Budget issues lead to concern about Superintendent

| 22 Feb 2012 | 08:16

    I have been trying for many months to follow state law by notifying School District Superintendent Dr. Edward Izbicki Sr. that he will be the subject of discussion. Each time, I was denied. I have been forced to go public. I tried to discuss these issues privately. I have been trying, as a school board member, to get Edward Izbicki and the district’s business administrator/board secretary Christina Riker to work with us on the budget since December 2008. They claim we didn’t tell them where to cut expenses to save the taxpayers money. It is not our job to tell them where and how to save, that is what they get paid to do. Today’s economy demands frugality. Over the past three years we have spent $1.5 million each year on one-time projects and each year this money is put back into the budget. We do not have or need $1.5 million in projects to do this year. According to them, there’s approximately $1 million in surplus There are 261 students less in our district. There is a larger staff now with less children. We have class sizes in the middle school with 5 to 13 students in each class when it should be 23 to 25 students (in regular education classes not special education). We could be saving close to a $1 million with major staff reduction. With 54 students to a bus we should consolidate more bus routes. We have courtesy busing that picks up students 200 feet from the school. We could have crossing guards and save many thousands of dollars. Christina Riker used the wrong numbers. The following is factual information from Sussex County Tax office, and Wantage Tax bills for 2008: Assessed value for Wantage is $ 1,448,518,793. Wantage Tax rate is 0.87. Using their numbers it looks like the taxpayers will be paying less, while factually, they will be paying more! They also said the budget was relatively flat and only going up approximately $1,300. There will be an increase; which is over $300,000. How can anyone vote any other way except No? An article from an issue of The Newark Star Ledger dated Sept. 17, 2004, stated that Edward Izbicki, while the Business Administrator in South Plainfield, was requested to resign. He never revealed this to us. I feel he should immediately resign from Sussex-Wantage District. How can the board of education or the public believe what he says or does? He has lost all integrity. All of the above information was given to the County Superintendent and County Business Administrator but the Sussex-Wantage budget was still rubber stamped. I was very surprised when I found out it was approved as is; I know them both and had respected them. I am speaking for myself, as a private citizen, board member and taxpayer, not the board of education. Arthur H. Jacobs