On Jan. 22, residents of Parsippany will have the opportunity to exercise a right abruptly taken away from them by a majority vote of the Board of Education two years ago. That vote cynically guaranteed the board an annual budget increase of 2 percent that doesn't have to be explained to or approved by the voters, an automatic 2 percent budget increase that equates to $2.5 million of our money going to the BOE for its members to use as they and only they see fit.
The school board took that action betting that Pasippany residents had grown too apathetic and too disinterested to care about how and why their tax dollars are spent.
On Jan. 22, the right to vote on how our tax dollars will be spent will be returned to Parsippany residents on a one-time basis. We are being asked to decide whether or not $7.7 million in our tax dollars should be spent refurbishing our two high school football fields and tracks, including the construction of 80-foot light towers.
Arguments for and against the $7.7 million expenditure have been made by proponents and opponents. To their credit, the arguments have been informative and respectful. More importantly, public dialogue has demonstrated the power and purpose of allowing Parsippany's residents to debate and to decide if and how they should be be taxed.
On Jan. 22 the residents of Parsippany will have the opportunity to show that they are not apathetic and that they are not disinterested. They can do so by taking the time to vote, which will send a clear message to our elected officials that we, rather than they, must decide how our tax dollars are to be spent.
Whether you are for or against spending the $7.7 million, please do vote and send an even more important message to the BOE: Confirm that we are not apathetic and disinterested and that we want back our right to vote.