President fires back

at anonymous claims

MARLBORO — In the week before a scheduled $42 million referendum proposing the construction of two new schools, the Marlboro Board of Education was busy putting out a series of public relations fires started by several anonymous pieces of mail that had been circulated around town.

Voters will go to the polls on March 14 to give a thumbs up or a thumbs down to the board’s plan to build a middle school, the district’s second, on Nolan Road, and an early childhood learning center at Harbor and Tennent roads.

Calling some of the details contained in an anonymous flier "misinformation," board President Carol Majonis issued a four-page press release on Friday "so that residents have accurate information to make their decision."

A group identifying itself only as "Concerned Citizens of Marlboro," she said, has distributed some of the misinformation on fliers. She said the fliers did not contain any information such as an address or the name of an officer of the group.

Taking aim at a statement in the anonymous mailing that claimed the referendum would cause a tax increase of $750 for a home assessed at $250,000, Majonis said, "I do not know where that information came from and I do not know that anybody actually calculated that amount of money."

The board president said the tax impact of the referendum on a home assessed at $250,000 could be between $280 and $299, which would cover construction and associated costs. Operating costs, which are part of the district’s general fund budget, will be additional, she said, adding, "I don’t know how the Concerned Citizens of Marlboro are coming up with $450 in operating expenses."

Majonis also noted that in the material distributed by the Concerned Citizens of Marlboro the opinion had been expressed that an elementary school would suffice as a solution to the district’s overcrowding, and inferences were made that the enrollment numbers changed.

Referring to the demographic data that indicates continued enrollment growth, Majonis said, "As a board and as the administration, we continually review the demographic numbers provided to us by our research consultant. We have not chosen to change the enrollment numbers. They are being changed for us by the state Department of Health as it updates its live birth data and by the continual issuance of building permits in the township."

The board also clarified a misunderstanding heard in town about the early childhood learning center.

"It was never intended to be a nursery school for 3-, 4- and 5-year-olds. Only young children with special needs and all the kindergarten students of the district will attend the early childhood learning center," Majonis said.