LETTER: Hoboken voters should reject $241M school referendum: ‘This process has been unfair’

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In a letter to the editor, Hoboken resident Jane Arsenault calls on voters to reject the $241 million school referendum since “this process has been unfair.”

Dear Editor,

Voters and residents of Hoboken have been prevented from understanding the
complete facts about what the officials want us to vote for on January 25th on the $241
million bond issue for a new Hoboken High School.

At the very least, this large project should have been announced and discussed prior to the November 2nd school board elections. We should have known the full extent of the plans and where each of the candidates stood.

Instead the project was kept a secret and voters were voting blind, not knowing that the city and our taxes will be hugely impacted for many years by this election of the board of education.

When the project was quietly announced later, it was during the Christmas and New Year seasons when many of us were very busy or out of town.

This process has been unfair to the voters of Hoboken. It is inappropriate to call for an
important election without reasonable time for the public to become fully informed of
the project, and alternative choices, for the facts to be researched and verified, and to
have public meetings when voters of all ages can attend without the fear of catching a
deadly disease.

We should all vote “NO” on January 25th, as that is the only way to get sufficient
knowledge and proper voter participation.

The proponents have said that they will then follow up with a second proposal and funding alternatives.

We need to vote this referendum down and start again, to give all of our residents time to understand all the issues and facts, and the full impact of the project that will probably include the renovation of the middle schools and the lower schools in the near future.

Jane Arsenault
Hoboken resident

3 COMMENTS

  1. The vote on this $250 million dollar bond was undoubtedly planned to be kept on the down low to keep the number of people who would actually vote low to insure it passed.

    There has never been any public outreach input on developing the plan that is on the January 25th ballot. The meetings that have been held were only sales pitches for the plan. The plan is take or leave it. The twenty percent increase in school taxes to construct this extravagant building would just be the start of what would be needed to run it and make changes to the existing high school building. The HBOE would not need another vote to increase taxes to cover those expenses.

    Rejecting this referendum does not mean that you are against supporting our students or improving Hoboken schools, it is only a rejection of the proposal being put on the ballot by Dr. Christine Johnson.

    I will be voting no.

  2. I too will be voting NO. How can they expect us to vote this when they didn’t have the first information session until Dec. 14th right before the holidays and they expect us to vote for it on Jan. 25th. They scheduled it to minimize turnout, that’s all. I don’t care what is in their plan. Vote NO to show them they can’t get away with this pulling a stunt like this.

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