By a landslide margin, Hackensack voters rejected a school referendum to issue $170 million in bonds to build a new school and make repairs on old ones.
The referendum was defeated with 77% of the vote, with 2,135 voters casting no votes and just 620 voting yes.
Voter turnout was slightly less than 8%.
Mayor John Labrosse led the opposition to the referendum.
“I would like to say thank you to the thousands of Hackensack voters who made their voices heard yesterday and helped overwhelmingly defeat the $170 million school bond. This is a victory for our city’s taxpayers as well as for transparency and open government, and it should serve as a wake up call that residents cannot simply be made to open up their wallets for a plan that they don’t support,” Labrosse said. “As the City Council and I have said since the beginning, we believe in improving our schools and want to work with the Board of Education to accomplish that goal in a fiscally responsible way. We’re hopeful that now that this plan has been defeated the school district will finally be open to true collaboration with the city.”
The massive defeat sets the stage for allies of Labrosse to take control of the Hackensack Board of Education in April.
This story was updated at 10:33 AM to include comment from Labrosse.