Budget Passes in All District Schools
The district keeps two current board members and brings on one new member.
The board of education breathed a sigh of relief as the district voted to pass the budget with a vote of 3,183 to 2,290, according to unofficial results.
"We're very pleased that the 2011-2012 school budget has passed," said Superintendent of Schools Michael Schilder after the votes were counted. "Thanks goes to all those who helped get out the vote and all those who voted. We now look forward to continuing district and school initiatives to increase student achievement at all levels and for all students."
All schools in the district voted in favor of the budget.
In total, about 5,473 votes were cast, about 17 percent of those registered in the district.
And the vote also returned Bridgewater's incumbents Evan Lerner and Arvind Mathur to the board of education for their third and fourth terms respectively.
"I am obviously very pleased personally, but more importantly, this election more than any in recent memory shows how much the communities appreciate the hard work done by the administration and the guidance and the direction taken by the board," Lerner said.
And Mathur said he appreciates the support he received from the voters.
"I am thankful to every citizen who went out to vote and voted yes on the budget," he said. "I am also thankful for the people who supported Evan and me in maintaining the momentum that we have in the district."
Lerner received 2,178 votes, and Mathur received 2,092 votes.
Candidate Elizabeth Eisinger Lande, who received 1,140 votes, said this election season was a learning experience for her.
"I ran with a positive campaign and of course I'm disappointed I lost," she said. "But I'm proud of the campaign I ran, and glad I had the opportunity to do this."
Candidates Lisa Giranda, who received 1,366 votes, and Barbara Kane, who received 1,642 votes, did not return calls for comment.
In Raritan, newcomer Ann Marie Mead defeated nine-year board member Al Smith by 341 votes to 143 votes.
"This is the first time I've done anything like this, and I'm honored that I was elected," Mead said.
Smith said he is disappointed to be leaving the board, but wished Mead well in her new position.
"Congratulations to Ann Marie," he said. "I wish her well and I wish the board well."