The voting public in Ridgewood passed the school board's Tuesday night by a comfortable margin.
According to unofficial results, as of 10 p.m. the $90.66 million budget passed with 1521 votes to 1129 'no' votes. About 16 percent of registered voters turned out on Tuesday.
"We put a very good budget together and it looks like the community supported it," said Superintendent Daniel Fishbein. All smiles, Fishbein said he'll take a few days off before starting the 2013-2014 budget process.
The upcoming year's budget requires a local tax levy of $82,949,642, a rise of 1.8 percent and well below the state-mandated 2 percent tax cap. The average homeowner with a property assessed at $797,531 .
Challenged with double-digit increases in health care costs, a budgeted 2 percent increase in staff salaries and a new science program, administrators cut deeply into the budget surplus to help keep down the levy.
No staff layoffs are expected with the 2012-2013 budget passage, though some teacher assistants will be let go. Programs will not see any cuts, school officials have said.
If the budget didn't pass, it would have bounced over to the village council's court, which would have the option to set a new tax rate.
Fishbein previously warned a smaller budget likely would have resulted in a loss of extracurricular programs and teachers.
The budget for the second time in 15 years after public pressure from Governor Christie and large cuts in state aid. Like the 2012-2013 budget, the .
[Correction: The budget has failed to pass two times – not once – in 15 years. Voters defeated the budget in 2003 as well.]