Polls opened for school elections at 7 a.m. on Wednesday at three locations in Washington Township, and voters were shuffling in and out before work and school hours began.
Residents were asked to vote on budgets and candidates for the Washington Township and West Morris Regional School Districts. Voting locations are at the Long Valley Middle School, Washington Township Public Library, and Flocktown Road School.
The Washington Township School District proposed budget for 2011-12 comes in at $39,418,849. It comes with a tax rate of $1.1352 per $100 of assessed valuation, a small increase over the previous year's 1.131. It translates to a yearly bill of $1,790 (not counting municipal and county taxes, which are set separately). That would be up 1.01 percent from the $1,770 such a home would have paid for 2010-2011.
Candidates on the ballot for the district’s school board are David Chance Healy; Michael Rec; Walt Cullen; and Michelle Munley. All are running uncontested.
“I think (the board) did a good job keeping the numbers relatively flat over last year,” said Long Valley resident Mike Heeley. “I think they listened to the voters after last year.” Heeley has two children in the Washington Township school system, and voted yes for both school district budgets.
The West Morris Regional School District, which requires votes from Washington Township, the Mendhams and Chesters, has a total 2011-12 proposed budget of $47,631,191, with a tax rate of $.53 per $100 of assessed valuation, a $.09 increase over last year's $.44 per $100.
School board candidates being voted on to represent Washington Township are current board president Cristen Forrester and John Meyer. Both are running uncontested.
“I voted yes for both,” said Long Valley resident Mary McArdle. “The board did a good job keeping the budget low and they listened to the voters after what happened last year.” McArdle has a freshman in high school and has had one child graduate from the district.
Both budgets were defeated last year after both were approved for the 2009-10 school year.