Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Scenes from the BoE

Assemblyman Ruben Ramos looked more pleased while sitting next to him the Hoboken union rep Gary Enrico did not.

Ramos backer Perry Belfiore recovered from the glum defeat pleased as punch especially when Brian Murray attacked.
Filled to capacity - the meeting had a full house going out into the hallway in the rear.

Brian Murray ditched his notes to go on the attack
saying, "They're lying to you" as his opener to a screed
of political accusations of mismanagement and malfeasance.
He was short on examples to back up his contentions.

Councilman Dave Mello said he was speaking as a parent and advocated on behalf of the HoLa expansion and also
special needs children.  Do those worlds not collide?  MSV is not sure.

Trustees Kearns and Biancamano respectfully listened to the public speakers as the entire board did.

Sign of the Times: HoLa parents descend on BoE

Ask Hoboken BoE not to oppose HoLa expansion in Trenton where decision will be made

An HoLa parent speaks at the Hoboken BoE surrounded by other HoLa parents sitting on the floor in an overfilled room.

A visit to the BoE showed a rather respectful meeting where HoLa parents were petitioning the Hoboken BoE not support its Superintendent Mark Toback in his letter prepared for the NJ Department of Education opposing their expansion.

Other than failed BoE candidate Brian Murray who made all negative remarks/attacks against those who he had lost to in the election last week, the parents were respectful and positive asking for support of their school.

It's a conflicted situation where no easy answers will be forthcoming.

Funding is already at its limits with facility issues for all four Hoboken districts an impending problem, no longer off in the distance.  Some parents openly raised the issue of money and the scramble for who's going to get it.

In the brief visit MSV saw several speakers and lots of parents from HoLa with Assemblyman Ruben Ramos, political operatives Matt and Nick Calicchio, Perry Belfiore, Ines Garcia Keim and also council candidate Frank "Pupie" Raia in attendance with dozens of parents.

Talking Ed Note: If there is a solution, MSV doesn't see one where the taxpayers aren't going to take it on the chin.  No one mentioned taxes and of course all the parents present would support higher taxes to achieve their objective of seeing HoLa expanded.

One misnomer among many in Hoboken's education district is the mayor controls the BoE majority via Kids First.  It's not the case and so whatever is sorted out amongst the four Hoboken school districts will be an education driven outcome.

MSV has read the Superintendent letter and agrees the disparate impact is going to be felt by wider district students who include special needs children, while the charter schools have far less.

One impact is that funds for all competing districts will be reduced in expansion elsewhere.  It's inevitable but this circle isn't closed until say Hoboken Charter or Elysian parents descend on an HoLa board meeting and say give us part of your budget.

Grist for the Mill: HoLA attacks BoE meeting

Resolution in support of Superintendent Toback letter pulled off agenda

In a story to be told of the haves in Hoboken protesting for more against the have nots, every political malcontent re: losers in last week's elections is at the BoE where tonight's meeting is overflowing with dozens of angry HoLA parents who want to see their charter school expanded.  They have made an invasion on their board rivals at the district's BoE and Superintendent.

The resolution in support of Superintendent Mark Toback's letter to Trenton, (see below) has been pulled from tonight's agenda.

It would have been interesting to hear the minority BoE members arguing against their own middle and lower middle class students and the impact yet to be determined on their part of the district. 

It's unclear if HoLa is given approval for expansion by Trenton, requiring possible cuts elsewhere for expanding HoLa grades. Is that in the cards where currently two fifth grade classes of nine HoLa students can't graduate ahead without having the charter school expanded.  HoLa currently goes up to the fifth grade.

Wait, who's representing the wider school district interests of students and looking out for the taxpayers again?

Someone may wish to ask Bubbles, Peter Biancamano and the nefarious Carmelo Garcia.

This may be the first and last time you see the Old Guard embrace their hated enemies, the "yuppies" as they call the professional class relocated into Hoboken.

As some may describe it, it's a marriage of convenience useful political theater in attacking enemies who vanquished two Old Guard slates at the polls last week.

Failed BoE candidate Brian Murray has been urging the HoLa school to descend on the district BoE tonight and attack them for HoLa possibly not getting State of NJ approval in a proposed expansion.

The decision however isn't made at the Hoboken BoE or by the Kids First majority.  It will be evaluated and decided by the NJ Department of Education as the proposed charter, Da Vinci was last year.

Never mind.

Carmelo Garcia who will remain on the BoE into January before he's forced by law to resign due to the Assembly position
handed to him by Union City Mayor Brian Stack will be teaming up with other HoLa parents to get "theirs."
They want to expand HoLa which will cost the lower income students in the district not to mention the taxpayers.
HoLA already pushed out many of the poorer children out from the Boys & Girls Club.
Ramos (r) and Garcia are thought to both have children attending HoLa.

Talking Ed Note: This is a second hand report and does not merit even Grist standards.  Perry Belfiore is reportedly on the scene screaming about fire code violations with all the HoLa parents showing up.  Among the invaders fighting for the poor kids' "lunch money" so to speak: 

Ruben Ramos.

Councilman Dave Mello: YouTube ads "despicable"

At the end of the short, two hour council meeting last Wednesday, Councilman Dave Mello spoke about the campaign concluded the day before and directed some strong remarks about the YouTube ads put forward by Councilwoman Beth Mason and the Raia-Mason campaign.

He described them as despicable.  Beth Mason herself had nothing to say at all about the campaign, her underwriting of political attacks deemed defamatory by many and of course her latest failure to buy control of Hoboken via Timmy Occhipinti.

Speaking of Timmy, it's entertaining to watch him twitching when the campaign is discussed. Before the election he was taunting Councilman Ravi Bhalla about the upcoming election to the point Bhalla moved his seat to the vacant councilman-in-waiting chair of Jim Doyle.

Occhipinti was convinced both Bhalla and Mello had no record to run on but they in fact ran exclusively on their record along with the mayor.

Timmy was put forward by Beth Mason and ran not on his record of voting down the simple tax refi of the midtown garage (costing millions), opposing the Hospital sale (costing unknown millions), opposing the 9-11 Memorial, voting down new HOP buses, repaving Washington Street.... do we need to continue?

Occhipinti ran on turning Hoboken back into a pukefest the first Saturday in March.
After a quarter million squandered, how'd that work out?

Dr. Toback evaluates HoLA expansion versus the guy from the bathtub

There's a new Old Guard style political fight being waged on the question of expanding the HoLA school.  As it proposes to expand upper grades, it's said there is dwindling enrollments and test scores against its peers being immediate problems with upheaval the administrative constant.

Enter a bitter BoE losing candidate who lacked credibility when proposing to the public a trifecta of dads should be able to have public pool time for their kids except they should not be required to obtain insurance in order to do so in a staged political attack of embarrassing proportions.

So there's already a rumor mill of misinformation saying the State review of any HoLa expansion is not in fact something the statewide education administrators will evaluate but it's doomed to be stopped by the Hoboken BoE, re: Kids First.

Asking the basic question on who the letter below is directed to yielded nothing but crickets as the cry from a guy who rants from a bathtub (and other places) is attempting to lead a charge pointing in a misdirection he can get others to emote toward with rants he of course hopes to see aplenty.

Do you want to believe the basic fact of who a letter is directed among other statewide officials in education as being the real evaluators or do you want to believe the guy who makes his living by encouraging families to leave Hoboken so he can make double-ended commissions?

Should Hoboken endorse unlimited charters classes with a dozen kids or less ad infinitum? Just some of the issues at hand as the State of NJ considers HoLa's request.

HoLA currently has dwindling enrollment with two fifth grade classes of nine (9) students each?
So where will they get more kids to fill these small classes?  Clearly, they will go out of Hoboken to fish for more students to make their "new" expansion viable.

What do you think that would mean?  More competition for dwindling facilities/resources and yes, more taxes.  Should Hoboken taxpayers pay more for this inefficient model?  What parent would not want others to pay for more classes of an isolated, small ten student class?  The question is why should the whole Hoboken school district be burdened in such a way?

Dr. Toback writes to the Commissioner of Education, Christopher Cerf saying a study should precede any charter application being approved.  He makes the case specifically noting the unique situation in Hoboken where four public school districts operate in one square mile.

Should Hoboken taxpayers fund unlimited charter schools expansion on request? It's one question among many as the facilities and funding reach their limit.

While supporting charters, as MSV has, there is a critical mass to consider and the question is, has it already been reached?