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Mayors Select Firm for Feasibility Study on Regional Schools Break-Up

Work on conducting analysis expected to begin in July.

Third time’s the charm.

Or, in this case, the third firm is the charm.

After spending a few months contemplating the commission of either Vito Gagliardi Jr. of Porzio, Bromberg & Newman in Morristown, or Center for Government Research, or CGR, based out of upstate New York, the ad-hoc committee of mayors from the Mendhams and Chesters brought in a third firm to consider conducting the study.

And that third firm has won the bid. 

On May 27 the committee heard a proposal from Ross Haber Associates, based in Millville, New Jersey. Mendham Mayor Neil Henry, also the chair of the committee, announced the late entry will take on the project.

At the heart of the study are two different models than the current regional high school district. The first includes a K-12 setting that encompasses Mendham Township, Mendham Borough, and Chester K-8 districts to be coupled with Mendham High School.

The second is to keep all K-8 districts as is, with Mendham High School breaking off from the regional school district it shares with West Morris Central High School in Washington Township, and stand as its own 9-12 school and district. Neither option incorporates inclusion of any school or district from Washington Township.

Despite the regional high school district including both Mendham and Central High Schools, Washington Township Mayor Ken Short has not been invited to join mayors  Bill Cogger (Chester Township), Bob Davis (Chester Borough), Maribeth Thomas (Mendham Township) or Henry on the ad-hoc committee. 

Each of the four towns involved is expected to codify a contract in early July that will grant Ross Haber Associates the approval needed to move forward on the study. Each of the four towns has put up $15,000 for the study. 

“All of us are hopeful that Haber & Associates can begin their work in early July,” Henry said. 
Kathy S June 24, 2014 at 08:13 AM
Seriously? After hearing at the last BOE meeting all the wonderful things our DISTRICT high schools have accomplished over the past few years, why on earth would our mayors even think about dissolving the district? To save money at the detriment of our children? Very short sighted on their part.
Jeff June 24, 2014 at 08:57 AM
We should fund a study that would benefit the students. If a proposal included a K-12 for all 5 towns, wouldn't that trigger a new funding formula? This is strictly a money play and will unfortunately hurt the level of education, in my opinion
Geoff Cabral June 24, 2014 at 02:25 PM
I'm gonna go out on a limb and speculate that Jeff&Kathy pay property taxes in Washington Twp. The district HS has had its ups&downs over the past 20 years - but that has nothing to do with who is funding these schools (and probably not much to do with level of funding after a point). Washington TWP taxpayers simply want to continue the funding mechanism which in essence steals over $6,100,000 per year from M-C taxpayers. They have used every delay tactic available including lies and straw man argument distractions to prevent this gravy train from ending.
Jeff June 24, 2014 at 02:43 PM
You are correct I am a Washington Twp resident. You are incorrect that we wish to use delay tactics. You are correct that this is strictly about money in the eyes of M-C tax payers. My only point is that every option is not being considered. That short changes ALL the students. A decision will be made with part of the information and the M-C residents will be ok with that. I hope the students are as well.
Geoff Cabral June 24, 2014 at 06:19 PM
Oh, puh-leaze, Jeff! Your palms-up brethren has already beaten this straw man argument to death: "let's do what's good for the students" when what would be good for their families - ergo, the very students you so desperately claim to want to help - is for them to NOT be forced to subsidize you and your fellow LV moochers to the aggregate tune of over $6.1 million per year! Get over your self-delusions and prepare to pay your own way - or move to a jurisdiction with no HS. But, please don't keep harping on "it's only a money issue to M-Cs" and you're just so above it all bc you "care about the children."

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