School board election Tuesday $33.1M budget also up for vote

Secaucus residents will have to perform a simple math equation when they go to the Board of Education polls on April 17: how to fit six candidates into three available spots.

The three candidates who receive the most votes will win a three-year term on the nine-member school board.

Secaucus voters will also have to keep another number in mind when they vote on April 17. They can approve or reject the $33.1 million 2007-2008 budget that the Secaucus Board of Education unanimously voted for on March 29.

Voting will be held from 1 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Both incumbents and newcomers on ballot

This year’s school board candidates are a mix of incumbents and potential new members of the board.

Anthony Gerbasio and Tom Troyer are the incumbent board members, or trustees, who are up for re-election.

Gerbasio, 47, is a UPS manager who was elected to the board in 2003 and began serving in 2004. He is a lifetime resident of Secaucus.

Troyer, 74, is a retired social studies teacher. He has served on the board for a total of 12 years, with his most recent term having begun in 2004. He has lived in Secaucus for 46 years.

Troyer also recently declared his candidacy for state Assembly as a Democrat in the 32nd legislative district, which includes Secaucus.

The following four candidates would be new to the board if elected:

Edilberto “Bert” Aguilera, 55, is a certified public accountant who has lived in Secaucus for 15 years.

Arlene Broemmer, 67, is a school nurse in the Union City school system who has lived in town for 46 years. John McStowe, 54, is a postman and a tax preparer who has lived in Secaucus for 33 years.

Frank Trombetta, 50, owns his own flooring business and has lived in town for 26 years.

The additional trustees who are not up for election this year are board president Susan Pirro, vice president Angelo Andriani, and Mark Bruscino, Mauro DeGennaro, William Millevoi, and Eleanore Reinl. The remaining current trustee, Michael Schlemm, chose not to run for re-election.

(For additional details about the candidates and their ideas, please see the April 8 candidate profile article in print or at

Budget also to be voted on

Once elected, the board members use the funds provided in the Secaucus schools budget in order to effect and direct education policy.

Accordingly, the 2007-2008 school budget will go before the voters for final ratification on April 17. At the March 29 Secaucus Board of Education meeting, the $33.1 million budget cleared its first hurdle when it unanimously passed a board vote.

The total amount for this year’s budget is an almost $2 million increase above the current year’s spending plan. This increase will be realized through a 5.4 percent tax increase for Secaucus property owners.

At he March 29 meeting, Secaucus Board of Education Administrator and Board Secretary Edward Walkiewicz provided statistics to the public that showed that while this is a notable increase, the average increase in the past five years in Secaucus was 7.82 percent.

If the budget is voted down on April 17, it will go to the Town Council for changes and possible cuts.

However, Walkiewicz also expressed confidence at the March 29 meeting that in spite of a difficult fiscal climate for all of New Jersey’s public schools due to the state’s serious financial problems, the budget would be able to withstand the test of the voters on April 17.

“This budget allows us to maintain the programs that we have,” he said. “We think Secaucus is a good school district. And when you tighten up your budget proposal and really think about where the funds go, you can maintain that.”

For additional details about the school budget, see the April 8 article on the budget in print or at

Mark J. Bonamo can be reached at SIDEBAR:

Polling times and locations:

All polls will be open in Secaucus from 1 p.m. to 9 p.m.

The Secaucus polling place locations are as follows:

1st Ward:

Election District 1: Clarendon Elementary School, 685 Fifth St.

Election District 2: First Reformed Church, 53 Centre Ave.

Election District 3: Washington Hook & Ladder Co, No 1, 272 County Ave.

Election District 4 and 5: Secaucus Fire Department, Engine Company One, 150 Plaza Center Road.

2nd Ward:

All Election Districts 1-5: Huber Street School, 1520 Paterson Plank Road

3 rd Ward:

Election District 1: Clarendon Elementary School, 685 Fifth St.

Election District 2: Harmon Cove (recreation center)

Election District 3: The Elms, 777 Fifth St.


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