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Re: For six years, Jersey City schools chief was at center of conflict
#1
Home away from home
Home away from home


Parent: "You're grounded"

Child: "What does that mean? That makes no sense!"

Parent: "No going out with your friends."

Child: "Oh, so does that mean I can't like, go to school?"

Parent: "No, you go to school, but you can't go out socially with friends."

Child: "What?! This is the THIRD time you've tried to punish me. You're just HARASSING ME! This is DYSFUNCTIONAL!"

I only wish the Jersey Journal could have reported he depletion of a $70 million reserve fund under Lyles over the past 5 or so years with the vigor they are covering the vote to remove Lyles from her duties.

Posted on: 2/13 12:01
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Re: New Jersey-New York area lost 5,700 millionaires in 2018
#2
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States have been able to balance their budgets and fund necessary programs by raising taxes on the highest bracks. California and Minnesota are examples. Meanwhile, Kansas's experiment with uber-supply side economics fared poorly.

But it is equally true that.

a) Relying too much on high bracket income taxes makes a state more vulnerable to economic swings.

b) The money has to be spent wisely.

Posted on: 1/26 10:48
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Re: Would MTA be a better operator for PATH? And other ideas...
#3
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Home away from home


After 9/11 New Jersey Association of Railroad Passengers was advocating connecting the PATH to the Lexington Avenue line. Apparently the tracks are the right width, and with all the construction that had to have been done, it would have been feasible. It never got off the ground and never got to the point where one would have to figure out which agency would run it.

Posted on: 1/12 13:38
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Re: JC Council to Vote on Canceling Two Abatement Deals for Non Compliance
#4
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Yes Yvonne does not even live in the Van Vorst neighborhood. She had nothing to do with that project, except that she questioned it at a council meeting. And if I recall correctly the official who answered her gave her a wrong answer.

Posted on: 1/12 13:35
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Re: For six years, Jersey City schools chief was at center of conflict
#5
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They don't. But those stories make good copy and are ripe for playacting during public comment.

Posted on: 1/6 21:21
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Re: For six years, Jersey City schools chief was at center of conflict
#6
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Quote:

brewster wrote:
Quote:

JPhurst wrote:
There have been plenty of issues of policy and accountability. There was Lyles's funnelling of resources to outside vendors for "professional development", the creation of a "leadership academy" with vague accountability, the loss of the entire reserve fund, toxic labor relations and poor morale, flaunting of civil service requirements that meant the board was painted as being "dysfunctional" when they finally said "enough" and refused to renew the appointments, chicanery on the health insurance switch.


Sorry, but to someone uninterested in the "inside baseball", back office nonsense, that all looks like bullshit. I take a "black box" view, I'm interested in what goes in, and what comes out of the BOE sausage factory. We see extraordinary sums go in, and continued failure and dysfunction come out.

Now, I'm not Monroe, who's only interested in cutting the budget and uses poor outcomes as justification, but letting business as usual continue just because it always has, and the employees are in favor of it, is madness.

How can one justify our ranking of 11 of 98 in extracurricular budgeting per pupil and 97 of 98 in "Salaries and Benefits for Operations and Maintenance". The message there is the schools are run for the benefit of the staff not the students. It's well known that extracurriculars like sports, music, and drama help students who might otherwise be disaffected with school become engaged. Http://www.ascd.org/publications/educ ... d-Student-Motivation.aspx

So why do we put such a low priority on them vs paying staff the most in the whole state? Isn't it clear this is what we get when the unions control the BOE?


Rampant misfeasance and malfeasance in central office is not "inside baseball."

If you don't want to be informed about the issues, that's fine. But then don't pontificate about what the "real problem" is and think that by pulling a few random stats out of your butt that you understand what's going on in the district.

Posted on: 1/5 19:44
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Re: For six years, Jersey City schools chief was at center of conflict
#7
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Home away from home


There have been plenty of issues of policy and accountability. There was Lyles's funnelling of resources to outside vendors for "professional development", the creation of a "leadership academy" with vague accountability, the loss of the entire reserve fund, toxic labor relations and poor morale, flaunting of civil service requirements that meant the board was painted as being "dysfunctional" when they finally said "enough" and refused to renew the appointments, chicanery on the health insurance switch.

Frankly, the timing of this was probably the polite way to do it. I would have noticed it and held the vote in the spring but for goodness sake, look at the vote. Even with a 3-0 sweep next November of a P4P redux, Lyles still has 5 votes against her. The dissatisfaction of the board was there for a long time, and I didn't see any attempts by Lyles to remedy it. If she didn't notice it before, then the election of the slate in November should have served as a wake up call.

Posted on: 1/4 22:01
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Re: Judge OKs site plan for controversial 'micro-unit' project in Jersey City
#8
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I did not have as many problems as others with the project, though the way it was pushed through was deceptive.

But how is the VVPA illegitimate?

And Yvonne has not had anything to do with it for a long time.

Posted on: 2018/11/5 15:14
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Re: JCBOE - who are you voting for and why?
#9
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Incorrect on so many levels.

1) The employees in question all received Rice notices. The problem is that Dr. Lyles ignored the fact that central office was rife with violations of the civil service law and other improper appointments. She assumed she could just place these on the agenda and get a pro forma approval. The board finally said enough is enough.

2) The "financial problems" were disagreements with his matrimonial attorneys over a few thousand dollars in what was billed. The matter has been resolved and everything has been paid.

3) Mediation would not have averted a teacher's strike. Mediation was a way that the district could have delayed further bargaining. It was what the district did in the prior dispute, which angered the teachers because it was a way for Lyles and the P4P controlled board to avoid resolution.

The teachers were without a contract for a significantly longer period last time than this time. There was a 1 day strike because there was a much different labor environment where teachers were striking across the country.

And over the weekend, the parties bargained round the clock, and with help of the mayor, resolved the contract. Had the district sought to go to mediation, then the contract would not have been resolved and the union could have continued the strike. The district was lined to go up to court and stop the strike (public sector unions are not permitted to call a strike) but the contract was resolved. A lot quicker, a lot less legal expense, a lot less acrimony.

The current board was able to settle the contract in a much less acrimonious, more efficient, less expensive matter than the prior board.

The bottom line is that this board has accomplished more in 10 months than prior boards accomplished over the past 10 years. It has done so just as the state has begun to drastically cut aid (with the encouragement of those who back the JC United slate). And it has done so as we have learned that over the past several years central office under Dr. Lyles has been at best unable to confront the serious problems of mismanagement and non-compliance, and at worst actively aided and abetted them.

Posted on: 2018/11/5 14:12
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Re: JCBOE - who are you voting for and why?
#10
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Posted on: 2018/11/2 15:21
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Re: JCBOE - who are you voting for and why?
#11
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The board raised the levy by 6.5% this year. This was due to a "banked cap" available because the Board did not raise it the full 2% in prior years. Though I have just spoken with someone who advised me that not all that 6.5$ was dye to the levy. It included raises for other hardships that state law allows an exception for.

https://www.nj.com/hudson/index.ssf/20 ... city_school_district.html

Posted on: 2018/11/2 15:19
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Re: JCBOE - who are you voting for and why?
#12
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Quote:

ecinjc wrote:
I’m voting for Vidya, Neil, and Dominique.

I am not happy with the leadership on the board right now. (Sudhan Thomas and his gang) They seem more concerned with political vengeance than helping the kids. Vidya has her kids in the public school and has been consistently a smart, responsible, respectful leader. And I absolutely love Dominique and Neil. They are super bright, energetic, positive, and exactly the types of leaders we need for the Democratic Party. Both have acting been endorsed by national organizations ( a first I think for JC) Dominique is endorsed by Run For Something https://runforsomething.net/candidates/dominique-smith/, and Neil by the Victory Fund.


Except that by becoming part of "Jersey City United" they showed that they, not current board leadership, are the ones involved in political revenge. JC United is the reincarnation of the failed Parents for Progress

This board faced unprecedented obstacles. In prior years the district depleted its reserve fund, leaving this board a $70 million deficit to close. It did so, with no layoffs.

At the same time, the law Chris Christie passed to require employee health contributions opened up this year to allow it to become a subject of bargaining again, leaving the district with another hole it had to fill. They were able to negotiate and had marathon sessions to reach agreement, all while keeping the district on sound financial footing.

Prior boards, under the leadership of "Parents for Progress" trustees, often refused to raise the tax levy even up to the modest 2% cap. This board raised the tax levy, including raising the "banked cap" so that the district could raise a larger share from local revenue. Ironically, the same people supporting JC United were the same people who a) while on the board, refused to raise the levy to the maximum extent possible, and then b) after they were no longer in control of the board, bemoaned the lack of local contribution to the district's budget and actively encouraged state efforts to reduce our state aid. Essentially, they are saying "we refused to raise local revenue when we could, and are now going to make you raise taxes, including for the amount we could have raised. And we will also say that the state is justified in cutting our aid because we don't raise enough local revenue." A greater display of political chutzpah is not possible.

For years, central office hires were in violation of civil service law. In fact, when Dr. Lyles came on board, the district received a report outlining these deficiencies. Rather than correct these deficiencies, she let them continue to install her own appointments. The board finally fixed this.

In short, this board has dealt with, and continues to deal with, unprecedented financial obstacles and has met the challenge to keep the district going. As the state funding cuts (encouraged by several opponents off the current board leadership) continue there should be no doubt that they have earned the right to continue to do the job.

When the candidates first filed and formed slates, I felt that there were 8 good candidates. While you would have the inevitable clash and disagreement of a campaign, we had at least gotten away from the factions that sought personal destruction and tried to scapegoat labor unions for the district's woes. Unfortunately that has changed, and we are all worse off for it.

Posted on: 2018/11/2 12:23
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Re: Jersey CIty School Policy - Vacation
#13
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Just speak with the teacher ahead of time. Official policy is that it is an unexcused absence. But teachers and schools have allowed it. I have, on a couple of occasions, taken my girls out of school for a day or two, and their mother took them out 1 week before holiday break last year so they could see relatives abroad.

It will depend on the teacher, and possibly if the student is otherwise doing well. But there are plenty of parents who take their kids out for a week or so. Just ask and make sure it's addressed ahead of time.

Posted on: 2018/10/22 12:08
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Re: Our Lady of Czestochowa Downtown Sex Abuse...
#14
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All the abusers were men.

So perhaps Yvonne should demand that all men be expelled from the Priesthood and positions of authority in the church.

Posted on: 2018/9/5 12:10
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Re: Okay, so who here thinks the Katyn monument needs to go?
#15
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Interestingly, I saw petitioners again today outside of city hall.

They told me "they're trying to move the statue for a million
dollars!" Boy, Yun and Platta spent a lot on training....

Anyone know why the petitions are still out there?

Posted on: 2018/8/30 16:48
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Re: Okay, so who here thinks the Katyn monument needs to go?
#16
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Quote:

T-Bird wrote:
Quote:

TheBigGuy wrote:
We need a local issue draw out the mid-term election voters in November.


And the Katyn monument is that issue? That is one steaming hot take, my friend.

Are you sure you want to drive up turnout locally? Guessing from previous citations of Alex Jones, I'd think you are looking for the other six JC republicans to show up. Probably more of the folks who turn out to vote no on Katyn are angry with Fulop from the left than the right.


I suspect the people who care about the Katyn monument for its own sake skew conservative. But a lot of the people who got involved in this are doing in order to object to how the mayor handled this or because they object to any measure he takes. The latter category includes both the left and the right.

Posted on: 2018/8/17 11:38
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Re: JC Street Sweep and Parking Petition!
#17
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I do not want to see a street plan that focuses on automobiles at the expense of pedestrians, public transportation, and cyclists.

Having said that, I do not think running unnecessary street sweepers to generate tickets and "gotcha" booting policies are a necessary part of a Complete Streets plan.

Posted on: 2018/8/15 13:53
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Re: Hatfield and McCoy's on Astor Place!
#18
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Neighborhood Associations run the gamut. VVPA requires regular elections from members unlike others where the directors just reappoint themselves. There are also term limits which requires rotation among leadership.

I no longer live in Van Vorst Park but when I did the meetings were accessible, and anyone who wanted to get involved could.

Posted on: 2018/8/8 11:59
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Re: Boonton Reservoir
#19
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Do we need to protect our watersheds? Of course. You would not people throwing garbage in the reservoir, dumping chemicals in it, or taking powerboats out on it.

That does not mean that every reservoir has to be secured from the public as if it contains nuclear weapons.

Posted on: 2018/8/1 8:33
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Re: Boonton Reservoir
#20
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I have a house close to one of NYC's reservoirs. You can walk around it. You can row a boat in it. I am pretty sure you can still fish in it.

Neither Yvonne nor Councilman Boggiano know what they are talking about.

But I am glad that we have a carbon copy of General Jack D. Ripper on our council. Someone has to look out for the water we need to replenish our precious bodily fluids.

Posted on: 2018/7/31 9:30
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Re: Okay, so who here thinks the Katyn monument needs to go?
#21
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Funny how Yvonne never called for independent verification in response to GOP led voter purges.

Actually it's not funny. It's disgusting.

But we now know that Yvonne was a participant in one of the most widespread election frauds in a county known for them.

Posted on: 2018/7/24 11:06
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Re: 'What is this, Russia?' Jersey City property owners fight developer
#22
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How many long term abatements have been given out in the last year?

If any were, were they for market rate luxury housing?

Posted on: 2018/7/9 20:58
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Re: 'What is this, Russia?' Jersey City property owners fight developer
#23
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Does every crevice of the city have to be built up as soon as possible as much as possible?

I used to live on Monmouth on the other side of Old Colony Mall. I still take my kids to P.S. 3. I go shopping at Ranch 99 and have the occasional craving for Popeyes or a donut from Dunkin Donuts. A while back I used the auto body shop to fix a banged up car for a few hundred bucks that the insurance company insisted was totalled. Point being that I've been around there and still have occasion to go there.

Sure you could spruce up those few blocks and build some townhouses or apartments, but is the city really hurting because they haven't done so yet? If the current landowners are really squatting or speculating that's one thing, but if it's just a question of waiting a couple of years, or maybe building a little smaller, then why give a developer the power of eminent domain at the expense of current owners, residents, and business owners?

Posted on: 2018/7/9 17:00
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Re: 4th of July in JC @ Exchange Place - Featuring Snoop Dog
#24
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We were told that this was a parade of horribles waiting to happen. One critic even tried to link this to school funding AND Katyn by saying the city was spending its own money and moved it to the Waterfront to showcase Mack Cali! Then there was the talk about crime, the inability to host an event of this size, and comparisons to the Bread and Circuses of the Roman Empire.

And after the event, the only complaint is - the fireworks started about 45 minutes late?

Child, please.

Posted on: 2018/7/8 0:12
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Re: Kushner in New Jersey unraveling
#25
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We have found a tax abatement that Yvonne will defend!

Posted on: 2018/7/8 0:08
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Re: Will Jersey City and Hoboken ever lose Abbott District Status?
#26
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Quote:

Monroe wrote:

East Newark isn't a Abbott school system, doesn't contribute 200 million less than its local fair share like JC taxpayers, and isn't trying to put its hands in the pockets of other NJ taxpayers like JC is. So yeah, given JC's historic, epic, and continuing tradition of graft and corruption should be a part of this conversation.


There's the problem. By all means I do not want corruption, graft, or waste in Jersey City's public schools. But being covered under Abbott does not turn Jersey City into a "debtor" city that has to be better than its non-Abbott counterparts. Nor does it mean that as the city develops it must forego police, fire, infrastructure, open space, etc and give any surplus over to the schools.

And in any event, until recently Jersey City was run and overseen by the state. Interesting how state monitors were unable to find an excess $75 million that our current board cut.

Posted on: 2018/6/5 22:09
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Re: Will Jersey City and Hoboken ever lose Abbott District Status?
#27
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And do you think that the districts clamoring for more funding are free of corruption, graft, and waste?

As I've noted before, this school board was told there was a $75 million gap. They closed it with no layoffs.

Some of it was cutting unnecessary expenses. Some of it involved sacrifices. Some of it involved taking bold steps in the face of vocal opposition (like saving $13 million by pulling out of the State School Employees health fund).

I am confident other districts could undertake similar measures and recognize spending.

We all talk about corruption in Jersey City. Let's not pretend other districts are free of it. East Newark's Micro-District just hired a superintendent under investigation, for goodness sake. "He's a good fit" said the board. Well ok then!

Posted on: 2018/6/5 19:47
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Re: Will Jersey City and Hoboken ever lose Abbott District Status?
#28
Home away from home
Home away from home


And do you think that the districts clamoring for more funding are free of corruption, graft, and waste?

As I've noted before, this school board was told there was a $75 million gap. They closed it with no layoffs.

Some of it was cutting unnecessary expenses. Some of it involved sacrifices. Some of it involved taking bold steps in the face of vocal opposition (like saving $13 million by pulling out of the State School Employees health fund).

I am confident other districts could undertake similar measures and recognize spending.

We all talk about corruption in Jersey City. Let's not pretend other districts are free of it. East Newark's Micro-District just hired a superintendent under investigation, for goodness sake. "He's a good fit" said the board. Well ok then!

Posted on: 2018/6/5 19:47
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Re: Will Jersey City and Hoboken ever lose Abbott District Status?
#29
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Any school district, particularly one of Jersey City's size, is going to have to be different things to different people. It needs to take its most talented and accomplished and prepare them for an elite university education. It needs to take those that struggle the most and get them up to proficiency, and possibly the elite level as well! So yes you will have your gifted schools like McNair, alternative programs for those who need it, and everywhere in between.

McNair's success can be celebrated, even as we try to bring up the graduation rates at the other schools. I don't think either of those points affects the needs that were documented in Abbott.

Finally, throughout the various Abbott opinions it has been acknowledged that funding alone will not solve the problem. In the most recent decision Christie tried to reopen the entire line of cases and claim that funding doesn't solve the problem. The court's response is that funding alone wont do it, but funding is a necessary part of it.

Posted on: 2018/6/5 16:34
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Re: Will Jersey City and Hoboken ever lose Abbott District Status?
#30
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The fallacy is that SFRA numbers somehow are the be all and end all of what districts and their students need. It's the same as saying the Supreme Court's opinion is just an "opinion."

The Supreme Court's opinion is based on documented findings of fact and conclusions of law. Similarly, SFRA is a legislative judgment. Can we question the Supreme Court's opinion? Sure, just as we can question the cluster#*@7 that is the SFRA, which tried to cram square pegs into round holes.

And of course, you question the SFRA too. Because Adjustment Aid was made part of the SFRA, so it cannot be counter to its purpose. But you seem to eliminate the parts of it you don't like while proclaiming the sanctity of the rest.

But the mask is slipping off. This is no longer about treating others fairly. It is an attempt to overrule Abbott entirely.
Abbott, along with Mr. Laurel, were the two major civil rights cases in modern New Jersey history. Implement them, completely. And if the state wants to bring others up to par as well, that's fine and good. Not one at the expense of the other.

Posted on: 2018/6/5 12:29
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