Wyckoff January 28, 2009 THE VILLADOM TIMES I • Page 7 Township committeemen cut their own stipends by John Koster The members of the Wyckoff Township Committee have opted to cut $20,000 from the budget that had been intended for their own stipends, which covers expenses associated with serving as the township’s elected leaders. No formal vote took place, but consensus was unanimous that the five township committee members were willing to give up their own portion of the budget to save the taxpayers $20,000 and to send a message to the various departments and the community at large: All expenses should be trimmed. “In all the years that I have been working on the budget, this is the toughest year ever,” said Mayor Joseph Fiorenzo at the work session before the Jan. 20 public meeting. Fiorenzo suggested that a hiring freeze to forestall replacement of employees who retire or resign would be a useful policy. There are now several vacancies on the police department, with Chief John Ydo and Captain Kenneth Hagedorn slated to retire in the middle of the year. The mayor suggested the stipends be eliminated as a first step in the austerity program. “We want the departments to reduce funding requests by 10 percent,” Fiorenzo told the committee. “We’re asking everybody to share the pain. This is a good way to do it.” “From a leadership perspective, I think it’s the right thing to do,” said Rick Alnor. He said he would concur if the majority agreed to cut the stipend. “I support it 100 percent,” said Brian Scanlan. Scanlan noted that he had already pledged to donate his share of the stipend to the three fire companies and the ambulance corps rather than accept it personally. He said that if an outright waiver of the whole $20,000 line item was the consensus, he agreed. Rudy Boonstra nodded his own agreement, and the (continued on page 21) Wyckoff’s public schools recently received more than $45,000 from the Washington School and Coolidge School PTOs. The Washington School PTO donated $43,829 in money, goods, and services to the school including work on a new courtyard valued at $27,315. The second most expensive item donated to the Washington School was an audio enhancement unit valued at $3,650. The Washington School received two tack boards and two bulletin boards valued comprehensively at $1,600, a summer reading program valued at $1,538, and EducationCity.com subscription valued at $1,470, a Health Barn assembly valued at $1,201, seven chairs for the media center computer stations valued at $1,222, and an art display case valued at $1,201. District schools receive funding from PTOs Other items donated to the Washington School include seven overhead projectors valued at $938, two dry erase boards valued at $935, a summer reading program valued at $794, a media center book fair gift of $500, a portable microphone at $300, a laptop caddy for the multi-purpose room, media center shelves at $261, a staff “welcome back” luncheon at $240, a blood pressure cuff at $205, a DVD/ VCR for the new second grade classroom at $77, and a magnetic display shelf for the white board at $35. Jessica Swatek, Paulette Steffa, and the Nussenbaum family also donated a number of books for the book fair. The Coolidge PTO also made substantial donations to that school, including $488 for a kindergarten field trip, $470 for supplies for a teacher select program, $455 for the school wellness fair, and $182 for a science fair. J. 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