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Re: Jersey City school board election 2015
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3 backed by teachers union win Jersey City school board seats

By Terrence T. McDonald | The Jersey Journal
on November 03, 2015 at 9:50 PM

JERSEY CITY — Three candidates backed by the Jersey City teachers union swept this year's school board election today, giving the powerful union six allies on the nine-member board.

The union slate — Vidya Gangadin and Marilyn Roman, seeking their second terms, plus newcomer John Reichart — defeated Gina Verdibello, a parent advocate who was attempting for the third year in a row to win a school board seat.

Initial results show the three Jersey City Education Association-backed candidates each winning over 5,800 votes, while Verdibello was in fourth place with 4,884 votes. They were the only four in the race, the lowest number of BOE candidates in a Jersey City school board election since 2002

Read more:  http://www.nj.com/hudson/index.ssf/20 ... es_win_jersey_city_s.html


Posted on: 2015/11/4 4:21
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Re: Jersey City school board election 2015
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I think I missed the part of this conversation where we discuss how electing any of the people running for Bd of Ed was actually going to make 1 ounce of difference on the sub standard quality of education that my kids got in the JCPS. The political discussion is nice and interesting though.

Wait - I know, "change happens slowly" or something like that.

Posted on: 2015/11/4 3:53
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Re: Jersey City school board election 2015
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The above is one way you can describe it.

But I think the "reform" movement, to the extent it even existed, bears quite a bit of responsibility for its collapse.

Fulop's first year running candidates was a joint effort with the union against the HCDO. They cross endorsed two candidates and separately endorsed a third. Fulop's candidate (Carol Lester) won. This was completely top down.

The second year was when Fulop started delegating the matter to trusted advisers. The union endorsed but it was perfunctory.

In year three, the Gangadin-Roman-Ranade ticket was almost completely the "committee." But the committee became more of a group of downtown moms. This was also when the union broke off. And it was also when the parents started taking David Tepper's money. This was absolutely unnecessary and alienated not just the union but a lot of other people who supported parent involvement in this process but were wary of being tarred with the "school reform" movement that focused on charters, vouchers, privatization, etc.

The fourth year, and the final year the "Parents For Progress" won, they were having trouble finding people who even wanted to run (and the ticket that was endorsed three years before had fractured at that point). They won most of the seats in part because two of their candidates were placed under the Democratic ballot line.

But by this point labor relations were at an all time low and the Parents for Progress were seen as an increasingly insulated and arrogant group. The attitude that they and the candidates seemed to take was "I'm not carrying water for the reform movement. I'm just about the kids. So perception doesn't matter because I know I am right." The problem with this is that an election is not a referendum on whether YOU think YOU are doing a good job.

At this point the contract is still unresolved, relations between the Super's office and the union are at a nadir. And the board's biggest request of Fulop is to lease prime space downtown for free for a few extra Pre-K classes at Cordero. As it turns out, the principal at Cordero was warehousing space and most of the classes could be held there. Some kids did indeed have to be bussed. The city ended up working with the county to create a whole new school there where the Board and the "Parents for Progress" wanted a few pre-K classes.

So when JCEA got NJEA to load up money to run a slate, what does "Parents for Progress" do? They run 1 incumbent who I thought did a good job but who has pissed the union off. They run a parent from the P.S. 3 dual language program, who is a great guy but who would have been the THIRD board member from that school's program, which is increasingly identified as a program for downtowners. And they run a candidate who comes straight from the reform movement and has ties to Bloomberg and charter school advocates. Gee, you think you might be alienating some people?

"But we know we're doing it for the kids."

To quote Chad Johnson/Ochocinco "Child Please."

So Fulop lets them walk down that dark tunnel right into the oncoming train. They still had the endorsements of some Fulop allies, like Rolando and Candice. Doesn't matter, they got smashed.

This year, they don't even exist. Why? Because they realize that all along, they did not have any ability to elect candidates without institutional funding and backing.

What is frustrating is that this could have been something lasting Yes, Fulop is opportunistic. He still gave the "movement" the keys to the car for three years and let them
decide where to drive with it. Normally, when a politician endorses a slate of candidates and backs it, he or she expects to basically pick the slate. The mommy mafia got to the point where they thought that their shit didn't stink, and that Fulop owed them endorsements, funding, and mobilization no matter what they did.

"Because we're doing it for the children."

Well, they could have worked with the union, or someone else other than rich hedge fund managers to build a lasting coalition. Instead, without Fulop, they feel they can't do it. Because they couldn't.

This year, the process was definitely more "top down" again. Having said that, you have some very qualified candidates and the incumbents were not rubber stamps for anyone when they were on the board.

And hey, remember Vidya was a complete outsider who ran against the "Fulop" slate 4 years ago. But she developed enough credibility and support that she became a strong candidate that picked up the endorsement a year later. She now is on good terms with the union, the mayor, and the superintendent's office. That's impressive.

Posted on: 2015/11/4 1:13
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Re: Jersey City school board election 2015
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There's no doubt that it was a mutually beneficial arrangement, but let's be real - Fulop said he'd stay out of it last year and engaged with the other side through proxies (Bertoli, Sully and the HCDO foot soldiers). PFP had good funding without him, but hard to fight a war on two fronts (the union and Fulop/HCDO) especially when one of the enemies is sneaking around and telling you they still support you but just won't engage. Fulop knew PFP had an uphill fight last year - he backs winners. Period. He wouldn't endorse his mother if she ran for something and he thought she might lose.

In the end, Fulop really didn't matter last year in terms of votes - just the betrayal. The union (statewide) was looking at Jersey City as needing desperately to win, after a string of losses and fearing that they were on the verge of losing ground permanently to the reform movement. The NJEA/JCEA was going to (and did) spend whatever it took to win and Fulop knew that. He publicly stayed out because he'd have lost if he stood with PFP.

Posted on: 2015/11/3 22:39
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Re: Jersey City school board election 2015
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Hardly. In fact, you could make a strong case for the opposite.

The mayor traded in his old friends, who were no longer of great use, for new friends, who have considerable current and future value. Many of the people who were engaged on the education front (long before Fulop became engaged, I might add) became part of his army that led to his election in 2013 - in large part because of their joint efforts in past school board elections. Once he was in and had the resources of the city and HCDO at his disposal, his old friends were no longer a concern for him. Truth be told, he really isn't a big education guy. It was a mobilizing issue that he could (and did) use to political advantage. I think if you asked any of the more involved PFP or B4K people, they would agree.

Posted on: 2015/11/3 22:04
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Re: Jersey City school board election 2015
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They can't run without him?

In which case the critics were right all along - they were Fulop's puppets.

Robin.

Posted on: 2015/11/3 20:22
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Re: Jersey City school board election 2015
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The mayor gutted and filleted Parents for Progress last year in his stampede to be the most union-friendly Democrat candidate for governor.

Posted on: 2015/11/3 18:30
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Re: Jersey City school board election 2015
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So why is there no real slate of competitors running? What happened to the Parents For Progress? Are they not running a slate?

Robin.

Posted on: 2015/11/3 17:54
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Re: Jersey City school board election 2015
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yes, that was a kick in the stomach.

sanitary inspector trainee, hire date - 9/30/13

sorry, they are all in the soup.

polls open to 8pm.


Quote:

Dolomiti wrote:
Quote:

T-Bird wrote:
But there's still this, Josh: "Turns out that Vidya Gangadin's husband was hired by Mayor Fulop last year."

Hired to do what, exactly?

mia says someone "sent her a link." I'm seeing no sign of it. Let's see some proof.

Posted on: 2015/11/3 17:20
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Re: Jersey City school board election 2015
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what time do the polls close tonight?

Posted on: 2015/11/3 16:44
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Re: Jersey City school board election 2015
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Quote:

T-Bird wrote:
But there's still this, Josh: "Turns out that Vidya Gangadin's husband was hired by Mayor Fulop last year."

Hired to do what, exactly?

mia says someone "sent her a link." I'm seeing no sign of it. Let's see some proof.

Posted on: 2015/11/3 15:34
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Re: Jersey City school board election 2015
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+1 T-Bird

Posted on: 2015/11/3 15:30
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Re: Jersey City school board election 2015
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But there's still this, Josh: "Turns out that Vidya Gangadin's husband was hired by Mayor Fulop last year."

Posted on: 2015/11/3 15:24
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Re: Jersey City school board election 2015
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Quote:

mia wrote:
One of my readers emailed me regarding my comment, " To be an effective member of the Board of Ed requires a tremendous number of hours and it's unpaid. " Turns out that Vidya Gangadin's husband was hired by Mayor Fulop last year. The reader sent me the link. Vidya is the Board President who is seeking a 2nd term. Another emailed that Ron Greco's wife was also hired by Mayor Fulop to get the teacher's union endorsement and get John Reichart, who works for the Silvermans, on the ticket. It makes you wonder why getting a retired NJ Transit officer on the board is so important. They even hired a heavy hitter to run their campaign, Rebecca Symes, the head of Legal & Govenment Relations for Dixon Advisory, who's bought hundreds of buildings in JC. Does it have to do with getting another vote on the Board to rent space from developers at market rents in luxury building for the 3 and 4 year old programs? Is this another perk, an on-site school, for developers to sell their units and rent out expensive, street level space to the Board of Ed? As you know, tax abated buildings contribute ZERO dollars to the schools' $665 million budget.

BTW a few weeks back, the JC School district got back more local control and only curriculum and programming remain under state supervision. Makes you wonder if we're on our way back to the old days of the late 1980s' of excessive contracts, neoptism, patronage etc. but now the non-abated taxpayers pick up the tab and eventually the State will cut their massive subsidy. Think about that when you're voting. Vote for Gina Verdibello, 2D, an independent.

Don't forget... Look for the public question on the ballot requesting to change the JC Mayoral elections, which includes the full city council, from May to November. Then the run-off election would be in December during the holiday season. Please VOTE NO!

Let's not forget the Assembly race in the 31st District..... Please vote for Matthew Kopko, 1A. Check out Yvonne Balcer's interview with Matt Kopko. Check out his website VoteKopko.com. It's time for Hudson County to have a 2 party system


Lots of innuendo. Little fact.

I believe you are referring to another Greco's wife, not Ronnie Greco. The person in question is a teacher and involved with the union but there's no way the union would throw support behind Fulop's candidate just because his wife has a position at City Hall. He does not control that, and would not do so even if he could.

John Reichart does indeed work for the Silvermans. The Silvermans do not have any space that they are renting for pre-schools. Similar improper insinuations were made by some people against Gina because her husband represents developers who seek tax abatements. Both claims are grossly inappropriate.

As for Assembly, Kopko's only accomplishment is making a scene at campaign events and then whining when people tell him to buzz off. I have had the opportunity to meet Angela McKnight and Nicholas Chiaravalotti several times over the past few months and think they would be a great team who's skill sets and experiences complement one another. I look forward to seeing them beat Kopko like a drum.

Posted on: 2015/11/3 13:33
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Re: Jersey City school board election 2015
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Gina Verdibello is a real estate agent. Her husband is a real estate attorney. So if Jersey City School Board candidates involved in real estate are a problem for you...

Posted on: 2015/11/3 11:28
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Re: Jersey City school board election 2015
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Some nice points to ponder, it's always picking the lesser of two evils.



Quote:

mia wrote:
One of my readers emailed me regarding my comment, " To be an effective member of the Board of Ed requires a tremendous number of hours and it's unpaid. " Turns out that Vidya Gangadin's husband was hired by Mayor Fulop last year. The reader sent me the link. Vidya is the Board President who is seeking a 2nd term. Another emailed that Ron Greco's wife was also hired by Mayor Fulop to get the teacher's union endorsement and get John Reichart, who works for the Silvermans, on the ticket. It makes you wonder why getting a retired NJ Transit officer on the board is so important. They even hired a heavy hitter to run their campaign, Rebecca Symes, the head of Legal & Govenment Relations for Dixon Advisory, who's bought hundreds of buildings in JC. Does it have to do with getting another vote on the Board to rent space from developers at market rents in luxury building for the 3 and 4 year old programs? Is this another perk, an on-site school, for developers to sell their units and rent out expensive, street level space to the Board of Ed? As you know, tax abated buildings contribute ZERO dollars to the schools' $665 million budget.

BTW a few weeks back, the JC School district got back more local control and only curriculum and programming remain under state supervision. Makes you wonder if we're on our way back to the old days of the late 1980s' of excessive contracts, neoptism, patronage etc. but now the non-abated taxpayers pick up the tab and eventually the State will cut their massive subsidy. Think about that when you're voting. Vote for Gina Verdibello, 2D, an independent.

Don't forget... Look for the public question on the ballot requesting to change the JC Mayoral elections, which includes the full city council, from May to November. Then the run-off election would be in December during the holiday season. Please VOTE NO!

Let's not forget the Assembly race in the 31st District..... Please vote for Matthew Kopko, 1A. Check out Yvonne Balcer's interview with Matt Kopko. Check out his website VoteKopko.com. It's time for Hudson County to have a 2 party system

Posted on: 2015/11/3 3:14
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Re: Jersey City school board election 2015
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One of my readers emailed me regarding my comment, " To be an effective member of the Board of Ed requires a tremendous number of hours and it's unpaid. " Turns out that Vidya Gangadin's husband was hired by Mayor Fulop last year. The reader sent me the link. Vidya is the Board President who is seeking a 2nd term. Another emailed that Ron Greco's wife was also hired by Mayor Fulop to get the teacher's union endorsement and get John Reichart, who works for the Silvermans, on the ticket. It makes you wonder why getting a retired NJ Transit officer on the board is so important. They even hired a heavy hitter to run their campaign, Rebecca Symes, the head of Legal & Govenment Relations for Dixon Advisory, who's bought hundreds of buildings in JC. Does it have to do with getting another vote on the Board to rent space from developers at market rents in luxury building for the 3 and 4 year old programs? Is this another perk, an on-site school, for developers to sell their units and rent out expensive, street level space to the Board of Ed? As you know, tax abated buildings contribute ZERO dollars to the schools' $665 million budget.

BTW a few weeks back, the JC School district got back more local control and only curriculum and programming remain under state supervision. Makes you wonder if we're on our way back to the old days of the late 1980s' of excessive contracts, neoptism, patronage etc. but now the non-abated taxpayers pick up the tab and eventually the State will cut their massive subsidy. Think about that when you're voting. Vote for Gina Verdibello, 2D, an independent.

Don't forget... Look for the public question on the ballot requesting to change the JC Mayoral elections, which includes the full city council, from May to November. Then the run-off election would be in December during the holiday season. Please VOTE NO!

Let's not forget the Assembly race in the 31st District..... Please vote for Matthew Kopko, 1A. Check out Yvonne Balcer's interview with Matt Kopko. Check out his website VoteKopko.com. It's time for Hudson County to have a 2 party system

Posted on: 2015/11/3 2:38
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Re: Jersey City school board election 2015
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Voters’ choice
Four candidates running for three school board seats

by Al Sullivan
Reporter staff writer
Oct 25, 2015

Four candidates vying for three seats on the Board of Education aired their views at a forum sponsored by the Paulus Hook Neighborhood Association on Oct. 19.

Incumbents Vidya Gangadin and Marilyn Roman along with John Reichart are running on a ticket together, and have the endorsement of the Jersey City Education Association (JCEA), the teachers union. Gina Verdibello is running as an independent.

Vidya Gangadin is currently president of the school board, chair of the Finance committee, and advisory board member for Innovation High School. She has four children who attend public school.

Marilyn Roman is vice president of the board, has 43 years experience as teacher, and is education supervisor and director of the Education/Business Alliance.

John Reichart is the former president of the Jersey City Historic Downtown Special Improvement District, a retired NJ Transit Police sergeant, and has two children in public schools.

Gina Verdibello describes herself as a stay-at-home parent by choice. She is a parent activist, a Girl Scout troop leader, and real estate agent. A graduate of Rutgers University, she used to be a grants administrator. Her three children currently attend Jersey City public schools.

Posted on: 2015/11/2 5:47
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Meet 3 of the 4 candidates running for the Jersey City, NJ Board of Ed. Meet Vidya Gangadin, Marilyn Roman and Gina Verdibello. Please vote NO on the Referendum question to change the JC Mayoral election from May to November with a run-off in December, the holiday season.

Watch it on YouTube

Don't forget to vote on Tuesday. The polls are open from 6AM to 8PM.

Posted on: 2015/10/31 22:23
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Re: Jersey City school board election 2015
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Mayor Fulop, teachers union join forces in school board race

By Terrence T. McDonald | The Jersey Journal 

Email the author | Follow on Twitter 
on October 26, 2015 at 7:28 AM

For anyone who remembered last year's brawl of a school board race, the crowd assembled inside Downtown bar Zeppelin Hall on a recent weekday evening was a sight to behold.

That's because political foes who spent last year's campaign lobbing verbal grenades at one other this year came together to make nice and raise money for the only slate of candidates running this year: incumbents Vidya Gangadin and Marilyn Roman, plus newcomer John Reichart. The three are backed by the powerful local teachers union, the Jersey City Education Association.

Mayor Steve Fulop was there to offer his endorsement, as were leaders of the JCEA, which once told its members that a Fulop mayoralty would lead to massive teacher layoffs. Allies of reform-minded group Parents for Progress were on hand, putting aside their differences with the union and with Fulop. Even noted Fulop foe Steve Hyman made an appearance.

read more:  http://www.nj.com/jjournal-news/index ... p_teachers_union_joi.html

 


Posted on: 2015/10/26 13:49
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Jersey City school board election 2015
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This time around, a low-key Jersey City school board race

By Terrence T. McDonald | The Jersey Journal
d October 23, 2015 at 4:17 PM

JERSEY CITY — For anyone who paid attention to last year's bare-knuckles brawl of a school board race, the crowd assembled inside Downtown bar Zeppelin Hall on a recent Wednesday evening was a sight to behold.

Former and current political foes who spent last year's campaign lobbing verbal grenades at one other were came together to make nice-nice and raise money for the only slate of candidates running this year: incumbents Vidya Gangadin and Marilyn Roman, plus newcomer John Reichart. The three are backed by the powerful local teachers union, the Jersey City Education Association.

Mayor Steve Fulop was there to offer his endorsement, as were leaders of the JCEA, which once told its members that a Fulop mayoralty would lead to massive teacher layoffs. Allies of reform-minded group Parents for Progress were on hand, putting aside their differences with the union and with Fulop. Even noted Fulop foe Steve Hyman made an appearance.

Read more:  http://www.nj.com/hudson/index.ssf/20 ... adin_ro.html#incart_river


Posted on: 2015/10/24 4:33
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