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School Budget Passes In Spring Lake!

April 29, 2011

Spring Lake School District officials were in good spirits Thursday morning after their 2011-2012 budget was approved by voters at the polls on Wednesday.

H.W. Mountz Elementary School Superintendent Patricia Wright said she was very pleased with the results.

“I thank everyone in the community for supporting the school,” said Mrs. Wright, on Thursday morning.
“We try really hard to be fiscally responsible and we think we are successful at that,” she said.

According to the unofficial results, the school budget passed by a vote of 226-146.

In addition to voting on the budget, Spring Lake residents  cast ballots for a candidate for the one, three-year board of education seat available.

Incumbent school board member James Panzini, 46, of Jersey Lane, and newcomer Joseph E. Desiderio, 67, of Tuttle Avenue, were running for the only available board seat.
James Panzini won his seat with 215 votes.
Mr. Desiderio, according to the results, received only 138 votes.
Mr. Panzini was not immediately available for a comment.
The proposed total school budget amount for 2011-2012 is $7,419,314.
The total school budget amount for 2010-2011 was $7,556,250.
The amount of the proposed 2011-2012 budget that will be raised through local taxation is $5,894,453.
There will be no increase in the local school tax rate under the 2011-2012 budget, as the school tax is down from the current school year’s by an approximated one-tenth of 1 cent.
The 2010-2011 Spring Lake school tax rate per $100 of assessed valuation for school purposes was 17.8 cents. The school tax rate for 2011-2012 per $100 of assessed valuation will be about 17.7 cents.
This will translate to a school tax bill decrease of $16.48 for the average homeowner in town. The average-priced home in Spring Lake is valued at $1,648,381.
A person who owns an average-priced Spring Lake home will pay $2,917 in school taxes for the 2011-2012 school year.
The amount being applied from surplus to the proposed 2011-2012 budget is $923,485, which will leave approximately $250,000 in the district’s surplus account.

The Spring Lake School Board of Education reorganization meeting will be held on Monday, May 2 at 7 p.m. at the school.

Pick up the May 5 edition of The Coast Star for the full story.


Two Candidates To Vie For One Seat On Spring Lake BOE

April 21, 2011

On Wednesday, April 27, two Spring Lake residents, incumbent school board member James Panzini, of Jersey Lane, and newcomer Joseph E. Desiderio, of Tuttle Avenue, will vie for the one available seat on the Spring Lake Board of Education [BOE] in the upcoming school elections.

BOE incumbent Mr. Panzini, 46, is married to Colleen, 46.
The couple has four sons — Jimmy, 14, Blaise, 12, Shane, 9, and Gioacchino, 6 — who all attend H.W. Mountz Elementary School, in Spring Lake.
Mr. Panzini received a bachelor of arts degree in political science, in 1987, from the University of Pennsylvania.
He received his juris doctorate from Seton Hall University School of Law in 1990.
Mr. Panzini is an attorney who specializes in employment and labor law with the law firm of Jackson Lewis, in the Morristown office, where he handles all types of employment litigation, in addition to counseling employers on litigation avoidance.
Prior to joining the firm, Mr. Panzini was director of complex claims for AIG Insurance.
Mr. Panzini is a member of the New Jersey Bar, admitted to practice before the Superior Court of New Jersey, the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey, and the United States Supreme Court.
Mr. Panzini was also recently inducted into the Toms River Regional Schools Athletic Hall of Fame.
Mr. Panzini, a 1983 graduate of Toms River High School South, was an honor student during his entire high school career, and a member of the National Honor Society.
During this time, he excelled on the football field, garnering All-County, All-Shore and All-State honors in 1982. He was also recognized as one of the best linemen in New Jersey by being selected First Team All-Groups during the 1982 season.
He continued his outstanding play on the football field for the Quakers during college, as a three-year starter and a member of three Ivy League Championships.
Mr. Panzini has been active in the Spring Lake community in numerous capacities, including coaching Little League, basketball and various youth sports.
Mr. Panzini said because of his sons, he has enjoyed focusing on coaching, either with Spring Lake Recreation or other groups, such as Mid-Monmouth.
Mr. Panzini, who has served on the BOE for two terms, said he has enjoyed the past several years serving on the Spring Lake BOE, and hopes to continue.
Mr. Desiderio, 67, is running for the BOE for the first time.
He is married to Hellin, 66.
The Desiderios have three daughters and one son, all grown — Tara, 41, of Wyckoff; Gregg, 40, of Oakland; Heather, 35, of Hopewell; and Alissa, 33, who also resides in Hopewell.
Mr. Desiderio attended Glassboro State College, now Rowan University, in Glassboro, where he graduated in 1966 with a bachelor of arts degree in elementary education.
In 1970, Mr. Desiderio served as an assistant head coach in soccer and went back to school as a full-time graduate student, where he earned his master’s in counseling and a master’s in environmental education in the early 1970s.
Currently, the Desiderios own the Johnson House Inn, 25 Tuttle Ave., in Spring Lake, which Mr. Desiderio said has been in the family for more than 40 years.
Previously, Mr. Desiderio said he had worked as a principal in the Wyckoff Township School District for many years, including at the school district’s elementary and middle schools, for a total of about 25 years.
Mr. Desiderio also served on Wyckoff’s board of education for three years. During his third year there, Mr. Desiderio said he served as board president.
During his time in Wyckoff, Mr. Desiderio also served as the negotiator for the school board, prior to his principalship.

When working in Wyckoff, Mr. Desiderio said he initiated a program for students “to give back to the community, where they had to do 10 to 15 hours of community service each year.”
The program first began for students in middle school, before trickling down to some of the younger grades.
Mr. Desiderio said, in the 1980s, he was selected as one of the top 100 administrators in the country, through a principal’s association.

In Spring Lake, Mr. Desiderio has been actively involved with the Spring Lake Business Improvement District [BID], where he currently represents the bed and breakfasts in town.
He also serves as the treasurer for the BID’s executive board.

In addition to voting for a school board member, voters will also have the opportunity to cast their ballots on the district’s proposed 2011-2012 school budget.

Polls open from 2 to 9 p.m.

Attention Fashionistas!

April 7, 2011

All fashionistas — near and far — are invited to Spring Lake’s Fashion Weekend Extravaganza, from Friday, April 8 through Sunday, April 10.

The event is being hosted by the Spring Lake Chamber of Commerce and the Spring Lake Improvement District.

Tomorrow night, the festivities begin with a kick-off party, held at the Johnson House Inn, 25 Tuttle Ave., from 6 to 8 p.m.

The evening will include a book signing with Susan Swimmer, fashion editor of More Magazine and author of Michelle Obama: First Lady of Fashion and Style.

Attendees will also enjoy a fashion show previewing 2011 trends, as well as wine tasting and hors d’oeuvres.

First 50 attendees will receive a goody bag.

On Saturday and Sunday, in-store events will include fashion shows, trunk shows, blowouts, spring potting demonstrations, wellness discussions, wine tasting, gifts, giveaways and so much more.

A Sunday complimentary fashion wind-down tea party at the Normandy Inn will be held from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m., featuring Irish tea and delectables from downtown.

For more details, please visit


School Days In Spring Lake

March 31, 2011

On Thursday, April 7, the Spring Lake Historical Society will be hosting a special event, School Days in Spring Lake.

The event will be held at 7 p.m. at Spring Lake Borough Hall, Warren Avenue.

Come hear the memories of Spring Lake students who attended St.Catharine, St. Margaret and H.W. Mountz grammar schools.

A panel of Spring Lake residents will share their stories abour the schools.

The public is invited to attend and share their articles and pictures as a Spring Lake student.

There is no admission fee.

Let’s Play Some Dodgeball!

March 17, 2011

Spring Lake Recreation will be holding a dodgeball tournament for sixth to eighth grades at H.W. Mountz Elementary School, in Spring Lake.

The tournament will be held on Friday, April 1, from 6 to 9 p.m.

The cost per team is $25. Teams should consist of at least five players.

The tournament is double elimination and each team is guaranteed three games.

Snacks will be sold as well.

Please contact Spring Lake Recreation no later than March 29 for the event.

Please call borough hall at 732-449-088, extension 620.

Emerald Ball All Set For Saturday

March 11, 2011

Spring Lake families and members of the community will be having a ball while helping to benefit students at the local elementary school.

The Spring Lake Educational Foundation, this Saturday, March 12, will be hosting the second annual Emerald Ball at the Essex and Sussex, located at 700 Ocean Ave., in Spring Lake.

Event organizers said the Emerald Ball is a black tie [optional] evening, and will include a sit-down dinner and dancing, with entertainment provided by Marc Muller’s Party Players.

Cocktail hour will begin promptly at 5 p.m.

The event will run until 10 p.m.

Proceeds raised from the Emerald Ball will help to benefit the Spring Lake Educational Foundation, and in turn, the students at H.W. Mountz Elementary School.

Formed in April 2007, the Spring Lake Educational Foundation has raised funds to bolster educational offerings at the local elementary school, H.W. Mountz.
The Spring Lake Educational Foundation has provided many resources to the school over the years, including computer and SmartBoard technology, a media center for video recording and broadcasting, professional development opportunities for teachers, instruments for the music room and a drama program.

Tickets for the Emerald Ball are $175 per person, and can be obtained by contacting Erin Jordan at

Seating in the ballroom is limited, and tickets will not be available at the door.
Donations made to the organization, including a significant portion of the Emerald Ball ticket price, is tax deductible.
Inquiries can be made to

Library To Host Mary Walton as Alice Paul

March 4, 2011

As part of Woman’s History Month, the Spring Lake Library will be hosting author and speaker Mary Walton, this Monday, March 7.
Spring Lake Library Director Terri Quinn said that Ms. Walton will present to attendees her moving program of American suffragette and activist, Alice Paul.
The program will begin promptly at 7:30 p.m., said Ms. Quinn.
Ms. Walton is expected to conduct a presentation and book signing.
“One of our board members heard and said she is really good,” said Ms. Quinn.
“It is Woman’s History Month and we take our voting so cavalier,” she said. “If it wasn’t for women like this, we would not be out voting.”
According to her website,, Ms. Walton is the author of “A Woman’s Crusade: Alice Paul and the Battle for the Ballot.”
The website stated that Ms. Walton’s book was released last August, which also marked the 90th anniversary of the Nineteenth Amendment — giving women the right to vote.
According to the website, Ms. Paul was a New Jersey Quaker and the leader of the militant wing of the suffrage movement from 1913 to 1920.
“Hers was a David-and-Goliath struggle, to convince a reluctant congress and a stubborn president to give women the vote,” the website stated. “She and her followers were the first people to picket the White House. They were arrested, thrown in jail, brutalized and force fed when they went on hunger strikes.”
According to her website, Ms. Walton has written four previous works of nonfiction. For 22 years, until 1994, she was a reporter for the Philadelphia Inquirer, where she wrote more than 100 magazine stories as a staff writer for the Sunday Inquirer magazine. She has also written for the New York Times, Washingtonian, the Washington Monthly and the American Journalism Review.
After graduation from Harvard University, and a turn at social work and community organizing, Ms. Walton began her journalism career in 1969 as a reporter at the Charleston  Gazette, in West Virginia.
She lives in Ocean Grove with her husband, Charles Layton.