Board of Ed preview – 6/16/2009
The fireworks resume tonight when the Hoboken Board of Education meets with new President Rose Markle at the helm of a slim Kids First majority.
They’ll be locking horns with Superintendent Jack Raslowsky and the four trustees who remain loyal to him. The 39-page agenda includes spending a lot of money on a lot of things, all part of a whopping $59 million budget.
Hearing on Business Administrator’s contract
The first hot topic is a mandated public hearing on the contract of School Business Administrator Brian Buckley. They need to do this before voting to renew Buckley’s contract for the new school year beginning July 1. After the public weighs in, the board will consider whether to re-appoint him at an annual salary of $150,510 listed as a “0% increase” over what he’s being paid this year.
Is David Anthony’s job in jeopardy?
The next order of business will be the appointment of the Board Secretary. David Anthony holds the part-time job. He was a longtime school board trustee and President who stepped down from his unpaid elected position to take the $43,134 a year gig. Anthony raised some eyebrows for writing a letter of endorsement for former trustee Frank “Pupie” Raia during the April election, so the Kids First team may be looking to pay him back tonight. Raia was also instrumental in swinging the deal that got Anthony the job in the first place, but he’s not on the board anymore.
The board will also consider whether to pay new City Finance Director Nick Trasente (a protégé of State Fiscal Monitor Judy Tripodi) $10,000 to hold the title of “Treasurer of School Moneys”. Before he retired, former Tax Collector Louis Picardo held the title and the stipend that went along with it, though much of the work was apparently being done in house anyway.
Public Records cost money
If you want access to public records from the Board of Ed, it’ll cost you more than it costs them to get it for you. The district is suggesting the following policy:
RESOLVED, that the Board of Education hereby establishes a photocopy fee of seventy-five cents ($.75) per page for the first to tenth pages, fifty cents ($.50) per page for the eleventh to twentieth pages and twenty-five cents ($.25) per page for all pages over the twentieth page of official Board minutes and other public documents, and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that all requests for public information which requires employee time may be subject to charges at the hourly rate(s) of the employee(s) assigned to produce that public information.
You betcha! If you want copies of a contract the first ten pages alone will cost you $7.50! Under this policy, if one of the Board of Ed’s attorneys gets involved in “producing that public information” it could potentially end up costing you hundreds of dollars. The policy appears designed to make people think twice before they request public records. Way to go BoE!
Many contracts to be awarded
Among the many professional service contracts to be awarded tonight:
Insurance Risk Manager, Benefits Agent, District Auditor, Architect of Record, General Engineer, Environmental Engineer, and a two-month extention of Florio and Kenny’s legal contract for “Special Counsel Workers Compensation services.” Florio and Kenny is the law firm of former State Senator Bernard Kenny of Hoboken, who built his law firm into a public contract powerhouse while serving in the state legislature.
Who got suspended??
Among the Superintendent’s communications to the board is a letter “Notifying the Board of an Administrator previously suspended with pay on March 26, 2009 has been re-instated as of June 17, 2009.” The name of the suspended Administrator isn’t given, nor is the reason why he or she was given a nearly three-month vacation paid for by the taxpayers.
Swing by the windowless dungeon at Wallace School (11th & Clinton) tonight at 7pm if you’d like to see how the city spends taxpayer dollars!
Agenda for June 16, 2009
- Public Hearing on renewal of contract of School Business Administrator.
- Appoint Board Officials.
- Professional Service Contract Awards/Appointments through RFQ’s.
- Fees for copies of public documents (OPRA).
- Designation of Superintendent or Business Administrator: Transfer Authority.
- Approval of minutes.
- Personnel: appointments, transfers, postings, committee realignments, leave of absence, termination, resignation, retirements, suspensions, negotiations, retirement withdrawal request, reduction in force, increment withholding, and dismissal of staff personnel.
- Possible closed session discussion on potential litigation, negotiations, HSEA and Administrators, workers’ compensation litigation settlement, and personnel matters.
- Fiscal reports, school reports, fire drill reports, Board Committee reports, A148 and A149 financial reports.
- Possible discussion and/or action on the future of the school district’s facilities.
- Claims, regular and workers compensation.
- Approval of payroll.
- Utilization of school facilities by outside organizations.
- Settlement of workers’ compensation litigation and related claims.
- Renew temporary Certificates of Occupancy for temporary classroom units at Wallace.
- Amend 2008-2009 NCLB application to accept 2007-08 carryover funds.
- Field trips and workshops.
- School Tax Levy Schedule 2009-2010.
- Acceptance of Federal ARRA funds – NCLB and IDEA.
- Budget transfers, grant budget modifications, student activity line transfers.