A sudden downpour complete with thunder and lightning greeted a steadily increasing stream of school election voters at .
The rain did not deter those who were there to register their choices regarding three vacant Board of Education seats and the budget for the next school year.
One of those people was Sheila Figman Eule, a former teacher in the Parsippany district.
"I hope people are thinking about the children," she said. "I know how much the teachers want the budget to pass."
Nathan Fine, who spent 40 years as an educator, including a stint as vice principal at Paterson High School, considers the $129.8 million budget an "investment in our future."
"No one likes taxes, but think of a house with a 20 to 25 year mortgage. It's expensive, yes, but it's an important investment," Fine said, adding that financing education leads to successful and productive future taxpayers in Parsippany. He points to his own children, who were educated in Parsippany schools—his son is now a successful doctor and his daughter is studying pharmacy.
Fine conceded that fiscally responsible budgets are necessary, and he recommends cutting administrator salaries as a possible way to save education dollars.
Stan Green, Fine's longtime friend and the former owner of Stan's TVs in Parsippany, blamed the presence of politics in BOE dealings. In reference to the controversy surrounding School Superintendent LeRoy Seitz's salary, he said, "I understand that they're trying to get good quality people, but this went a little overboard."
"Ten-thousand-dollar raises to business administrators is overboard when teachers receiving $50,000 a year are seeing cuts," Fine said. "Teachers are on the front lines, and yet they've gone from educators to [being viewed as mere] public employees. They're not stealing. Teachers should be praised.
"Voting 'no' [on the budget] is ridiculous," he asserted. "It's an abrogation of responsibility by the taxpayers."