New School Board sworn in
4/29/2009 Video Summary:
Theresa Minutillo, Ruth McAllister and Maureen Sullivan – getting sworn-in – under 90 seconds:
Moms at the helm
A new era begins tonight for the Hoboken Board of Education as Maureen Sullivan and Ruth McAllister join the re-elected Theresa Minutillo for the start of a new three-year term. Maureen takes her seat after being an outspoken critic of the status quo as well as an active Hoboken411 commenter and occasional contributor. Ruthy comes on board after helping to lead the charge against the defeated HoLa! Program. They’ll form a new majority with current trustees Rose Marie Markle and Carrie Gilliard, who are up for re-election next year along with City Clerk James Farina.
The victorious Moms will be sworn in tonight at 7pm in the basement board meeting room at the Wallace School. That will be then be followed by the election of officers and other business. Many eyes will be on Schools Superintendent Jack Raslowsky, a former board member himself who was hand-picked for the job by Mayor David Roberts. Most gave Raslowsky the benefit of the doubt in his first year, but the second has included a string of blunders, from the HoLa! debate to an effort to downplay the fact that so many mid-grade students were failing mandated tests.
Raslowsky on the hot seat
The Superintendent has had a frosty relationship with the board minority that takes office as the new majority tonight. Known lately for lecturing people who don’t agree with him, Raslowsky was in no hurry to congratulate the winners last week. Will he dig in for a showdown, or take stock of the mistakes made in the past year that led to the loss of his board majority support? Only time will tell. I learned that back in the early 90’s, a group of insurgents won the school board majority and removed Superintendent Ed Duroy. The dismissal was apparently messy and contentious. It led to a backlash that kept the School Board solidly in Mayoral machine hands until now.
Looking back on the election tallies…
The First, Second, Fifth and Sixth wards overwhelmingly voted for the winners. All three members of Frank Raia’s slate won the Third ward, but not by the margins some expected.
Raia was also the top vote getter in the Fourth ward, despite councilwoman Dawn Zimmer’s endorsement of the Kids First slate. Raia won 3 of 4 districts where his support of Zimmer was instrumental in getting her past Chris Campos nearly two years ago. Theresa Minutillo came in second, followed by Hector Irrizary in third. Having two of the top three finishers in the Fourth ward on Raia’s slate further calls Zimmer’s support in her own ward into question after losing Raia, Andrew Amato and others as supporters.
What does it all mean?
As a loyal reader you know I’ve been saying for months that the School Board race should not be seen as a predictor of the Mayoral election, especially when only one of the six Mayoral candidates made a public endorsement of a slate. In Monday’s Political Insider column, longtime Hudson County watcher Augie Torres agreed:
“The Hoboken school board Kids First candidates supported by mayoral candidate Dawn Zimmer, the 4th Ward councilwoman, have her city campaign backers whooping and a hollering. In the Mile Square City they put much stock in school races as a team portal to future victories.
I’ve always felt a school race is different from a city election. The numbers are vastly different. Also, what does it mean when Councilwoman Beth Mason, another mayoral hopeful, sits out the school race? Another sitter was Councilman Michael Russo, who didn’t hurt, or help, Frank Raia’s school board bid. Where was the voter outrage over the 47 percent – oops, I mean 23 percent – municipal tax increase?”
The Political Insider also puts an exclamation point on something I’ve been telling you: political opportunist Mike Lenz is often wrong, but never in doubt. The next time you see or hear Lenz claiming he “knows” the “true identities” behind screen names on 411 and elsewhere, take the opportunity to laugh at the joke:
“BTW, for those attending the Kids First victory party at Maxwell’s, even I know who is Hudson Shark – and the guy everyone was wrestling with ain’t him. Finish the embarrassing scuffle: Manbags, tomorrow at high noon. Kids First indeed. – Torres.”
BUT ENOUGH ALREADY ABOUT THAT!
Big doings tonight as Maureen, Ruthy and Theresa usher in a new era at the Hoboken Board of Ed at 7pm in the board meeting room.