BAYONNE — The Bayonne Board of Education’s 2015-2016 operating budget may include a $2.2 million deficit, according to a statement from Mayor James Davis. The statement cited “preliminary information” deriving from a mandatory annual audit of the BBOED by the NJ Department of Education. In the statement, the mayor attributed the potential structural deficit to the “mismanagement of funds,” while warning such a deficit may have “wide ranging and far reaching implications for the district and community as a whole,” most notably students and district employees.
BBOED President Joseph Broderick said that the board has not yet received the audit report as of Dec. 1. “Right now, we are in the process of completing the annual audit, so we didn’t get [the report back] yet,” said Broderick. “It’s supposed to be done very soon.”
A 2014 referendum mandated the BBOED change from an appointed board to an elected one. Mayor James Davis called that transition “at times messy and uncomfortable,” but also a “necessity” for the increased transparency an elected board has over an appointed board. His statement called for accountability and offered cooperation with the city.
“I view this news as not just one isolated mistake, but as an indicator that more needs to be done. Furthermore, I stand ready with the Board of Education, parents, teachers, administrators, and citizens of this city to ensure that those who have put our school system’s fiscal solvency in jeopardy are held fully and unconditionally accountable for their actions,” Davis said.