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May 02, 2016
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    Calendar of Events

    05/02  Borough Council Meeting
    05/03  Board of Adjustment Meeting
    05/09  Planning Board Meeting
    05/11  Recreation Meeting
    05/12  Curbside Recycling


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    Mayor’s Update May 2016


    Dear Residents & Business Owners:

          The Mendham Borough Council and Mendham Borough School Board held a joint meeting on April 4 to discuss the de-regionalization study completed last year by Ross Haber and Associates.  It was a good meeting and the interaction between the two boards and members of the public was engaging and respectful. 
          The two boards agreed to meet again by the end of the school year to decide if they want to pursue a public referendum on the dissolution of the existing district.  This referendum would only be a first step in the process of a potential dissolution and would provide residents of Mendham Borough an opportunity to vote on one of the two options that were the subject of the Haber study.
         Under option one, West Morris Mendham High School would become a limited purpose regional high school including students from the Mendhams and Chesters.  The current local K-8 districts would remain the same.  The projected initial savings in the tax levy apportionment under this option is $5 million.
         Under option two, the Mendhams and Chesters would consolidate to form a new K-12 regional school district.  The districts would no longer have independent K-8 Boards of Educations or Central Administrative Offices.  The projected initial savings in the tax levy apportionment under this option is $3 million.
         It was concluded that the current quality of education would remain the same with both these options.  Washington Township would become a K-12 district under both scenarios.
         The process to achieve a potential dissolution would require several additional steps.  To approve the dissolution of a regional school district, there must be an affirmative vote in a majority of the individual constituent districts (3) AND a majority of the overall votes cast in the entire regional district.  The County Superintendent also needs to evaluate the advisability of a request to dissolve a limited purpose regional school district.  Before a request can be submitted to the County Superintendent, the local governing bodies must first take official action by adopting a resolution to file a petition to dissolve the regional school district.  This petition must be adopted by the majority of the Boards of Education in the constituent municipalities AND a majority of the governing bodies of the constituent municipalities.
          Given this statutory requirement, it is imperative that the Borough Council and the Mendham Borough School Board work together in deciding to file a dissolution petition.  Jointly, they are now considering if it is in the best interest of the Mendham Borough taxpayer to bring this matter to a public referendum.  If the two boards cannot agree, Mendham would lose their place at the table if Mendham Township, Chester Township and Chester Borough decided to move forward with the referendum.
         Please help us make this decision by continuing to review all of the material on this issue.  You can click here if you are online or visit our Borough Website where the information is located in the bar on the left in the Mendham Area Schools tab under the label Regional Educational Advisory Committee.    As soon as a second meeting between the Borough Council and the School Board is scheduled, the date, time and location will be published so members of the public can attend and express their opinions on this matter.  It is critical that we hear from you as we work towards a decision in this complicated matter. You can also send us your thoughts by emailing written comments to Margot Kaye at mkaye@mendhamnj.org.  Your comments will be distributed to both the Borough Council and School Board.
     
    Sincerely,
     
    Neil Henry, Mayor

     
     






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