Several Gloucester County supervisors, during Tuesday night’s meeting in the colonial courthouse, were critical of comments made a few days earlier by Gloucester School Superintendent Ben Kiser.
Kiser’s comments came during the school board’s budget session last Thursday night which focused on the board of supervisors’ instruction given last month to county administrator Brenda Garton to develop next year’s county budget without any tax rate increases.
During last Thursday’s school board meeting, Kiser said this directive could mean no new revenue for the school system and could also result in a reduction in its operating budget. He said the previous board of supervisors approved what would be equivalent to a three-cent increase on real estate to cover $1.2 million in costs associated with the new Page Middle School project and other capital needs.
At-large supervisor John Meyer Jr. asked that the discussion be placed on Tuesday night’s agenda, and referenced an article in the Daily Press newspaper written about the school board’s budget session. “I am concerned with some of the things that were reported and I want to set the record straight,” he said.
Meyer said the budget development process is currently in the hands of the county administrator and is still in its very early stages. He also said that even though supervisors asked for no tax increase, county revenues are expected to rise and there is no way of knowing what type of deficit, if any, the schools will face at this stage of the budget process.