2009 Apr 21st

Don’t Forget To Vote Today! 2pm to 9pm. Board of Ed & Budget.

Some more interesting info about your choice for School Board to consider:


Censored Letter to the Editor?

Here is the letter to the editor of the Hoboken Reporter which they refused to print this week.  They claim they don’t print ‘negative’ letters the week prior to the election.  Can you say censorship?  Yet they printed Frank (Pupie) Raia’s letter on the same subject.  So in fairness, (thank you Hoboken411.com) you can read the other side here:

“To The Editor-

I was educated in New Jersey public schools and am the son of a parent who served three-terms as a trustee of the Board of Education. I believe in the importance of public schools and in the 23 years that I have lived in Hoboken I have always voted for the school budget. However, on April 21st, for the first time in my life, I will vote NO on the school budget and wanted to explain why.

We in Hoboken are suffering through an unprecedented fiscal crisis. The shocks to the financial industry have cost large number of our residents their jobs and those residents who are fortunate to still have their jobs worry about their job security and are trying to cut back in many ways to protect against things getting worse in their lives. At the same time, property taxes, which support the public schools, have increased 47%. People are hurting and need help.

Unfortunately, the leadership of Hoboken’s Teachers’ Union, just doesn’t get it. Thomas L. Friedman, in his March 17, 2009 column in the New York Times wrote about how teachers in other public school districts “get it” and have responded in the public interest. He wrote:

“The schoolteachers here [in Montgomery County, Maryland], who make on average $67,000 a year, recently voted to voluntarily give up their 5 percent pay raise that was contractually agreed to for next year, saving our school system $89 million — so programs and teachers would not have to be terminated.”

Here, in Hoboken, Gary Enrico, President of the Hoboken Education Association, screams at Board of Education meetings, threatening Trustees who do not support retroactive raises and orchestrates massive demonstrations of municipal employees at Board Meetings and leads walkouts at Board of Education meetings when the meetings do not go as he likes. He also has threatened retaliation at the polls for any trustee who dares to vote against the union’s demands. Not satisfied with delivering an extraordinary contract for himself and his members, now that it is election time, Mr. Enrico is following through on his threats for revenge.

On April 7, 2009, Mr. Enrico wrote every single teacher in the Hoboken school district in response to one slate of Board of Education candidates’ suggestion that Hoboken teachers should pay a health care deductible and part of their insurance premiums to reduce costs. Mr. Enrico responded that “This will never happen as long as I am president.” His April 7, 2009 letter threatens teachers with the consequences of losing their benefits and their jobs if they do not mobilize on behalf of the other team of candidates for the Board of Education and orders his members to fight for the school budget. He commanded all teachers to attend a General Membership meeting on Monday April 20th @3:00 pm in the Hoboken High School Cafeteria where “I will lay out our plans for Election Day. No excuses.”

It is clear that our fine and hard-working teachers are not being well-served by their union leadership. Mr. Enrico just doesn’t get it, and the Board of Education’s current leadership does not have the will to stand up to the union. We need to send a clear message at the polls that it’s time for our teachers to find a new leader, one who does not divide our teachers from our community and who is sensitive to the real pain that we taxpayers of Hoboken are feeling.

On April 21, please join me and vote NO on the school budget. A NO vote on the budget is a vote for fiscal sanity to return to our public schools.

Phil Cohen

If you own property in Hoboken, you are paying for the schools. If you are selling, this affects your property value. If you are thinking of buying, this matters! Even if you rent, your landlord’s property tax increases can legally be passed on to you, the tenant! PLEASE TAKE THE TIME TO VOTE TODAY!

Posted by Lori Turoff | Currently 17 Comments »

2009 Apr 19th

Love Hoboken. Vote Tuesday 2pm to 9pm for Board of Ed. & the School Budget.

If you are already registered to vote in Hoboken, you do not need to register separately for Tuesday’s Board of Ed. election. Nor do you need to be a property owner or have a child in the school system.  Nearly 30% of your tax bill goes to the Hoboken school system.  The reputation of our schools and educational system affect your property value.  This is critically important this year in light of our property tax increase.

There are 6 candidates for 3 open seats.  You will also have the chance to vote up or down on the school budget, which represents 30% of our tax levy. If the school budget is defeated, the budget will go to the city council which, within certain constraints and subject to statutory minimum funding, has the authority to approve a reduced budget.

Please take the time to become informed and vote.  Here are some of the issues:

Here is a quick and easy fact sheet and chart of candidate profiles and as well as sources of further information for each candidate.
Here are the questionnaire answers for Kids First (Minutillo, Sullivan, McGovern 1 4 5) 
Here are the questionnaire answers for United for Students (Raia, Irizarry, Oland 2 3 6)

In addition, voters should be aware of the voting record of the two incumbents, Theresa Minutillo (Kids First) and Frank Raia (United for Students), who have voted as follows on these key votes affecting taxpayers:

Teachers’ Contract with annual salary increases:
Minutillo: Against
Raia:  For

2009-10 School Budget with increase over last year:
Minutillo:  Against
Raia:  For

Love your City. Vote April 21.

Posted by Lori Turoff | Currently 7 Comments »

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