Let's Make a Difference
Ralph Vellon’s Platform
I believe that the Board of Education’s priority should always be to put the best interest of the students and the
district first---before any other interests. Personal and political interests should not be influencing the decisions that
impact on our children’s education. I also believe that, as elected officials, the Members of the Board of Education
have a duty to serve the public by maintaining open and honest communications with the citizens of the district, and
by conducting Board business with integrity and transparency. Citizens of Belleville who address the Board at public
meetings should be treated with respect and should be given a timely, honest, and public response to their
questions, concerns or comments. I believe that when hiring individuals to work for the Belleville School District,
candidates should be chosen because of their ability to best serve the students and the district, and not because of
nepotism or political favors. I believe that Belleville is a wonderfully diverse community and that diversity needs to be
better represented at the Board level. Finally, I believe that we should stop maintaining the status quo and start
putting kids first.
Increase revenue sources such as corporate contributions and grants from the federal and state government. Look
for new ways for the Board of Education (BOE) to increase the monies received from grant rewards and corporate
contributions. This would increase revenue and reduce the need to increase tax dollars. More funds can be generated
from this venue providing more in capital dollars.
The safety of our children is a constant concern which continues to affect many of our parents in a negative manner
and more are losing their confidence in the safety of our public school system. The Township must be pursued to
consider creating staffing patterns and standardized routes that would provide more officers outside of the schools;
the streets our children take to and from school, inside of the middle and high schools during school and after as the
children are released to go home. In addition, many parents want to see existing principals (chief administrators) and
their staff take these opportunities bring safety at a higher level before and after school hours by monitoring and
guiding our children away from harms way.
The re-establishment of effective committees at the Board of Education (BOE) would be a major initiative for me. I
would establish a committee of senior citizens to advise the BOE. The inclusion of our senior citizens in the process at
the Board of Education falls short. The Board of Education does not reach out to them enough. These senior members
of our community bring a wealth of experience in all fields and have life experiences we need to take advantage of.
They are left out of these decisions and I want to change this. Our community and children would benefit from a
superintendent who played a more active role visible role among parents and seniors. Senior citizens and residents
should be afforded the opportunity to see and hear the budget plans and how the school budget will or will not effect
them. This information should come directly from the BOE Trustees, business manager and the superintendent at a
convenient location and time. I would push for these actions when on the board.
Vouchers and charter schools for our school district are not appropriate. The monies need to be directed at the public
schools. Our tax dollars need to be utilized in a prudent manner. Our children deserve every opportunity. However,
any group which may come forth with a business plan, contributors, land, teachers, parents and government officials
who believe that a charter school would benefit our children I feel it is prudent to entertain the proposal to weight it’s
feasibility and benefits for our community and children.
I want to reduce the tension between the Board of Education (BOE), parents and teachers by providing a new forum
for parents and teachers to review new programs and policies before they are implemented to allow for responses
and input from the parents and teachers before implementation. In addition, we need to permit time for reconciliation
or an adjustment of the program by the BOE once the responses from parents and teachers are brought back to the
BOE. This idea is based on a new vision of cooperation between the BOE, teachers and parent’s based on sharing
thoughts and ideas before implementation rather then dealing with anger and hostilities after new programs do not
work effectively. When there is resistance from teachers and parents programs are unsuccessful. Parents and
teachers end up arguing over the programs or policies with the BOE. If we could imagine a process where parents
and teachers agree on the new program and work toward achieving the goal because all have contributed in part to
the development of the program. This approach increases the likelihood of success. We all win but most importantly
our children and community are strengthened. This concept is simply an alignment of strategy and execution. What I
want to achieve with this goal is to give the community a greater role in the decision process. I want to enhanced the
parent share as a stake holder. Many parents in our district feel that politicians are the major stake holders at the
BOE. I would work towards bringing parents interest and concerns to BOE forum and to light.