Monday, February 10, 2014

When Will Englewood Acknowledge The Blip of 2013?

The last official Englewood School Board Election took place in April of 2013. The results were a surprise to some and shook others to the core. Some called it a blip on the radar screen, because it was not supposed to happen that way. Some sore losers accused the Mayor of stacking the deck in favor of the 3 who won. That was an interesting suggestion since it was common knowledge that the Mayor and many of the city leaders supported the incumbents.

Why are the results of School Board Election 2013 so hard to accept? Why have those results caused people to behave in ways not representative of people who want harmony in the city?

1. Is that the reason that the City has still not changed the School Board Members on the City Site? It is nearly a year since the blip of an election. Voters made their choice. Voters pay the salary of the person who has the responsibility to change the status and membership of the website Boards. What is the problem here? The results may have been a shock, but the people spoke through their votes almost a year ago.

2. Is this also the reason that the President of the School Board started a campaign to neuter the newly elected Members immediately after they were elected? Mr. Haughton, admitted that he asked for an official Advisory Opinion from the School Ethics Commission. He says he wanted to make sure that there was no conflict of interest. Was there a conflict of interest when the ETA supported and helped to elect both Stephen Brown and Glenn Garrison? What is good for the goose is also good for the gander. Is it only a problem if the elected members are NOT MEMBERS OF SEEK?

3. Is this the reason that Carol Feinstein and Jeff Carter are not allowed to vote on personnel issues? All over the state of NJ, union members also serve on School Boards. These 2 are not even allowed in on the discussion of personnel issues. They must excuse themselves from closed sessions and wait to be summoned back into the room. Yet Harley Ungar, (VP of the School Board) who is also a Teach 4 America employee* is allowed to vote and participate as she pleases. Henry Pruitt is allowed to chair the negotiations while his company is hired to handle confidential files of Horizon Blue Cross and Blue Shield. (Horizon Blue Cross and Blue Shield would be part of negotiations with employees because they are the insurance carrier that the district uses.) They are constantly put out of closed session meetings by school board employees.

4. How did they miss the fact that Mark Tabakin's very employment is a conflict of interest? He functions as the full time attorney. Is Mark an employee of State Senator Raymond J. Lesniak's law firm or is he an employee of the Englewoood Board of Education? (We pay him $147,000 yearly) Not only does the Board have a problem identifying his designation, but it seems that Mr. Tabakin himself is a bit confused. His 2011-12 Ethics Disclosure does not agree with his 2012-13 Disclosure Statement. Does Mr. Tabakin know for whom he works? Who writes the checks that pays the mortgage on that over a million dollar home?

5. Is this blip the reason that more effort has been put into neutralizing the 3 new members of the School Board than in trying to improve the Academic Achievement of the students in the district?

6. Is this the reason that the SEEK Board Members with terms expiring in April, 2014 voted themselves another year on the School Board? The Resolution to move School Board Elections to November was technically an official election and SEEK won. George Garrison III had the integrity to abstain from voting himself another year on the School Board. Howard Haughton voted himself anothere year as school board president. Someone should inform Mr. Haughton that it is far more prudent to please the people than it is to please the press. Besides, the school board and the people already pay the press, don't we? 

Board of Education -
City Clerk: Lauren Vande Vaarst, RMC
Department Phone: (201) 510-8213
2-10 North Van Brunt Street
Englewood, NJ 07631

Harley Ungar* claims to have quit working for Teach 4 America. The Advisory Opinion from the School Ethics Commission says that Jeff and Carol may not participate in those areas ever, even if they were to quit their jobs.  Equity has gone astray.

                                         How are the children?

Monday, February 3, 2014

Reverse - RoboCall

The time is always right for learning. 

"An investment in knowledge pays the best

interest." Benjamin Franklin

How are the children?