Bancroft Bond: The Tip Of A Tax Hike Nightmare.

Is $12.5 million just the beginning? How does $28 million sound as the 2nd Act?

Does the $12.5 million Bancroft referendum represent just the beginning of the tax hike nightmare confronting Haddonfield residents?


As the Haddonfield Board of Education's own architect reported this past June, our town's existing schools require up to $28 million dollars in capital repairs and improvements.


To view the school board's report, which includes a rough timeline for a further bond referendum, click and follow the link below (pdf, may take a moment or two to load). A summary of the charges totaling more than $28 million dollars may be found on page 41 of the report.

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John Moscatelli December 28, 2012 at 02:04 PM
With the aftermath from Sandy, I think it's foolishly optimistic to think that, for many years to come, the State will be in any position to send millions to districts that were not devastated by the storm. This project is isn't a vision, it's a delusion of grandeur. There is no impending rise in enrollment, US birthrates are at their lowest levels since the depression. They love to talk about how the schools are land-locked, but so is the rest of the Borough; it's not like anyone will be building a large track of new homes to push up enrollment. Just as the housing market is beginning to recover, do we really want to add significantly to the highest property taxes in the County (and some of the highest in the Nation)? I'd be on board if we were spending this to improve education, but not for a 'athletic complex,' as Weinstein described it at a BOE meeting. I've got 2 little one just starting school, and they may make use of this grand new athletic complex, but it's still an extravagance that we can not afford.
Brian Kelly December 28, 2012 at 02:54 PM
Well put John. There are always extenuating circumstances to any issues like this and you mentioned some great ones. With education being a business, a big athletic campus is a tool to lure enrollment students. Superintendent Perry has been an advocate of the enrollment program and the freshman class has 7.5 percent of its students from out of district. Now you know why the BoE always tries to use the overcrowding issue. Build a Haddonfield Campus and they will come! To bad this delusion of grandeur comes at the expense of the Haddonfield taxpayer. If you're forced out of town because you can't afford the taxes, look at the bright side...with all the money you'll save by leaving Haddonfield you can put your kid in the enrollment program! It really is time for new people to step up and run for all our local offices. We need people who will represent all the residents while displaying some Haddonfield values in the process.
Maryann Campling December 29, 2012 at 01:48 PM
It is amazing to me that so many folks in town are completely oblivious to the current Bancroft referendum and what it entails. A woman told me a few days ago, that she thought it was a good idea because "the high school needs a new field." She had no idea of the current debt the boro/BOE already carries...nor was she aware of the $28 million "wish list" for the development of the property! She does now and is re-thinking her view. I know that proponents of projects like this (local, state and Fed) count on an uninformed/misinformed public......these same folks will be the first ones to b---- when their property taxes increase again and again!
Beth Zigmund December 29, 2012 at 04:19 PM
Agree with all of the above. Those pushing the Bancroft purchase are using a lot of sentimental rhetoric (a la Bill Tourtelette in a recent issue of Haddonfield Sun), such as, "it's for the future of our children" and "we need to invest in the future like the wonderful people who built this town did" (violins playing in the background). Truth is, the mere purchase of the land includes absolutely nothing to benefit the schools or town residents, except for artificial turf and a parking lot (because we really need THREE turf fields in this tiny town). There will be no new buildings, no technology upgrade for the schools, no trails/paths on the property without an additional multi million dollar bond in the future. The avg $189 tax increase that Superintendent Perry estimates if this bond passes is truly just the tip of the iceberg. Interestingly, at a meeting held several months ago Perry explained that the reason Central School can't retain a principal for more than a year or two is that our school administrators are woefully underpaid compared to other districts. Apparently the fix for this is a large piece of land with some run down buildings and several tons of fake grass.
Brian Kelly December 29, 2012 at 06:25 PM
Beth, The avg $189 tax increase doesn't even include the cost of the 2 turf fields on high school property. Anniversary field was in the referendum language and dropped at the last second, one reason being to drop the bond tax increase to $189. It's just a shell game. Those costs will be paid by the Haddonfield taxpayers. Add the costs of the 2 high school fields and you're way over $189. In other words, part of the referendum has already passed.


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