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Re: Upcoming School Board Elections--Who to Vote For?
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1) Marvin Adames - resigned midterm
2) Mack- Ran for higher office within one year after being elected and told will resign
3) Overlooked a $2 million error and never worked to return those dollars to tax payers
4) Excluded other members of the school board and the public when they held a meeting in "confidence" with the State Education Commissioner Cerf
4) Waterman - Resigned now
5) Lester - shared closed session meeting information with lobbyists and special interest groups
6) The board members take Laptops/iPads instead of keeping it in the classrooms

Are Steve Fulop's candidates really working for the children of JC?

Write-in John Hanussak (6K) for ONE year term, if you do NOT like the choices!

Posted on: 2013/11/1 16:53

Re: JC Board of Education Vote This Tuesday
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Those of you who don't like the choices for ONE year school board position, write-in John Hanussak, a parent, an activist and a concerned citizen.

Please VOTE!

Posted on: 2013/10/30 21:33

Re: Jersey City to swear in former councilman Ray Velazquez as first openly gay deputy mayor
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Velazquez, a Hudson County attorney who makes about $77,000 annually in that role, will act as deputy mayor for only $1 a year, and will not accept health benefits or compensation for not accepting health benefits, according to city officials. ... y_swears_in_third_de.html

Posted on: 2012/5/18 4:26

Re: Jersey City to swear in former councilman Ray Velazquez as first openly gay deputy mayor
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This whole theory of serving for $1 is a hyposcrisy and SCAM!!! If they want to work for $1, why not for $0 and reject Health benefits and City Car etc. etc., Ray Velazquez should reject all and help the city during these stressed period!

Posted on: 2012/5/17 19:42

Re: Red light traffic camera
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A Comment by Janice Geldhauser Bollmann in FB...

My Red Light Camera ticket in Edison on Rt. 1 and Plainfield Ave. was dismissed by the Prosecutor last month because I found evidence that Edison was NOT following the law for having the camera's. See the following:
People who receive a Red Light Running Camera ticket should plead not guilty and ask for the following information through that town's clerk in an OPRA (Open Public Records Act) request. She will help you with the OPRA papers. Or look up the form online on the town's website you received your ticket. Most likely all New Jersey Red Light Running cameras are not complying with the law.
This is the part they are not complying to - Signal Timing Certification (The paragraph below is the important information to ask the town for.)
*A certification by the municipal engineer that (a) the intersection or intersections in question have a minimum duration of the amber light at the traffic control signal of 3 seconds if at least 85% of the vehicular traffic approaching the signal is traveling at a speed of 25 mph or less; and (b) for each five mile increase in the speed of vehicular traffic referred to in subparagraph (a) of this paragraph above 30 mph this minimum duration of the amber light shall be increased by ? second. * This part of the law is most likely NOT being complied with by any town in the RED LIGHT CAMERA program throughout the state of New Jersey. You can also ask for the same information from the NJDOT.
Some towns may not be doing the following either - the law states - e. A traffic control signal monitoring system shall be inspected and certified at least once every six months by the municipal engineer from the date of its installation for the duration of the five-year pilot program.

Do the following to obtain information for contesting your ticket: Get OPRA forms online or in the town you received the ticket. Request ALL information to be sent to you by email only, otherwise there will be a cost to make copies. Copy and paste the following onto the forms and add your information where needed-
I am requesting the following:

1) The "Intersection Traffic Signal Timing & Certification" submission that was part of the "Application for Red Light Running Automated Enforcement - Intersection Request" for the (insert the street names at the intersection) intersection that was sent to the New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT) for approval. This is the third item in the "Checklist of items for submission" shown on the last page of the application. The requirements for this submission are defined in the "Signal Timing Certification" section of the application.

2) If not already included in item 1, the most recent traffic speed distribution and associated statistics for (insert the name of the road as close to the intersection with (insert the name of the intersecting street) as possible.

3) Date of installation of the red light camera system at (insert the street names at the intersection where you received your ticket) intersection.

4) The two most recent traffic control signal monitoring system inspection and certification reports by the municipal engineer as prescribed by Section 3 of P.L. 2007, c.348 (C.39:4-8.14).

5) A copy of (insert name of the town) "Application for Red Light Running Automated Enforcement - Intersection Request" submitted to NJDOT.

You need to request the following information on an OPRA form from NJDOT (New Jersey Department of Transportation). You can do this online through their website -
I request the following:
The most recent of the Daily Average Speed Data/85th percentile speed for (insert name of the road you were travelling) nearest to (insert the intersecting street the camera was at) In the Township of (insert town): (1) For both directions of traffic: approximate mileposts (insert milepost numbers from the road you were driving on from a couple of miles before and after the intersection). (example such as milepost 45.6 to 50.3).

*You also need to find out what the speed limit was on the roadway you were driving and also the timing of the yellow portion of the traffic light.

Look at your information you receive back and see if the town is following the law as it is written. I hope this helps someone.
Good luck!

OPRA - Open Public Records Act, NJDOT
OPRA - Open Public Records Act - New Jersey Department of Transportation

Posted on: 2012/5/16 22:07

Re: Red light traffic camera
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Banning red-light cameras nationwide will allow motorists to regain the due process rights afforded all citizens, and will punctuate the conclusion that ticket cameras are about revenue, not safety.
Yet numerous studies, including an investigative report by the Washington Post, have shown accident rates increasing by double-digit percentages after the introduction of cameras.
.... ... -about-revenue-not-safety

Posted on: 2012/5/16 22:06

Re: Red light traffic camera
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Tell the Legislature to Ban Red Light Cameras in New Jersey! Sign the Petition! ... y-sign-the-petition/11852

Posted on: 2012/5/16 18:01

Re: **vote no to school budget** State: Board of Education Set Property Tax Levies Under Wrong Premise
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The Mailbag: Neighborhood Association Member Urges Residents To Vote Down BoE Budget

In preface to this letter, residents may want to read about the Board of Education?s 2% tax increase based on a misunderstanding of state law.

To the Editor:

Basically, based on this [report], I would strongly urge everyone to vote NO on the budget. I feel there are means to either keep the budget flat or even cut the budget while NOT laying off teachers or cutting programs.

The question is, if/when this budget is voted down, does this current administration have the guts to make the cuts where they should and by that I mean at the top? For example cutting the influx of office administrators making 6 digits and electricians getting paid salaries yet at the same time outsourcing the work just to name two. I would like to think that since I supported all of you in past elections, you do in fact have the guts.

I look forward to seeing you do right by the Jersey City residents and do your part in keeping our taxes stable.


John Hanussak
Highland Avenue Neighborhood Association ... -to-vote-down-boe-budget/

Posted on: 2012/4/16 21:46

**vote no to school budget** State: Board of Education Set Property Tax Levies Under Wrong Premise
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Please VOTE 'NO' to school budget!

State: Board of Education Set Property Tax Levies Under Wrong Premise; Error Complicates Upcoming Vote

By Chris Neidenberg ? Apr 13th, 2012 ?

The state has informed the Board of Education that, for the past two school budget cycles, it has incorrectly set 2-percent property tax levy increases based on the mistaken premise that not doing so would force it to lose some adjustment aid (now set at $100 million), after JCI asked the state to verify claims board secretary/business administrator Melissa Simmons made.

JCI contacted a New Jersey Department of Education (DOE) spokesman for reaction to Simmons? statements following adoption of the board?s $661.3 million proposed 2012-13 budget March 29. The overall budget seeks a spending increase of 4.6 percent.

?If we don?t raise our taxes by the 2 percent, the state has said they?ll penalize us by cutting our adjustment aid to an equivalent amount,? Simmons said at the time, adding the district did ?not have the leeway? to keep taxes under New Jersey?s mandatory 2-percent cap.

Yet we learned that, since the start of the 2011-12 school year, there has been no edict penalizing former Abbott districts for not increasing their property tax levies, as Simmons has claimed.

Problem is, Simmons and the school board (and at least for the 2011-12 school year, then-superintendent Charles Epps) thought the old law was still in force.

?The state has issued no mandates or threats of reduced aid if the district does not increase its levy by 2 percent for Fiscal Year ?13,? department spokesman Rich Vespucci said, noting the law only requires Jersey City to set ?a minimum school tax levy? of $104,359,519 like all other New Jersey districts under the current formula.

?I have to be guided by the current policy,? Simmons said in admitting the mistake. ?The district doesn?t have the requirement to raise the tax levy.?

The state?s position legitimates resident/watchdog Riaz Wahid?s request that the school board freeze property taxes after a spate of annual increases, just as neighboring Union City has proposed. Wahid has complained of cumulative school tax increases of 39.9 percent since 2005. Yet Vespucci did verify that, for the three school years beginning in 2008-09, state law did mandate former Abbott districts such as Jersey City increase tax levies by certain percentages.

The current proposed budget would increase the tax levy by $2.1 million to $106.4 million. Last year under a similar false premise, the board again approved raising the levy to the cap. For 2011-12, it climbed by $2.05 million, standing at the current $104.4 million minimum. Residents only vote on the tax levy.

Using what it considers the average assessed house of $92,400, school taxes will have cumulatively climbed by about $70 in the past two years if the 2012-13 spending plan is approved. The assessment figure is so low ? and lower than many other North Jersey municipalities ? because Jersey City completed its last revaluation in 1988 and is in the midst of a state-ordered reappraisal, which must be completed by a 2014 deadline.

In a related matter, JCI has tried in vain to find out just how many points the projected school tax rate might increase for all properties. It would give voters owning tracts with far higher values the ability to compute roughly how their tax bills might also be affected before going to the polls.

Yet the tentative rate?s location remains a mystery.

Simmons said her office doesn?t have the data, even though the district provided an estimated increase for the low-end average assessment. She referred us to city tax assessor Eduardo C. Toloza; his office said it would not have the information and sent us to the Hudson County Board of Taxation. An employee there claimed the county would not get the rate from the board until June, when the county certifies the entire rate ? after voters head to the polls.

Following JCI?s inquiry concerning Simmons? statement, Hudson County Executive Superintendent Monica Tone sent Simmons an email letting her know of the mistake. Simmons called JCI Wednesday to point out she erred, the same day we wanted to call her office for reaction to the DOE?s position.

By now, the law has been gone almost two years; it died because the state revised its school funding formula.

Furthermore, Simmons notes that she also mistakenly thought the public?s voting on the school budget last year, and its upcoming vote this year, were of non-binding status, based on the district?s relationship with the state.

?It is up to the people entirely to decide this budget,? Simmons now says of the spending plan and the April 17 vote. ?In the past, I had thought that, if residents voted in the negative, the state could override them and reinstate the full levy.?

Voters approved the 2011-12 budget by a close margin. If this year?s budget is defeated under Simmons? interpretation, it would be sent to the City Council. The council would then try negotiating cuts with the school board.

Asked how the administration and board could not be aware of the change for such an extended period, Simmons replied, ?I?m not sure.?

Vespucci notes that under the DOE, districts are informed of any statutory funding changes by letter from the commissioner before districts plan their budgets. He adds that county executive superintendents, such as Tone, hold ?roundtables? about six times a year with top school administrators to discuss issues, including statutory or regulatory changes passed down from Trenton. He said possible budget changes are discussed in the late winter or early spring.

Thus, the board could have exercised the option of freezing the school tax levy for two budget years starting with 2011-12. Whether the board feels it has the wiggle room to do so is a separate policy issue.

And since he contends the proposed 2012-13 was pitched on an incorrect premise to the public, Wahid wants the board to stand united in taking dramatic last-minute action.

?This is a serious error,? he said. ?It means the premise the board offered the public to increase the budget is entirely invalid. Because of this, the board?s eight members should collectively issue a statement urging residents to defeat the budget on April 17.?

Board of Education president Sterling Waterman, who is also finance committee chairman, did not return a phone call seeking comment. But a source has told JCI the board was contemplating convening a special emergency meeting on the topic in light of Tone?s email.

To Wahid, the fact that the tax increase is at a rate which would not have required a referendum, had school elections been moved to November, doesn?t matter.

The City Council and board opted not to move the vote, taking advantage of a new state law designed to save money and increase participation, a move most school boards decided to implement.

?It?s still the public?s money and they should have a say in how its spent,? said Wahid, who also questioned how the state?s appointed monitor could not have detected the mistake during budget discussions.

?The board never questions anything this administrator does despite legitimate concerns regarding certain decisions,? he added. ?Yet the board is also guilty because it seems to run away from its responsibilities by simply blaming the administration when things go wrong.?

Simmons and Epps have taken heat in the past for certain decisions, including incorrectly inflating the total amount of jobs restored from proposed layoffs (228 instead of the actual 170, when they also counted retirements) until Waterman caught the error. Wahid criticized both for supporting giving associate superintendents annual 1.5-percent increases just to cover the costs of medical bills (a policy that also benefits Simmons). The state requires school employees to contribute 1.5 percent of their salaries to health insurance premiums.

Yet under the state?s latest mandated monitoring report under Simmons, Jersey City was graded at 95 percent for fiscal management and 100 percent for operations.

Simmons stood by her stewardship of the districts finances despite the error, and said of Wahid?s complaint on the healthcare subsidy, ?It?s not a decision I am empowered to make.? ... omplicates-upcoming-vote/

Posted on: 2012/4/13 15:49

Re: Jersey City requesting one-year delay of citywide reval
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Did they already pay $3.2m or how much they paid so far to this firm? What stops this firm to go to court and collect the money?

Posted on: 2012/2/7 4:29

Re: Rally Against Crime City Hall Chambers Council Meeting February 8th @ 6PM
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Shots fired in Jersey City; residents take cover at Urban League offices

As shots rang out on Martin Luther King Drive in Jersey City this afternoon, several residents scurried inside the offices of the Urban League of Hudson County for cover.

"It is Martin Luther King Drive and there are always shootings. Today, it was near our office," Elnora Watson, chief executive officer of the nonprofit, said shortly after shots were fired on the Drive near Bostwick Avenue.

"It is not an unusual occurrence, that's the sad thing," she added. "It is something that needs to be addressed. How do we keep the commercial strip relatively policed?"

According to police and local residents, multiple shots were fired in the area around 4:30 p.m. Police said no one was hurt and at least one car was struck by a bullet.
Officers found several shell casings at the scene, but no witnesses to the shooting, Police Department spokesman Stan H. Eason said.

Watson said she wasn't certain how close the shooting was to the organization's building located on Martin Luther King Drive between Wilkinson and Bostwick avenues. But "there were quite a number of people who saw or heard shots and rushed into the office for safety," she said.

Jesus Curiel, an employee at Jaritza 1 Supermarket, 237 Martin Luther King Drive, said he heard six to seven shots ring out. "I didn't see anybody get hurt," he said.

This afternoon, six uniform and two plainclothes officers could be seen interviewing residents at the Urban League building.

The shooting did not cause any disruption to the agency's busy schedule of classes and other programs, Watson said. ... d_in_jersey_city_res.html

Posted on: 2012/2/2 6:07

Re: RALLY against STATE for interfering in Superintendent Search!!
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Jersey City parents plan to protest appointment of former school official to act as state monitor

Published: Monday, January 16, 2012, 4:03 PM Updated: Monday, January 16, 2012, 4:33 PM
By Terrence T. McDonald/The Jersey Journal

A group of activist Jersey City parents plan to protest in front of the Board of Education office tomorrow, in part because of the state?s recent decision to bring in a controversial former school administrator to act as a state monitor.

The Jersey Journal revealed on Friday that Cathy Coyle, a former district associate superintendent, will re-join the district, possibly to oversee personnel and curriculum/instruction. Coyle is infamous for her participation in the so-called ?SWAT teams? that showed up at schools unannounced to evaluate teachers.

A local group, Statewide Education Organizing Committee, is calling Coyle?s appointment a ?state takeover? that will interfere with the education of Jersey City students.
"We demand on Tuesday that Governor Christie stop stealing our children?s educational future by imposing his view of privatization of public schools!? reads a release issued by the group.

The protest is scheduled to begin tomorrow at 9 a.m. at the BOE office, 346 Claremont Ave. ... y_parents_plan_to_pr.html

Posted on: 2012/1/16 22:03

RALLY against STATE for interfering in Superintendent Search!!
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RALLY - 9am Tuesday (1/17) in front of School Board, 346 Claremont Ave! Bring signs... We need slogans for signs! Take few hours off from work. This is about our KIDS!

Posted on: 2012/1/14 20:00

Re: State Sen. Brian Stack denies endorsing two Jersey City City Council candidates as silly season...
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Jersey City councilman calls for investigation into mysterious Brian Stack fliers

Published: Thursday, November 03, 2011, 12:59 PM Updated: Thursday, November 03, 2011, 1:22 PM
By Terrence T. McDonald/The Jersey Journal

The mysterious campaign fliers touting state Sen. Brian Stack?s non-existent endorsements in next week?s Jersey City City Council special election has one candidate calling for a state investigation.
The fliers, which say Stack has endorsed candidates Sue Mack and Omar Perez despite Stack?s insistence that he is staying out of the race, are a ?sinister attempt? to trick voters, said Councilman-at-Large Ray Velazquez today.
Velazquez, appointed last year to replace disgraced councilman Mariano Vega, is running in next week?s election to remain in Vega?s seat until the 2013 city election. Velazquez is battling 16 other candidates to fill two council vacancies.
The fliers, Velazquez said, do not have a required disclaimer explaining who is responsible for them, and he wants the state Election Law Enforcement Commission to investigate.
?Mack and Perez are engaging in the same old dirty tricks that have been a blight on Jersey City politics for years,? he said in a statement. ?They should be ashamed of themselves and owe Jersey City an apology."
Yesterday, after The Jersey Journal made inquiries about the fliers, both Mack, a Board of Education veteran, and Perez, a former aide to Mayor Jerramiah Healy, denied having anything to do with them. Perez initially said they had Stack?s unofficial endorsement, but his campaign manager called later to say Perez ?misspoke.?
Today, Sean Caddle, Mack?s campaign manager, and Gerald Reiner, Perez?s campaign manager, said they are not responsible for the fliers.
?Front Porch Consulting, my firm, is the only company authorized to do anything for Sue Mack,? Caddle said. ?Front Porch Consulting did not create the piece.? ... y_councilman_calls_f.html

Posted on: 2011/11/3 17:44

Re: Campaign Mailer for Jersey City At-Large Candidates Claims No Layoffs Despite 366 Pink Slips
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Did anyone receive a corrected mailer from team Ahmad/Velazquez or a phone call ?

Posted on: 2011/11/3 17:19

Re: State Sen. Brian Stack denies endorsing two Jersey City City Council candidates as silly season...
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What is being done to remove those flyers and replace it with correct information, saying "Sen Stack DID NOT endorse any one", with an apology? Just should NOT be preaching to others:

A factual error in a recent flier sent out by the At-Large City Council incumbents Kalimah Ahmad and Ray Velazquez....
The mailer, .... ?no layoffs despite tough economic times and massive cuts in state aid.? ... 366 layoffs last year ..."


Sean Caddle, spokesman for candidate Sue Mack, said that while he understands that ?mistakes do happen,? it would be ?preferred? if they would make an effort to correct the typo.

?There are two to three ways to remedy the mistake, and they?re all based on finances,? said Caddle. The most affordable suggestion, he said, would be to ?issue an auto-dial explaining the error.?

?You don?t want to be misleading anybody. When you look at the economy, the way it is today, and if you have people believing there were no layoffs, you?re more likely to skew a voter that way,? he said.

------------------------------------- ... s-despite-366-pink-slips/

Posted on: 2011/11/3 16:56

State Sen. Brian Stack denies endorsing two Jersey City City Council candidates as silly season...
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State Sen. Brian Stack denies endorsing two Jersey City City Council candidates as silly season begins

Published: Wednesday, November 02, 2011, 4:48 PM Updated: Wednesday, November 02, 2011, 5:22 PM
By Terrence T. McDonald/The Jersey Journal

State Sen. Brian Stack has not endorsed Jersey City City Council candidates Sue Mack and Omar Perez.
Kind of.
Campaign material indicating Stack?s endorsement of the duo was seen today in Jersey City, eliciting the ire of at least one of Mack?s and Perez?s 15 competitors, who told The Jersey Journal that Stack hasn?t endorsed anyone and that the flier is ?not fair.?
Perez, formerly an aide to Mayor Jerramiah Healy, said today that he met with Stack and indeed received his endorsement. Perez?s ballot mate for the November 8 race is Mack, a Board of Education veteran.
But Stack spokesman Mark Albiez said the powerful state senator and Union City mayor has kept out of this race.
Asked to respond, Perez said, ?We have met with him and we have met with his supporters and they have indicated he is supportive of our candidacy. He is not going to go out on the record and make a formal announcement.?
Mack, meanwhile, said she has neither met with Stack nor received his endorsement.
Asked to respond, Albiez issued this statement: ?Senator Stack has not made any endorsements in the Jersey City council race, however, he is supportive of a candidate's efforts to improve the lives of local residents.?
?A candidate? meaning someone specific?
?No,? Albiez responded.
So there you have it: Stack is supportive of a candidate, but no one specific, and Perez has received his endorsement, but he hasn?t.
A Perez campaign spokesman told The Jersey Journal Stack has not endorsed the Perez campaign, saying Perez "misspoke." Asked to explain the flier, the spokesman said it could be a "dirty trick" by another campaign.
Another campaign-flier kerfuffle erupted last week, when campaign material for incumbents Kalimah Ahmad and Ray Velazquez touted ?no layoffs? at the city level. Of course, there have been hundreds of layoffs, but Ahmad said on a Facebook page that she meant there were no layoffs of police officers. ... brian_stack_denies_e.html

Posted on: 2011/11/2 21:40

Re: Campaign Mailer for Jersey City At-Large Candidates Claims No Layoffs Despite 366 Pink Slips
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From Jersey Journal - Political Insider:
"One whopper is how they were responsible for no layoffs during tough economic times -- when 360-plus city workers were let go last year. The explanation for this is that they made a mistake or typo and were referring to preventing police layoffs. It didn't stop the fibbing mailer from reaching many voters." - Augie Torres ... er_ask_who_youre_vot.html

Posted on: 2011/10/29 13:39

Campaign Mailer for Jersey City At-Large Candidates Claims No Layoffs Despite 366 Pink Slips
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Campaign Mailer for Jersey City At-Large Candidates Claims No Layoffs Despite 366 Pink Slips

By Matt Hunger ? Oct 28th, 2011 ? Category: Featured, News, Politics

A factual error in a recent flier sent out by the At-Large City Council incumbents Kalimah Ahmad and Ray Velazquez, who are running on a joint ticket in the election Nov. 8, has caused concern for some residents and rival candidates who see the mistake as inappropriately bolstering the candidates? image.

The mailer, delivered to residents throughout the city, states that there were ?no layoffs despite tough economic times and massive cuts in state aid.? In fact, there were 366 layoffs last year that were, in part, one of the ways the city was able keep taxes ?stable? for the 2011 budget.

Under the ?Crime? section of the mailer, the candidates do correctly state that there were no police layoffs.

They also say they are working towards ?adding hundreds of new construction and permanent jobs,? a boast that appears adjacent to a headline about the construction of a new Goya warehouse in Jersey City. But as we?ve reported, the number of jobs may not quite be what the company claims.

The error was first reported on the wall of a Facebook group, Political Insiders, in which residents debate Jersey City politics. Ahmad, who participated in the discussion, a copy of which was obtained by JCI, acknowledged the mistake but said it was nothing more than a ?typo.? She said it was supposed to be in reference to the planned police layoffs that the city was able to avoid after numerous demonstrations by the police and residents helped convince the administration to look elsewhere for savings. Ahmad, who was appointed to office in February 2011, was not part of that discussion at the time and did not immediately respond to JCI?s request for comment.

Sean Caddle, spokesman for candidate Sue Mack, said that while he understands that ?mistakes do happen,? it would be ?preferred? if they would make an effort to correct the typo.

?There are two to three ways to remedy the mistake, and they?re all based on finances,? said Caddle. The most affordable suggestion, he said, would be to ?issue an auto-dial explaining the error.?

?You don?t want to be misleading anybody. When you look at the economy, the way it is today, and if you have people believing there were no layoffs, you?re more likely to skew a voter that way,? he said. ... s-despite-366-pink-slips/

Posted on: 2011/10/28 19:10

Re: Protest @ Goldman Sachs Building JC Oct. 6 2PM
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Posted on: 2011/10/7 2:08

Re: BOE approves huge $268K settlement -- paves the way for Epps to leave in December
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?We take Dr. Epps at his word,? Waterman said.

What is that WORD? If so, Dr Epps, would have submitted resignation yesterday by 6pm... Did that happen?

Posted on: 2011/10/6 1:34

Re: Protest @ Goldman Sachs Building JC Oct. 6 2PM
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This movement is not about demands, it is a wake-up call. Please support the movement at 2pm tomorrow, if you can!

Posted on: 2011/10/6 1:05

Re: BOE approves huge $268K settlement -- paves the way for Epps to leave in December
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Technically, Dr Epps has not resigned yet. There is a good chance that Dr Epps might continue till 2013, in case Dr Epps wins the case, filed by Fulop. Thus, there has to be a settlement and Dr Epps should agree to leave on Dec 31st. Contrary to the claim that there is a settlement, we have not seen one, yet... big area of concern!

Posted on: 2011/10/6 0:53

**pl share some ideas, honestly** How should the residents Evaluate Dr Epps' performance?
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Details of Proposed Contract Extension for Superintendent Epps Remain Scarce as Tuesday?s Public Hearing Approaches

- By Chris Neidenberg ? Sep 30th, 2011 ? Category: Lead

Although the Jersey City school district has denied an Open Records request by JCI to see the proposed contract extension for superintendent Charles Epps, lawyers involved in the delicate negotiations have now agreed to at least make copies of the draft contract available to residents just before Tuesday?s public hearing on the matter.

?Since the agreement is in draft form it is not a public record as it is an advisory, consultative and deliberative document for the board to approve,? district special counsel Ramon Rivera wrote in an emailed response to JCI. ?Moreover, I cannot discuss any details pertaining to the contract until it has been approved by resolution by the board.?

However, Rivera says he worked with Epps? attorney, Maria Lepore, New Jersey Association of School Administrators? chief counsel, to cut a deal after JCI raised the issue. Contract copies, Rivera says, will be available at PS 11 before the public hearing begins on Tuesday night.

With the defeat of Frances Thompson in the 2011 school board election, the Board of Education (BOE) has a narrow majority far less sympathetic to Epps? quest to remain at the helm of the district.

Yet the new board still had the legal ad printed in the Jersey Journal in early September. It announced a public hearing on ?a contract extension? for the embattled superintendent.

However, the ad required residents interested in the controversy to fill in their own blanks. It offered no details on the length or terms of any contract extension.

Indeed, board president Sterling Waterman and board member Carol Harrison-Arnold were tight-lipped on offering any details in advance.

?I will only say the public really should attend the October 4 hearing,? says Waterman, declining to even describe how the agreement came about, though it?s clear that board members were involved in some kind of closed-door discussions with Epps.

?I don?t want to get into a back and forth on that right now,? the president adds. ?I really don?t know what?s going to happen. But we?ll see how the matter plays out October 4.?

Harrison-Arnold, who has publicly called for Epps? resignation and is one of the two newest board members, echoes Waterman and urges concerned residents to turn out on Tuesday.

?I can say the board does want to give members of the public a chance to offer input into the issue. This hearing is going to determine where we stand with Dr. Epps,? she says, before offering her own legal disclaimer. ?I?m duty-bound not to discuss any substantive issues before the hearing, upon the advice of our legal counsel.?

Making contract copies available for inspection at the meeting is an improvement. Yet inquiring residents wishing to question any of the document?s specifics will have little time to bring themselves up to speed.

Rivera first told JCI the parties were within their legal rights to withhold extension details, despite the advertised public hearing. Yet when then asked how residents would know what trustees were voting on, Rivera conceded validity to the point.

He then said he would seek Lepore?s approval to release contract details to the public. Rivera now says a deal was struck, but that the contract can?t be made public quite yet because negotiations are ongoing.

?The reason we can?t release any details before Tuesday night?s hearing is because we?re still finalizing them,? Rivera says.

Lepore, Epps? attorney, did not respond to requests for comment, but Rivera notes Epps originally insisted on keeping the agreement?s details confidential.

In a separate but related matter, parties involved in a legal dispute over last year?s board vote on a three-year Epps contract extension got a state administrative law judge in Newark to delay their hearing Wednesday.

Kevin Mitchell, lawyer for the plaintiff?s group led by Ward E councilman Steven Fulop, explains the decision gives the parties more time to develop their issues in better informing Judge Margaret Monaco before deciding the case. No new hearing date has been set.

Mitchell notes the decision is unrelated to the upcoming contract extension hearing. He says his side will keep pursuing its own case, within New Jersey?s Office of Administrative Law (OAL), regardless of Tuesday?s outcome.

Shelley Skinner, part of the group fighting last year?s vote by trustees in the OAL, praises the 2011 board?s efforts to now seek what she views as a proper public vote on Epps? contract.

She has joined Fulop and residents Elvin Domenici and Anthony Sharperson in challenging the board majority?s June 2010 vote. They contend it did try granting Epps a three-year extension, in a manner violating New Jersey?s Open Public Meetings Act.

More specifically, Skinner?s group maintains the act violated state law mandating school boards give public notice, and hold public hearings, before altering superintendents? contracts.

The group had an early victory when Monaco ordered the hearing and denied the district?s motion for a summary decision upholding the controversial vote.

Skinner says she feels this year?s board is doing its best under difficult circumstances.

?The board?s deciding to hold a public hearing on Dr. Epps? contract is certainly a welcome change from the events of last year,? says Skinner. ?I know it?s tough on them, given Dr. Epps? desire to remain. What?s important to me is that parents and all segments of the community be given the opportunity to make their feelings known, in an open public forum, and this hearing is a positive development.?

Skinner, founder of the parental advocacy group, Jersey City Families for Better Schools, has made clear she is no fan of Epps. In April, she led a group of parents in attempts to get a meeting with Gov. Chris Christie on Epps? future. The push came after Epps made what many felt were insensitive comments regarding female students to a local ministers? group.

Still, Skinner encourages those disagreeing with her to attend the hearing.

?I don?t feel the district is moving forward under this superintendent, but I?m only one member of the community,? she says. ?It?s important that the board seek public input, from parents and other interested citizens throughout Jersey City, regarding Dr. Epps.?

But Skinner?s lawyer, Mitchell, wants to assure Epps doesn?t have an out. He vows the OAL matter will proceed ? even if the new board grants Epps a more limited extension Tuesday.

?We want that 2010 vote entirely invalidated,? he says. ?In our view, last year?s board acted surreptitiously in granting Dr. Epps a three-year contract extension without the required public notice.?

?And while the board tried claiming later its vote only approved entering into further negotiations on an agreement, we have evidence showing a deal was already in place,? Mitchell adds. ?The members approving it tried changing their story ? only after they were caught and there was a public outcry against it.?

Rivera, who is also assisting the district in the OAL challenge, adamantly denies those charges.

?The laws were fully complied with regarding all notices in connection with the contract,? he says. ?It was legally advertised.?

The public hearing is scheduled for Tuesday, October 4 at 6 pm at PS 11 (886 Bergen Avenue). ... ublic-hearing-approaches/

Posted on: 2011/9/30 16:32

Re: Seeking Freezer Donation for Grace Church Homeless/Hungry Breakfast program
Just can't stay away
Just can't stay away

would appreciate, if you could confirm the address and also pay to?

192 3RD St
Jersey City, NJ 07302

Posted on: 2011/9/24 2:44

Re: Rolando Lavaro, Committed to Selfishness
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Just can't stay away


fedup07302 wrote:

Some of the nineteen people running will still have a shelf life after nov.but I think rolondo has reach his experation date.

Nay.. people with talent, do make these kind of short-sighted opportunistic decisions, just because of peer pressure created by an experienced group, anticipating others to react for their own gains!

Is he going to get help or he is going to help, we need to wait & see how it works out?

Posted on: 2011/9/16 2:23

Re: Rolando Lavaro, Committed to Selfishness
Just can't stay away
Just can't stay away

Politics makes strange bedfellows.

Prov. People who would normally dislike and avoid one another will work together if they think it is politically useful to do so. Jill: I never would have thought that genteel, aristocratic candidate would pick such a rabble-rousing, rough-mannered running mate. Jane: Politics makes strange bedfellows.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. ? 2002

Posted on: 2011/9/15 16:42

Re: Jersey City Superintendent of Schools Charles T. Epps Jr. $300.000.00/year
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School Administrator Claims Superintendent Charles Epps Calls Parents ?Liars? and Critics ?Haters? at Meeting

By Chris Neidenberg ? Sep 1st, 2011 ? Category: Featured, News

Embattled Jersey City superintendent Charles Epps stunned an audience of district administrators during a new school year planning meeting at PS 7 Wednesday, when he called parents ?liars? and his critics ?haters,? a source who was present tells JCI.

The administrator, who asked to remain anonymous for fear of retribution from the school district?s main office, describes Epps as lashing out at parents and other administrators during the first half-hour of the roughly three-hour meeting, which was attended by at least 70 principals and other school administrators.

?First he said, with great anger, ?I want to tell you parents are liars!?? the attendee recalls.

Epps? ire was apparently triggered when a parent, speaking during the public comment section of Tuesday?s Board of Education meeting, voiced concerns about a school uniform logo.

?They [the one parent] come and complain about a little logo over a T-shirt,? the person recalls Epps telling the group of administrators Wednesday, and then adding: ?I will not reprimand my principals for a lying parent.?

?The audacity of these parents coming to board meetings and lying ? I?ve had it with them,? said Epps, according to the source. ?I?m a parent, many of you are parents, but the parents we are dealing with are liars.?

Epps does not deny making the statements, but he says they are being ?completely misconstrued and taken out of context,? perhaps for political reasons.

?It is readily apparent that such erroneous statements were made by an individual or individuals with an agenda that includes conveying inaccurate and distorted information,? Epps says in a statement provided to JCI this morning after we asked his spokesperson for comment. Neither Epps nor his spokesperson directly answered us when we asked if they denied he made the incendiary statements in question.

?When I spoke about parents at that meeting, I was referring to how the district needs to be more collaborative with parents; that administrators should be greeting parents at the start and end of every school day; that parents need to be included in every facet of school operations; and that we should be identifying with the plights faced by our parents,? Epps? statement reads. ?Given this, I am disheartened to learn at [sic] how anyone can take such statements out of context.?

The administrator present says the room seemed shocked after Epps lashed out.

?Everyone just sat very quietly,? the source says. ?I think people were stunned that he would openly attack parents in a public forum like that. You might understand his criticizing employees, but parents ? and when they are not in the room? It was conduct definitely unbecoming of a leader of our school district.?

Regarding employees who don?t like him, the source also recounts Epps speaking of certain administrators who ?go to board members and say bad things about the district and bad things about me when they make very good money.?

?They are haters and so miserable; they have nothing good to say,? the source recalls Epps saying.

Epps? apparent parent-bashing was brought to the attention of another high-ranking district official, who tells JCI that several upset witnesses retold similar stories.

?You (a school employee) should not say parents are liars,? says the second official, who also requested anonymity for similar reasons. ?And if Dr. Epps wishes to publicly attack a particular group like that, let him do it when members of that group are right in front of him.?

In his statement, Epps also expresses disappointment that his reportedly negative comments would overshadow the ?celebratory statements? he made at the meeting that ?would put this district in the best light possible,? including ?how several of the district?s high schools came out of failing status; that our schools are ready to open with administrators and staff fully in place despite any setbacks that may have been caused by Hurricane Irene; that schools district-wide will be undertaking strategies for effective teaching and school reform.?

It?s not the first time Epps? comments have rocked the boat. In April, he was roundly criticized for telling a group of clergy leaders that ?our worst enemy is the young ladies.? He later apologized for the way the comments came out, with his spokeswoman saying he didn?t just mean to single out girls. ?He was referring to all boys and girls,? she told the Jersey Journal. ... ritics-haters-at-meeting/

Posted on: 2011/9/2 16:11

Re: Groups plan protest in Jersey City against toll and fare hikes proposed by Port Authority
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Just can't stay away

PLEASE bring signs and join at 5pm today.

Don't let both Govs C & C to play the script!!

Posted on: 2011/8/8 18:36

Re: Groups plan protest in Jersey City against toll and fare hikes proposed by Port Authority
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Just can't stay away


de2 August 07, 2011 at 7:34PM

Don't be fooled by any suggestion that the governors didn't know about this. The PA doesn't do anything without getting an OK from Albany and Trenton. They proposed this big increase so the governors could shoot it down. Your supposed to be happy when they propose a smaller increase.
That said, the PA has a real problem. NJ kept the ARC funds, the PA want to plow them back into their capital program. They have the Bayonne Bridge, Gothels Bridge and JFK improvements on their plate and they can't bond for them without more revenue. Recession cut into those incomes like everyone else!

Joe Schmoe August 07, 2011 at 8:02PM

de2, if your theory is correct that Cuomo and Christie both knew in advance of these PA fare increases, but are pretending to be absorbing this information only now, then that's a major scandal. Not that this is any surprise, but I don't think voters would be particularly pleased to know that their elected officials are acting out a script. If somebody could establish that Christie & Cuomo actually had conversations with the PA and knew of these proposals long ago, then that would be a major piece of information which underscores how orchestrated all of this corruption is at every level. Surely *somebody* out there knows if the C's were privy to this announcement over a week ago.

Posted on: 2011/8/8 1:24

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