact).

Baristanet is reporting that Bloomfield approved both its school budget and the referendum to rehabilitate Foley Field. There are no home sports games in Bloomfield now because of the field’s condition. The Bloomfield budget, which will result in a tax increase of less than 2%, will also require the elimination of 58 district jobs. is reporting that budgets in Essex Fells, Glen Ridge, Irvington, Livingston, Millburn and Roseland all passed as well. There was no election in Montclair.

But is reporting that the budget failed in Cedar Grove by a vote of 1,334 to 1,301. The tax increase there would have been 3.9%. West Orange shot down its budget by 3,947 to 3,176. The proposed tax increase there was 7.3%, or $499 for an average home and the budget would have axed 84 jobs. Fairfield and Nutley also voted against their budgets. According to the New Jersey League of Municipalities, this year is the first time since 1976 that the majority of school budgets were rejected.

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Virginia Citrano
Virginia Citrano
Virginia Citrano grew up in Verona. She moved away to write and edit for The Wall Street Journal’s European edition, Institutional Investor, Crain’s New York Business and Since returning to Verona, she has volunteered for school, civic and religious groups, served nine years on the Verona Environmental Commission and is now part of Sustainable Verona. She co-founded MyVeronaNJ in 2009. You can reach Virginia at [email protected].


  1. So glad our budget passed. Mr Sampson and the entire board of education did a wonderful job putting together a great budget under very difficult circumstances. We are lucky to be under such great leadership during these difficult times.

  2. I agree with Lisa! I am relieved but, at the same time, I am afraid. I think we won a battle, but not the war. Judging by his words, I do not think that our governor is done with his crusade against schools. We’ll see…


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