TOMS RIVER-When Toms River’s regional school district learned it was losing $3 million in state funding some board members lashed out at the public. School board President Ben Giovine and fellow board member Dan Leonard, who represents the small sending district of Beachwood, lashed out at Toms River parents and residents for not attending school board meetings and for their lack of understanding of New Jersey’s complex political process.
One board member, Robert Onofrietti, called upon residents to come together…to fight Trenton, not each other. Onofrietti also reminded parents too busy to attend school meetings that the district provides online recordings of school board meetings and the board of education is always just an email away. Those audio recordings are available at www.trschools.com.
“As a community we can come together to help this deficit in our school district budget and you can hear our meetings online at home by recordings,” Onofrietti said.
He added that the community has been reaching out to him after days of negative political rhetoric and grandstanding by some on the board.
“I would like to truly thank all of the parents, graduates, teachers, and attentive seniors for your calls and messages over the past few weeks,” he added. “Your support, words of encouragement, thoughts of wisdom, and offers of standing behind me to help spread truth and transparency are very touching.”
“One wise gentleman I knew told me that life is 10% about what really happens to you and 90% how you react to it, and it couldn’t be more true,” he added. “I know we are busy living life to the fullest so we can’t always attend board meetings or other meetings. Some barely feed yourselves or your family at a decent time every night, some need more sleep, some wish to work a lot less, and some have many other everyday difficulties and hardships facing your life.”
Onofrietti said the community can reach out to him directly via his Facebook page and ask him questions directly about the budget impasse facing the district.