Liberty Township Residents - BOE wants to "Mothball" our school

I encourage all of the Liberty Township residents to attend the next BOE meeting at the middle school on Tuesday, September 25th. The BOE is putting a committee together to evaluate "mothballing" Liberty School. From what I'm hearing they have already stopped maintenance at the school. They re-elected Agatha Wilkie to the BOE after Independence did not re-elect during the election. Another pawn of the Mango BOE.

Can you imagine what this will do to property value in our town? Also, Liberty is a one floor school? They want to move Liberty to Central? What happens when we have a child who requires a wheelchair or is walking impaired? What will the cost of an elevator be to us? What about over crowding? Art on a Cart again!

Liberty Residents I also encourage you to reach out to our elected BOE members as well as our Mayor!

Lori Prymak
Jamie Cicerelle
William Vonder Haar

Liberty Resident Liberty Resident
Sep '18

This is a major concern for residents of Liberty and Independence.

The re-election of Mrs. Wilke, I completely disagree with. Mrs. Wilke did not win the election in November. She should not have been allowed to run for this short period since it was not public vote done by the voters of Independence. There is a reason that Mrs. Wilke was not re-elected in November.

I don't even know how they expect to house any more children at central. Last year that month of 1st graders being at Central from Willow Grove should prove this. They can't possibly think they will be able to put 3rd and 4th grade at Central. There just isn't enough room.


We need to change the GMRSD BOE! I believe that change will happen with the registered voters of Independence electing Doug Smith and Courtney Wenthen.

Mommyof3 Mommyof3
Sep '18

The committee is a joke. Mango already told the staff at Liberty that the school would probably close at the end of the year. It's no surprise with our Superintendent and BOE. They don't even bother to make it look like they are actually trying.They will use the maintenance issues as a reason to close Liberty. I wouldn't be surprised if they were neglecting these issues on purpose to have an excuse.

Everyone knew that Agatha would be appointed to that seat. Mister Rodgers could have been up against her and the board would have chosen her every time. Isn't it the vice president of the board who always says "it will be 7-2" before a vote is even taken? I heard that she went on and on about how much she cares about the district and education. Well then why didn't she show up for meetings after she lost the election? She hadn't been to a meeting in 8 months but when the clique called her to come back, she came running! She is as fake as most of the others. To say we need a change is an understatement!!

Who would have ever thought that our small little district could have such a corrupt and unethical board? Has anyone thought to report them for the sneaky things they do? The way they talk to the crowd is disgusting.

Mango needs to go. Hackettstown seems to be fed up with him too. Wouldn't it be great to get new board members and a new superintendent all in one year?

Rich225 Rich225
Sep '18

This will be the new norm. Schools are going to get merged and closed in NJ like it not.

CraftBeerBob CraftBeerBob
Sep '18

How old is the Liberty school?...Central is ancient

Bug3
Sep '18

That property would be prime real estate for some nice housing. Could probably put 30-40 homes with a nice park too.

DannyZuko DannyZuko
Sep '18

I would vote for a rotting, abandoned building before any more out-of-place development houses ruin liberty mtn

kepa
Sep '18

Isn’t enrollment throughout the district down?

Can’t keep a school open that does not make economical sense


Being mothballed means that the school will still have to be maintained so that the school can reopen if needed for rising enrollment. We will still have to pay for utilities to run.

The point is, Liberty residents will face lowering property values if Liberty school closes. Why aren't they looking at Central as an option? Then each town in the district will have their own school building. Central is much older and smaller.

The issue is that decisions are constantly being made by Mango and the board without any consideration from the community. Don't tell us that you are forming a committee to take a closer look at this and then turn around and tell the staff that Liberty is closing before a committee is even formed.

I'm surprised no one has mentioned that we just paid for a half million dollar security "enhancement" for a school that will no longer be in use.

Rich225 Rich225
Sep '18

Said it many times. The BOE that gave Mango his job should be hanged. They were all a bunch of pussy's and too afraid of the guy. He's a bully and will talk down to anyone that approaches him. Those guys on the board then knew what would happen but they didn't care. That's the bottom line they DO NOT CARE about anything but their own interests. From what I've seen from GM it's no different as that board is a dumpster fire too.

Hopefully new board members across both school districts. As far as Mango, he has a contract. Hopefully it won't get renewed. My question is with all the money he makes, why can't the man buy proper clothes. He dresses like it robbed an Amvet.


"As far as Mango, he has a contract. Hopefully it won't get renewed."

Mr Mango's contract was renewed in 2017 and runs until June 2022. Here are the details of his contract.

https://www.gmrsd.com/cms/lib/NJ01001526/Centricity/shared/superintendent/SuperintendentContract2017_18.pdf

Jim L Jim L
Sep '18

Don-
You are hysterical
I too noticed his choice of jacket wear on back to school night at the MS (faint red dollar bills) and all of his apparel continues to crack me up every tine I see him

H-town Mama H-town Mama
Sep '18

Turn Liberty into a charter school.

DannyZuko DannyZuko
Sep '18

A charter school, or back to a k-8, sounds like a great idea. Thanks for the heads up on the meeting

kepa
Sep '18

Liberty Township completed their school in 1973.It opened late in the fall of 1973.I was in 6th grade at Central at that time.

Boomer 50 Boomer 50
Sep '18

You lose any credibility concerning valid complaints when lowering yourself making fun of clothing choices.


Too much money, this is such a joke!


People on here keep saying that central can't house all the students. Do you not realize that the middle school was built for 5-8 but presently only houses 6-8? They just need to shift the grades. I'm for saving money and if one school needs to close so be it.

magpie magpie
Sep '18

Don, I agree. Mango has to go and we need new board members. Rumor has it that the hackettstown board is losing their patience with Mango. He may have gotten a new contract in 2017 but all that is required to get our of it is 120 day notice. Shared services is a 60/40 split. If Hackettstown sends him packing, Great Meadows can slip right out of the deal. Our board now will never force him out. This election can make a difference. It would be nice to see free thinkers who won't just agree in unison.

Rich225 Rich225
Sep '18

You folks in Liberty had better make darn sure you vote for Bill Vonder Haar this fall or all those changes you want to make will never occur with out him being reelected.

hammer hammer
Sep '18

You're right, hammer. Bill is one of the good ones. He has my vote.

Rich225 Rich225
Sep '18

Magpie - they have to move 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade if they close liberty! As a mother of children that would be impacted, I do not want my kids in theses grades to be with 8th graders. 9 and 10 year olds shouldn’t be mixed in with 14 year olds

Mommyof3 Mommyof3
Sep '18

momof3, Liberty was an excellent k-8 school for many years until the late 90’s.

kepa
Sep '18

Magpie, I believe you are overestimating the "savings". I'm sure that you are an Independence resident. If you lived in Liberty, you would understand that the impact that closing Liberty School would have on our home values would be devastating. I'm not necessarily saying that a school shouldn't be closed but why does it have to be the only school we have in town?!

The most frustrating part of this is that we were assured that a committee would be formed to discuss the options but a decision has already been made.

Bill Vonderhaar is one ot the only sensible members on the BOE. He is the only one that should be re elected. Dawn Frost needs to go and Agatha Wilke should never have been put back on the board after being voted off in the last election. It's so corrupt!!!

Rich225 Rich225
Sep '18

Rich225 - I still can't believe they were able to put Agatha back in without a public vote by the voters, not just members of BOE.

Mommyof3 Mommyof3
Sep '18

Mommyof3- I understand that it is the procedure of the board to fill vacant seats that way but that was a slap in the face to all of the Independence voters who did not reelect Agatha. It was clear that they didn't want her on the board. It's become VERY clear that the other BOE members did and that's why it's such a corrupt move. What's even worse is that she didn't show her face at a meeting after she was voted out and then preached about her dedication to the school district. BS! I've heard that members of the board practically begged her to come back for the seat and to run again. That should tell you about their motives. They want like minded people who will agree with what they want. The only people who have their own individual thoughts and opinions are Bill and Susan and they are constantly, and publicly attacked for it!

Bill Vonderhaar has my vote and should have the vote of every Liberty resident. Independence needs new people in there. I'm telling everyone I know to vote for Doug Smith and Courtney Wenthen. They should vote Agatha out by a landslide for what she and the board pulled by disregarding the public's decision! Its infuriating!

Rich225 Rich225
Sep '18

Rich225 - BOE members going to Agatha asking her to run for Schmitz vacant spot is just another sneaky move by them. We all know who it was that approached her to run again. They just wanted to make sure there was someone up against Doug Smith. The votes were stacked against Doug, I’m sure certain people had a major influence on how others voted.

Mommyof3 Mommyof3
Sep '18

Just a question - when my son attended Central school there was not an elevator. Just stairs. How will the powers that be make this school ADA compliant? And with what funds? I am glad we have exited the lower grades. At least the High School is all on one level.

cat1213 cat1213
Sep '18

At the middle school the older kids are separated from the younger ones, one reason for separate wings of the school. Even in H'town they are separated by floors. .

magpie magpie
Sep '18

If you want to get more infuriated by this board ask where our 2 million from Htown disappeared to.

hammer hammer
Sep '18

Maybe that's why the meeting minutes haven't been done in 3 months. They always transfer the big money in June. The feasibility study said we could save 900,000 a year by mothballing a school. They have the capacity in Central and the Middle school to hold all of the students. Of Liberty and Central, which school has the larger capacity? Does anyone know? The question is if they mothball a school, will they pass on some of the savings to the taxpayers or will they simply absorb it as they have done with every other money-saving initiative?

Rosie Rosie
Sep '18

This board has utter contempt for the tax payer. Despite over paying $500k a year for 4 years and not finding out about it for another 2 years they still raised spending to the 2% cap each and every one of those years and it gets worse, our enrollment has dropped from 1022 students to the present 668 students over the past 14 years, if you give and average cost of sending those kids to Hackettstown of $12,000 and at least 75% of senior teachers retiring over those years you cannot help your self to conclude that we are getting hosed.

hammer hammer
Sep '18

The real "hosing" occurs when they retire...


Perhaps enrollment is down or going that way?

https://www.lehighvalleylive.com/warren-county/index.ssf/2018/09/warren_school_enrollment_down.html#incart_river_index

NotIn NJ Anymore NotIn NJ Anymore
Sep '18

When you look at that link there are quite a few schools that should be closed or mothballed or whatever you want to call it.

CraftBeerBob CraftBeerBob
Sep '18

Re: Liberty Township Residents - BOE wants to

BOE for GMRSD needs to change! Our family fully supports Doug Smith and Courtney Wenthen!!!

Mommyof3 Mommyof3
Sep '18

"When you look at that link there are quite a few schools that should be closed or mothballed or whatever you want to call it."

+1 here.

After we regionalize, we can close some more. Now we have more money to spend in less places so we can get better stuff.

strangerdanger strangerdanger
Sep '18

Mr. Vonderhaar ABSOLUTELY 100% wants to mothball Liberty school. It was his suggestion during that whole feasibility study debacle. I don’t know the other candidate well but I know she’ll get my vote in Liberty and NOT Mr. Vonderhaar.

GaelicPride GaelicPride
Sep '18

I’m not quite sure what one individual has to do with all the issues in this town that is looked over by an entire board and superintendent. I am, however, quite sure of a few things:
1) people are not aware of the rules and protocols on how things are done by the board;
2) this woman does not ride around on a broomstick nor does she have final say in anything;
3) attacking an individual’s character over social media is gutless. I will admit to not knowing for a fact...but would be willing to be these same individuals have never approached this new board member or any board member about facts and what they stand for but rather going off of 2nd hand information;
4) those people that claim the school district is not in a “better place” than it was 10 years ago are out of their minds...having no credibility or any idea how badly this district was in the “dark ages”
5) I am ashamed to say I am from Liberty if these comments represent my town.

Sanity Sanity
Sep '18

Sanity- who is blaming one individual and what individual would you be speaking of?

Gaelic pride- who is the other person running for Liberty? If you are so confident in voting for this person, that you don't know well, what makes her qualified? Has she ever even attended a board meeting? My guess would be, no.

If you are insinuating that Mr. Vonderhaar is 100% in favor of mothballing Liberty School because he suggested it be looked into on the feasibility study (something that the public asked for in that same meeting), then you would have to deduce that the rest of the board of education was in favor of redistricting because they suggested that we move forward with that and spending $6,000 of our tax dollars in the process. If you sat through that meeting, you would know that it wasn't worth $50.

Rich225 Rich225
Sep '18

It is my understanding that this woman back on the board is a teacher. I don’t know what district, but I don’t see what it hurts to have somebody on the board with an education background. Having a restaurant manager or a plumber or a business owner is certainly fine on the Board of Education but it certainly couldn’t hurt to have people with an education background on a Board of Education. Has anybody inquired or found out what this person has offered or improved by being on the Board of Education from her teacher background during her last tenure? I don’t know, myself, but it is certainly worth finding out rather than tossing the words “corrupt “or “establishment “ around with regard to her reinstatement. All I’ve heard is talk about money and buildings, not one word about the quality of education. Last time I checked, that was an integral part of my child’s learning. To lump one individual in with a group without looking at that individuals ideas and performance seems bigoted to me. Very disappointing.

Sanity Sanity
Sep '18

Sanity- you seem to be missing the point here. It is absolutely corrupt to place this woman back on the board when the people of Independence made it very clear in the last election that they did not want her back. It is a slap in the face to democracy! What's worse is that she had "encouragement" (I use this term lightly because their ways were not subtle) from other board members to do so. And, the vote was decided before anyone walked in the door.

To be honest, your last post sounds a lot like the speech that she gave the night she was put back on.

I honestly cannot understand why you can't comprehend why the public is so angered by this. Her being a teacher has no bearing on a blaring lack of ethics.

Let's also not forget that this "dedicated" educator went eight months without attending a meeting.

Rich225 Rich225
Sep '18

Can we stop with calling this an election? It is a board appointment for the remainder of a term. They could usher in Donald Trump if they wanted to. Tell you what...let’s use your wing nut argument and assume that she has an in with other members of the board, why should she have to go to every board meeting when she already knows what’s going on? If you’re argument about somebody’s productivity and ideas is solely based on attendance, then perhaps you should chastise some of the people that are on this very forum. Perhaps their opinions don’t count? Mean nothing? Because their attendance has been very poor. What is the next strike? She has a crooked toenail? I assume you’ve been to all these board meetings? Why not run because I’m still listening for your impact. I can tell you what candidates I have voted and not voted for because I know what they’re voting record has been and what they have stood for and what they have pushed for. I dare say you have no facts to even back this argument about whether a candidate is good or not. It seems you are going on hearsay, personal vendetta, and bunk. But I repeat again… I still have not heard one word about education from you, the most important thing about all of this. Perhaps you could use some of that as well.

Sanity Sanity
Sep '18

The person in Liberty is Fran Ridge. Even though I don’t know her personally, I know that she supports education. Mr. Vonderhaar on the other hand has NEVER supported GMRSD- or Liberty School, being that he home schooled his children. He has no faith in public education and his voting record proves that. He never votes for anything in support of teachers or anything that goes along with the students. And he DOES want to mothball Liberty; whether he denies it now is another story. He said it to many people as his solution to save the taxpayers money.

GaelicPride GaelicPride
Sep '18

Mr. Vonderhaar homeschooled his children because he wanted them to have a better education than what was available at GM. Since both of his children ended up being class valedictorian at the high school maybe he knows more than you give him credit for. Over the years he has been on the board he has voted many times for the students and teachers. He has voted against the bloated budgets and wasteful spending of taxpayers money. The problem that most people have with this board is the bullying from the President and Vice President and the voting in lockstep with them of the other five. Agatha was one of those who voted every time with the group. When she was voted out, they appointed her back on. If you want to know why Mr. Vonderhaar votes against the budget, why don't you ask him at the end of the meeting when you can ask any question you want? You might be surprised at the answer you get.

Rosie Rosie
Sep '18

Rosie I have heard Mr. Vonderhaar speaking to people and I have listened to him at the BOE meetings I attended. He is NOT pro- education. I applaud his daughters’ academic success and am glad that he is fortunate enough to have gifted daughters- public education however needs to educate all kinds of students and that is what so many people don’t understand. As for this whole thing with Agatha being “voted off”, I just checked the county voting record and she got over 500 votes, from the people of Independence- unless there is something I am missing, that doesn’t mean that “all the people have spoken”? Those 500+ people don’t count?
My original post, however, was to shed light on Mr. Vonderhaar and his desire to mothball Liberty- that is the truth.

GaelicPride GaelicPride
Sep '18

Sanity, reread my comment. When I used the word election, I was referring to last November, when the residents of Independence went into the booth and did not check off the box for Agatha Wilke! That was not an appointment. The appointment was in August and I stand by my convictions that it was a slap in the face to every voter that came out in November.

Here is my comment about education; you clearly must have failed reading comprehension.

Does anyone else find it ironic that there are three people currently on the board running for re-election and two people posting on this thread who are vehemently defending those board members and putting the third down-who by the way, has been praised in this thread for being a free thinker unlike the others? Wow. There is a math problem, education comes up again!

Rich225 Rich225
Sep '18

Rich- So let me get this straight- the only people allowed to posthete are those who agree with you? Is that the same kind of “free thinking” you refer to? Contrary to what you believe, there are people in both Liberty and I assume Independence who don’t share your view point- as you can see from my post above.
I had no idea that this thread was for the one-sided biased perspective...my bad.

GaelicPride GaelicPride
Sep '18

Gaelic- you can have any opinion you'd like. I don't take kindly to someone like Sanity who doesn't read things through and tries to twist my words. That being said, to imply that Vonderhaar doesn't care about education is a broad statement, especially without any proof or record of his voting. Its something that has been touted by the current board for YEARS! He is constantly badgered for not caring about education when that is obviously not the case. Rosie is right, if education wasn't a priority for him, both of his daughters wouldn't have been valedictorians of HHS; a public school. If anyone on the board ever bothered to ask him why he votes "no" to the things that he does, you would understand where he is coming from. It's just easier to pick him apart for having differing opinions.

As for Agatha getting 500+ votes, it means nothing!! She lost!

Rich225 Rich225
Sep '18

Here's the deal as seen from an outsider, I don't live in your district. You currently have 3 schools operational, and your newest and biggest building is under utilized. You can easily fit your student body in 2 buildings, leaving you one to "mothball " and you'll save close to one million dollars. Sounds fairly simple to me! Why pay to run and maintain 3 separate buildings when 2 will more than suffice? Your numbers have decreased, and I'm not aware of any building/developments planned which would change that.

Deviljet
Sep '18

Deviljet
I agree. I do live in town and its obvious that something needs to be done. Contrary to popular belief, if htown and GMRSD had decided to move forward with the merging of the 7 and 8 grade we might not be in this predicament at all and would have kept all schools open. Additionally according to many outlets GMRSD is on the list for school regionalization. If we had merged these grades it might have saved us from that and we could have done it on our own terms.
Finally, the title of this thread is the "Liberty Township Rrsidents -BOE wants to "Mothball"our school.
There are a few things that need to be addressed here.
First and foremost, instead of bashing candidates and board members how about we all remain adults and discuss this topic. Hammer, Rich, Mommy, etc. It is clear that your motives are not to do so. Start a new thread if you do not want to discuss this.
Second, that title is sensationalism at its best as no decisions have been made, nor has the committee even been fullt formed to discuss this.
And finally, to all of those complaining about taxes yet against the closing of a school please explain how you plan to get tax relief while enrollment is declining and funding is being lost yet we are all paying to keep 3 schools open.

Friendlyface Friendlyface
Sep '18

Someone above mentioned regionalizing, I personally do not want to see that. We briefly lived out of state in a district like this. It was a mess! That was one big reason we left that state.

As for Agatha getting 500 plus votes, she didn't get enough to be re-elected for her seat. Susan Cullen and Tim Koeller got the votes, not Agatha. 500 votes mean nothing if you don't win. By going around the voters and appointing her, you basically said we don't care what the public wants. I will say this a thousand times, it was sneaky. Also, when the BOE was asking questions, Bill Vonderhaar was attacked by BOE members because he asked Agatha why should she get the seat again since she lost during the public vote. I don't want to hear that they were asking the same questions to Doug and Agatha. This was a valid question that did not apply to Doug. The "cards" were stacked against Doug. I wonder what Tim Koeller wanted to say before he voted? They wouldn't let him say what he wanted. The rant that Agatha went on afterward during the meeting was disgusting.

Mommyof3 Mommyof3
Sep '18

Mommy of 3
As for regionalization I dont think that anyone wants that even our current board. However, we will have no say if the state decides this. I was just saying that if both districts had agreed to merge the 7th and 8th grade gmrsd might not be in that list.
Again please stuck to the topic of the thread and stop bashing others .
IT DISGUSTS me the way you all treat and speak of others on here. What are we teaching our children?
And before i get "bashed" because it is our right of free speech. It never needs to mean spirited or nasty.

Friendlyface Friendlyface
Sep '18

Friendlyface - I did NOT bash Agatha. I said I don’t like how they handled her getting the seat. The only negative thing I said about her was her rant during the meeting last month. Had that been Bill or Susan going on that rant, they would have shut it down! I’m going guess you don’t attend meetings

Mommyof3 Mommyof3
Sep '18

Mommy
Actually i was at that meeting and Mr Mango and the board president did shut her down. And as for Bill VonDahaar getting told he couldnt ask a question the format was supposed to be they aak them BOTH the same questions..his question "minus the BS"
was why do you think you should be put back on the board. He should have asked Doug Smith why do you think you should be put on the board. It was clear he was just trying to cause trouble as he does in almost every meeting that ive attended.
And to be fair I have nothing against Doug Smith but as a parent in this district. If i was going to choose between a board member that has educational experience over an airline pilot or a bus driver i would choose educational experience. Which both Agatha and Fran have.
It is obvious to me that yourself, hammer, rich, ijay and your friends have a personal issue with these people and only want to continually start trouble. I have been reading this board for over a year before commenting and its always the same ignorance touting their thoughts on any board pertaining to gmrsd. ..its time to get some positive thoughts on here.
Again i say get back to the topic listed.

Friendlyface Friendlyface
Sep '18

This is what I know. The current BOE has allowed superintendent Mango to waste taxpayer money on many things that have not improved the education of my grandchildren. Let’s give Doug Smith and Courtney Wenthen a chance to see if they can do better with our children’s education and our money.

Retired Retired
Sep '18

One more thing Rich and Mommy. You say that the "residents spoke" and they did not want Agatha on the board. well 500 residents did. So how in our tiny little community does Agatha losing represent "the residents"? Are you saying that your little group is the majority? Or are you saying 500 other resident's and their thoughts do not matter because it is not how you feel?I'd like to know the margin between Agatha and 1st and 2nd place. Lets see how the majority of the residents did not want her on the board.

Friendlyface Friendlyface
Sep '18

One more thing Rich and Mommy. You saybthatbthe "residents spoke" and they did not want Agatha on the board. well 500 residents did. So how in our tiny little community does Agatha losing represent "the residents"? Are you saying that your little group is the majority? Or are you saying 500 other resident's and their thoughts do not matter because it is not how you feel?I'd like to know the margin between Agatha and 1st and 2nd place. Lets see how the majority of the residents did not want her on the board.

Friendlyface Friendlyface
Sep '18

It’s on the town website

Susan Cullen 643
Tim Koeller 620
Agetha Wike 507

You either have enough votes to win or you do not have enough votes to win. Mrs. Wilke did not have enough votes to keep her seat.

Retired Retired
Sep '18

How, in our case, is regionalization defined? I think I like it, many don't, so I wonder if I have the right definition of what it is.

strangerdanger strangerdanger
Sep '18

Friendly face- I'm in Liberty and had no say in the Independence election. However, whether the margin was 113 people, or 136 as shown above, she LOST the election. If the board was smart, they wouldn't have appointed her to the vacant seat eight months later. If you have ever been to a meeting, you would see the lack of respect that the board has for the community. This is just further proof that they don't care what the MAJORITY of the people want. As for being part of "your little group", I know the rest of the posters on this thread just as much as I know you. I don't know why you are insisting that I am picking on Agatha, I'm speaking my mind about something that I don't think is right. I think it was a poor and corrupt move to have 6 out of 8 people put her back on the board after she lost her seat to the PUBLIC vote. As for her being more qualified because she is an educator, do you believe that the others currently on the board are not qualified? You and Gaelic can say 500 votes as much as you'd like but it won't change my mind or the fact that it wasn't the majority. I dont know Agatha personally, and she might be qualified, or she may not be, but either way, her appointment to the board is most likely going to reflect poorly on her election. I think that recruiting her and overruling the public just highlights the flaws of the current board and leads people to believe that she is just another one of "them".

Rich225 Rich225
Sep '18

Friendlyface - Why do you keep saying "your little group" I do not know who any of the other posters on this thread.

Mommyof3 Mommyof3
Sep '18

This was all foretold during the discussion of the send/receive proposal for Hackettstown 7/8th graders (which I did not support as an Htown resident).

In fairness, it would have been a way to generate income for GMRSD and justify keeping Liberty open.

The people spoke, and the proposal died a natural death. Unfortunately the numbers may now make Liberty collateral damage, or the taxpayers should be prepared to keep paying for a building they don't need.

Pick your poison - You can't have it both ways.

Tim the Tool Man
Sep '18

Why can't they "mothball" Central School (older, two stories, non ADA compliant) and have use Liberty for the Elementary School?

No regrets
Sep '18

Thank you Tim the tool man. The whole reason for my original post.

Well said.

Friendlyface Friendlyface
Sep '18

Mommy
I say your little group because you and the other posters kn here are always saying the same thing at nauseam. Not only on here but many other threads regarding gmrsd and the BOE. Im really tired of the accusations of corruption, bashing of Mr. Mango and the board, etc.
Enough already.. seriously.
I will say ive been to meetings where some board members have been rude to the public, however ive also seen the public be rude to the BOE.
For some reason that never comes up

One thing ive never seen is Agatha Wilke or Dawn Frost be rude to the public.
I believe they are there for the good of the students and the district..So.why say they need to go

Friendlyface Friendlyface
Sep '18

Tim and Friendly- if you knew anything about the GM Board, or its frivolous spending, you would know that it doesn't have to be a one or the other, pick your poison scenario. Both redistricting and mothballing Liberty were analyzed but it was never presented as one or the other.

In all fairness, Tim, up until the shift in state aid, it was Hackettstown who needed the money. In fact, Hackettstown is still in a hole even with the state aid. Redistricting wasn't financially feasible. If you read that 68 page report, you should recognize that.

Rich225 Rich225
Sep '18

Friendlyface - you are 100% wrong! I am not involved in “a little group” on here. I will say this again, I do NOT know who the other posters are on this post! To be completely honest a few names on this post are BRAND new names to this entire forum that I have never seen on here in all my years of being active on this forum. You really should rethink the name friendly because you are the one attacking me!!

Mommyof3 Mommyof3
Sep '18

No regrets - from what has been said they want the schools on one campus. Security was another reason that was mentioned too.

Mommyof3 Mommyof3
Sep '18

Friendly- who brought up Dawn Frost? Why are YOU bringing up Dawn Frost? Up until now, the only person I've mentioned is Agatha because I don't agree with her appointment which I think that I've made my point about.

I have heard instances of Dawn and Agatha being rude to the public. Rolling eyes and giving dirty looks count. Spending the entire last meeting texting one another and passing notes is disrespectful. I will agree that they are not as bad as the President and VP but ALLOWING them to speak and act the way that they do and not intervening makes you look like you agree. If you won't address the poor behavior of your fellow board members, especially when they are calling people names, it makes you look just as guilty. I would NEVER allow a friend, family member, or co-worker to speak to people the way that they do. You are elected by the people, to represent the people and you consistently sit there with your mouth shut as your fellow board members chastise anyone who has a different opinion or concern.

Rich225 Rich225
Sep '18

So Rich 225 you call people names, make fun of the way people dress and say BOE members should be hanged? I would NEVER vote for anyone you back. To me you sound like a very mean spirited person. I hope that people that read this thread do not take you seriously. It’s all just a bunch of heresay and nonsense.

Michael Scarn Michael Scarn
Sep '18

Just curious but dioes anyone know how many BOE meetings Agetha Wilke went to After she lost the election last November?

Retired Retired
Sep '18

Retired - I am almost positive it was none! I do not recall seeing her at anything until August. In fairness to her, I did miss one meeting from January until now. So she could have been at that one.

Mommyof3 Mommyof3
Sep '18

"Bill Vonderhaar is one ot the only sensible members on the BOE. He is the only one that should be re elected. Dawn Frost needs to go and Agatha Wilke should never have been put back on the board after being voted off in the last election. It's so corrupt!!!" Rich228 post from 5 days ago
Tell.me again how you did not bring up Dawn Frost
I believe this is when your rant regarding Ms. Wilke also began

Friendlyface Friendlyface
Sep '18

Rich225
Also, how do you know that board members do not discuss others behavior with them off line? A professional, mature, adult would do so outside of the public eye and one on one.
Additionally, it is my understanding that all but 2 members have young families at home so how do you know who they are texting? Heresay at its best!!
As far as eyerolling have you actually ever been to a meeting eye roll.my eyes atleast 1000 times at both the BOE members and the public.

Oh and please stop saying "you" when complain about the board. I can assure you that you couldnt pay me enough ro take the beatings that they do from you the public. The way that.they are treated all for volunteering their time is ridiculous

Friendlyface Friendlyface
Sep '18

Hackettstown is not "in a hole". In fact they have not had to go to referendum in years, and managed to stay at or under the 2% max all that time while getting constantly stiffed in state funding.

But this isn't about Htown. No skin off our nose if GM wants to keep all those buildings open and pay more and more taxes, that's their right. Interesting point about mothballing Central instead though...

Just try not to complain about taxes and facilities in the same breath.

Tim the Tool Man
Sep '18

Probably also worth noting that H-Towns enrollment has consistently gone up, while GM is in a hard decline. Also correlates to the housing growth/decline for each town. Not many people want to be in GM, Liberty or Independence.


How is it possible that Agetha Wilke did not attend BOE meetings after she was voted out last November, but then was appointed by the BOE?

Retired Retired
Sep '18

Friendly/Serenity- Dawn, you got me. I must have forgotten what I said almost a week ago. I'm sorry if I hurt your feelings but it's how I feel. I didn't remember that I made my feeling public, but there it is. I take ownership of my mistakes.

Michael Scarn- please refresh my memory on when I made fun of what someone was wearing, called anyone a name, or said that someone should be hanged? If you are referring to my comment about agreeing with what Don says (I just scrolled back because I had no friggin idea what you were talking about), I clearly wrote "Don I agree, Mango has to go". My statement in agreeance had nothing to do with anything else that he wrote and only with what I wrote. You're spinning.

Let's remember that saying that the board acted in a corrupt manner is not calling anyone names, I spoke to their actions. I know for damn sure that I have never wished anyone any harm. If you want to discredit my opinions, go for it, but don't make me out to be someone that I am not. To even suggest that I called for someone's hanging says more about you than it does me.

This post now has absolutely nothing to do with the original topic and has turned into two women who are running for election and how many screennames they can use. This is exactly what I was talking about, the public has their own opinions and are trampled by the board for it. You dont even have to go to the meetings to see it, they hide behind fake screennames and troll town forums.

Rich225 Rich225
Sep '18

Wow ok.here you go grasping at straws. Rich225. When you realize that you've been ousted you change the subject to make it look as though the only people on here supporting the board must be the people running for election. As if no one else could possibly disagree with you or your opinions and actually support people who they feel do a good job or have in the past.
Now that you realize that maybe there are more people that disagree with you because others are actually speaking up it can only be these two women themselves.
I am truly disappointed that I let you lower myself to your standards by reacting to your rants.
Yes like ive said before lets get back to the original topic at hand.

Friendlyface Friendlyface
Sep '18

It’s no wonder our society is what it is. Rich and Mommy you truly are classless and clearly don’t value the right to opinion. Your entitlement is mind boggling and you get an A+ in defamation of character. You can try to twist everything around to defend your “opinion” but an opinion with no fact to substantiate it is bias. I posted on this thread to bring light to Liberty residents that our own Mr. Vonderhaar wants to mothball OUR school and I am ashamed that you are who I live amongst. The vitriol that you have spewed is horrible and I doubt that it’s based on any fact. Rich- your arrogance in thinking you dictate the position people should take when posting here if they don’t want to be attacked by you is vile. Anyone who posts anything aside from how Agatha lost and the BOE is full of conspiracy is automatically harassed by both of you (and the same few others on this thread).
I can only deduce that if you support Mr. Vonderhaar... and Courtney W. and Doug S. are so openly supported by you, then they must be of the same mold as you are... not sure that’s who I find fit for supporting an educational institution.
As a Liberty resident I encourage everyone to vote for Fran Ridge... someone who will undoubtedly be pro-schools.
My apologies for initially posting on your thread and trying to voice something that actually pertained to the topic.

GaelicPride GaelicPride
Sep '18

I would just like to add that the boe approved a million dollar upgrade to the vestibule at liberty school that was done last year which included bullet proof glass doors and a new lock down system for those doors including electronic lock releases to let people in. Why spend 1 million when you plan to close the school?

Please, I’m not bashing anyone just making a curious observation.


HH- that is an excellent observation and a question that I've asked, too.

Friendly (Dawn)- I was going to leave well enough alone but you've twisted my words again. I was not "ousted". I didn't remember a comment that I had made 5 days prior and admitted to my mistake. I have not changed the subject, it's clear from your, and Gaelic's (Agatha) posts that you are acting defensively because you are taking the opinions on this page as personal attacks. You stated above that you've been on this forum for a year but this topic somehow intrigued you enough to start commenting? As you have said many times, the topic of this thread was mothballing Liberty School however you never shared an opinion on that. Your posts have been directly focused on defending "Ms. Wilke" and "Dawn Frost". As a matter of fact, Gaelic's first post was specifically written to say that Mr. Vonderhaar 100% wants to mothball Liberty School. Unless you have the gift of ESP, it's impossible to guarentee the validity in that statement. Though it's quite possible that you may have heard him voice those opinions in committee meetings last year when the feasibility study was being conducted, it's still unlikely that you know exactly what is going through his mind. I should probably mention that I work in the field of forensics and human behavior. That being said, I am strong in my conviction that these posters are Dawn Frost and Agatha Wilke. In addition, I have spoken to another board member who shared with me that these two women are obsessed with Hackettstown Life and respond to posts when they get worked up. I'm confused at why I am being called out for being vile and entitled, so I put a list together of the things that were said by me, as well as the comments made by Friendly and Gaelic, for comparison reasons.

Me- It was my opinion that Agatha's appointment was corrupt, and it still is. I think that I've already made my point in above posts. I also said that she hadn't been to a meeting since she lost the election which is the truth. I said the board was a clique, unethical and recruiting Agatha and over ruling the public highlights the flaws of the board. I also said that she was as fake as the others. My neighbor was at the PTO meeting last week and said that Agatha and Dawn showed up there together which was really weird because they never go. I stand behind my comment about fake behavior. I wrote that most of the board members were not free thinkers. I agreed with Don that Mango had to go (and only that, not everything he said) and added that Dawn had to go and Agatha shouldn't have been back. I also said that we needed new members with the exception of Mr. Vonderhaar, who would have my vote. I endorsed the new candidates in Independence and said that I was telling all of my Indy friends to vote for them. I spoke about the disrespect that the VP and President shows to the public and that I wouldn't allow family, friends or coworkers to speak to people that way and the other members should shut it down. At this point, Friendly (Dawn) asked how did I know that this isn't done in private? You said that Dawn Frost and Agatha Wilke are never rude to the public and I disagreed and commented on their eye rolling and texting one another, to which you "speculated" that they could be texting their young children. The rudest comment that I made was when my words were twisted and I responded by asking you to reread it and said that you probably failed reading comprehension. A low blow but I was frustrated by my thoughts being spun. My apologies.

Rich225 Rich225
Sep '18

The following are comments from Friendly (Dawn) - it is gutless to attack character (pot calling the kettle black), it disgusts you the way I talk and treat people. Bill was trying to cause trouble by asking Agatha why she should come back after not being re-elected and that he causes trouble at every meeting (ironically you also said that people should stop bashing candidates and start acting like adults) . You also implied that almost everyone on this thread is part of a "little group" and the public is always rude to the board at meetings. You asked why 500 votes shouldn't matter (eventhough it wasn't the majority). And finally, you wrote that when choosing a board member, it should be someone with educational experience not an airline pilot or bus driver.

Gaelic (Agatha): Vonderhaar never supported GMRSD or Liberty School because his kids were homeschooled. Vonderhaar has no faith in public education and shows it. You know for a fact that he 100% wants to mothball Liberty School. You said that I'm, along with others on this thread, are classes, entitled, character defaming, arrogant and think that I dictate what people should say. You said that we spew vitriol. You also wrote that you deduced that if I/we support Vonderhaar, Courtney, or Doug, then they must be of the same mold and not fit for a supportive educational institution. Agatha, the only thing that you have done on this entire thread is defame the other candidates, especially Mr. Vonderhaar whom you apparently have a psychic connection to because you know exactly what he is thinking.

The thing is, I'm not bothered by differing opinions. I just dont believe that either of you had any opinions, other than putting down the other candidates for their occupations, who their supporters are, or what you believe another man's opinion to be. You added nothing to the conversation about mothballing. You came on this thread, under psuedonems, to defend yourselves.

Rich225 Rich225
Sep '18

Oh Rich
Why do you bother trying to figure this all out. I did originally post about the original thread. And here it is.

Deviljet
I agree. I do live in town and its obvious that something needs to be done. Contrary to popular belief, if htown and GMRSD had decided to move forward with the merging of the 7 and 8 grade we might not be in this predicament at all and would have kept all schools open. Additionally according to many outlets GMRSD is on the list for school regionalization. If we had merged these grades it might have saved us from that and we could have done it on our own terms.

I must say you have a very impressive job it its forensics, however, you are wrong. Although I do know Dawn Frost I am not her. But she does not deserve to be spoken about this way. I do not believe what you say is true about her being obsessed with this thread and if you knew her at all you would know this is true. If she even spends more than a second reading this i must say she is better than I because if it was me being dragged across social media like this i would fight back and probably use my own name. Or even say something at a meeting about it.
I said yesterday that i will not let you drag me down to your level and i will not. So this wil be my last response to your rant. I just hope others will know that you are FOS.

Friendlyface Friendlyface
Sep '18

Rich225 -

Did you apply for the appointment to the BOE?

If no, why not? Then you could have helped effect the changes you seek.

As long as the opening was properly posted and the BOE followed protocol, the appointment of the former member is not corrupt.

Tim the Tool Man
Sep '18

i get lost in these 5 paragraph posts. Keep it simple. Try to keep the egos in check. It's really a big issue for our small town.


Rich225,spot on commentary and you echo my sentiments exactly. Once the public finds out the abuse of their tax dollars by this crew running our B.O.E. and Mr. Mango,they will be voting accordingly.

hammer hammer
Sep '18

Rich225-"My statement in agreeance had nothing"

The word- agreeance- doesn't exist. Just sayin.

Boobalaa Boobalaa
Sep '18

Thank you Rich for derailing this thread and not making it worthwhile to look at- and for giving me a chuckle. I do hope that you find your way and start posting about the closing of Liberty School since you clearly have a lot of time on your hands.
Have a nice day.

GaelicPride GaelicPride
Sep '18

While it may not fit the exact definition of "corrupt" for the board to have reappointed Agatha, it certainly does send a strong message of exactly how little the board values the opinions of the tax payers and voters. The breakdown in the 2017 election was 643 votes for Susan Cullen, 620 for Tim Koeller, and 507 for Agatha Wilke. Agatha was reappointed by the board within the year. And yes, when board members don't speak up when a fellow board member is attacking a member of the public, it implies that they are in agreement with that person's actions, in my opinion.

In speaking with both Doug and Courtney, they have expressed that they want change. Both can speak in-depth about the financial state and issues of the district (budget, expenditures, security, etc). The relationship between the BOE and the public is very toxic. People are afraid to speak up at meetings out of fear that they will be belittled and have their heads bitten off. A brave few go to the meetings month after month and put up with it. I applaud them for doing so.

Little by little, we can change the direction of our district by voting out the current members as they come up for re-election.


OGF
I have spoken to Doug and Courtney about the waste of taxpayer dollars by this superintendent and current BOE. They did not discount what I was saying because I am just a taxpayer and not a parent iof kids in the district. It sounds like they believe in reaching a balance between the two. I liked them very much and found them easy to talk with. I will tell all my gray haired friends to give them a chance come November.

Retired Retired
Sep '18

HH and others, what people to continue to fail to understand is the economic pressure brought to bear on our school districts from the state - all operating schools were mandated to make vestibule upgrades by a certain date, and they had to meet that deadline or close immediately - it's not where they wanted the money to go to - I'm certain of that... Unfortunately for the economics, there will likely need to be centralized schools moresoe with population shifts - I may not agree with a lot that the BOE's do, but this one makes economic sense, even though people are very emotionally attached to their local schools... And frankly K-8 in one building is the standard in many districts - and I survived it quite fine, thank you --- they usually schedule and locate the lower grades far away from the other one's, it's really not a big deal - so K-6 should not be a problem at all --- at least with parents that have kids in multiple grades - 1 pick up would be welcome, I would think ---

trekster3~ trekster3~
Sep '18

Trekster 3
I agree. As a single parent to 3 children in this district in 3 different schools 1 pick up/ drop off would be great. However, im not so sure our current situation in GMRSD would warrant that. But 2 is even better..lol.. i'll take it.
Intoo have spoken to a few board members and although they have very strong opinions on where the tax dollars should go, unfortunately they have very little to say when it comes to the state mandates. Unfortunately it is what it is. I believe that they do an.OK job with what they are dealt.

Friendlyface Friendlyface
Sep '18

Trekster- vestibules are not state mandated. The following is an excerpt from NJSpotlight:

"As it stands, state agencies like the Department of Education (DOE), Office of School Preparedness and Emergency Planning, and Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness can only make recommendations and cannot require a school district to perform certain security measures.That responsibility and the relevant details reside with district superintendents and the schools themselves."

Rich225 Rich225
Sep '18

As I have said many a time that the BOEs have become entity of its self who no longer have to do what the tax payers want or need its time to take there powers away from them

Caged Animal Caged Animal
Oct '18

“vestibules are not state mandated”

But were they tied to funding incentives? IOW, would not implementing vestibules have resulted in pain elsewhere? I have no idea, but that’s typically how the government can force an outcome while making the claim they are making something voluntary. A bit of obfuscation goes a long way lol

justintime justintime
Oct '18

Trekster: "...all operating schools were mandated to make vestibule upgrades by a certain date, and they had to meet that deadline or close immediately..."
That's a crazy mandate. Could you cite where you got this from? I'm interested to know which agency set this mandate; state legislature, State DOE, feds, etc.

No regrets
Oct '18

There is like 100k residents in Warren County, it doesn't support having a proliferation of schools.


No regrets- there is no mandate. Its sounds like a crazy mandate because there is no way that they could shut down schools for not having vestibules! I can guarantee that there is a long list of schools in this state who do not have them. Mango patted himself on the back last year for being one of the first to do it. He considered it excellent publicity for his roadshow with Spiers.

Justintime- I guess that anything is possible but it is irresponsible for the Superintendent and BOE to continue to say that this is state mandated. It is simply not the truth.

What is most alarming about this entire situation is that our BOE is either making false statements in saying that their course of actions is in compliance with state mandates, or they are making misinformed decisions believing it is state mandated. It is clear that trekster has been mislead to believe that our schools would be closed without the vestibules and Friendly wrote that she has spoken to BOE members who believe that their hands are tied because of the mandates. Are people being lied to, or is our BOE making decisions without knowing what they are voting for? Neither option reflects well on the current state of our BOE.

Rich225 Rich225
Oct '18

Just another way to spend tax payers money.

Momof6 Momof6
Oct '18

I understand The Facility Consolidation is on the Great Meadows School District Agenda for their meeting on February 7, 2019. Does anyone know the details?

Super Johnson Super Johnson
1 week ago

I was wondering the same thing. Any information on this?


We can only hope consolidation begins!!

CraftBeerBob CraftBeerBob
1 week ago

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