Judith A. Pfannenschlag, Bellmawr, 74
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GROWING UP IN GLOUCESTER CITY:

The Year 1961, Residents Defeat School Budget, Not Once but Twice

 

GLOUCESTER CITY, NJ (January 10, 2022)--The articles below are from the Gloucester City Democrat newspaper dated November 4, 1961.

Does anyone know the last time the School Budget was defeated by Gloucester City residents? Screen Shot 2021-12-20 at 12.56.24 PM

Why would the local Democrats publish a newspaper?

Don't know the answer to the first question. But the reason the local Democrats were publishing their paper was that they felt the editor of the Gloucester City News at that time, George F. Cleary Sr., wasn't printing their side of the story. They did the same some 20 plus years later when yours truly was the editor and Bob Bevan was running for mayor. In both cases, the local Dems stopped playing publisher after the November election was over.

This is probably old news but worth repeating, the local Democratic Club, located for decades at 6 North Broadway across from the Municipal building has disbanded, and the County Democrats, George Norcross, and friends, are in charge of the Party in this City. Not that much difference as King George always ruled the City Democrats anyway.

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George Norcross
(Gloucestercitynews.net graphic)

Speaking of the King, did you know he left New Jersey and has registered to vote in the State of Florida. Where you aware one of his best buddies, is the 45th President of the United States. Without a doubt, Mr. Norcross got tired of paying the highest taxes in the Nation and decided to leave his longtime home. 

In 2012, Steve DeCristofaro wrote an excellent Op-Ed about King George that summed up the New Jersey Political Boss this way, 

We live in this "freedomless state" that exist because King George and his minions have made so much money off the taxpayers and their lives are so beyond what they thought could achieved without selling their souls, that they now DEPEND on the current state of affairs to continue.....otherwise they lose it all. Those who lives in Kingdom of King George do not seek solutions.

The rest of us, we can just fend for the scraps. 

It's time to wake up your neighbor, it's time to stand for what is right, it's time to demand more from those we pay & elect, it's time we stop saying "it's impossible" & start saying "this must not stand....not on my watch". Stop letting these people, (who are of far less character) get you down. It's time to commit to doing something to speak and shed light on the truth. It's time to stop being afraid of the liars, cheats and those who have corrupted their character because they have what they need. It's time for a new, independent voice in which the only agenda is to "right the ship". 

Read the article;  CNBNews Op-Ed: King George and 'His Court' Have No Shame

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Gloucester City School Budget Defeated Again; Goes to Council

    For the second time in two weeks, Gloucester City Voters on Tuesday, by a 3-1 majority, defeated the 1960-61 school budget. The budget now becomes the problem of the Gloucester City Council who has 10 days after receipt of the proposed budget from the Board of Education to determine the amount to be certified for the property taxation.

    Under the law, according to William E. Hughes, solicitor, the city body if they decide to act must first consult with the school board. If the council cannot agree or they should fail to take any action, the budget will then be sent to Frederick C. Raubinger. New Jersey State Commissioner of Education, who will determine the amount to be levied.

    The budget became the responsibility of the local officials when the voters handed the current expense item of $546,735, a 521-194, setback and beat the capital outlay proposal of $4,500, by 493-214. 



Finance Committee Able To Have Bond Schedule Changed

    Following the Tuesday night conference of the City Council and the Gloucester City Board of Education, it was learned the 1960-61 school budget rejected twice by the voters was reduced about $60,000 in debt service, which will result in an estimated 30c to 50c less to be raised in 1960 school taxes. 

    After the first rejection of the school budget on Feb. 9, the board of their own volition cut out some $9,660 in teachers and administrative salaries so that the overall total reduction since the budget was first introduced in January will amount to about $69,660.

    According to our information, Councilman Howard J. Theckston, finance chairman of City Council, was the prime factor in making it possible to save the $60,000 this year. When asked to explain how it happened, Theckston said, “I received my copy of the school budget on Friday and although some members of Council wanted to turn it over to the state, I thought we should first try to do something about it ourselves. 

    “As we only had 10 days to act,” Theckston continues, “I made an appointment with the city auditor on Sunday at which time we went over the current budget and studied the annual audit of the school board.

    “As a result, we contacted Edward Kilpatrick of the State Board of Education on Monday and explained our idea of removing the estimated $60,000 from debt service because the $1,982,000 school bonds have not yet been sold.

    “Mr. Kilpatrick was reluctant to go along with the idea and said he would not recommend it be done. However, he said, it was up to George C. Skillman, State Director of the Division of Local Government, to either approve or reject it. Therefore, Theckston continued, “on Tuesday through Senator Cowgill we arranged to talk to Mr. Skillman who agreed to let the school board submit a new bond schedule which will permit us to remove the $60,000 this year.

    “I understand, “ Theckston pointed out, “the State Board of Education ordered the payment schedule started but in my opinion, we were acting too hasty. As of now, we don’t have the bonds sold and don’t know when they will be. Yet we are trying to act as if they were being sold at once. The school board does have a temporary note on the $1,982,000 school bonds for which they are paying a much lower rate of interest.

    “This I think we should continue to hold on to until the market is more favorable. Then is the time to worry about starting to pay the bonds off,” Theckston said. In the meantime, our people are getting advantage of the lower interest rate.

Reprinted from the Gloucester Democrat Record, November 4, 1961

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