1 C M CYAN MAGENTA YELLOW BLACK C M K Y K Y Singing Sea Girt Scouts Salute The Flag Teaching A Valuable Lesson In Spring Lake 24 Thursday March 27, 2003 Serving Southern Monmouth County Since CENTS AVON BELMAR BRIELLE MANASQUAN SEA GIRT SOUTH BELMAR SPRING LAKE SPRING LAKE HEIGHTS WALL Nat l Guard plans student academy at Sea Girt camp Sherman gets 22 years for Spring Lake kidnap Kean opposes move from Fort Dix By Jerry Kimbrough & Andrea Agardy SEA GIRT State Assemblymen Sean Kean [R- 11] and Jim Holzapfel [R-10] have both voiced their opposition to the possible relocation of the New Jersey National Guard s youth-based Challenge program from Fort Dix to the New Jersey National Guard Training Center at Sea Girt, also known as the Sea Girt Army Camp. The two Assemblymen cite reports of criminal activity in connection to the program as their chief concern. Deputy Adjutant General of the state Department of Veterans Affairs and Air National Guard Col. Maria Morgan, who spoke on behalf of the Challenge program, denied all allegations of criminal activity by cadets. Col. Morgan said the program is a five-month, livein program for 16- to 18-yearolds who are either at risk of or already have dropped out of school [see related sidebar]. The Challenge program is not a boot camp operated by the Department of Juvenile Justice, but instead is a military-style academy, according to the National Guard. Col. Morgan cited an overwhelming amount of soldiers currently mobilized at Fort Dix as the primary reason for the move. She said this mobilization was unanticipated. Col. Morgan would not comment as to whether or not the relocation is definite, though she said program officials are planning and moving in that direction. She declined to provide an approximate date as to when the move might happen. See ACADEMY, PAGE 49 MONMOUTH COUNTY COURTHOUSE POOL PHOTO Barry Sherman [above] conferred with his attorney yesterday in Superior Court prior to being sentenced for the kidnapping of a Spring Lake girl in November Mr. Sherman was sentenced to 22 years in state prison for the crime, and will not be eligible for parole until after approximately 13 years. By Louis C. Hochman FREEHOLD The man who kidnapped a then-6-year-old Spring Lake girl will serve up to 22 years in prison, a judge ruled yesterday. Superior Court Judge Michael Farren sentenced Barry Sherman, 39, to 15 years in prison for firstdegree kidnapping, a term prosecutors and defense attorneys agreed to in a plea bargain late last year. The judge also sentenced Mr. Sherman to seven years in prison for the second-degree charge of endangering the welfare of a child, to be served consecutive to the kidnapping charge. Mr. Sherman will have to serve at least 85 percent of the kidnapping If someone were to, God forbid, kidnap my child, I d want it to be Barry Sherman. charge 12 years and eight months before becoming eligible for parole. He will likely serve one year and five months for the endangerment charge, First Assistant Monmouth County Prosecutor Robert Honecker said. He will be given credit for 520 days of imprisonment served so far, Judge Farren said, which means Mr. Sherman will face a minimum close to 13 years behind bars before becoming eligible for parole. Anna Cardelfe was snatched by Mr. Sherman from in front of her Tuttle Avenue home on Nov. 8, She was held for 22 hours before finally being - Defense Attorney Henry Asbill See SENTENCE, PAGE 30 MICHELE JOHNSON, NATIONAL GUARD HEADQUARTERS AT SEA GIRT Boro, BOE may share a new school building By Justin Vellucci MANASQUAN The construction of new elementary school classroom space and a recreational building in Manasquan may not be as far off in the distance as some borough residents may expect. The Manasquan Borough Council and the Manasquan Board of Education have formed a joint subcommittee to review the possibility of constructing a building to serve the recreational needs of the borough, as well as the academic needs of the school district. While meetings of the joint subcommittee are still in the very early stages, Superintendent Carole Knopp Morris said progress is being made. It s exploratory, but it s getting very close to a decision, said Superintendent Knopp Morris. Within the next two weeks, there will be something definitive to say, she added. Both the superintendent and Councilman William Schmeling stressed, however, that there have been no plans drafted for a proposed building. Councilman Schmeling said the subcommittee has also not identified any property in the borough where a proposed community-based school may be located. First I think we re trying to figure out, Can we do it? said Councilman Schmeling. In a letter released on March 20, school officials stated the goal of this joint project will be to develop a community-based school which will provide cross-functional space for See SHARE, PAGE 42 S. Belmar voters face 28-cent BOE increase By Louis C. Hochman SOUTH BELMAR Members of the South Belmar Board of Education are hoping taxpayers shoot down a budget they reluctantly passed after a public hearing attended only by the borough s mayor Monday. Yes, they hope the public votes down the school budget. The budget calls for a property tax hike of 28.4 cents per $100 of assessed valuation far more than the 10-cent increase officials estimated a month ago. That would bring the rate up to $2.045, up from $ A taxpayer with a home assessed at $150,000 would pay $3,067 in property taxes for school purposes $426 more than last year. That figure does not include municipal or county taxes. Board of Education President Robert Kirk said the significant increase is, in part, the result of failed negotiations with the Red Bank School District, to which South Belmar sent far more students for high school education than it initially expected to this year. As a result, South Belmar owes Red Bank $106,070 for additional tuition. The extra students attending Red Bank Regional High School were originally A homeowner with a house assessed at $150,000 would pay an additional $420 in annual school taxes. slated to attend Manasquan High School, and South Belmar has overpaid the Manasquan School District as a result, Mr. Kirk said. But Manasquan will not refund the overpayment for three years under the terms of the agreement between the districts, he said. Unfortunately, we ve got to pay Red Bank now, Mr. Kirk said. Additional increases over last month s expected increase of 10 cents are due to higher-than-expected special education and tuition costs, he said. Mr. Kirk said he expects the budget to fail when it goes before voters on April 15 and added he hopes it does. A failed budget would send a message that increased state and federal aid is desperately needed, he said. In addition, a failed budget would go before the borough council for a review and possible cuts. That would bring added attention to the issue, he said. We re going to be in your ballpark playing this game soon, Mr. Kirk told Mayor Lawrence Chiaravallo. In South Belmar, public criticism of the budget has often mounted after, and not See INCREASE, PAGE 25 Squan Shows Its Support SHAWN HUBER, Manasquan resident Michelle Ritchie and members of her family took to the streets earlier this week to show their patriotism and support for coalition troops in Iraq by hanging American flags and yellow ribbons [above] on telephone poles throughout downtown Manasquan. 3-R Services Tax preparation. Frank Ryan. Home or office ABLE Transportation Sedans, vans, town car, airport service ABLE, All-Brite Window Cleaning Maintenance Company. 500 homes each year Barbecue This Weekend We fill propane - any size tank at your convenience. Purchase our propane refill card - get four 20 lb. refills for the price of 3! Open Sat. until 4pm. Dickson Supply Co., Rt. 71, Brielle Baseball Batting Cages 117 Taylor Ave., Manasquan. Open 7 days! Subscribe, order a photo reprint, change your address or write us a letter - all on-line! Be Green Fresh organic juices. Healthy lunch specials & power packed smoothies. 500 Ocean Ave., Belmar Bicycle Group Rides All levels welcome. Saturday mornings. Call to register, Brielle Cyclery Blinds, Shades & Shutters March Madness Sale! Martin J. Interiors Boathouse, Belmar Thurs: Pat Roddy; Fri: Billy Lawlor; Sat: NCAA "Elite 8", Pat Roddy; Sun: NCAA "Elite 8", Danny Weltman, Major League Baseball Opening Night; Mon: $3 Magic Hats; Tues: DJ Jersey Joe; Wed: Fritz & Yates. Bring Home Some Spring! Visit our $10 flower market. Buds & Blossoms Flower Boutique, 602 Hwy. 71, Brielle Carpentry Renovations, additions, ceramic tile. Paul J. Clancy & Sons Construction Loans Builders, subdivisions. Amboy National Bank, Glen Mauro; Call , Equal Housing Lender. Dan's Power Wash Houses, decks, pool walks, sidewalks, driveways Eat Seafood! Tis' the season to eat delicious seafood with a beautiful sunny view of the Manasquan River. Sand Bar Restaurant, Brielle Eloise's Cafe Get your Boar's Head cold cuts here. Great homemade salads. 416 Higgins Ave., Brielle Exotic Tan Five weeks unlimited: $50. Four sessions: $ TAN (1826). Gee Gee's Book your birthday parties now! Call for information, Gerry Evans All surface powerwashing, driveway sealing, concrete repair, sheetrock repair Handyman Services No job too small. I do it all! Home maintenance/improvement expert. Painting, carpentry, etc. Top quality work. References. Registered/insured J.C. Electric Installations, repairs. Residential, commercial License # LaRusso Lawn Maintenance, LLC Weekly mowing, sod, seed, mulch, stone, trimming, planting, pruning. Fully insured. Free estimates M.H.S. Pippin Show April 3-4-5, 7:30PM. Adults $10, Students $ Massage Therapy 25% Off! New Healthcare Insurance Provider, Sandra Carlet, NCTMB Models Needed for hair cutting class. Call Revelations O'Neill's Early Birds Mon.-Thurs., $8.95 complete. Thurs: $1 Night. Fri: "Rory Daniels"; Sat: "Paul Cilinski". Manasquan Ocean Transportation Vans & Limos for all occasions. #1 in bar transportation. Open until 5AM, 7 days Organic Lawn Care Landscaping, perennial gardens, Koi ponds, landscape lighting. Green Planet, Osaka Japanese Restaurant Sushi, Hibachi, Teriyaki, Tempura. Lunch, Dinner, Take-out. Recently rated excellent choice in Zagat Survey. 604 Main St., Bradley Beach, Personal Training At Home No fancy equipment needed. Certified Quit Smoking Easily Hypnosis works! Call or visit Riverside Café, Manasquan Inlet Breakfast w/a view! Every Sunday 8am-1pm Spruce Up For Spring! Don't forget your car. Get it detailed by the experts. Greg's Auto Care, Washington Blvd., Sea Girt Tax Returns Prepared Reasonable rates. Robert J. Maes, CPA. Call today Taylor Hardware, Belmar Spring lawn mower tune-up special, $49.99 (includes local pick-up & delivery) Wood Blinds! Plantation Shutters! And more! Free shop at home consultation. Call ASAP Blinds Your Mortgage Source Manasquan Savings Bank. Competitive Interest Rate Fast Service Fixed Rate Biweekly Adjustable. Pre-qualification, Pre-approval Service Available. Equal Housing Lender. Call Attention Realtors!!!! Don t miss and The Ocean Star s Real Estate Showcase, a special supplement coming in April. Reach over 54,000 readers with your ad. Hurry, ad deadline is this week
2 PAGE 2 THE COAST STAR, THURSDAY, MARCH 27, 2003 Wall Township Habel: DOE report shows Wall is fiscally responsible By Andrea Agardy The New Jersey Department of Education [DOE] released its comparative spending guide last week, a report that, according to Wall Superintendent James Habel, shows NJ Dept. of Education 2003 School Comparative Spending Guide the district is d o i n g a good job of being fiscally responsible. The guide, which was issued by the DOE last Thursday, provides a detailed breakdown of how each school district in the state spends its money, and compares the figures of districts of similar size. Throughout the 2003 School Comparative Spending Guide, the Wall Township School District is compared with 100 other kindergarten through twelfth grade districts in the state with a student body of more than 3,501. Per pupil costs According to the figures released late last week by the state Department of Education, the Wall Township School District s comparative cost per pupil for the school year was $9,115. The $9,115 per student cost places the district in 35th place among the 101 kindergarten through twelfth-grade districts with more than 3,501 students. In this category, school districts are ranked from low cost to high cost. Wall was ranked 39th in this category for the school year, and in 38th place in the school year. Of the districts in the same grouping as Wall Township, Sayreville Borough had the lowest total per pupil cost for the school year at $6,803. The Newark City School District had the highest total per pupil cost in the state, paying $13,546 per student during the current school year. Dr. Habel pointed out that the amount Wall spends to educate each student is $1,150 less than the average district in its grouping spends. The superintendent also said the district is below the group average in a number of other categories including classroom salaries and benefits, total classroom instruction, support services and administrative positions. The Wall Township School District will spend $5,262 per student on total classroom instruction during the current school year. In other words, 57.7 percent of the per pupil cost in the district is expended on classroom-related costs which range from teachers salaries and benefits to textbooks to chalk. On a scale of low cost to high cost, the Wall School District is ranked 20th for the current school year in total classroom instruction costs. The district ranked 30th during the school year and 18th during the school year. For the current school year statewide, the Monroe Township School District had the lowest total classroom instruction cost per pupil at $4,757 or 57.4 percent of the comparative per pupil cost. The New Brunswick City School District had the highest total classroom instruction cost per pupil at $9,633. Revenue sources Ten percent of the Wall s funding for the current school year was comprised in state aid, while 87 percent was generated by local taxation. The remaining 3 percent of the district s revenue is split between the 1 percent it receives in federal funding and the 2 percent comprised of funds applied from surplus. Ratios Wall s student to administrator ratio for the current school year is 213.8:1, which sets the district in 23rd place. The student to administrator ratios are ranked high to low. The New Brunswick City School District had the lowest student to administrator ratio in the group at 91.1:1. The highest student to administrator ratio this year can be found in the Union Township School District, which has a ratio of 266.3:1. Wall s current faculty to administrator ratio, which is also ranked high to low by the DOE, places the district in 23rd place in its grouping. The district s ratio for the school year is 18:1. The East Orange School District has the lowest faculty to administrator ratio at 8.6:1, and the highest ratio can be found in the Elizabeth City School District, which has a faculty to administrator ratio of 22.2:1. Wall s student to teacher ratio, which is ranked by the DOE high to low, for the current school year is 13.6:1, putting the district in 44th place in its grouping. During the school year, the district s student to teacher ratio was 14.4:1, which resulted in a 16thplace ranking. The Toms River Regional School district currently has the highest student to teacher ratio at 15.6:1, and the lowest ratio for the current school year exists in the Long Branch City School district, which has a ratio of 10.2:1. Salaries and benefits Wall Township ranked 19th in the state in classroom salaries and benefits for the current school year at $4,958 per pupil. The classroom salaries and benefits category, which is a sub-component of the total classroom instruction cost, includes salaries and benefits provided to teachers, substitutes, speech and physical therapists among others. Statewide, Monroe Township had the lowest costs in classroom salaries and benefits at $4,188 per pupil. The New Brunswick City School District had the highest cost in this category at $7,817 per student. In terms of median teacher s salary, which is ranked low to high, Wall Township ranks third in its bracket for the current school year with a median salary of $39,190. The district ranked fourth in the same category last year with a median teacher salary of $38,886 during the school year. The lowest median teacher salary in the state in this bracket for the current school year is paid in the Pleasantville City School District, which has a median teacher salary of $38,803. The highest median teacher salary can be found in the Newark City School District which has a median teacher salary of $70,210. Dr. Habel said the last time the teachers contract was negotiated, the district s starting salaries for teachers were the second or third lowest in Monmouth County. He said there was a large discrepancy between the low and high ends of the salary scale, which skewed the numbers when determining a median. However, Dr. Habel said there was an attempt made to reconcile that discrepancy, and said further progress will likely be made in that regard as the ongoing contract negotiations with teachers progresses. Of the 101 school districts in its grouping, Wall Township ranked 66th with a median administrator salary of $99,565 for the school year. The Camden City School District was ranked in first place by the DOE for the lowest median administrator salary this year of $73,419. Administrators in the North Bergen Township School District had the highest median salary at $118,213. The DOE comparative spending guide includes an administrative subcategory relating specifically to the amount of money districts spend in salaries and benefits for their administrators. In this category, Wall Township ranked 27th for the current school year, spending $742 per student or 8.1 percent of the per pupil cost, on administrators salaries and benefits. Last year, the district spent $747 per student on administrators, earning a ranking of 33, and the previous year, , the district spent $701 per student on administrative salaries and benefits, which resulted in a ranking of 29. The Brick Township School District earned the best ranking in this category, spending only $461 per student on administrative salaries and benefits during the current school year. The Newark City School District was ranked 101st for spending $1,297 per student on administrators salaries and benefits. Administration The Wall Township School District ranked 22nd in the school year in total administrative cost. The total administration cost includes costs related to general administration, school administration, business and support services. According to the DOE figures, $868 of the $9,115 per-pupil cost in Wall Township is used for administration. During the school year, the district ranked 25th, spending $873 per pupil on administrative costs. The district ranked 23rd in this category during the school year, spending $834 per student on administration. Statewide, the Brick Township School District earned top ranking in the total administrative cost category, spending $573 per student on administrative costs. Of the 101 districts in the same grouping as Wall Township, the Pleasantville City School District, in Atlantic County, ranked last, spending $1,481 per student on administrative costs during the current school year. Operation and maintenance According to the figures in the Comparative Spending Report, the Wall Township School District has earmarked $1,328 per pupil for the operation and maintenance of the district s physical plant, placing the district in 82nd place among the 101 schools in its grouping the same ranking the district was given during the school year. In , the district was ranked in 88th place for spending $1,291 per student on plant operation and maintenance. Brick Township, once again, earned top marks statewide in this category, spending $593 per student during the current school year for plant operation and maintenance. The Newark City School District, also once again, came in last in the rankings, spending $2,215 per See HABEL, PAGE 50 Adding The Finishing Touch SHAWN HUBER, Danny Bohn [above] added a sticker to his father s race car during the eighth annual racing collectibles show hosted by the Glendola Volunteer Fire Company on Sunday. Some convictions reversed on appeal for Wall man By Andrea Agardy The Appellate Division of Superior Court has reversed several convictions against Wall Township resident Ryan Melyan. Mr. Melyan s attorney, Steven D. Altman, New Brunswick, filed an appeal of the convictions one year ago. Although Edward G. Washburn of the Monmouth County Prosecutors Office presented the case against Mr. Melyan at trial, the state s case on appeal was handled by Deputy Attorney General Jeanne Screen. In October 2001, Mr. Melyan was sentenced to seven years in prison by Superior Court Judge Patricia Del Bueno Cleary after a jury convicted him on two counts of fourth degree aggravated assault, two counts of second degree possession of a weapon for unlawful purposes, one count of fourth degree evidence tampering, and one count of possession of a controlled dangerous substance. Mr. Melyan, then 23, was arrested by Wall Township Police on June 4, 2000, following a stand-off with the Wall and Howell police department s Special Response Teams at his parent s home. Police had received reports that Mr. Melyan was agitated, acting irrationally, and was in possession of a.38 caliber handgun. Mr. Melyan had allegedly fired two shots in the house, where he was residing with his mother and younger sister, but no one was injured. Police feared that Mr. Melyan could have been holding his family hostage. Mr. Melyan s mother and sister eventually exited the house safely, and after a nine-hour vigil outside the residence, the police arrested Mr. Melyan without incident. In their decision, Appellate Division Judges Stephen Skillman and Steven Lefelt upheld the convictions for possession of a controlled dangerous substance and tampering with physical evidence, but remanded the weapons and aggravated assault charges to Superior Court for a new trial. In the decision, the Appellate Division found the trial court erred in allowing several witnesses to provide testimony of prior acts of violence not related to the incident at the Melyan home on June 3, The fact that the defendant s prior threats or acts of violence has some probative value does not mean any and all evidence of such threats or acts was admissible, the Appellate Division s written decision states. The decision goes on to say that the trial court should have excluded most, if not all, of the other crimes evidence presented by the state. With the reversal of the convictions, Mr. Altman said his client s sentence is reduced from seven years to five years of which he has already served 18 months at the Annadale Youth Correctional Facility. Under the original sentence imposed by Judge Del Bueno Cleary, Mr. Altman said Mr. Melyan would have had to serve three years before becoming eligible for parole. In light of the reversal by the Appellate Division, Mr. Altman said his client is eligible for parole immediately and added the process can take two to three months to complete. He said the process for Mr. Melyan will begin shortly. Mr. Altman, who will continue to serve as Mr. Melyan s attorney, said, All things considered, I think he s been in jail long enough. I hope we can resolve this so he can get out in a few months. Mr. Altman said although the case has been remanded to Superior Court for a new trial, there is the possibility that a plea bargain can be struck before a trail commences. Although no date for a new trial has been set at this point in time, Mr. Altman said a conference between himself, the prosecutor and judge is slated for March 31. He s happy, Mr. Altman said when asked about his client s reaction to the Appellate Division s ruling. He s waiting to see what will happen next. Of course I m satisfied, Mr. Altman added. As a lawyer, you always expect the worst, so I m very pleased. Mr. Melyan s family is also pleased by the Appellate Division s ruling. I m very happy for my son, said Kathleen Melyan, Mr. Melyan s mother. I m glad the Appellate Division did realize how overzealous the prosecutor, Ed Washburn, and Judge Cleary were. I m hoping my son will be exonerated of these fictitious charges. I plan to lobby even further so everyone knows what really happened on June 3, 2000, Mrs. Melyan added. Messages left at the Monmouth County Prosecutors Office and the state Attorney General s Office were not returned by press time. Farmingdale Community Day April 13 The 2003 Farmingdale Centennial Celebration Committee recently announced the fourth event to mark the town s 100th birthday. Farmingdale Community Day will be held on April 13. The event will feature local governmental agencies exhibiting the services they provide to the public. As a small community, Farmingdale is patrolled by the New Jersey State Police. Scheduled exhibits will include: community policing units with a cruise car and the DARE car; the mounted unit, with horses; and the safety cruiser bus. The sheriff s department will be on hand with a fingerprinting booth for children, and a Sept. 11 trailer. The Farmingdale Fire Department, also celebrating its centennial, will also provide an exhibit, as will the Farmingdale- Howell First Aid Squad. The event will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Farmingdale Grammar School at the corner of Southard and Academy streets. For more information send an to or call borough hall at
3 Wall Township Although quiet in this war, Camp Evans played a vital role in past U.S. victories By Fred Carl Last week, President George W. Bush addressed the nation with a message that was translated and rebroadcast to the people of Iraq. This was not the first time a U.S. president had used radio to advise a foreign leader to step down or his people to revolt against his government. Radio propaganda is nearly as old as radio itself and Wall Township s Camp Evans played a role in its earliest days. The war was World War I. The enemy was Germany; the bad guy was Kaiser Wilhelm II. The president was Woodrow Wilson. The cutting-edge communications technology was High-Power Trans- Atlantic wireless. Wireless communications was so important in World War I, President Wilson authorized the U.S. Navy to seize and operate all trans-atlantic wireless stations. A few days after the U.S. entered World War I, over 100 Marines arrived in Wall Township to take over operations at the Marconi Station. The Marines guarded the station and its equipment from the terrorists of the day, the German saboteurs. Direct communications lines were run between the War Department in Washington and Wall Township. From Wall, lines were run to the wireless stations in Tuckerton, Long Island, Cape Cod and Maine. The Navy assigned Commander A. Hoyt Taylor to the station. He James W. Carhart and Linda Armstrong Pietch are among this year s seven inductees into the Wall Foundation for Educational Excellence [WFEE] Hall of Fame. The annual Hall of Fame Dinner will be held at the Crystal Point Yacht Club in Point Pleasant on April 4. Mr. Carhart is being recognized for 30 years of service as a teacher and coach at Wall High School. He taught history, psychology, sociology and ethics and values. Mr. Carhart was recognized for his instruction to the college preparatory and honors sections. Raised in Red Bank, he graduated from Red Bank High School in 1963, where he was a member of the track team, participating in javelin events. He was also a member of the first All-Monmouth team in soccer. Mr. Carhart attended the University of Rhode Island, and graduated from Monmouth University, then Monmouth College, in 1972, receiving a bachelor of science degree in social studies. He received his master s degree from Kean College in He pursued post graduate studies at the University of Virginia, Trinity College at Oxford University in London, Jersey City State College, Monmouth College and Kean College. was given the commission of Trans-Atlantic Communications officer. He hand-picked his team of wireless and radio experts from the Navy s best technicians and had them transferred to the station in Wall. Their assignment was to make sure messages sent from the War Department were dispatched successfully from Wall to the American Expeditionary Forces in Europe. They operated the station 24 hours a day with over 30 operators copying messages and forwarding them. The best wireless technology inventors of the day visited the station to conduct experiments. Experts from France and radio greats such as Ernst Alexanderson, Edwin Armstrong, Harold Beverage, Lee Young and Roy Weagant would work at the station. Devices were made to detect and find German sympathizers sending radio messages to U-Boats off the New Jersey coast. New developments in radio antenna technology were made and tested to eliminate the need for the 400-foot radio towers that ran along Monmouth Boulevard. They detected secret German transmissions and sent the information to code breakers in Washington. One evening, Harold Beverage and a co-worker went into his experimental antenna field to make some adjustments. They did not feel the need to bring the normal Marine Mr. Carhart also served in the United States Navy with the Anti- Submarine Warfare Training Group at Quonset Port, R.I. Mr. Carhart coached soccer at Wall High School from 1972 to 1998 and coached the girls spring track team from 1973 to He served as the varsity assistant soccer coach from 1973 to 1991, serving with head coach Tom Farley, also a Hall of Fame member. In the spring, Mr. Carhart was the head coach of the boys soccer team for the season. He also coached freshman soccer in Besides enjoying the rewards of a state championship boys soccer team as an assistant coach, Mr. Carhart reaped many rewards with the girls soccer team. Eight times his girls teams won the Class B South championships. His teams were the Monmouth County champions in 1979, 1980 and His teams were the Class B North champions in 1993 and The team won the Central Jersey Group III champions in Mr. Carhart received many honors as a soccer coach. He was named the Asbury Park Press coach of the year twice for the girls soccer team one once for the 1992 boys team. His career honors continued as he was named The Star Ledger coach of the year twice for his work with the girls soccer team. His total soccer coaching record was Mr. Carhart received many professional honors while at Wall High School. In 1994, he was a nominee for the Princeton University Distinguished Secondary School guards. When the nearby Wall farmers saw men working on the antennas without a guard they assumed the worst. Harold Beverage ended up facing the business ends of pitch forks and shotguns. They had to convince the men they were not German saboteurs, but station staff. As the war was going bad for the Germans, President Wilson saw the opportunity to make politics in Germany more difficult for the German Kaiser. The President wrote a speech which was transmitted by wireless to Germany so any German citizen with a crystal radio set could listen. As the control center and receiving station, the message would have been dispatched through Wall for transmission by the cutting edge transmission equipment located in New Brunswick. The speech told Kaiser Wilhelm to abdicate and advised the German people to overthrow the Kaiser s government. Just as last week, the bad guy did not heed the advice and the war continued. In October 1918, wireless was used to help the negotiations that would result in the Armistice on the 11th hour, on the 11th day, of the 11th month. The exact role the station in Wall played will be found in the Navy records in the National Archives and the George C. Clark Collection at the Smithsonian in Washington. After the war, wireless would be given credit for shortening the war. Teaching Award. Three times he was inducted into Who s Who Among Teachers in America. He was honored during Douglass College s Teacher Appreciation Day in 2001 for outstanding dedication to encouraging young women to achieve. Despite teaching and coaching, Mr. Carhart is also involved in his community. He served on both the Red Bank and Wall fire departments. He has been a member of the Wall fire department since 1975, serving as chief from 1982 to He is an active member of the Point Pleasant Elks, a group he joined in Mr. Carhart resides in Wall with his wife THE COAST STAR, THURSDAY, MARCH 27, 2003 PAGE 3 Maura, a Citizen Award winner and a member of the hall of fame The 400-foot radio towers [above] along Monmouth Boulevard at Camp Evans were captured on film by Edward Henderson in Developments in radio antenna technology were tested at Camp Evans to eliminate the need for the towers. This saved thousands of Allied and German soldiers lives. Later, technology historians would call World War I the wireless war. In the Princeton University Archives are 1919 newspaper clippings from Carhart, Pietch to be inducted into Hall of Fame JAMES W. CARHART LINDA ARMSTRONG PIETCH herself. The couple has two children, Steven, a graduate of Mary Washington University and Jeanne, a graduate of Drew University. Both of Mr. and Mrs. Carhart s children are Wall High School graduates. Mrs. Pietch is a life-long resident of Wall and a 1968 graduate of Wall High School. Mrs. Pietch's legacy of community involvement and giving back to the Wall School System and its kids began with her mother, Ellen Armstrong, who was treasurer to of the Allenwood School PTO. Mrs. Pietch fondly recalls Allenwood Grammar School, with sixth grade being held at Central School where she had former Congressman James Howard as a teacher. She remembers Mrs. Mueller as well, who later also taught her son Bill at the Intermediate School. During her high school years, Mrs. Pietch was a very active Knight, playing basketball, involved with the art club, ski club and was a majorette for three years. Mrs. Pietch attended Dean College, Franklin, Mass., for two years and graduated from Findley University, Findley, Ohio. It was here that she met and married Rodger Pietch. Upon graduation, Mr. and Mrs. Pietch moved back to the Wall area and raised their three children. William, 26, is a Wall High School graduate who was an All Shore Football player and currently is one of the coaches for the Wall High School Champion Football team. Randy, 23, also a Wall graduate, was also an athlete in school, and Christina, currently a Wall High School senior who is involved with soccer and lacrosse. In an age where most women are pursuing careers in the workforce, Mrs. Pietch chose a career of being involved in her children s lives, and has also touched the lives of the greater Wall community. Mrs. Pietch was involved with Wall Pop Warner, serving as treasurer; the Wall Booster Organization where she spearheaded the biggest fund-raising source; See INDUCTEES, PAGE 48 around the United States announcing the secret antenna advances made in Wall during the war by Canadian Roy Weagant. The invention was hailed as giving the Allies a key technology advantage during World War I and the most important communications advance of the decade. It would end the need for giant radio towers like those 400- foot towers in Wall. The 400-foot towers in Wall were dropped in 1925 and the station was sold. The Navy team of radio experts put together by A. Hoyt Taylor in Wall would relocate to the Navy s Radio Research Laboratory near Washington. They would become the fathers of Navy Radar in World War II. Their photo and a photo of radar equipment from Camp Evans would accompany the public disclosure of the secret of radar as a major reason for victory in World War II the day that war ended on Aug. 15, Camp Evans is quiet today for the first time in six wars, yet it echoes with history from every war of the twentieth century.
4 PAGE 4 THE COAST STAR, THURSDAY, MARCH 27, 2003 Taking A Ride Wall Township Committee, Habel, Luttman discuss student parking at Wall High School MICHELE JOHNSON, Two-year-old Drew Romein [above], of Wall Township, celebrated the arrival of spring and warmer temperatures recently by riding his tricycle. The superintendent and committee agree on-site parking at the high school would be the best solution to neighbors' complaints about student parking on residential streets. By Andrea Agardy Wall Township Superintendent of Schools James Habel and board of education member Todd Luttman attended last night s executive meeting of the township committee to present the budget the board will put to the voters on April 15, but discussion quickly turned from the proposed 9.5-cent school tax rate increase to ways to alleviate the parking problem at Wall High School. High school students parking on residential streets has been a frequent topic of discussion at township committee meetings over the course of the past year. Last August, the committee tabled an ordinance which would have prohibited parking on the entire length, and on both sides, of Kimberly Drive, Daniel Court, Dubac Road and Helen Street between the hours of 7 a.m. and 3 p.m., after the majority of residents at a public hearing opposed the plan. School officials have agreed to provide additional student parking both on-site and near the school s athletic fields on 18th Avenue. The issue was raised last night when Committeeman Mark Brosnan asked Dr. Habel if funding to create new parking areas at the high school had been included in the proposed budget. Dr. Habel said funding for the project was included in the current year s school budget, and the project should be completed by the summer, at the latest. Dr. Habel said he has had discussions with Township Administrator Joseph Verruni about the possibility of converting a piece of township-owned property on Route 138 into a parking lot not only for use by students, but also by attendees of athletic games and other events at the school. However, since the townshipowned property is located across Route 138 from the high school, Dr. Habel said a walkway would need to be constructed over the highway to ensure students or anyone else using the parking area could cross safely. I don t know if it s feasible, but it s something we could look into, Dr. Habel said. Deputy Mayor Edward H. Thomson said there had also been discussion in the past of relocating the district s administrative building currently located next-door to the high school razing the existing buildings and creating a parking lot in their place. The primary thrust has been to get all the parking on-site, Deputy Mayor Thomson said. That to me is the final answer. Dr. Habel agreed that having all school-related parking on-site would be the best solution for everyone. While he also agreed with Deputy Mayor Thomson s suggestion, Mr. Luttman said before the board of education can look at relocating the district s administrative offices, it must first get a handle on the projected enrollment for the coming years and what will need to be done to address the growing student body. I agree, Deputy Mayor Thomson responded. Dr. Habel said the school has taken a number of measures to address the situation, including encouraging students to carpool and revoking the parking privileges of students following disciplinary infractions. Nonetheless, he said the problem is compounded by several factors. Specifically, Dr. Habel said new driving rules and regulations prohibit newly licensed drivers from having more than one other person in the car with them, and the increase in enrollment will result in more students driving to school. The superintendent also said that as the spring approaches, and more students reach driving age, they are driving themselves to school, which also leads to more cars needing a place to park. This is a strong issue for this governing body, Committeeman John Devlin said. Dr. Habel said once the district receives the final draft of its most recent demographic report on April 4, the board of education can then begin to plan the next step to address the projected spike in enrollment a solution which he said may result in the board floating a referendum or using capital funds to build additional classroom space. He expressed concern that if an administrative building were to be included in a future referendum, it becomes an issue for the town, however, he said maybe the residents who live near the high school would support a plan which includes additional on-site parking for students. Deputy Mayor Thomson said the township committee members look forward to future discussions with Dr. Habel and the board about ways to address the parking situation at the high school. Wall Police blotter A Dover Township man is free on $10,000 bail this week after a cooperative investigation between the Wall Township and Bradley Beach police departments resulted in his arrest on two counts of luring/enticing. According to Wall Township Police Chief Roy Hall, Peter F. Sanchez, 41, of Hazelwood Road in Dover Township, was arrested by Wall Det. Greg Carpino and Bradley Beach Det. Neil Scully on March 20. Mr. Sanchez s arrest stems from an investigation into several incidents of a man trying to lure teenage girls into his van on Feb. 24 in Bradley Beach and on March 8 in Wall. On March 12, Det. Carpino investigated a report that a juvenile female was walking along Route 35 near 17th Avenue when she observed a male subject parked across the highway who was yelling to her. The vehicle was described as a red work van, which then pulled alongside of her as she walked on 17th Avenue. Mr. Sanchez allegedly asked the girl if she needed a ride, and when she said no, he asked her to get in the car. When the girl refused again, Mr. Sanchez then drove east on 17th Avenue. The incident occurred on March 8, but was not immediately reported to police. A similar incident took place in Bradley Beach on Feb. 24. In this incident two, 15-year-old, girls reported they were approached by a man driving a red van who also attempted to lure them into the van. Municipal Court Judge Mark Apostolou set Mr. Sanchez s bail at $10,000. Mr. Sanchez was later released after a bail bonds service posted his bail. In other news, a clothes dryer is being cited as the likely cause of a house fire at 1222 Lakewood Road on Sunday. According to police, the homeowner, Brian Noto, his wife Patricia, and the couple s 6-year-old child all escaped the fire without injury. The South Wall Fire Company and Wall Community First Aid Squad responded to the scene along with the Wall Township Fire Prevention Bureau, JCP&L and New Jersey Natural Gas. Lakewood Road between Route 35 and Algonkin Trail was shut down during the incident. The contents of the laundry room were damaged in the fire, and the house suffered some smoke damage, but the fire does not appear to have caused any structural damage. Ptl. Scott Fifield is investigating the incident along with Det. Steve Wolter and Det. Vincent O Rourke Another family escaped without injury when a fire broke out at their South N Street home early Saturday morning. According to Chief Hall, officers responded to a report of heavy smoke at 1813 South N St. at 1:13 a.m. The resident, Gloria Tovar, and her two children, ages 6 and 8, evacuated the house immediately. The Wall Fire Department responded to the scene and extinguished the fire, which was contained to the basement, and ventilated the smoke from the residence. The cause of the fire is considered accidental, sparked when a halogen lamp melted its plastic tripod and fell onto a small ottoman. The fire did not cause any structural damage. The residents stayed with a family member for the night but returned home the next morning. Traffic was shut down on 18th Avenue for 30 minutes. Assisting See BLOTTER, PAGE 51
5 Wall Township Wall BOE candidates voice opinions on increased enrollment, board credibility By Andrea Agardy Three seats are up for grabs in this year s school board election in Wall Township, and two familiar faces, along with a former district teacher and a newcomer, have all thrown their hats in the ring. George Burr Jr. is making his second bid for a seat on the board of education this year. Mr. Burr garnered 497 votes in last year s election. Mr. Burr, 40, is a 35-year resident of Wall Township. He and his wife, Kathleen, have three children Patricia, 7, a firstgrade student at West Belmar School, Marybeth, 6, is in kindergarten at West Belmar School, and their son George is 3 years old. Mr. Burr is employed as a business agent for the Teamsters Union. Ann Marie Conte, 37, is also in the midst of her second consecutive campaign for a seat on the board of education. She received 1,323 votes in last year s race. Mrs. Conte, who is employed as a nurse manager in the pediatric intensive care unit at Jersey Shore Medical Center, has lived in Wall for 33 years. Mrs. Conte and her husband Christopher have two children. Brandon, 7, is a first-grade student at Allenwood School. Their 10- year-old daughter Nicole is a fourth-grader at St. Catharine School. Mrs. Conte said her daughter began attending St. Catharine School while the family was living in Toms River, and has asked her parents to allow her to continue attending the parochial school in Spring Lake until she graduates eighth grade. John Lane Jr., moved to Wall Township with his family in June Prior to moving to Wall, Mr. Lane was a member of the Borough of Shrewsbury Board of Education, resigning from the board several weeks before he and his family moved to Wall. Mr. Lane is an attorney with a private practice in Wall Township. He also works as the municipal prosecutor in several Monmouth County towns including Highlands, Atlantic Highlands, Keyport and Marlboro. Mr. Lane and his wife Mary Frances have two children. Their son John is a second-grade student at Allenwood School and Katie is a sixth-grader at Wall Intermediate School. MaryLou Margadonna taught in Wall Township for several years, including a stint as a second-grade teacher at Central School, before the board opted not to renew her contract or offer her tenure last year. District officials have repeatedly declined to comment on why Mrs. Margadonna s contract was not renewed or why she was not offered tenure. Mrs. Margadonna is currently awaiting a decision on a petition she filed with State Commissioner of Education William L. Librera seeking reinstatement to her teaching position at Central School and tenure. Mrs. Margadonna has 15 years of teaching experience, and holds a master s degree in administration and supervision. Mrs. Margadonna, 48, and her family have lived in Wall for 14 years. She and her husband Mark have three children, Maggie, an eighth-grade student at Wall Intermediate School, Timothy, a fourth-grader, and Anthony, a sophomore at Communications High School. In anticipation of next month s election, sent all four candidates the same list of three questions. The candidates were asked to limit their responses to 150 words per question. Those questions, and the candidates responses, are printed verbatim below. Q: Why did you decide to seek a seat on the board of education, and if elected, where do you plan to focus your attention first? BURR: The current board needs an injection of new blood with fresh ideas and a willingness to face the many challenges in the upcoming years. I am not the type of person who likes to sit back and let someone else do it, I prefer to roll up my sleeves and get involved. That should not be taken in the wrong way, I realize that not everyone has the time to make such a commitment, but we as parents do have an obligation when it comes to educating our children because they are our future and our legacy and how we raise and educate our children will say volumes about us as parents and adults. I will express my views and voice my opinions as a board member to guarantee that our children receive a quality education. CONTE: First and foremost I am a concerned parent committed to delivering the best educational experience for our children. Secondly, Wall Township is not only a great place I chose to raise my family but a community that I am proud of its achievements and outstanding school system. It is with this belief that I choose to represent the community by running for a seat in this year s election. I plan to focus my efforts on the enrollment issue which the district is currently faced with. It is imperative I review all the information, collaborate with my colleagues, seek the community s input and make the most appropriate decisions that best meet the needs of all the students in the district now and for years to come. The second crucial challenge is assisting with the transition of the new superintendent. The team must collaborate working toward the vision of educational excellence. LANE: I decided to run for the board of education to utilize my experience and abilities to serve my community in perhaps its most important endeavor educating our children. Throughout my legal career I have served many municipal bodies and gained valuable experience in long-term strategy and the process of building a budget. For two years before moving to Wall I served on the Borough of Shrewsbury Board of Education. My experience with budgeting and managing school facilities will make me a more effective member of the board. MARGADONNA: As a happy and proud parent of three children attending public schools in Wall Township, and as a resident and taxpayer of Wall for 15 years, I have always communicated and demonstrated the value of community service to my children. Over 15 years of teaching experience with a master s degree in administration/supervision will allow me to bring a unique perspective and insight to the board of education. Overcrowding in our classrooms and schools is a priority concern because of the obvious effects it has on the educational process. Clearly, this is an immediate challenge facing all board members, both those currently serving and those to be elected. We will all need to work together in order to create a fair and equitable solution throughout the district. Q: A preliminary demographic study recently presented to the board of education indicates that enrollment in the district may increase by 500 students by What qualities, educational background or professional skills do you bring to the table that could prove beneficial to the board as it searches for a solution to deal with the anticipated increase in enrollment? BURR: As a business agent with Teamsters Local 97, I face many challenges on a daily basis and not all of them can be resolved by conventional means. I have learned to be creative and think outside the box when looking for solutions to problems. I listen to what people have to say and even though they may not always like my response, I will find them an answer. As a union representative I found that by educating the membership as to how and why the system works helps me help them. It is these very skills and qualities that will allow me as a board member to look at the increase of students from every angle and help find a viable solution, understanding it may not be to everyone s liking but it will be what is best for our children. CONTE: It is my belief that my leadership attributes are one of the qualities that is beneficial to the board as it searches for a solution with the anticipated increase in student enrollment. My commitment to detail, accountability for my actions and open mind leads me to be an effective communicator amongst my team during these crucial decisions the district faces. Those who know me know I am approachable and willing to listen to concerns and issues one may have. My professional skills include direction of a pediatric intensive care unit at Jersey Shore Medical Center. Included in my responsibilities are financial accountability, supervision and training of employees, labor relations and overall customer satisfaction of my unit. In summary all these attributes can lead to positive changes regarding crucial decisions I will be faced with if elected. LANE: The new demographic study reaffirms the conclusion of all prior studies. Wall Township is growing. Meeting the needs of 500 more pupils will be a daunting task. There are many options, expanding existing facilities, new facilities and redistricting are but a few. While serving in the past I faced the same choices. But, working with building professionals and district staff if Shrewsbury the choice was expansion; the existing gym was enlarged so half could be used as a cafeteria, the cafetorium was converted to a media center/library and the old library divided into two classrooms. Therefore, only four new classrooms were needed. With this consolidation and the decreased cost, that referendum passed on the first try. My experience with that project, the creative solutions found and controlling costs will be invaluable in meeting the similar challenge here in Wall Township. MARGADONNA: Research has made it clear, and it is no secret that smaller class size results in an improved quality of education for our children. We all want that. We all love our community, which is why we live here. Overcrowding is a normal challenge in any growing community, and we are all affected by this challenge. Creating an atmosphere of consensus that sincerely solicits parent, teacher and administrative input can achieve a collaborative understanding, and I will work diligently to build a consensus where we can agree on the right direction to effectively manage the anticipated increases in enrollment. Q: Members of the community have often voiced concerns and complaints that the board of education does not communicate well with residents. Some have even gone so far as to question the board s credibility. Do you agree that the board needs to improve its communication with taxpayers, and if so, what would you do as a board member to address these concerns? BURR: I, as a parent and a taxpayer, held a lot of the same sentiments towards the board of education. As a candidate I attended a workshop on what role the board of education should and must play See CREDIBILITY, PAGE 48 THE COAST STAR, THURSDAY, MARCH 27, 2003 PAGE 5 Looking For A Treasure MICHELE JOHNSON, Dorothy VanBrunt [above] looked for the perfect addition to her spring wardrobe at the nearly new sale hosted by the West Belmar United Methodist Church on Saturday. Few residents turn out for school budget hearing By Andrea Agardy Only a handful of residents attended this week s public hearing on the school budget proposed by the Wall Township Education. The proposed budget, which totals $54,380,257, sets the tax rate for school purposes at $1.245 per $100 of assessed valuation. If the budget is approved by voters on April 15, the owner of a Wall Township home with an assessed value of $300,000 will pay an additional $285 in school taxes, for a total annual school tax bill of $3,735. This figure does not include fire district, municipal or county taxes. The revised budget calls for a local tax levy of $44,747,004 an amount the board of education certified Tuesday night with the passage of a resolution. The hearing, held Tuesday night in the cafeteria of Wall Intermediate School, began with School Business Administrator Jack Hahn providing the approximately seven residents in attendance with an overview of the budget process. Mr. Hahn said the board adopted a tentative budget on March 4 which called for an 11-cent increase in the school tax rate. However, he said following negotiations with Blue Cross Blue Shield, the district s increase in health insurance premiums for the school year will be 14.4 percent, which means the district will not need to spend approximately $1.3 million it had earmarked for insurance premiums. The lower than anticipated premium increase allowed the board to reduce the proposed tax rate increase from 11 cents per $100 of assessed valuation to 9.5 cents. Before the hearing was opened to public comment, Superintendent James Habel took a moment to comment on changes made to the budget in the two weeks since he took over the operation of the district. Dr. Habel said in addition to the savings contributed by Mr. Hahn s negotiations with the district s insurance carrier, money which had been allocated for a third assistant principal at Wall High School has since been moved to fund additional teachers at the high school. Dr. Habel also said the preliminary budget had called for two supervisors for grades six through 12 to bring the district s total up to six. However, he said he felt two new supervisors this year was too much, and instead, Dr. Habel suggested one new supervisor and an administrative intern. Dr. Habel explained the administrative intern would be a one-year position filled by a teacher already working in the district. He said the person chosen for this position will still be paid a teacher s salary, but will have the opportunity to learn the responsibilities of an administrative position. Should the intern position be implemented in the school year, the person chosen for the position would likely serve as the sixth six through 12 supervisor, but would not perform the staff evaluations. Once an administrative position opens, either by the creation of a new post or by a retirement, Dr. Habel said See RESIDENTS, PAGE 48
6 PAGE 6 THE COAST STAR, THURSDAY, MARCH 27, 2003 Wall Township BOA denies use variance for veterinary hospital By Andrea Agardy Despite what board members said was a well-compiled application, the Wall Township Board of Adjustment voted 4-2 to deny a use variance application submitted by Dr. Meredith Sharin to construct a veterinary hospital on Route 34. Dr. Sharin, a veterinarian, and her attorney, Kevin Kennedy, began presenting their case to the board of adjustment at its March 5 meeting. The application called for the construction of a 6,974-square-foot veterinary hospital on a one-acre piece of land on Route 34 between New Jersey Sand and Gravel and Allison Pest Control. At the initial hearing, Mr. Kennedy said in addition to site plan approval, the project would need the board to grant a use variance since veterinary hospitals are not permitted uses in the GI [general industrial]-2 zone, as well as bulk variances to address the lot s deficiencies in width and area. The plan would need a lot area variance to allow acres where two acres is required and a lot width variance to allow 170 feet where 200 is required. Mr. Kennedy began his presentation last week by questioning Charles Gilligan, the project s planner and engineer. Mr. Gilligan said although veterinary hospitals are not permitted uses in the GI-2 zone, there are a number of permitted uses similar to that proposed by Dr. Sharin specifically emergency health care and medical laboratories. In addition, Mr. Gilligan said the veterinary hospital would be a less intense use than some of the other uses permitted in the zone, which includes agriculture, printing, manufacturing and computer maintenance and repair. Mr. Gilligan said the subject property was created in 1974 as part of the first phase of the Harris industrial park. As part of the third section of development at the industrial park, Mr. Gilligan said the surrounding properties were granted variances for lot area and width, however, the subject property was not part of that application. As a result, he said the property has essentially been orphaned. Mr. Gilligan said the project, dubbed Barnside Veterinary Hospital would be an architecturally pleasing structure designed to resemble a barn, which would provide 27 parking spaces for staff members and patients. Board Attorney Thomas Hirsch asked for testimony about the amount of traffic the site would generate. Dr. Sharin responded by saying the standard for veterinary hospitals is for the veterinarian to see four patients an hour. Dr. Sharin said, initially, she will have a staff of eight people, with four to five employees working the same shift. Once the practice grows to include two veterinarians, she said board members could expect to see employees use 10 to 12 of the parking spaces. To further illustrate her point, Dr. Sharin outlined a typical appointment day a day when no surgeries are scheduled to the board members. Dr. Sharin said the day will begin at 8 a.m. with rounds. She said she will begin seeing patients at 9 a.m., stopping for a one-hour lunch break at noon. After returning from lunch at 1 p.m., Dr. Sharin said she will see patients again until a one-hour dinner break at 4 p.m., after which she would continue to take appointments until the hospital closes at 8 a.m. Assuming every available appointment is booked, Dr. Sharin said she could see 36 appointments a day. Mr. Gilligan said since the majority of visits to the veterinary hospital will be scheduled by appointment, the site will generate a continuous flow of traffic instead of the peak traffic flows created by other types of uses. Mr. Gilligan said the township s master plan places emphasis on the aesthetic appeal of Route 34, and said the barn-like building proposed by Dr. Sharin would be more attractive than the surrounding boxshaped, metal-sided structures. Board Vice Chairwoman Mary DeSarno asked Mr. Gilligan how, in looking at the adjacent uses and the truck traffic they generate, Dr. Sharin s proposal is in character with the area. Mr. Gilligan said he does not believe the existing buildings in the area conform with how the township s master plan is now written, and said he believed the barn-like appearance of the veterinary hospital is in keeping with the township s agricultural heritage. Mr. Gilligan also said he believed the building proposed by Dr. Sharin would be superior to the existing structures in the area. Board member Dominick Cinelli asked Mr. Gilligan if a veterinary hospital could be housed in a different style of building, for example a structure resembling an office building. I m sure it could, Mr. Gilligan replied. Marking A Somber Anniversary Responding to a question from another board member, Dr. Sharin said the grooming and boarding services she proposed will not be advertised to the general public, but, rather, would be services provided solely to the veterinary hospital s clientele. Dr. Sharin said most boarding facilities are not able to provide care to chronically ill animals or animals with medical conditions such as diabetes as Barnside Veterinary Hospital would be able to. She said boarding would be available to clients on a year-round basis, however, since space would be limited, once the boarding facilities are full, pet owners would have to find another place to lodge their dogs and cats. Dr. Sharin said the interior floor plan of the hospital had not yet been designed. She said she planned to have the design, which would cost approximately $70,000, completed once the use variance had been approved by the board. Responding to a question posed by board member Wayne Palmer, Dr. Sharin said the boarding areas for dogs and cats would be separated and the animals would not be able to see one another. Turning her attention to the grooming services, Dr. Sharin said she planned to hire one groomer who could service between six and 10 dogs a day. She said grooming is not the focus of the facility, but is a part of its full-service approach. Should the groomer See DENIES, PAGE 42 SHAWN HUBER, Allaire Village volunteers, including Ray O Grady [front, left] and Domonique Koehler [front, right] marked the anniversary of Frances Duncan Allaire s death in 1836 with a reenactment of her funeral at the site of the former Howell Iron Works Company on Sunday. Wall Twp. Community Calendar Pride of Wall Meeting Pride of Wall Seniors will hold its next meeting on April 1 at the municipal building, lower level, Allaire Road. Social hour with refreshments will begin at 11:30 a.m., followed by the meeting at 12:30 p.m. Program chairman Charles Nicosia announced the program will be Sleep Well, Feel Well. The St. Patrick s Day lunch was a huge success. A total of 136 people attended along with eight invited township officials. Candidates Forum The Wall Township Republican Club will host an informal forum for the candidates seeking election to the Wall Township Board of Education on April 3 at 7:30 p.m. at the Wexford Assisted Living Facility located at the intersection of Route 35 and New Bedford Road. The forum is open to all Wall residents. Refreshments will be served. For more information, contact David Rible, Republican Club president, at Civil War Re-enactment The Old Wall Historical Society will host a Civil War encampment on Sunday, April 6 at the society s headquarters, 1701 New Bedford Road. The public is invited to visit the campsite from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. The 19th Virginia Company K Civil War Re-enactment Unit will demonstrate what life was like for the 1860s-era soldiers in the field. Visitors will be able to observe them drilling, cooking and performing routine tasks necessary to maintain order and military lifestyle during an encampment. The soldiers welcome questions and readily explain what a soldier s life was really like during the war between the states. The 19th Virginia Company K represents a Confederate Infantry Unit that was formed during the first year of the Civil War. This unit fought in many major battles including Williamsburg, Second Manassas, South Mountain and Pickett s Charge at Gettysburg. The encampment is open to the public and is free of charge. Refreshments and a light lunch will be available. The Old Wall Historical Society s Allgor- Barkalow Homestead Museum and the Blansingburg Schoolhouse museums will be open for viewing. For more information call Casino Trip The Wall Township Recreation Department is sponsoring a bus trip to Caesar s Palace in Atlantic City on Friday, April 11. The cost is $20 per person which includes transportation, entrance to the show, Nights on Broadway and $10 back in coin. The bus will leave the municipal complex at 5 p.m. and return at approximately 2 a.m. For more information, call ext Support Group The Arthritis/Fibromyalgia Support Group will meet at the Wall Library, 2700 Allaire Road, at 6:30 p.m. on April 23. There is no charge to attend. For more information call or call Linda at Broadway Trip Tickets are currently available for the Wall Township Recreation Department s trip to see 42nd Street on Broadway on May 3. The bus will depart from the municipal complex at 11:30 a.m. After the matinee, participants will have time for dinner or shopping on their own before the bus leaves at 8 p.m. The $87 per person fee includes round-trip transportation and the ticket to the show. To purchase tickets or for more information, call ext. 251.
7 K Y C M CYAN MAGENTA YELLOW BLACK THE COAST STAR, THURSDAY, MARCH 27, 2003 PAGE 7 K C Y M State & County News M. Claire French is the keeper of records By Kara Lott M. Claire French considers herself the keeper of records. Serving as the Monmouth County Clerk since 1997, Mrs. French s vast responsibilities include recording and archiving public records, preparing ballots, swearing in notaries and public officials and performing weddings. For three weeks every year, the Wall Township resident also assists Superior Court Judge Lawrence M. Lawson with grand jury selection. She has more than 60 employees working under her and her days can be extremely busy, but Mrs. French, 64, seems to thrive on the hectic schedule her job demands. Although the county office in Freehold where she works is open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, Mrs. French said she can often be found working long after the office closes. I love my job because every day is different, she explained. I can t imagine retiring. Until recently, the County Clerk s Office was located in the historic Hall of Records in Freehold. After some major growth and expansion, however, Mrs. French s office was relocated to a two-story, 29,000 square foot office complex at One Market Yard, just two blocks away from the Hall of Records, in the plaza behind Federici s Pizza. In addition, Mrs. French maintains an election office at 300 Halls Mill Road in Freehold, while the Monmouth County Archives are located in the County Library Headquarters in Manalapan. Mrs. French said the archives hold court records as well as all recorded documents from past years, some of which date as far back as the 1600s. A typical day for Mrs. French begins with receiving a daily report on the previous day s recorded documents. She said the bulk of information includes equity loans, refinancing, and people buying and selling their homes. MICHELE JOHNSON, County Clerk M. Claire French [above, right] works closely with the more than 60 employees working under her, including Deputy County Clerk Felicia Santaniello [left]. Mrs. French said these reports are a critical component to her job since the real estate market in Monmouth County is now more active than it has ever been in its history. She explained this is partly due to low interest rates. as well as the fact that people investing in Monmouth County property have found a sort of gold mine. The value of real estate [in Monmouth County] is moving so quickly people are making great profits, Mrs. French stated. According to Mrs. French, there were 248,000 sets of recorded documents last year alone, including loans, financing and mortgages. Her office is so busy, in fact, that eight additional employees were recently hired, two of which work the graveyard shift. The overnight employees are scanning every recorded document in the County Clerk s system onto CD-ROM and microfilm. Mrs. French said the additional shift came after her employees were working overtime at night and on weekends for the last two years. Besides issuing identification cards for children under 18, the County Clerk s Office also issues adult identification cards a program, Mrs. French said, that was just started at the beginning of the year. The state put a freeze on ABC cards cards that were used as proof of age to purchase liquor for those without a license after Sept. 11, she said. Mrs. French explained the stillissued New Jersey State identification cards contain the individual s picture embedded on the card. However, the ID s are for identification purposes only and not to be used as proof of age for purchasing alcohol, she said. One of the largest projects the County Clerk s Office is currently working on is a partnership with the New Jersey Institute of Technology [NJIT] to implement electronic filing of land and property records. According to Mrs. French, electronic filing would allow an attorney or bank to send mortgage or loan information, for example, to the county clerk s office online. The information would be inputted and subsequently indexed into the county system with an electronic seal. Our end would be paperless, she explained. Electronic filing is the future, Mrs. French added. It s paperless and it s secure. Bob Williams, the Director of Information Services, is working with NJIT on the project. Property deeds and mortgage information, as well as all of the tax records for Monmouth County, can already be found on the county web site, Mrs. French said. She said the county plans to test several documents for electronic filing as early as the end of April. Among the myriad of her responsibilities, one of Mrs. French s favorite duties as County Clerk is as the state s witness for civil wedding ceremonies. There is a small Ceremonial Room adjacent to her office where she performs the ceremonies. Mrs. French said she tries to make every couple feel as though they are guests of Monmouth County. She even keeps pictures of all the brides and grooms she has married over the years. I think they re fun, Mrs. French stated. I love it. As the County Clerk, one of Mrs. French s responsibilities is to make sure the couple s wedding license is valid. The County Clerk s Office also prepares the couple s marriage certificate. Mrs. French said she has performed wedding ceremonies for people in casts, wheelchairs and in hospital beds. She has also married couples in remote locations such as the beach or the park a popular spot is Allaire State Park in Wall Township. She said each wedding is unique since the couple usually adds symbolic items or gestures in the ceremony. Mrs. French recalled an African American couple who jumped over a broom during their ceremony. She estimated she has performed approximately 500 weddings as mayor and County Clerk. Another aspect of her job that Mrs. French said she enjoys is visiting fourth grade students who are learning about county government. I love to talk to the kids, she stated. Besides her role as the county clerk, Mrs. French has a long history of public service to draw on when speaking to students. She was appointed to the Wall Township Committee in 1978, and served in that capacity for seven years, including two terms as mayor. Mrs. French said she teaches the students the role of county government, adding that fourth-grade students can tour the county clerk s office as part of the educational See FRENCH, PAGE 29 Assemblyman Sean Kean confronts problems regarding child predators Thousands of children will be reported missing this year. Thousands more will be sexually abused. Those missing children s pictures will end up on television, shopping bags and milk cartons. Some children will be found and returned home. Some children will never be seen or heard from again. The recent abduction and homecoming of Elizabeth Smart in Utah has generated immense concern for parents throughout our country regarding how to protect their children from predators. It has also prompted legislators, such as myself, to ask, What else can we do to protect our children? States are making progress in their efforts to protect children from abduction and exploitation, but this movement needs to be accelerated. That is why, as a New Jersey legislator, I was determined to co-sponsor a package of bills that targets child predators and helps secure the safety of our children. These bills range from requiring a person convicted of child pornography crimes to register under Megan s Law, to upgrading the crime of luring a child into a secluded area to a crime of 2nd degree, to the establishment of a digitized student identification program to include vital information describing students, to the permanent disqualification of a person convicted of child endangerment from ever again working with children, and finally to the creation of a mandatory life imprisonment term for certain sexual assaults upon a minor. These are just a few of the many pieces of legislation that I have co-sponsored to further the protection of our children. In addition to the pending bills that will create a safer environment for our children to thrive, the New Jersey General Assembly passed bill A1308 on Friday, March 14. This bill concerns racial profiling, which alarmed many people that, if passed, it would impede upon the Amber Alert Program. After much discussion, the Assembly was assured that child safety would in no way be inhibited under this bill and the police would be thoroughly supported in their procedures for locating lost children under any and all programs. New Jersey was the 30th State to LEGISLATIVE MATTERS By ASSEMBLYMAN SEAN T. KEAN [R-11] initiate the A m b e r Alert Plan, which is a system that quickly notifies people of child abductions through radio, television and roadside message boards. In New Jersey, the Amber Alert Plan goes into effect in the case of non-family abductions where the child is believed to be in imminent danger of grave bodily harm or death. It is enforced when the State Police release information to the media for broadcasting the descriptions of both the child and the abductor as often as possible for the first three hours. The first three hours are the most crucial because 75 percent of children murdered by non-family members are killed within three hours of their abduction according to The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. That is why it is vital for programs like Amber Alert to exist, which has been credited with the recovery of over 41 children thus far. Parents also play a major role in protecting children. Parents should take the necessary steps to educate their children on the basic safety principles that can save a child s life. It is imperative for parents to know the height, weight and eye color of all of their children. Investigators in missing children cases need these three exact and crucial pieces of information in order to properly move forward with an investigation. Parents are also encouraged to supply recent pictures of their missing child that are no more than six months old. Checklist for Parents to Teach Their Children About Protection From Predators: Make sure your child knows his/her complete name, address and telephone number with area code. Show your child how to dial Establish a code word for situations when your child is to be picked up by someone other than a parent or a regular caregiver. Don't lose sight of your child in public places. Remind your child that if he/she is lost, to find a store clerk or police officer and wait with that person until you or the police arrive Inform children that child predators look like regular people. If you must leave your child at home alone, remind the child never to open the door for anyone you have not approved. When in a risky situation, your child should yell for help and run to a trusted adult or public place. Never leave children alone in cars or other public surroundings. Establish strict procedures for picking your children up at school, friends or events. Do not let your children accept rides from any unauthorized person regardless of their familiarity. Have photographs of your children taken four times a year. Make a note of birthmarks and other distinguishing features. Get fingerprints taken of your children. Never allow children to give out any information on the telephone, especially that they are alone. Tell children to always inform you of occurrences that made them feel uncomfortable. This is a list of guidelines that parents should implement into their own Child Safety Plan because one in 42 children will become lost, missing or kidnapped this year. Remember, over 2,000 children are reported missing every day, which equals one every 40 seconds! That means over 725,000 children are reported missing every year in the United States, and these are just the reported cases. While most lost children are eventually found, sadly others never are. Children are our most valuable assets, we need to work together as parents and legislators to love, cherish and protect them!
8 PAGE 8 THE COAST STAR, THURSDAY, MARCH 27, 2003 Manasquan MICHELE JOHNSON, John Cuccia, of the Monmouth County Sheriff s Office, led a special program last week that taught first-graders at Manasquan Elementary School how to properly utilize services in the event of an emergency. Sheriff s Office presents program to students in Manasquan By Justin Vellucci John Cuccia, a dispatcher from the Monmouth County Sheriff s Office, brought some emergency response awareness to Manasquan Elementary School last week when he showed students the right way to call As part of the Sheriff s Emergency Education for Kids [SEEK] program, firstgraders at the elementary school received an explanation of the county s emergency system, and viewed a video in which they were shown how to correctly report fire, first aid and police emergencies. Following the video, Mr. Cuccia provided a hands-on interactive session where students used telephone simulators to role-play various emergency scenarios. Those scenarios included instances such as how to handle a playground injury, and what to do if you are home alone and see a possible prowler. Students were also instructed on when it is not appropriate to call This year, the sheriff s office has held 46 SEEK presentations in 53 different schools. On Monday, dispatchers instructed the 10,000th student through the SEEK program at Monmouth Beach Elementary School, in Monmouth Beach. The sheriff s office is very proud that, for many schools, the program is becoming a staple element of the first-grade curriculum, said Sheriff Joseph Oxley. It is imperative that every child old enough to dial a phone know that someone is always available to help at 9-1-1, he added. Undersheriff Adam Puharic said the program has made a significant impact in the area, and continues to help a growing number of students throughout Monmouth County. It s really a fine program, said Undersheriff Puharic. It s been a real success. Additional information on the SEEK program can be found online at Soup & Songs In Squan MICHELE JOHNSON, Arlene McDowell [above, from left] and Jean Evans sang with their fellow residents during a session of the Soup & Scriptures, held last week at Manasquan Presbyterian Church. Manasquan poet s words transformed into music By Justin Vellucci While Manasquan resident Christine Redman-Waldeyer is far from a newcomer to the world of poetry and prose, she has never heard her words set to music. However, all of that changed recently when HillTop Records released America, a collection of 26 works featuring the music and lyrics of a small group of American songwriters. On the recently released record, lyrics from two of Mrs. Redman- Waldeyer s poems Like A Child s Book and Time Stood Still For The Moment are set to music. Both of the poems originally appeared in I Swim Seas of Thirty- Two Legions, Mrs. Redman- Waldeyer s first collection of poetry, published last year. On America, Mrs. Redman- Waldeyer s words become the driving force behind songs performed and produced by a group of studio and session musicians. Like A Child s Book is a softrock power ballad, sung with a small hint of country pop by Cody Lyons. Time Stood Still For The Moment evokes a similar tone, with vocalist Becky Clanton and backing electric guitars lending a doo-wop edge to the proceedings. Mrs. Redman-Waldeyer, who submitted her poems for consideration to HillTop Records, said hearing the finished product is very exciting. It s really neat to hear your The Manasquan Ministerium will join the American Red Cross in a Quality of Life drive to benefit American troops overseas. The following items are highly requested or needed: individually wrapped hard candy, Sweet Tarts, Tootsie Roll pops, Twizzlers and chewing gum. pretzels, microwave popcorn, pre-packed cookies and other snacks. pre-sweetened drink mixes. toothpaste, toothbrushes, shaving cream, soap and gel. sun protection items, and lip balm. wet naps. activity-related and new materials such as small board games, playing cards and dominoes. magazines and books [action, mysteries, science fiction] videos, and music CDs and cassettes. blank greeting cards. Letters of encouragement to a service member are also welcomed, but must be received in an unsealed envelope. The Ministerium noted that the above items are suggestions. All items can be given during the drive. Deadline for the drive is April 21. A donation box can be found words [set] to music, she said. It s quite a different experience. Mrs. Redman-Waldeyer added that while her works dealt with more personal subjects Time Stood Still For The Moment was written on her wedding day many on the record addressed patriotism and the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11. Information about the record can be found on Mrs. Redman- Waldeyer s website, While some may rest on the laurels of their work, Mrs. Redman-Waldeyer has already set her eyes on a new project. After completing two collections of poetry and prose I Swim Seas of Thirty-Two Legions and The Talisman Pick: Voices and Hats Mrs. Redman-Waldeyer is hard at work on a non-fiction project: a contemporary history of Asbury Park. Mrs. Redman-Waldeyer said she was inspired to pursue writing the book after teaching a class at Ocean County College that addressed riots that took place in Asbury Park in the late 1960s. Mrs. Redman-Waldeyer also teaches history courses at the Stuart Business School of Administration. In addition to her books, Mrs. Redman-Waldeyer s works have been published in Sparrowgrass Poetry Forum, and Moms In The Kitchen Cookbook. Squan Ministerium seeks items for troops overseas on the stage in Fellowship Hall of Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, located at 6 Osborn Ave. For further information, contact Shelli Ritchie at Football Club fund-raiser scheduled The Manasquan Football Club has scheduled its annual spring fund-raiser and gift auction from 3 to 6 p.m. on Sunday, April 6 in O Neill s Bar Grill & Guest House, East Main Street, Manasquan. Admission to the event is $5 per person and tickets are available at the door. Price of admission includes an hors d oeuvres buffet and reduced-price drinks. The 2002 MHS football highlight video will be available for purchase. The cost of the video is $15. All those interested in supporting the Manasquan High School football team are invited to attend. For more information, please contact Mark Larkin at
9 K Y C M Manasquan MICHELE JOHNSON, David Glaser, Exalted Ruler of Manasquan Elks BPOE 2534 [above, from left], presented a $1,000 check to Manasquan High School Parent-Teacher Organization [PTO] co-presidents Margaret Fagen and Dareen Widmann during a fund-raiser held last week. Manasquan High School PTO nets $13,000 at fund-raising auction By Justin Vellucci Over 300 parents and area residents came to The Waterview Pavilion in Belmar last week to show their support for Manasquan High School students. During a fund-raiser held by the Manasquan High School Parent- Teacher Organization [PTO], roughly $13,000 was raised to benefit scholarship funds for high school students. It went really well, said PTO co-president Margaret Fagen. Funds were raised at the event through a 50/50 raffle and a silent auction, which included a significant number of gifts and items donated by families and local merchants. Among those items donated to the PTO were big-ticket gifts such as diamond earrings and TVs, and gift certificates to local establishments and Ticketmaster, said Ms. Fagen. Mrs. Fagen said, after 15 years of attending PTO fund-raisers, she finally won an item during the auction: a $150 gift certificate to Senseabilities. While many people turned out to support the PTO during last week s event, one group did make a sizable donation. David Glaser, Exhalted Ruler of Manasquan Elks BPOE 2534, presented a check to Ms. Fagen and co-president Dareen Widmann for $1,000 at the event. Money raised through the fundraiser which is an annual event held by the PTO will go toward the organization s scholarship funds, said Ms. Fagen. CYAN MAGENTA YELLOW BLACK THE COAST STAR, THURSDAY, MARCH 27, 2003 PAGE 9 Shade Tree Commission prepares for Arbor Day By Justin Vellucci Members of the Manasquan Shade Tree Commission will celebrate Arbor Day next month by doing more than speaking about the importance of trees to local ecology. Thanks to a recent donation by the New Jersey Tree Foundation [NJTF], the local commission will be able to plant 100 new trees throughout the borough. On Arbor Day, which falls on April 25, volunteers from the Shade Tree Commission and the Manasquan Elementary School Parent-Teacher Organization s [PTO] garden committee will plant the trees on public property in Manasquan. Beach Plum, Norway Spruce, and Japanese Pine trees will all be planted at various beach locations, according to commission member Jane Haisser. Manasquan students will participate in planting Silky Dogwood trees at the elementary school, and Green Ash and Tulip Poplar trees will be planted at Manasquan s tree nursery, said Ms. Haisser. The tree nursery is used to nurture trees until they are large enough to be moved to other areas of the borough in need of forestry, explained Ms. Haisser. All of the tree planting will be supervised by individuals who attended a tree-planting education session at Sandy Hook taught by Lisa Simms, program director of the NJTF. As part of accepting the donation of 100 trees, the commission has also agreed to care for the trees for at least two years. In anticipation of a possible drought this summer, members of Manasquan s Sea Lavender Garden Club have agreed to adopt a tree and aid in watering the trees and providing ongoing care, said Mr. Haisser. Councilman Richard Dunne who serves as the council s liaison to the Manasquan Shade Tree Commission says the anticipated Arbor Day planting speaks to the commission s dedication to keeping the borough designated as a Tree City USA. Arbor Day brings a lot of focus to the kinds of things the Shade Tree Commission stands for, said Councilman Dunne. We re continuing to maintain communication to the public about the importance of trees, added the councilman. For further information about the activities and mission of the Manasquan Shade Tree Commission, contact Ms. Haisser at K Y C M Manasquan Board of Education holds hearing on budget By Justin Vellucci The Manasquan Board of Education on Tuesday held a public hearing on its proposed school budget, providing residents with information on both the proposed increases and the accompanying tax impact. The proposed budget which will go to the polls seeking voter approval on April 15 will tentatively increase the school tax rate by 3.1 cents, bringing the rate from $1.519 to $1.55 per $100 of assessed property value. If the public votes to approve an additional question in the April election providing for the hiring of an additional school nurse, the tax Manasquan Community Calendar rate will increase 3.8 cents, from $1.519 to $1.557 per $100 of assessed property value. The nurse will tentatively cost $44,600, including benefits, and would tentatively serve students at both Manasquan Elementary School and Manasquan High School. The proposed budget for the coming school year represents a 3 percent increase, bringing the district s budget from $17,460,606 in to a proposed $17,997,629 in Of the proposed budget, $17,117,055 will be used in the general fund, $324,637 will be used in the special revenue fund, and $555,937 will be used in the debt service fund. The proposed budget will result in a general fund tax levy of $8,868,714. Should the budget pass but the separate question regarding the nurse fail at the polls, the tax increase will translate into $93 more per year rising from $4,557 to $4,650 for a Manasquan resident with a home assessed at $300,000. With the budget passing and the separate question about the nurse also passing in the polls, the tax increase will translate into $114 more per year rising from $4,557 to $4,671 for a Manasquan resident with a home assessed at $300,000. Next year, a total of $6,862,091 is proposed to be contributed from sending districts toward the proposed budget. State aid will tentatively comprise of $930,200 of the proposed budget. A total of $350,000 is proposed to be taken from the district s surplus to pay for the proposed budget. According to Business Administrator Margaret Hom, this sum combined with $250,000 raised through local taxation will go toward the purchase of land on Broad Street. The land on Broad Street is located adjacent to Manasquan Elementary School. Mrs. Hom said that the remaining amount in surplus after the See BUDGET, PAGE 48 Easter Egg Hunt The Manasquan Chamber of Commerce will sponsor an Easter Egg Hunt on Saturday, April 12, beginning at 9:30 a.m. The event is open to children ages 10 and under, accompanied by an adult. Those participating can receive their official card with a lucky number on V. Miller Preston Way, located between Manasquan Liquors and Eckerd Drugs. Find the store hiding your egg and receive a prize. Rain date is Saturday, April 19. For further information, contact Anne Summers at Environmental Commission Meeting The regular meeting of the Manasquan Environmental Commission will be held on Wednesday, April 2 at 7:30 p.m. in borough hall chambers. For further information, contact Alice Hemphill at
10 PAGE 10 By Justin Vellucci While the Manasquan school district spent only slightly more money per pupil in than it did in , its ranking improved this year among THE COAST STAR, THURSDAY, MARCH 27, 2003 other school districts in per-pupil spending, according to a Department of Education [DOE] report released last week. The district is spending, on average, $8,350 to educate each student in the academic year, the eighth lowest figure among the 47 K-12 districts in New Jersey with up to 1,800 students. The comparative per pupil figure includes classroom instruction, support services, operation and maintenance of facilities, food services, and extra-curricular activities. In the academic year, the district spent $8,282 per pupil, ranking it 14th lowest among the same-size districts. Of this year s per-pupil figure of $8,350, 6 percent of revenue sources came from the state of New Jersey, with 52 percent coming from local taxes, 1 percent coming from federal funding, and 38 percent coming from tuition. A total of 1 percent of the $8,350 figure came from the use of fund balances [surplus], and 2 percent came from other sources of funding. Superintendent of Schools Carole Knopp Morris says the shift in per-pupil spending and ranking is due to increased costs being spread among a growing number of district students. As our enrollment goes up, that figure [the per pupil spending costs], of course, will usually go down, said Superintendent Knopp Morris. It also does reflect on the fact that, with a 3 percent CAP, we ve been forced to keep our expenses down as much as possible, she added. While the district s ranking compared to its peers improved in per pupil spending, its ranking did not improve relative to its studentto-faculty and student-to-administrator ratios. According to the DOE report, the ratio of students to teachers increased slightly between the and academic years. This year, there are 14.4 Manasquan students for every teacher, which ranks second highest among comparable districts in the state. The only district of comparable size in New Jersey with a higher student-to-faculty ratio is Manasquan Squan s per-pupil spending rank improves among comparable districts NJ Dept. of Education 2003 School Comparative Spending Guide By Justin Vellucci A group of area residents, led by the Manasquan Environmental Commission, took advantage of the spring weather over the weekend in a unique way, taking to the Manasquan beachfront to plant 5,000 culms of dune grass. During Dune Grass Replenishment Day held on Saturday and again on Sunday residents planted American beach grass on dunes along Inlet Beach and between Main Beach and Riddle Way. According to Rick Thomas, of the Manasquan Environmental Commission, residents planted grass on about 550 feet of sand dune on Saturday, and about 370 feet of sand dune on Sunday. Over 50 people turned out for the event on Saturday alone, said Mr. Thomas. During the planting, residents used broom handles with sharpened edges to dig holes 12 inches deep into the sand dunes. The culms which contained two or three plugs of grass and a small root system Kenilworth, where the ratio is 15 to one. Last year, the figure was 14.3 students for every teacher, which ranked fourth highest among comparable districts in the state. At that time, Plumsted Township and Bound Brook were tied for the highest student-to-faculty ratio, with 14.6 students for every teacher. In , the median faculty salary decreased, dropping to $40,219, the sixth lowest among comparable districts. In , the median faculty salary was $44,778, which was ranked the 16th lowest among comparable districts. Superintendent Knopp Morris said the drop in the median faculty salary was due to nearly onethird of the district s faculty having retired over the last three years. Due to their retirement, new teachers have been brought into the district at the bottom of the pay scale, thus dropping the median salary, said the superintendent. According to the report, the ratio of students to administrators increased between the and academic years. This year, there are Manasquan students for every administrator, which ranks 15th lowest among comparable districts. Last year, the ratio of students to administrators was to one, which was also ranked 15th lowest among comparable districts. were then placed in the holes, with 18 inches left between each of them. The purpose of the grass... is to keep the wind from blowing the sand off the sand dunes, said Mr. Thomas. Also, it holds the sand in place, with the roots themselves. This past weekend s dune grass planting was developed and coordinated by the environmental commission, the Manasquan Beach Improvement Association [MBIA], and members of the borough council, including Councilman Bob Between and , the median administrative salary also increased, rising to $99,297, the 11th highest among comparable districts. Last year, the median administrative salary was $95,478, the 14th highest among comparable districts. Superintendent Knopp Morris said the increase in the district s median administrative salary was due to the extensive length of service of certain administrators. Among the administrators who play a significant hand in the increase in median administrative salary are herself, Business See RANK, PAGE 50 Environmental commission leads dune grass planting MICHELE JOHNSON, A group of Manasquan residents [above] took advantage of the pleasant weekend weather to plant dune grass along the Manasquan beachfront on Saturday. The planting was spearheaded by members of the Manasquan Environmental Commission. Briant, Councilwoman Pat Connolly, and Councilman Rich Dunne. An additional round of dune grass planting will take place in October, said Mr. Thomas. We should be able to complete our replanting program in the next planting session [in October], said Mr. Thomas. For further information about dune grass planting and the activities of the environmental commission, contact Mr. Thomas at Manasquan will pursue FEMA reimbursement MICHELE JOHNSON, Manasquan residents Frank Servidio [above, left] and Mario Gentile, the husband of Councilwoman Pat Connolly, were two of the individuals who turned out to plant dune grass on the Manasquan beachfront Saturday. By Justin Vellucci Borough Administrator John Trengrove said this week that Manasquan will pursue reimbursement from the Federal Emergency Management Agency [FEMA] for costs incurred during the recent Presidents Day winter storm. We re going to apply for snow removal and the law enforcement costs [from the storm], said Mr. Trengrove. Mr. Trengrove added that the borough plans to apply for both man-hour and equipment costs, though he said officials are still not too sure on total figures. Borough officials will meet soon with John Nielsen and Doug Terry, of the Manasquan Office of Emergency Management [OEM], to discuss pursuing the funds further, said Mr. Trengrove. Last week, FEMA officials in Washington announced that all counties in New Jersey are eligible for federal disaster funds to supplement the emergency response to the record amount of snowfall that hit the state last month. FEMA Director Michael D. Brown said the assistance was authorized under an emergency declaration issued by President George W. Bush. The declaration covers jurisdictions with record and near-record snowfall from the storm that occurred on Feb Under the emergency declaration, FEMA will provide reimbursement to state and local government agencies for 75 percent of the total eligible costs of equipment, contracts and personnel overtime related to emergency services in dealing with the snow over a 48-hour period.
11 Supporting Squan Students Manasquan THE COAST STAR, THURSDAY, MARCH 27, 2003 PAGE 11 Two River Theatre Company goes Wilde A Florentine Tragedy and Salome By Oscar Wilde Presented by Two River Theatre Co. Director: Jonathan Fox Composer: Nick Kitsopoulos Scenic Design: Tobin Ost Lighting Designer: Matthew Richards Costume Designer: Devon Painter Dance Choreographer: Alexandre Proia Fight Choreographer: Paul Molnar MICHELE JOHNSON, Manasquan Board of Education President Anne Michals [above, left] and Manasquan High School Principal Cary McCormack were among the 300 people who turned out to support the district s students during a Parent-Teacher Organization [PTO] fund-raiser held at Waterview Pavilion last week. Tax program to be held tonight at Elks lodge Gov. James McGreevey extended the filing deadline for New Jersey s senior property tax freeze program until June 1 to allow more senior citizens to reduce their property tax bills. In 2001, less than 25 percent of eligible seniors applied for this program. For this reason, a public workshop on the property tax relief program and other New Jersey property relief programs will be held at the Manasquan Elks Lodge No tonight, beginning at 7:30 p.m. The lodge is located on Stockton Lake Boulevard, in Manasquan. The workshop is sponsored by Fred Lockenmeyer and Councilman Rich Dunne, and the the 10th legislative district office of Sen. Andrew Ciesla, and Assemblymen James Mopsick named to dean s list Allison A. Mopsick, of Manasquan, was recently named to the dean s list at William Paterson University, in Wayne. Ms. Mopsick is a communication major at the New Jersey university. She is a 2002 graduate of Manasquan High School and the daughter of Norm and LouAnn Mopsick. Holzapfel and David Wolfe. If senior citizens filed last year for the program, they should have automatically received application forms. Forms are available at borough halls in Manasquan, Point Pleasant Beach and Point Pleasant, and through the 10th legislative district office. Information can also be obtained by calling the state s tax office at The property tax reimbursement program, known as PTR-1, is available to homeowners 65 or older, or those receiving federal Social Security disability benefits, who paid property taxes on their principal residence in New Jersey. Applicants must be New Jersey residents for at least the last 10 years, and lived in their home for the last three years. The program will reimburse eligible senior homeowners the difference between their 2001 and 2002 property taxes. To qualify, the property owner s total income must have been less than $38,475 if single or $47,177 if married, in 2001; and less than $39,475 if single or $48,404 if married, in The NJ Saver Rebate Program s deadline is June 30. The Homestead Rebate Program s deadline is April 15. For further information, contact Councilman Dunne at , Mr. Lockenmeyer at or Kim Kavanagh at By Diane T. Churchman A few friendly words of advice for anyone who plans to reserve a seat for the Two River Theatre Company [TRTC] production of Oscar Wilde s A Florentine Tragedy and Salome in The Algonquin Arts Theatre, Manasquan: Leave your children and inhibitions at home. The giggling and heavy breathing that underscores a couple s table-top sexual encounter grab the audience s attention before a word of dialogue is uttered in A Florentine Tragedy. The audience soon realizes that this man and woman are not husband and wife. She is Bianca [Claudia Robinson], who apparently has found in the virile, notso-nobleman Guido [Jay Stratton] the excitement that is lacking in her marriage to the aging, predictable Simone [James Doerr]. Simone, on the other hand, accepts the fact that his wife is not physically attractive to him and appears content to ignore their problems rather than confront them. All of that changes, however, when a candlelit duel fueled by a jealous rage brings the story to a surprising conclusion. Director Jonathan Fox wisely maintains the momentum of this well-acted, 30-minute play by giving the audience a brief, three minute interlude to reflect on the unexpected conclusion before Salome makes her entrance. And what a sensual entrance it is! The set opens, as the cover and first page of a book would, inviting the audience to see and hear the story within. As soft music composed by Nick Kitsopoulus fills the theatre, the beautiful Salome [Kim Awon] descends on a crescent moon, through a starry, peacock blue sky, to the stage. Could this possibly be the same production TRTC managing director Guy Gsell s described in a press release as Wilde s psycho-sexual, orgiastic tragedy, unfolding mysteriously and rhythmically until it reaches its shocking and tragic climax? You bet it could. Director Fox takes a no-holds barred approach to staging Salome that includes brief nudity and a lengthy demonstration of necrophilia. A Florentine Tragedy and Salome by Oscar Wilde are now playing at The Algonquin Arts Theatre in Manasquan. Daring, yes, but not gratuitous by any stretch of the imagination in the scheme of this story of a young princess who, after unsuccessful attempts to seduce John the Baptist [Jay Stratton], agrees to dance for her leering stepfather, King Herod [James Doerr], if he will literally give her the holy man s head on a silver platter. Ms. Awon is absolutely spectacular. She delivers her lines with the passion of a woman who will stop at nothing to attain personal satisfaction, but in a sweet voice well-suited to Wilde s lyrical verse. Mr. Stratton earns the audience s sympathy and admiration for John the Baptist, a man unshakable in his faith in God and who refuses to be seduced by Salome a near occasion of sin if ever there was one. Mr. Doerr s performance Sunday was uneven and at times he appeared to stumble on his lines. When his performance was strong, however, he was a joy to watch, as when he explored the lecherous side of King Herod, begging and pleading with his stepdaughter to dance, and later struggling with the consequences that would befall him if he honored their bargain. Ms. Robinson s knack for delivering the brutally sarcastic lines Wilde has incorporated into A Florentine Tragedy and Salome while she exposes the humor in them, is an asset to both plays. The TRTC production of A Florentine Tragedy and Salome offers two of the most mesmerizing hours of entertainment mature theatre goers could ask for. The production continues its run on various dates and times through this weekend. Ticket prices range from $19 to $35, with discounts for patrons older than 65 and younger than 26 years of age. Discounts for groups of 10 or more are also available. To reserve tickets and for further information, call the TRTC box office Information is also available on line at
12 PAGE 12 THE COAST STAR, THURSDAY, MARCH 27, 2003 By Kara Lott Belmar resident James Dean was appointed as the borough advocate for a term through December 31 at last night s Belmar Council meeting. Mr. Dean has lived in Belmar for three years. This year, he was also appointed to the Belmar Planning Board. Following the meeting, Mr. Dean said his role as borough advocate will be to present Belmar s position at code enforcement hearings. He explained that under the borough s animal house ordinance, rental properties that receive two or more substantiated complaints within a 12-month period, resulting in a conviction from the municipal court, will receive a hearing notice from the borough. Belmar Belmar governing body appoints resident James Dean to position of borough advocate Vermont State Police arrest Belmar fugitive By Kara Lott A man who has been wanted by the Belmar Police since December was arrested recently by the Vermont State Police and the U.S. Marshals Service. David M. Gonzalez, 28, was arrested on March 6 at approximately 5:30 p.m. on Route 2 in Richmond, Vt., according to Belmar Det. Thomas Cox. Mr. Gonzalez allegedly assaulted a police officer on Dec. 26 when the Belmar Police Department went to his home at 1204 L St. to serve a domestic violence temporary restraining order, which included a search for any weapons on the property. He then resisted arrest and fled out of the rear of his residence, Det. Cox said. The South Belmar Police Department assisted in searching for Mr. Gonzalez, but he was not located. A search of his residence produced a loaded 9 mm semi-automatic handgun and narcotics, including marijuana and cocaine. In December, Mr. Gonzalez was charged with weapons possession, narcotics possession, and narcotics distribution, Det. Cox said. Mr. Gonzalez also has a prior record for narcotic distribution. We received information that Gonzalez was in Vermont and the Vermont State Police and the U.S. Marshals Service conducted surveillance on a condo complex at the Boulton Valley Ski Resort, Det. Cox stated late last week. He explained the Vermont State Police and the U.S. Marshals Service witnessed Mr. Gonzalez getting inside of a vehicle with a New Jersey registration. They conducted a motor vehicle stop on Route 2 where Mr. Gonzalez was subsequently apprehended. Det. Cox said Mr. Gonzalez was with the registered owner of the car, Michael Callaway, who gave police a Sea Girt Post Office box as his address. The two were also traveling with Jason Parker and Katherine Schlademan both gave police Vermont identifications. According to Det. Cox, the three individuals claimed they picked up Mr. Gonzalez, who said he was in Vermont to snowboard, as he was hitchhiking. Mr. Gonzalez was arrested on Belmar complaint warrants for aggravated assault on a police officer, resisting arrest, possession of a handgun, possession of over 50 grams of marijuana, distributing over 1 ounce of marijuana within a park zone and possession of drug School calendar extended by two days due to snow By Kara Lott The Belmar Board of Education approved adjustments to the school year last Thursday night, including the extension of the current school year by two days. Due to the inclement weather this winter particularly the nearblizzard in the area on Presidents Day weekend in February the school year has been extended by two days. June 18 and 19 will be full days on the school calendar. On June 20, 23 and 24, there will be a 12:30 p.m. dismissal for all students. Commencement exercises for the eighth grade graduation will take place on June 23. June 24 will be the last day of See VERMONT, PAGE 51 school for the remainder of the student body. There will be a teacher in-service on June 25. June 26 will be the final day of school for all teachers. At the board s workshop meeting earlier this month, board member Robert English suggesting taking two days away from the Easter break in April, instead of adding days to the school year in June. However, school principal Richard Taggart said many of the teachers and staff have already made vacation plans for the break. In addition, he said many students families have also planned vacations for the week-long April See SCHOOL, PAGE 48 Fund Raising At The Barclay Substantiated complaints could be a number of issues, including noise violations and urinating on public property, Mr. Dean said. As borough advocate, Mr. Dean said he will be representing the borough s position at the hearings. As a retired attorney, Mr. Dean also said Belmar Mayor Kenneth Pringle thought he would be the appropriate person to serve as borough advocate. In addition, he explained the code enforcement hearings have not been held in several years. However, when asked why the hearings have not been held, Mr. Dean explained he did not know since it was before his involvement with the borough. He also said the proceedings are set to begin in May. In an ordinance determining the salaries of certain borough employees that the Belmar Council approved for a first reading last night, the borough advocate would receive a rate of between $50 to $125 per hour for his part-time services. In other business: The Belmar Council unanimously approved an ordinance that will require a fee of $75 for rental properties and all other places and buildings used for sleeping and lodging purposes in regard to fire protection and prevention inspections. An inspection is required if an application is submitted for a mercantile license, certificate of occupancy, or a certificate of inspection. The $75 fee is for each unit or use, as stated in the ordinance. In addition, the ordinance states that if any application for a mercantile license, certificate of occupancy, or certificate of inspection is received within the same year of the last inspection, the fee will be $35. However, last night, borough resident and landlord Nick Zampetti addressed his concerns regarding the ordinance to the Belmar Council. Mr. Zampetti was involved with other Belmar landlords in a lawsuit against the borough several years ago involving, in part, the structure of inspection fees. Mr. Zampetti explained he believed the borough was in violation of the court s order in passing this ordinance. He said he believed the borough could not go over a $25 inspection fee for a rental property totaling one to six units. However, borough Chief Financial Officer Robbin Kirk explained she conducted an analysis of the ordinance as it relates to the fee structure and the costs incurred by the fire department in relation to the rental properties in the borough. She said she believes the fee structure is valid. She also said the borough is acting in accordance with the court s order and would provide Mr. Zampetti with a copy of the analysis. BOE given school construction schedule SHAWN HUBER, Attendees of the first annual dinner and Chinese auction sponsored by the Garden State Chapter of the Myasthenia Gravis Foundation [above] looked over the auction prizes at the Barclay in Belmar on Saturday. By Kara Lott Robert Iamello, of Tomaino, Tomaino, Iamello & Associates, and Philip Moss, of P.W. Moss & Associates, presented a tentative construction schedule to the Belmar Board of Education last Thursday night for the school s repairs and renovations project. Mr. Moss, the construction manager for the project, told the board the schedule is only preliminary since it is still so early in the construction process. He added the timetable will probably change, particularly in regards to the geothermal heating and cooling system. By a 2-1 margin, Belmar voters approved the $3,370,187 repairs and renovations referendum in a special election earlier this month. Of the 827 votes cast in the election, 551 voted in support of the referendum while 275 cast their ballots against the project. The referendum includes replacing sections of the school s roof, as well as the repointing of bricks in the exterior masonry of the school. The project also features the replacement of tile flooring in classrooms and hallways, repairing the cracks in the masonry that are causing water leakage in some classrooms, and an all-new geothermal heating and cooling system to replace the school s current boiler system. Mr. Moss explained that he and Mr. Iamello, the architect for the project, are already in the beginning stages of designing the roof as well as the exterior masonry of the school building. He said they hope to go out to bid in May for the roofing. Construction would then start in mid-june. As the schedule stands now, design for the geothermal system would begin in May. The test well, which is part of the geothermal system, would be installed in June. The school s geothermal system will utilize ground source heat pumps that will be drilled under ground into bore holes in the school s baseball field. Mr. Iamello explained the test See SCHEDULE, PAGE 51 Belmar Community Calendar MS Walk Looking For Volunteers The Mid-Jersey Chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society is looking for walkers and volunteers to participate in the annual MS Walk. The MS Walk will be held in nine cities in the mid-jersey area at 9 a.m. on April 6. Cities include Belmar, Edison, Flemington, Freehold, Hamilton, North Brunswick, Sandy Hook, Seaside Park and Somerville. Walkers collect pledges for completing the course. The money goes toward funding research and local client programs for people with MS. Volunteers the day of the walk will help with sign-in, refreshment stands and organization of the event. For more information, call the Mid-Jersey Chapter of the National MS Society at or call FIGHT-MS or go online at
13 Smiling For A Good Cause SHAWN HUBER, Joan Schmidling [above] took a moment to smile for the camera at the first annual dinner and Chinese auction to benefit Myasthenia Gravis [MG] research at the Barclay in Belmar on Saturday night. MG is a rare neuromuscular autoimmune disease that affects a person's ability to use their muscles. BOE budget calls for 1.36-cent tax increase By Kara Lott The Belmar Board of Education voted to adopt its proposed school budget for the school year on Monday night. The board also held a public hearing on the proposed budget, however, only two members of the public both staff members attended the meeting. Of the proposed $8,890,541 budget, Belmar taxpayers will be asked to approve a local tax levy of $5,533,293 when they cast their ballots in the April 15 school election. That figure includes $5,403,750 for operating expenses and $129,543 for debt service. For a home assessed at $325,000, the proposed budget would mean an annual tax increase of just over $44 bringing a homeowner s annual school tax bill to $1,842 if the budget is approved next month. By Kara Lott Many residents in Belmar this week may have received application forms for a voluntary tot and senior fire finder program sponsored by the Belmar Fire Department and Belmar Bureau of Fire Prevention. The program will assist the borough fire department by providing information on residents homes, which would then by relayed to the borough fire department in the event of a fire, according to Borough Fire Administrator John Rizzitello. It s not foolproof, but it will give us more vital information, he stated. Anyone interested in signing up for the program is asked to provide the number of occupants, children, senior citizens and pets in their household, as well as whether or not there is anyone living at the residence with a specific handicap. Mr. Rizzitello explained the application also requests an explanation of where each bedroom is in regards to the layout of the house. The program will enable the fire department to establish a master list containing each home s pertinent information. In the event of an emergency, that information would be passed on to the firefighters through a dispatch computer on their way to the fire, Mr. Rizzitello said. The information will give us a heads up to protect the residents, he stated. Mr. Rizzitello said the program will be reinforced each year during That figure does not include municipal or county taxes. The increase is 1.36 cents per $100 of assessed valuation, which would raise the school tax rate to 56.7 cents per $100 of assessed valuation. Of the proposed $8,890,541 budget, $75,000 would be applied from surplus, leaving $358,174 or 4.6 percent in the surplus account. State aid to the district increased by 1.9 percent from the current school year and would make up 9 percent, or $688,123, of the total general fund. In addition, $1,421,413, or 19 percent, of the proposed budget would come from tuition from South Belmar a sending district to Belmar Elementary. However, 37 percent of the proposed budget expenditures would See TAX, PAGE 29 Fire-finder program initiated in Belmar Fire Prevention Week in October. There is no cost to residents and it is strictly on a voluntary basis. However, Mr. Rizzitello encouraged all residents to participate in the safety program. Our primary effort is to get everybody involved as much as we can, he said. Application forms for the tot and senior fire finder program can also be found online at Belmar THE COAST STAR, THURSDAY, MARCH 27, 2003 PAGE 13 Majority of per pupil funding comes from taxpayers, DOE report confirms By Kara Lott Of the $8,921 Belmar Elementary is spending per student for the school year, 62 percent comes from local property tax while another 18 percent is funded by the state, according to a comparative spending guide released by the State Department of Education [DOE] last week. In addition, 16 percent of the per pupil cost comes from tuition, 3 percent is federally funded, and 1 NJ Dept. of Education 2003 School Comparative Spending Guide percent is from surplus. The 2003 S c h o o l Comparative Spending Guide compares how the district measures up to a total of 63 kindergarten through eighth grade school districts with enrollments between 401 to 750. Of the 63 districts, Belmar ranked in 23rd place for the lowest total comparative cost per pupil, meaning there are 40 other districts spending more to educate each student than Belmar. If we recognize a need, we are going to fulfill that need, School Superintendent Dr. Lester Richens said in response to the findings. The board works to provide the best program within our resources. The district spends slightly more per pupil than it did during the school year when Belmar Elementary spent, on average, $8,411 per student. The total comparative cost per pupil includes classroom instruction, support services, administration, operations and maintenance How About Some Coffee With That Bagel? MICHELE JOHNSON, Michael Ingino [above] displayed a bin of bagels at Belmar Bagels & Coffee during the store s grand opening last Wednesday. The shop is located at 703 Belmar Plaza, and yes, that is a Krispy Kreme doughnut display. of facilities, food services, extracurricular activities, community, and services. With a total comparative cost of $13,745 per pupil this year, Margate City in Atlantic County ranked 63rd the highest spending district on the list. At a budgeted $6,931 cost per pupil, neighboring Neptune City ranked first on the list for total comparative costs, which means the district spends the least amount to educate its students as compared to all similar districts in the state. The report also states: Belmar Elementary spends 61.1 percent of its total cost per pupil or $5,448 on total classroom instruction. That puts the school in 22nd place for the lowest total classroom instruction out of 63 other districts. We re right where we should be, Dr. Richens stated. We re within the average. Total classroom instruction includes the salaries and allocated benefits of teachers, substitutes, and teachers aides, as well as the additional compensation paid to teachers who serve as hall monitors, detention, and lunchroom aides. Items such as calculators, microscopes, textbooks, workbooks, tests, chalk, paper, and other classroom supplies are also included in this section. According to Dr. Richens, the school s new portable computer labs will be included in this portion of the guide in the school budget. Belmar spent $5,147 of its comparative cost per pupil on total classroom instruction for the school year, placing the district in 20th place for the lowest total classroom instruction. For the school year, the district will spend $5,187 of its per pupil costs on classroom salaries and benefits, ranking it 25th lowest in the state. Although the classroom salaries and benefits figure totaled $4,919 in , the school also ranked 25th lowest last year. Classroom salaries include those paid to regular, special education, basic skills, bilingual, and local vocational teachers. The school spends 16.7 percent of the comparative cost per pupil on the total administrative cost at the district. Of the total $8,921 per pupil costs, the school is spending $1,487 in administration costs, ranking it 58th lowest among comparable districts. There are only five other districts, including Margate City in Atlantic County and Englewood Cliffs in Bergen County, that ranked higher than the Belmar district. The $1,487 total is a slight increase from the $1,381 that was spent on administrative costs for the school year, ranking the district in 53rd lowest place. The total administration expenditures include the general administration of the school, as well as school administration, and business and other support services. Belmar Elementary is spending $1,166 or 13.1 percent of the total per pupil costs on salaries and benefits for the administration Belmar Board of Education approves new four-year contract for Richens By Kara Lott The annual salary of Belmar School Superintendent Dr. Lester Richens will increase by 4 percent each year for the next four years under a contract agreement recently approved by the Belmar Board of Education. Dr. Richens current salary for the school year is $129,816. The contract agreement will provide for an annual salary of $151,864 a total increase of $22,048 for the school year, the end of the fouryear contract. The board approved Dr. Richens contract from July 1, 2003 through June 30, 2007 at a workshop meeting earlier this month. I m very pleased, Dr. Richens stated this week. It s very fair. It does show the board has a feeling of confidence in me, he added. Dr. Richens also said he will be 61 by the end of contract, which runs through June 30, He said at that time, he will will have to make a decision to either retire or continue on in the district. His current contract runs from July 1, 1999 through June 30, Dr. Richens salary for the school year was $115,963. In 1999, the school board approved his contract with a 4 percent salary increase for the and school years and a 3.5 percent increase for the school year. Under his new contract, Dr. Richens will be allowed to carry over a total of 40 days of accumulated vacation leave and to be compensated for those days, when he leaves the district or retires, at his current salary. Accumulated vacation leave may be paid out by the school board at the rate in effect at the time of his departure over a two-year period. See PUPIL, PAGE 51 Upon his retirement, the board of education also agreed to pay Dr. Richens at a rate of $200 per day for up to 200 days of accumulated sick leave. The accumulated sick leave would be paid over a two-year period after the date of Dr. Richens retirement for $20,000 in the first year and another $20,000 in the second year. Dr. Richens and his wife will also remain active members of the district s prescription drug plan throughout his retirement. However, this provision will be voided if the state includes prescription benefits in the benefits See CONTRACT, PAGE 51
14 PAGE 14 THE COAST STAR, THURSDAY, MARCH 27, 2003 Avon BOE to hold budget hearing tonight Avon-By-The-Sea By Justin Vellucci The Avon-by-the-Sea Board of Education is slated to hold an open hearing on its proposed budget tonight at the Avon School, beginning at 8 p.m. Earlier this month, the board unanimously approved a budget for the school year that will tentatively increase the accompanying tax rate by 2.1 cents. The total budget will increase $68,811 next year, going from $2,341,109 in to a proposed $2,409,920 in The general fund will increase by $65,077, with the remaining $3,800 coming from state aid, said Superintendent George Petty during a recent board meeting. The school budget will increase the school district tax rate from 69.3 cents per $100 of assessed valuation to a proposed 71.4 cents per $100 of assessed valuation, said Dr. Petty. For a homeowner with a home assessed at $300,000 the borough s average the change in the tax rate will mean an annual increase of $64.50, from $2,088 in to a proposed $2,152 in The district will use $24,053 of surplus in the proposed budget to reduce the impact on local taxpayers. This will leave an anticipated total of $75,000 in the school s surplus as of June 2004, said Dr. Petty. This figure represents approximately 3.1 percent of the district s budget, which Dr. Petty said is an adequate amount that leaves some room for unanticipated expenses. Several improvements and upgrades are also figured into the district s proposed budget for next year. According to Dr. Petty, the budget will pay for the purchase of textbooks for several science, social studies, and language arts classes; the refurbishment of kindergarten, boys and girls bathrooms; the refurbishment of carpeting in the main hallway, library, and one classroom; the upgrade of lighting; and the purchase of new uniforms for the boys soccer team. The budget will also provide for the purchase of seven new computers, two of which are for the school s secretaries and five of which will be placed in classrooms; and the last payment to Dell of $6,194 for existing computers, said Dr. Petty. While the budget could be amended or changed by the county, Dr. Petty said the increases were very, very conservative. Residents will be able to vote on the proposed school budget during the district election on April 15. Avon Police blotter Avon-by-the-Sea Police Lt. Terry Mahon recently reported the following activity in the borough for the period ending March 26: Investigation continues on an attempted burglary and incident of criminal mischief, reported to Ptl. Tim McGrath on Main Street on March 17. Sometime between March 14 and 17, an unknown person or persons attempted to gain access to a business on Main Street, said Lt. Mahon. Screens to a window on the building were found lying on the ground, he added. Investigation continues on an incident of assault and harassment, reported to Ptl. Greg Torchia on South Station Avenue on March 22. Investigation continues on an incident of burglary and theft, reported to Ptl. Mike Pelech on Woodland Avenue on March 23. A Woodland Avenue resident reported someone entering her residence and removing two items, said Lt. Mahon. The residence was unlocked at the time of the theft, which was between 3:30 p.m. on March 22 and 4:30 p.m. on March 23. Investigation continues on an incident of criminal mischief, reported to Ptl. Mike Haar on Sylvania Avenue on March 24. The stairs to a staircase at a residence on Sylvania Avenue were damaged, said Lt. Mahon. MICHELE JOHNSON, The Avon-by-the-Sea Planning Board last week approved site plans for a townhome complex on the corner of Main Street and Poole Avenue. The complex [above, front view] will include four, two-bedroom units. Avon planners approve site plan for townhome units on Main Street By Justin Vellucci The Avon-by-the-Sea Planning Board last week approved the final site plan for a four-unit townhome complex to be constructed at the intersection of Main Street and Poole Avenue. Originally a commercially zoned lot, the applicants Glen and Kathy Neighbor were granted a use variance by the board in the fall. A gas station used to be located on the lot. They were given approval to construct a 30-foot-tall, two-story building that houses four separate, two-bedroom townhome units. Each townhome will feature two bedrooms, a living room, a dining room, an open kitchen, a basement garage with storage space, and a high crawl space, said architect Jeremiah Regan. Each unit will have two outdoor porches one on both the first and second floors of the building facing Poole Avenue. In addition, several cupolas will be built on top of the building, constituting six feet of its total height. The cupolas are purely aesthetic and will provide no additional living or storage space for occupants of the townhomes, said Mr. Regan. Each of the four townhome units will have two parking spaces, one inside of the basement garage, and one directly behind it. In addition to those eight parking spaces, three spaces for parallel parking will be provided at the rear of the units parking lot, said Mr. Regan. The parking lot will have a twoway entrance from Poole Avenue leading to its lots, and a one-way exit onto Main Street. Engineer and planner Michael Connor who spoke on behalf of the townhome application said the units will conform with existing setbacks on both Main Street and Poole Avenue. According to Mr. Connor, the average setback on Poole Avenue is 11.8 feet, and the townhome units would have a setback of 12 feet. The average setback on Poole Avenue is 3.8 feet, and the townhome units would have a setback of four feet, said Mr. Connor. Mr. Connor said that he and the applicant had met with neighbors of the townhome property, and have promised that new construction will not create any additional drainage problems on Poole Avenue. We will work to reduce the amount of drainage onto Poole, said Mr. Connor. Attorney C. Keith Henderson who was representing the Neighbors on the townhome application said that the townhome units as constructed would not create any more runoff onto Poole Avenue than presently exists at the site. Following discussion, the board decided to make this a condition of the site plan approval, pending a review by Borough Engineer Charles Rooney. As part of the new construction, space for individual garbage cans and recycling bins will be provided outside of the garage area of each apartment. An initial proposal to install a small dumpster near the rear of the property was met with concern from board members, who asked questions about the potential for noise, and adequate access on the lot for garbage trucks. Following discussion of drainage, the board asked the applicant about the distance between the outdoor porches and the property s neighbor to the east, on Poole Avenue. According to Mr. Regan, it is 45 feet, six inches between the end of the outdoor porches and the property line to the east, on Poole Avenue. Additionally, it is 56 feet between the townhome and the house to its direct east. Poole Avenue resident John Bianco who lives directly to the east of the townhome property said at the meeting he was very encouraged by the final site plan. Mr. Bianco also noted that he had no objection to the construction of a fence around the townhome property, and liked how the applicant was planning to use light shields to reduce significant light spillage onto Poole Avenue. Following discussion, the board unanimously approved the final site plan for the townhome units, with several amendments. According to the amendments, Mr. Rooney will review and monitor a drainage and runoff plan on the property; tenants in the complex will be specifically advised that they cannot grill on the outdoor porches, for fear of a potential fire hazard; tenants will be specifically advised of the flood elevation in the area; and cedar imprinted siding and copper accents will be used on the townhome. In other news from Thursday s meeting of the Avon-by-the-Sea Planning Board: The board voted to approve the demolition of a bungalow and the construction of an addition to the principal residence at See TOWNHOME, PAGE 40 Commissioners approve budget with minimal tax increase of 2.9 cents By Justin Vellucci Following a budget hearing on Monday, the Avon-by-the-Sea Board of Commissioners adopted its 2003 municipal budget, which will increase the accompanying tax rate 2.9 cents, from 76 cents to 78.9 cents per $100 of assessed property value. The budget represents an approximately $400,000 increase, bringing the borough s total budget from $3,184,222 in 2002 to $3,589,693 in However, two grants a grant from the Department of Transportation [DOT] and a Community Development Block Grant [CDBG] comprise $325,000 of that spending increase, said Chief Financial Officer John Antonides. Mr. Antonides said the level of grant support creates a tax increase that is minimal. A total of $2,384,000 or roughly 66 percent of the 2003 budget will be raised through local taxation. For an Avon-by-the-Sea resident with a home assessed at $300,000, which has been deemed as the borough s average, the municipal tax liability in 2003 will be $2,367, an $87 increase from last year, reported Borough Clerk Timothy Gallagher. That figure does not include school or county taxes. A total of $252,600 will also be taken from surplus and applied to the 2003 municipal budget, said Mr. Gallagher. Speaking before a packed audience, Commissioner William Dioguardi said the 2003 budget kept the tax rate increase low while incorporating a number of increased costs, including an 18 percent hike in employee benefits and hospitalization plans, and a 4 percent increase in contractual salaries. Those are two big items that probably make up the bulk of that [increase], said Commissioner Dioguardi. Commissioner Dioguardi also stressed that, despite this year s municipal tax rate increase, the portion of each tax dollar going to the borough as compared with tax dollars allotted to the school district and Monmouth County continues to drop. According to Commissioner Dioguardi, in 2002 the borough collected for municipal purposes approximately 37 percent or 37 cents of each tax dollar spent by an Avon-by-the-Sea resident in 2002, compared to 34 percent being collected by the county and 29 percent being collected by the school district. In 1998, Commissioner Dioguardi said the borough spent approximately 44 percent or 44 cents of each tax dollar on municipal purposes, compared to 33 percent for the county and 23 percent for the school district. Jefferson Avenue resident Robert Mahon who is seeking election to the board of commissioners in May stressed, however, that the school s tax rate has stabilized in recent years, and still comprises less than 50 percent of each resident s tax dollars. During the public hearing on the budget, Norwood Avenue resident Glen DeBlock raised concerns about what he claimed were 10 percent increases this year in salaries, wages, and ongoing expenses for municipal purposes. Following extensive discussion, See MINIMAL, PAGE 51
15 THE COAST STAR, THURSDAY, MARCH 27, 2003 PAGE 15 Avon-By-The-Sea Student enrollment increase improves per pupil cost ranking in Avon NJ Dept. of Education 2003 School Comparative Spending Guide By Justin Vellucci Though per pupil costs in the Avon-by-the-Sea School District remain above the state average, a growing student enrollment and cost-saving measures taken last year improved the district s ranking among New Jersey districts of comparable size. According to a report released last week by the Department of Education [DOE], the comparative per pupil cost in Avon-by-the-Sea dropped from $13,332 per student in to $11,768 in The drop in cost improved Avonby-the-Sea s ranking among K-8 districts with up to 400 students, moving it from 61st lowest to 49th lowest. The ranking was out of 67 districts of comparable size. In , the district spent $12,658 in comparative per pupil costs, ranking it 63rd lowest among districts of comparable size. The comparative per pupil figure includes classroom instruction, support services, operation and maintenance of facilities, food services, extra-curricular activities, community and services. The amount and percentage of money the district allotted to the classroom instruction portion of per pupil costs also dropped in According to the report, Avonby-the-Sea spent $7,612 of its comparative per pupil costs on classroom instruction, ranking it 56th lowest among districts of comparable size. In , the classroom instruction figure was $8,643 of its comparative per pupil cost, which ranked Avon-by-the-Sea 64th lowest among districts of comparable size. The district was also ranked 64th lowest in Superintendent George Petty said that an increase in student enrollment was largely responsible for the drop in comparative per pupil costs. But cost-saving measures also play a big hand in the district s financial planning. We know that we are a public entity. We re keenly aware of that. Cost is always something on our mind, said Dr. Petty. We re never done looking for cost savings, he added. We re always looking to save all the money we can. Dr. Petty said the district has saved money recently by entering consortium agreements that provide discounts through collective bargaining for the cost of fuel and utilities. Dr. Petty also stressed that, while Avon School was ranked among its peers in the recent DOE report, a range of one to 400 students is still a substantial margin. To compare one student to 400 is too large a range The school with 400 kids is twice as big as a school with 200 kids. The impact on the budget is going to be doubled, said Dr. Petty. Avon School currently instructs less than 200 students. If we were to limit comparison to these kinds of districts [that are more closely comparable to Avonby-the-Sea] I m sure our ranking would look more attractive, he added. When asked whether Avon-bythe-Sea s school district was comparable to Bay Head s district, Dr. Petty stated that it was. In , Bay Head spent $14,428 in comparative per pupil costs, ranking it 62nd lowest among K-8 districts in New Jersey with up to 400 students. In , Bay Head spent $12,344 in comparative per pupil costs, ranking it 57th lowest among districts of comparable size. Of this year s per-pupil figure of $11,768, 10 percent of revenue sources came from the state of New Jersey, with 88 percent coming from local taxes, and 1 percent coming federal funding. No funding was provided through tuition. A total of 1 percent of the $11,768 figure came from the use of fund balances. In , the percentage of classroom per-pupil costs that the district is spending on classroom salaries and benefits decreased slightly. This year, the district is spending $7,077 of its per pupil costs on classroom salaries and benefits, ranking it 56th lowest among comparable districts. This is a decrease from the figure of $8,075, which ranked the district 65th lowest among its peers. The current $7,077 figure represents 93 percent of the classroom per-pupil costs and 60.1 percent of the total per-pupil costs. The classroom salaries and benefits figure includes the amount of money paid to district personnel for the provision of the district s regular, special education, basic skills, bilingual, local vocational, and other instructional programs. In , the district is spending $2,115 of the total $11,768 per pupil cost on total administrative costs, which ranks 50th lowest among districts of comparable size in the state. Of that $2,115 figure, $1,742 is utilized for administrative salaries and benefits, which ranks 56th lowest among comparable districts. Last year, the district spent $2,501 or 18.8 percent of the total $13,332 per pupil cost on total administrative costs, which ranked Incumbents to face three challengers in upcoming commissioner election By Justin Vellucci It s official: this May, Avon-bythe-Sea residents will cast their votes in the first contested race the borough has seen in nearly 10 years. Borough Clerk Timothy Gallagher this week confirmed that six individuals will be seeking three open seats on the Avon-by-the-Sea Board of Commissioners. The individuals will be running in groups of three, as two separate tickets, said Mr. Gallagher. Mayor Jerry Hauselt, Commissioner Joseph Hagerman, and Commissioner William Dioguardi will all be seeking reelection on the Avon Hometown Pride ticket. Residents Dan Gibney, Robert Mahon, and Jim Kropke will be seeking election on the New Faces/Fresh Ideas ticket. According to Mayor Hauselt, this year s commissioners race will present the first contested election since a Charter Study election that took place in Avon-by-the-Sea eight years ago. During the Charter Study election, residents were given the option to vote on a potential change in their form of municipal government, which is a board of commissioners that holds its general election in the spring, said Mayor Hauselt. At that time, residents voted to continue having a board of commissioners as the borough s governing body, said the mayor. The Candidates Mayor Jerry Hauselt will be seeking his sixth, four-year term on the board of commissioners. In addition to serving on the board for 20 years, Mayor Hauselt has been chosen by the board to serve as mayor and commissioner of police and public safety for the last 12 years. In an interview last week, Mayor Hauselt said he will be seeking a sixth term to continue a record of service in Avon that dates back nearly 50 years. In his bid for re-election, the mayor cited his work in rebuilding Avon s beachfront and boardwalk following the nor easter of 1992; the purchase and demolition of the Buckingham Hotel in the mid- 1990s; and technological growth and advancements within the Avonby-the-Sea Police Department. Earlier this week, he said that while he is approaching this year s election differently than in years past, his goals remain the same: serving and gaining the support of the people of Avon-by-the- Sea. We ve tried our best in the past to bring out the vote. We still are bringing out our issues to the people of Avon, said Mayor Hauselt. I ve always worked hard to have people elect us, with or without opposition, he added. Commissioner Joseph Hagerman will be seeking his second, four-year term on the board of commissioners. Commissioner Hagerman was appointed to fill an unexpired term See ELECTION, PAGE 39 62nd lowest among comparable districts. Of that $2,501 figure, $2,019 was utilized for administrative salaries and benefits, which ranked 63rd lowest among comparable districts. Total administrative costs include expenditures related to four areas of the annual school district budget statement: general administration, school administration, and business and other support services, both business and central. In , Avon-by-the-Sea spent $131 or 1.1 percent of its comparative per pupil cost on food services, which ranked it 39th lowest among comparable districts with food service costs. In , Avon-by-the-Sea spent $2 of its comparative per pupil cost on food services, which ranked it lowest among comparable districts. According to the DOE report, the ratio of students to teachers increased slightly between the and academic years. This year, there are 8.8 Avon students for every teacher, which ranks 56th highest among comparable districts in the state. Last year, the figure was 8.6 students for every teacher, which ranked 60th highest among comparable districts in the state. In , the median faculty salary increased, rising to $56,348, the 62nd lowest among comparable districts. Dr. Petty said the increase is due to the extensive length of service that many faculty in the district have. In , the median faculty MICHELE JOHNSON, Demolition work was recently completed at Avon Pavilion [above], where contractors will be working during the next several weeks on the frame of the new building addition. Framing work set to begin at Avon Pavilion By Justin Vellucci With demolition recently completed, framing work is set to take place over the next several weeks at Avon Pavilion, Commissioner William Dioguardi said during Monday s meeting of the board of commissioners. According to Commissioner Dioguardi, some of the plumbing has already been installed in the planned addition at the pavilion, which includes renovated restrooms and commercial space. Borough officials continue to meet with subcontractors on the project, and are confident the borough will soon have fully operating new bathrooms at the pavilion, said the commissioner. The project is slated to be completed by Memorial Day weekend. Avon-by-the-Sea is also currently negotiating the sale of two pre-constructed restroom units to a neighboring borough, said Commissioner Dioguardi. The borough anticipates it will be able to sell the two units which it purchased for temporary use at the Lincoln and Ocean avenue restrooms at a cost of $144,000 for $105,000, said Commissioner Dioguardi. The construction of a new addition at Avon Pavilion includes See PUPIL, PAGE 50 demolition, framing, sheeting and installation of doors, windows and trim at the pavilion, as well as plumbing, electrical and tiling work.
16 PAGE 16 THE COAST STAR, THURSDAY, MARCH 27, 2003 Oh, Say Can You See... Sea Girt SHAWN HUBER, Michael [above, from left] and Andy Koreyva of the Sea Girt Cub Scouts sang the national anthem acappela prior to the Cub Scout Pinewood Derby race, held at Sea Girt Elementary School on Tuesday. Sea Girt s per pupil costs among highest of similar N.J. districts By Jerry Kimbrough Sea Girt Elementary School s total per pupil costs are among the highest of 67 districts of a similar size and type, according to a state Department of Education report released last week. The New Jersey Department of Education 2003 Comparative Spending Guide uses the term total per pupil costs to include expenditures NJ Dept. of Education 2003 School Comparative Spending Guide related to classroom instruction, support services, social w o r k, media/school library services, school maintenance, food services, and extracurricular activities. Ranked 55 out of 67 K-8 schools throughout New Jersey, all of which serve up to 400 students, the school is budgeted to spend a total of $12,674 in per pupil costs this year. This means a total of 54 schools of the same size are spending less than Sea Girt in per pupil expenditures. Sea Girt Superintendent John Gibbs said certain costs associated with running a small school tend to change per pupil costs for a district, often dramatically. By way of comparison, Mr. Gibbs noted the total cost per pupil would decrease if the school were to have a higher enrollment. The school would be able to take more students without hiring more teachers the largest expense in any budget due to small class size, therefore the cost per student would decline if the enrollment went up. Sea Girt s per pupil costs are about $3,000 higher than the state average of $9,412. Per pupil costs in 2002 totaled $11,917, while costs totaled $10,486. These figures do not reflect the proposed school budget. The guide also reported the following information: Sea Girt is spending a total of $7,235 for classroom instruction costs, the report states. According to the report, 53 schools are spending less than Sea Girt on classroom instruction. Total classroom instruction costs include anything associated with direct classroom instruction, such as teacher salaries and benefits, classroom supplies such as textbooks or workbooks, and fees associated with professional services provided to the school, such as speech or physical therapy. According to the report, Sea Girt budgeted $6,927 per pupil for classroom salaries and benefits for The report states 54 schools spend less than Sea Girt per pupil for classroom salaries and benefits during the same school year. This figure includes salaries and benefits for teachers, substitutes, and teachers aides other than secretarial and clerical. It also includes additional compensation paid to teachers who serve as detention or hall monitors and classroom aides. This figure also includes fees associated with professional services provided to the school, such as speech or physical therapy. Total administrative costs per pupil a figure including costs associated with general administration, school administration, and support services totaled $2,156 per pupil for , ranking Sea Girt number 51 out of 67 similar districts. This means 50 of the school districts detailed in the report spend less on administrative costs than Sea Girt this year. In , Sea Girt spent $1,997 per pupil for administrative services, also ranking the school at 51st place. In Sea Girt, the median salary for teachers in is $40,194, ranking the district in 19th place for lowest median salary. This means 18 schools of a similar size and nature have a lower median salary than Sea Girt. The median salary for teachers in , however totaled $56,625, which ranked Sea Girt at 63rd place; this means only four schools had a higher median salary than Sea Girt in Superintendent Gibbs said the difference in salaries was a result of four teachers, all of whom were at the top of the school s salary guide, departing the school and being replaced with four new teachers. These four new teachers, said Superintendent Gibbs, started at the bottom of the pay scale, resulting in a lower median salary. Sea Girt has 11.3 students for every teacher, ranking the district at 25th throughout the state, meaning 24 other schools have a higher student-to-teacher ratio than Sea Girt. In , Sea Girt had 10.6 students per teacher, ranking the district at 41st out of the 67 districts. For , Sea Girt s median administrative salary totaled $91,300, ranking the district at 62nd in the state. This means 61 schools detailed in the guide have a lower median administrative salary than Sea Girt. This figure is the same as the median for , though the district was ranked 60th in that year. PB member suggestion eliminates variance need By Jerry Kimbrough Although resident Jeffrey DiPaolo approached the Sea Girt Planning Board last Wednesday to request permission to exceed the borough s maximum garage square footage requirements, a suggestion from board member J.P. Connellan eliminated the need for the variance entirely. Mr. DiPaolo approached the board to request variance relief to construct a new garage on his property, proposed at 600 square feet. The new garage would exceed the borough s maximum garage size of 500 square feet. In addition, the inclusion of the new garage would result in an overall lot coverage of 20.5 percent, where the borough s maximum lot coverage is 20 percent. Mr. DiPaolo explained he required an additional 100 square feet of garage space to adequately store the family s two cars, tools, and other items. He said his existing garage would be converted into additional living space. He said the living space would include a study/playroom and an additional bedroom. Mr. DiPaolo said the new living space would be connected to the new garage with a breezeway, which would also house the washer and dryer. Kevin Callahan, Mr. DiPaolo s attorney, said because Mr. DiPaolo s home is situated on the corner of Washington Boulevard and 4th Avenue, there was no backyard, meaning there was nowhere to place a detached accessory structure to house these items. Mr. Callahan said Mr. DiPaolo s home was situated on the northwestern corner of the lot, which he said resulted in a property with a design leaving nothing but front yard. They would need to have the shed somewhere in the front yard, said Mr. Callahan. Rather than asking for that, they are asking for an extra 100 [square feet] be added to the [garage], he said. Mr. Connellan said by constructing a wall in the proposed garage and dividing the 600- square-foot building into a 500- square-foot garage with a 100- square-foot attached shed each with separate entrances Mr. DiPaolo could eliminate the need for a variance altogether. Mr. Connellan said borough zoning regulations state if a new garage has an attached shed, the two buildings must be divided by a wall and have separate entrances. I m not comfortable about going over [the maximum square footage], and I m trying to give you a way out, Mr. Connellan said. He said with this alternative, Mr. DiPaolo could add an extra 20 square feet of storage to the shed, as the borough s maximum square-footage allotment for accessory structures is 120 square feet. I had thought about that for a previous application, [but] I didn t think about it here, said Mr. Callahan. Richard Grasso, Mr. DiPaolo s architect, agreed it was an acceptable alternative to requesting a variance. It would keep everyone happy, he said. I see how this can work. The board unanimously voted to approve the lot coverage variance with the condition Mr. DiPaolo construct a wall dividing the shed and the new garage. Proposed BOE budget calls for 2.2-cent tax increase By Jerry Kimbrough The Sea Girt Board of Education is proposing a 2.2-cent school tax rate increase per $100 of assessed valuation for the school year. According to Sea Girt Business Administrator Eileen F. Ertle, the proposed school budget totals approximately $3,493,298. This marks an increase of $100,494 from last year s budget, which totalled $3,392,804. Ms. Ertle said approximately $3,084,442, or about 88 percent of the total school budget, will be raised through local taxation. She said most of the budget will be raised through taxation due to the minimal amount of state aid the district receives. Ms. Ertle said the affluence of a community such as Sea Girt, which has high real estate values, is an important component in how much funding a district receives from the state. Abbott districts and other less affluent communities, for instance, would receive more funding from the state than a community such as Sea Girt. According to Ms. Ertle, a total of $20,000 is being applied from the school s surplus account. She said the school is anticipating a $45,000 balance in surplus by the end of the school year. The 2.2-cent tax rate increase sets the tax rate for school purposes at 55.7 cents per $100 of assessed valuation, as opposed to the rate, which was 53.5 cents per $100 of assessed valuation. This means a resident who owns a house assessed at $300,000 would pay approximately $1,671 per year in taxes for school purposes. Last year, a resident owning property of the same value would have paid $1,605 per year in taxes. Molyneaux, Schatzman to attend career seminar The Sea Girt Woman s Club has selected Chelsea Molyneaux and Megan Schatzman to attend the Girl s Career Institute, a three-day seminar held annually in June at Douglass College, New Brunswick. Both girls live in Sea Girt and are currently in their junior year at Manasquan High School. They are both members of the key club, their school s community service club. Chelsea is a volunteer worker for the Special CHELSEA MOLYNEAUX Olympics, an assistant CCD teacher at St. Mark s Church, and works for Sea Girt s recreation program. Megan assists in local coaching and school tutoring. She belongs to the National Honor Society, student council, and the Gold Key Club. She is also a peer leader at school. Megan plays lacrosse and field hockey. The girls were chosen to represent Sea Girt at the conference because MEGAN SCHATZMAN they display outstanding citizenship in both their school and their community
17 Sea Girt Community Calendar Basketball League Summer basketball sign-ups will take place at Sea Girt Elementary School on Thursday, April 3 and Tuesday, April 8, from 7 to 9 p.m. Signups are open for all interested parties from grades three through high school. Scholarships The Sea Girt Woman s Club is offering two $1,000 scholarships to senior girls or boys presently living in Sea Girt. Candidates must have at least one year of residency and must be planning to continue their education after high school. Scholastic achievement, school and community involvement, and financial need are the criteria used in awarding these scholarships. Any senior who has not yet received a letter with directions for applying should call Arlene Burns at or Suzanne Lefebvre at The deadline for applications is April 1. Holly Club The Holly Club of Sea Girt will hold its meeting on Thursday, April 3 at noon. The meeting will take place at the Sea Girt Lighthouse. There will be an executive board meeting at 10:30 a.m. prior to the regular meeting. All board members are urged to attend. Annual dues for club members in the amount of $25 are required at the meeting. Hostess Betty Hyde and her committee will hold a luncheon at the meeting. Members should contact Ms. Hyde if they are not planning on attending. Anna Godwin, a designer of miniature arrangements, will speak at the meeting and show attendees how to create miniature arrangements. In addition, she may have some available for purchasing. On Thursday, April 17, the club members will visit the Geraldine Thompson Medical Home to help make holiday arrangements with the residents for their dining room area. Parish Luncheon In honor of the 50th anniversary of the founding of St. Mark s Parish in 1953, church officials are inviting everyone to join them for a luncheon at The Barclay in Belmar. The luncheon will take place on Sunday, April 6, at 1:30. This luncheon is one of several parish affairs which will take place during the year-long celebration of the parish s 50th anniversary. The speaker for this occasion will be Congressman Christopher Smith. There will be entertainment and a cash bar. To purchase tickets or to make reservations, contact Norb VanBergen at Tables for 10 people are available. Adult tickets are $20 and youth tickets are $15. Attendance is limited to 300. Sea Girt THE COAST STAR, THURSDAY, MARCH 27, 2003 PAGE 17 Planners OK shed instead of garage on Chicago Blvd. lot By Jerry Kimbrough The Sea Girt Planning Board, in what members referred to as an unusual application, voted 5-4 in favor of allowing resident Joseph Martini to construct a 100- square-foot shed in lieu of a 275- square-foot garage on an undersized Chicago Boulevard lot. Though Sea Girt zoning regulations require all new homes constructed in the borough to include a garage, preferably detached, a majority of the board members agreed the smaller lot size of Mr. Martini s property would result in an overcrowded lot if a garage were constructed. In August 2002, the planning board voted to approve a variance to allow 27.4 percent lot coverage, where the borough allows 20 percent, for Mr. Martini to construct a single-family residence on his 50- by-80-foot lot. An average Sea Girt lot measures 50 by 150 feet. Citing overcrowding concerns, Mr. Martini had proposed at the August meeting a smaller backyard shed be constructed rather than a garage. Most of the board members opted to follow borough ordinances and voted to have Mr. Martini construct a garage. However, Mr. Martini s immediate backyard neighbor, Dale Anderson, had been on vacation during August testimony and, upon his return in September, cited concerns about the proposed garage s proximity to his residence. Kevin Callahan, Mr. Martini s attorney, said Mr. Martini was fully prepared to construct a garage on his lot as per the board s August decision; however, he stressed a shed would result in less overcrowding. We came upon the idea of coming to [the board]... letting MICHELE JOHNSON, The Sea Girt Planning Board, by a vote of 5-4, approved a proposal to allow a Chicago Boulevard [above] property owner to construct a 100-square-foot shed instead of a 275- square-foot garage on the undersized lot. you see the space requirements with the actual house there, and asking board members if they still feel a garage is the right answer, Mr. Callahan said. We re trying to avoid it because it s just not what we think is appropriate for this property, he added. Mr. Martini testified the lack of a garage would still allow for offstreet parking, stating the home s driveway could hold four cars. Architect Christopher Rice cited an excessive lack of depth as a reason not to have the garage constructed. He said the proposed garage was 275 square feet, which would be the same size as a garage constructed on a lot two times this size. Mr. Rice also noted most towns have a requirement stating accessory structures must be a certain distance typically 20 to 25 feet, he said from the main structure. If we do a garage, it will be 3 feet away [from Mr. Martini s home], Mr. Rice said. He said if a shed were constructed instead, it would be approximately 14 feet away from Mr. Martini s house. We re trying to balance the town s intent versus the size of the existing undersized lot, he said. Mr. Rice said a shed, if constructed, would have a similar frontal appearance to a garage. It would almost look like a garage back there [from the street], but it s half the size, Mr. Rice said. Mr. Rice said though Mr. Anderson would probably rather not have an accessory structure on the lot at all, the shed would be a happy compromise. Mr. Anderson, when asked to comment, said he would prefer nothing there as opposed to either a shed or a garage. If I m looking out my bedroom, I don t want to see a sea of roof, Mr. Anderson said. He did say, however, he would prefer a shed over a garage. Board member Leonard Faupel said he had thought at the August meeting the inclusion of a garage was excessive, adding he still See SHED, PAGE 29 Sea Girt Council late story
18 PAGE 18 THE COAST STAR, THURSDAY, MARCH 27, 2003 Brielle Torrone pleased with district s rankings in DOE s comparative spending guide By Kara Lott In a comparative spending guide released by the New Jersey Department of Education [DOE] last week, Brielle Elementary ranked better than average for total per pupil costs for the school year. The school spends $8,379 per pupil for the current school year. Out of 63 comparable kindergarten through eighth-grade districts in the state with enrollment between 401 to 750 students, Brielle Elementary ranked 15th lowest for total comparative cost per pupil in New Jersey. That means 48 other comparable districts are spending more in total per pupil costs. School Superintendent Joseph Torrone credits the school s fiscal responsibility on a combined effort between the school administration and board of education. The administration, working with the school board, is coming up with appropriate budgets, he stated. However, Superintendent Torrone noted the cost-effective budgets are not affecting the quality of education the district is providing to its students. For the school year, Brielle Elementary spent slightly less in its total comparative cost per pupil $7,533 ranking the school eighth, meaning seven other school districts spent less per pupil. The total comparative cost per pupil includes classroom instruction, support services, administration, operations and maintenance of facilities, food services, extracurricular activities, community, and services. With a total comparative cost of $13,745 per pupil for the school year, Margate City in Atlantic County ranked 63rd the highest spending district on the list. At a budgeted $6,931 cost per pupil, Neptune City ranked first on the list for total comparative costs, which means the district spends the least amount per pupil. Of the $8,379 total comparative cost per pupil, 5 percent of Brielle Elementary s funding came from the state for the school year and 91 percent is funded by local taxes. An additional 1 percent is federally funded, 2 percent is from surplus, and 1 percent is from other funding, according to the DOE report. The comparative spending guide also reports the following: Brielle Elementary is spending $5,445 of its total comparative cost per pupil, or 65 percent, on total classroom instruction for the school year. That puts the school in 21st place for the lowest total classroom instruction out of 63 districts. Total classroom instruction includes the salaries and allocated benefits of teachers, substitutes, and teachers aides, as well as the additional compensation paid to teachers who serve as hall monitors, detention, and lunchroom aides. Items such as calculators, microscopes, textbooks, workbooks, tests, chalk, paper, and other classroom supplies are also included in this section. Superintendent Torrone expressed his satisfaction with the district s low ranking for this component of the report. We re getting a quality program without the limited resources, he stated. We put the money where the children are, Superintendent Torrone added. It s something I m very pleased with. Brielle spent slightly less on total classroom instruction for the school year. Of the $7,533 total comparative cost per pupil, the district spent 64.7 percent, or $4,874, on total classroom instruction, ranking the school 12th, meaning 11 other districts spent less in this category. Of the $8,379 the school spends in total comparative cost per pupil, Brielle Elementary is spending $5,166 on classroom salaries and benefits. Out of 63 comparable districts, the district ranked 23rd in the state for the school year for the lowest classroom salaries and benefits. That is an increase from the school year, when the school spent $4,586 for classroom salaries and benefits, ranking the school 12th in the state. Classroom salaries include those paid to regular, special education, basic skills, bilingual, and local vocational teachers. The school is spending 12.1 percent of its total comparative cost per pupil $1,012 in the total administrative cost for the school year. It is ranked 11th in the state among 63 comparable districts. The district spent even less in the school year when it budgeted $968 of its total comparative cost per pupil in total administrative cost. Brielle Elementary was ranked 6th lowest in the state for the school year. Expenditures in the total administrative cost include the general administration of the school, as well as school administration, and business and other support services. Brielle also ranked about average for salaries and benefits for administration for the school year. Of the $8,379 the school spends in total comparative cost per pupil, $933 is being spent on salaries and benefits for administration. The school is ranked at 28th lowest place in the state. That means 35 other comparable districts are spending more on salaries and benefits for administration than Brielle Elementary. For the school year, the district spent $872 of its total comparative cost per pupil on salaries and benefits for administration and was ranked 29th in the state, meaning 28 other comparable district spent less on administrative salaries and benefits than Brielle. There are currently 634 students enrolled at the school and three administrators, including the school principal and superintendent, the special education coordinator and vice principal, and business administrator. However, when the comparative guide was recorded, there were 630 students enrolled in the district for the school year. The median administrator's salary at the school for the school year is $78,000, putting Brielle Elementary in 21st place on a scale of low to high paying districts. The school was ranked even lower for the school year eighth place out of 63 comparable districts when the median administrator s salary at Brielle Elementary was $70,000. Brielle Elementary ranked second lowest in the state for the median teacher salary, which is $38,265 for the school year. Superintendent Torrone explained this is because the district hired 11 new teachers last year for all grades and special areas in part, after the school added a new wing to the building. The majority of those teachers were hired at a lower step on the salary guide, he said. It s improved our ranking dramatically, he stated. According to the superintendent, the district also had a large senior staff of teachers with advanced degrees and salaries at the higher step in the guide approximately seven years ago. Several of those teachers have since retired, he said. The only other comparable district with a lower median teacher salary than Brielle is Woodlynne in Camden County. The median teacher salary there is $36,611. For the school year, the median teacher salary at Brielle Elementary was $43,280, ranking the school at 18th place out of 63 comparable districts. There are currently 12.6 students for every one teacher at Brielle Elementary, which puts the school in 28th lowest place. The Music Man MICHELE JOHNSON, Two and one-half year old Forrest Smyth [above] enjoyed making music with spoons during a Music in Motion program with Bonnie Leigh at the Brielle Public Library last Tuesday afternoon. Board presents proposed school budget to public By Kara Lott The Brielle Board of Education presented its proposed $9,002, school budget at a public hearing on Monday night. Brielle voters will be asked to fund $7,690,287 of the proposed budget when they head to the polls on April 15. The tax increase on a borough home assessed at $300,000 would be $310 per year, bringing the school tax for that home to $4,221. This figure does not include municipal or county taxes. The local tax levy would increase by cents including general fund and debt service from $ per $100 of assessed valuation in to $1.407 in School Superintendent Joseph Torrone began the presentation by referencing last year s proposed budget of $8,611,617, which included a 22.5-cent increase. The budget was rejected by borough voters and was subsequently turned over to the Brielle Council, which, in turn, reduced the budget by nearly $250,000. Since the school opened a new wing last year, Superintendent Torrone told the approximately 20 community members that attended the hearing that there were a number of associated costs with the expansion. However, this year voters are faced with a much reduced budget, he said. Superintendent Torrone added the goal of the school board was to have a minimal increase in the school budget without compromising the needs of the students. He then noted the increasing enrollment in the district, which is currently at 634 students. The superintendent said enrollment at Brielle Elementary went up over 60 students last year alone. The slide-show presentation was then handed over to board member David Eareckson, who also chairs the finance committee. Mr. Eareckson explained there is no money being applied from surplus to what he called a bare bones budget for next year. He said the school will only see 5 percent of its budget from the state and a decrease of more than $16,000 in federal grants. The district is getting back $83,302 from both Manasquan and Spring Lake Heights in overpaid tuition costs. However, Mr. Eareckson Brielle Police blotter Brielle Police Chief Michael Palmer reports the following activity in the borough: On March 20, Officer Michael Mechler arrested Gina Jones, 35, of Toms River, after a computer check produced an outstanding warrant. She was transported to the Monmouth County Correctional Institution [MCCI] in default of bail. On March 17, Special Officer Ron Sofield took a report of criminal mischief from a Higgins Avenue resident who reported that an unknown actor or actors caused damage to the victim s property. The matter is currently under investigation. On March 17, Special Officer Sofield took a report of terroristic threats from a Riverview Drive resident who reported that an unknown actor made several threatening phone calls to the victim. No complaints have been signed and the matter is currently under investigation. On March 15, Officer Todd Gerlach arrested Stephen Magrath, 50, of Bloomfield, for driving while intoxicated [DWI]. He was released on his own recognizance pending court action. On March 14, Special Officer Chris Englehardt arrested a juvenile, 17, of Manasquan, for possession of a controlled dangerous substance [CDS], which was under 50 grams of marijuana. He was also charged with possession of CDS paraphernalia. He was turned over to a parent. On March 12, Officer Gerlach arrested Justin Colecchio, 21, of See SCHOOL, PAGE 50 Eatontown, for DWI. He was released on his own recognizance pending court action. On March 11, Officer David Buckle took a harassment report from a Leslie Avenue resident who reported receiving several phone calls. The matter is currently under investigation. On March 11, Officer John Liebfried arrested Janine Gould, 20, of Keyport, after a computer check produced an outstanding warrant. She was released after posting bail. On March 9, Officer Gary Olsen arrested Shannon Stanbro, 26, of Three Bridges, for DWI. She was released on her own recognizance pending court action. On March 9, Special Officer Englehardt arrested Joshua Prestia, 25, of Manasquan, after a computer check produced an outstanding warrant. He was turned over to the Ocean County sheriff s office. On March 8, Officer Gerlach arrested Isaid Cabrera-Lopez, 22, of Brick, after a computer check produced an outstanding warrant. He was turned over to Dover Township Police in default of bail. On March 8, Officer Mechler investigated a report of an overdue motorist. During the investigation, the overdue motorist was located. On March 8, Officer Boyd arrested David Boncic, 21, of Freehold, for DWI. He was released on his own recognizance pending court action. On March 8, Officer Olsen arrested Robert Konsavich, 39, of Point Pleasant, for DWI. He was See BRIELLE, PAGE 29
19 THE COAST STAR, THURSDAY, MARCH 27, 2003 PAGE 19 Brielle Community Calendar Art Show & Auction The Brielle Education Foundation is sponsoring a benefit art show and auction on Thursday, March 27 at the Manasquan River Golf Club in Brielle. Featuring original oils, watercolors, enamels, etchings, lithographs and other graphics, the auction will begin at 7:30 p.m. following a preview that is scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. Many of the bids are guaranteed between $50 and $100 and professional auctioneers from Avatar Galleries will conduct the auction. In addition, a collector s corner will feature investment works. Prices are guaranteed to be below Avatar s gallery prices. Tickets are $45 per person and includes an open bar with wine, beer and hors d oeuvres. The evening will include live entertainment, luxury door prizes and a 50/50. All proceeds benefit the Brielle Education Foundation, which has awarded nearly $100,000 in grants to support special projects at Brielle Elementary since 2000, including $30,000 that has been earmarked for 2003 projects. The foundation s focus for the year ahead is on funding the school s courtyard project, which will include the creation of an outdoor learning environment offering experiences in the physical and natural sciences. For tickets or more information, call Joseph McGuire at or Patti Martz at Antique Road Show The Union Landing Historical Society will hold its fourth annual antiques, collectibles, and treasures Road Show on Saturday, March 29 from 2 to 4 p.m. at the Curtis House in Brielle. Throughout the years, many people have acquired antiques or collectibles which they have held onto, treasured, and enjoyed for years. Their articles may be a piece of furniture, a lamp, jewelry, a grandfather clock, pictures, linens, firearms, or a special dish. Some people may want to know the value of their piece for the purpose of selling it, while others for insurance purposes or just to keep it for their own enjoyment. For an appraisal fee of $5, which will benefit the Union Landing Historical Society, any item can be brought to the road show and appraised. The following appraisers are donating their time to the event: John Weaver, Wall Township, antiques consultant; Andrew Jahn, West Virginia, American Option Co.; Col. Bob Randolph, Spring Lake Heights, Randolph Galleries; and Clara Johnson, Point Pleasant Beach, Point Pleasant Antiques Emporium. For more information call the Union Landing Historical Society at Scholarships The Woman s Club of Brielle is currently accepting college scholarship applications. Eligible students must be Brielle residents and high school seniors. Please include a copy of SAT or ACT scores, a copy of a high school transcript and record, a recommendation from the school principal or guidance counselor, and a copy of a college application essay. Applications are available at the guidance counselor s office and should be completed and returned by April 1 to: Woman s Club of Brielle, Scholarship Committee, P.O. Box 502, Brielle, N.J., For more information, call Pat at Brielle Fire Co. collecting items to send to local Marine in Iraq By Kara Lott Although the war in Iraq just began last week, the Brielle Fire Department is already rallying around borough resident Jim Csogi, who is currently serving in the 3rd Battalion 2nd Marines in the Persian Gulf. The fire department is collecting items for care packages to be sent to USMC Staff Sgt. Csogi, who is a motor transport chief with the infantry unit. Staff Sgt. Csogi served in the Persian Gulf from August 1990 to April He has been a Marine for 17 years. He was shipped out to the Persian Gulf for his second tour of duty just weeks after re-enlisting at Leggett s in Manasquan during a Marine Corps Toys for Tots event in December. His wife, Barbara, said she was pleased to hear of the Brielle Fire Company s efforts. I think it s wonderful, she stated. I was really touched by the whole thing. Mrs. Csogi said she last heard from her husband in a letter dated March 5. Although she does not know where he is specifically, Mrs. Csogi said she knows her husband s division is in Iraq. Mrs. Csogi s father, Bud Cain, is a two-time former chief of the fire department. While not a member of the fire company himself, Staff Sgt. Csogi has been a close friend of the Brielle Fire Company, Timothy Shaak, second assistant chief of the fire company, said. He has helped out with the company s annual haunted hayride and participated in the benefit basketball game last year. We thought it would be a nice thing for the company to rally behind him, Mr. Shaak stated, to make the days and weeks ahead for him that much easier. We want to let him know we re thinking of him back here, he added. The following is a list of items the fire company is asking for: soap, deodorant, shampoo, toothpaste, toothbrushes, dental floss, sunscreen, lip balm, Q-tips, tissues, sanitary wipes, toilet paper, foot powder, AA batteries, D batteries, writing paper, envelopes, pens, cotton socks, playing cards, sports magazines, local papers, razors, shaving cream, padded envelopes, sewing kits, Ziploc bags, disposable cameras, nail clippers, CDs, DVDs, cards and letters, pictures, Tylenol, Advil, dust masks, Pop Tarts, tuna fish [fresh pouch], canned prepared soup, Cup O Noodles, Cheese Wiz, Slim Jims, pepperoni, crackers, chips, salsa, cookies, juice boxes, cereal bars, small cereal boxes, candy, Twizzlers, Starburst, snack cakes [Hostess, Drake s], nuts, snack mixes, pretzels, Rice Krispies Treats, pudding packs, and fruit packs with pop-off lids. Items can be dropped off at the Brielle Fire Company at the corner of Cardeza and Longstreet avenues by April 3. Council approves bond for capital improvements By Kara Lott On Monday night, the Brielle Council voted to approve the spending of $72,600 for the purchase of miscellaneous borough equipment. The council also authorized $68,970 in bonds to finance part of the $72,600 appropriation. Council members Timothy Shaak and Gina Murdoch were absent from the meeting. Honoring Brielle s Fire Department MICHELE JOHNSON, Brielle resident Cheryl Shaak [above, from left] chatted with Gary Pstrak, president of the Brielle Fire Company as well as Brielle Fire Chief Steve Speicher during the fire department s annual dinner dance, held at the Crystal Point in Point Pleasant on Saturday night. Quintin Danish [below, from left] enjoyed a moment with his wife, Elizabeth and Lois Naughton during the annual dinner dance. Borough Administrator Thomas Nolan explained there is a capital improvements component of the 2003 municipal budget, which was approved at the last council meeting earlier this month. He said the ordinance would allow the borough to implement the capital portion of the budget since it has to be done through bonding, and not through the municipal tax rate. In other business: Brielle Fire Chief Stephen Speicher recognized the winners of the first annual snowman building contest, sponsored by the Brielle Parks and Recreation Commission. We had good weather this year to do that, he stated. Out of 24 applicants, two grand prize winners were selected including Kayla, Christian, and Patrick Felstadt for Honest Abe and Patricia McKiever for Sunny the Snow Girl, according to Chief Speicher. He said both winners will receive snow cone machines. Hopefully, this will be a yearly tradition, Chief Speicher stated. Councilman Lawrence Riccio, who chairs the public resources committee, announced this year s annual Easter egg hunt will be held on Saturday, April 12. It s a wonderful event, he stated, and I encourage any and all to come by.
20 PAGE 20 THE COAST STAR, THURSDAY, MARCH 27, 2003 So Many Gifts... MICHELE JOHNSON, Eleanor Boyce [above] perused a variety of prizes available at a Spring Lake Heights PTA-sponsored gift auction, held last week. School budget proposes 1.9-cent tax increase By Jerry Kimbrough The Spring Lake Heights Board of Education passed its proposed budget at a special meeting Monday. The budget calls for a 1.9-cent tax rate increase, according to Business Administrator Sean Gately. This rate increase sets the tax rate for school purposes at cents per $100 of assessed valuation Last year s school tax rate was cents per $100 of assessed valuation. A resident who owns a house assessed at $150,000 would pay a total of approximately $1,212 per year for school purposes, marking an increase of approximately $57 since last year. Mr. Gately said the proposed school budget totals $6,472,144, which marks an increase of $134,049 from last year s budget, which totalled $6,338,095. A total of $5,143,702 will be raised through local taxation, Mr. Gately said. He noted the state has agreed to fund $446,160 of the borough s school budget, marking an increase of $33,357 in state funding since last year. Mr. Gately said Spring Lake Heights was one of only a few municipalities throughout the state who had seen an increase in state funding since last year. The school will be receiving $117,140 in federal aid, which marks an increase of $6,193 in federal funding since last year. The remainder of the budget, Mr. Gately said, would be funded through miscellaneous revenues of $55,000 and $168,375 in school surplus funds. According to a PowerPoint presentation created by Mr. Gately, some of the budget will be used to purchase new mathematics textbooks for all of the students at the school. Mr. Gately said $1,326,262 of the budget would be used to pay tuition for borough students from the ninth to 12th grade to attend Manasquan High School. Manasquan is the receiving district for Spring Lake Heights high school students. Mr. Gately said $170,392 will be used to provide tuition for students attending Freehold Regional High School, Neptune Township High School, and Wall Township High School s ROTC program. In addition, some of this amount will fund language-disabled students. According to Mr. Gately, $235,300 will be used to provide transportation for pupils to and from school. Mr. Gately said $176,234 will be used to pay tuition for Spring Lake Heights pupils attending private schools in the area,. Mr. Gately said $247,601 of the budget will be used for property and plant maintenance. This includes electrical costs, telephone and Internet connectivity costs, and other associated fees. Mr. Gately said $3,251,211 of the budget will be used to fund employee salaries and benefits. Spring Lake Heights Spring Lake Heights per pupil costs among lowest in New Jersey By Jerry Kimbrough The Spring Lake Heights School District s per pupil expenditures are among the lowest out of 67 districts of a similar size and type, according to a state Department of Education report released last week. The New Jersey Department of Education 2003 Comparative Spending Guide uses the term total per pupil costs to include costs related to classroom instruction, support services, social work, media/school library services, school maintenance, food services, and extracurricular activities. Spring Lake Heights is ranked seventh out of 67 K-8 schools that serve up to 400 students. The school is budgeted to spend a total of $8,385 in total per pupil costs. This amount is $439 less than the state average for those districts, which is $8,824. This means only six other school districts in the same grouping spend less per pupil than Spring Lake Heights. Spring Lake Heights spent $8,333 in in per pupil costs and was ranked 12th, meaning 11 K-8 schools paid less than Spring Lake Heights in per pupil costs. Spring Lake Heights Superintendent Linda Martensen was at home due to illness and could not be reached for comment. Although Business Administrator Sean Gately had not yet received a copy of the guide, he said it was a useful tool to help schools compare themselves to like-sized schools. There s a lot of other factors that go into [spending], but as a guide, it has some merits, Mr. Gately said. The guide also reported the following information: Spring Lake Heights is spending a total of $5,172 for classroom instruction costs during the current school year. According to the report, the borough is ranked eighth, meaning seven other K-8 schools spent less in this regard. Total classroom instruction costs include anything associated with direct classroom instruction, such as teacher salaries and benefits, classroom supplies such as textbooks or workbooks, and fees associated with professional services provided to the school, such as speech or physical therapy. The report states Spring Lake Heights budgeted $4,888 per pupil to pay for classroom salaries and benefits during the school year. Spring Lake Heights is ranked eighth, meaning seven other similar schools throughout the state spent less in this regard. This figure includes salaries and benefits for teachers, substitutes, and teachers aides other than secretarial and clerical. It also includes additional compensation paid to teachers who serve as detention or hall monitors and classroom aides. The figure also includes fees associated with professional services provided to the school, such as speech or physical therapy. Total administrative costs per pupil a figure including costs associated with general administration, school administration, and support services totaled $1,193 per pupil for , ranking the school district, once again in 12th place. In , Spring Lake Heights spent $1,219 per pupil for total administrative costs and was also ranked at 12th place. In Spring Lake Heights, the median salary for teachers in is $43,175, which ranks the district in 29th place, meaning 28 other similar school districts throughout the state had a lower median salary for teachers. The median salary for Spring Lake Heights teachers in was around the same figure, totaling at $43,830 and ranking at 34th, according to the guide. Spring Lake Heights has 11 students for every one teacher, ranking the district 28th in the state among similar school districts. This means 27 schools have a higher student-to-teacher ratio than Spring Lake Heights. In , Spring Lake Heights had 12.3 students to every teacher, ranking the district 12th in the state. For , Spring Lake Heights median administrative salary totaled $70,304, ranking the district at 50th throughout the state. This means 49 similar school district have a lower median salary than Spring Lake Heights. In , the median administrative salary for the district was $67,600, ranking the school district 21st in the state. Post 432 to give banners to residents who have family stationed overseas By Jerry Kimbrough Following a tradition that first surfaced during World War I and has continued until now, Post 432 of the American Legion will be presenting banners to families with husbands, wives or children stationed overseas. The banner which is bordered in red and white, with a single blue star in the center has been used since 1917 to signify when a family has a child or family member serving in a war. Families would place these banners in their windows to indicate a family member was on active duty during wartime. Post 432 Commander and Spring Lake Heights resident John Patterson announced at Monday s borough council meeting that Post 432 would be visiting local merchants throughout the Southern Monmouth County area to request donations to help finance the purchase of these banners. There s so much concern about the troops, Mr. Patterson said, but the families are also sacrificing. They have wives, husbands and children overseas. These families have made an enormous sacrifice, he said. We should do everything we can to help them. Mr. Patterson said American Legion posts throughout the country traditionally use the banner as a sign of respect. Eatontown, he said, has a huge blue star banner flying alongside the borough s American flag to denote a large percentage of the borough s residents are serving in the war. Mr. Patterson stressed Spring Lake Heights would not be the only municipality served by the Blue Star Banner Program; he said the post would attempt to serve other municipalities throughout Monmouth County, as well as a few in Ocean County. Mr. Patterson said theoretically, banners could be presented to several hundred people. We wanted many families who have loved ones in harm s way to be recognized because of the enormous financial, emotional and spiritual sacrifice, he said. At the request of Mayor Frank Adams, Mr. Patterson also volunteered to draft a proclamation honoring troops serving overseas in the Iraq war, as well as their families.