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Budgets Causing Woes

Local Beat is NJ News Commons’ weekly roundup of the best and most topical reporting from local news sites around New Jersey. 

As New Jersey progresses into spring, more town, county and school district budget stories are making headlines.Most budgets are a source of angst. Red Bank Green reports that a reduction in the state-mandated amount that towns must allocate to public libraries has caused layoffs — and subsequent outrage — in Red Bank. 

Laid-off children’s librarian Sira Williams embraces colleague Jane Eigenrauch after Wednesday night’s council meeting. Photo: John T. Ward/Red Bank Green

Laid-off children’s librarian Sira Williams embraces colleague Jane Eigenrauch after Wednesday night’s council meeting. Photo: John T. Ward/Red Bank Green

Livingston TAP reports that some in that town’s school district — which is looking at a tentative operating budget of $108.9 million for the next school year — are concerned that many would-be full-time positions are being filled by part-timers in an effort to save money.

As Bill Dressel with the New Jersey League of Municipalities told WBGO News, higher pension and benefits payments are making it hard to cut costs.

In other news, Patch continues its series on heroin in the suburbs, Westfield TAP celebrates the joys of high school musicals, Paterson Press reports that a mayoral candidate says he will continue to run despite a fraud indictment, New Brunswick Today keeps a close eye on the Condoleeza Rice commencement speaker brouhaha at Rutgers, and Morristown Green and Scotch Plains TAP run related stories on gun control advocates.

Our full roundup:

Red Bank: Library Layoffs Spark Outrage Red Bank Green

Morristown wins first high school hockey title Morristown Green
Daughter of Newtown victim calls for gun reforms as Team 26 stops in Morristown Morristown Green
Are Electronic Medical Records Interfering with Care Quality? Blogfinger
Westfield High School Presents ‘Anyone Can Whistle’ TAP Westfield 
Livingston Resident with office in East Orange Admits to Taking Kickbacks for Patient Referrals and Failing to Report Income TAP Livingston
Tentative Operating Budget of $108.9 Million for 2014-15 School Year TAP Livingston
Nutley BOE OKs tentative budget Nutley Sun
Mayor Mahr Joins Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America TAP Scotch Plains-Fanwood
Sluggo’s Laundromat: Greenville Evangelist Offers More than a Clean Shirt Jersey City Independent
Good Eats: Greene Chutney Grill Jersey City Independent
Fired Paterson economic development director heading to trial in lawsuit against his boss Paterson Press
Paterson’s Rodriguez says he will still run for mayor despite election fraud indictment Paterson Press
‘War on Drugs’ Moves to New Jersey Suburbs Ridgewood-Glen Rock Patch
Plane Crash Victim’s Daughter Enters Pageant to Continue Father’s Legacy Mahwah Patch
$1.3M Bloomingdale School Referendum Triboro Patch
$16.6M Verona School Referendum Up For Vote Tuesday Verona Patch
Good Samaritan Returns Essex County Woman’s Priceless Ring West Orange Patch
Butler Schools Accused of Discriminating Immigrant Families Triboro Patch
RBR Senior Freestyle Skier to Compete in USSA Junior Nationals Red Bank Patch
Bloomfield mayor: Suspend police Internal Affairs investigations Bloomfield Life
‘Stand Your Ground for Social Justice’ Rally Highlights Racially Biased Court DecisionsMuckgers

Rutgers President Defends Selection of Condoleezza Rice as Commencement Speaker New Brunswick Today

*Asterisked articles are available for reposting through the NJ News Commons Story Exchange.

Andrew Guadagnino, NJ News Commons intern, contributed to this report.