Hoboken Board of Ed meeting (and sidewalk biking offenders!)
For those of you who might not know – the Hoboken school system takes up over a third of your quarterly property tax bill (and growing). And with just over 2,000 students (less than 5% of the city population), you probably want to know how they’re wasting spending your money – especially when Hoboken consistently ranks near the bottom in the state. Head over to the Wallace School (11th & Clinton) tonight at 7pm to see all the Hoboken Board of Ed action.
Another reason you might want to attend – is to give Hoboken Board of Ed “President” Leon Gold a piece of your mind. Here we have a so-called “leader” of this educational organization, yet he is known to set very bad examples for children. Besides his well-known bad temper, he also frequently ignores city laws by riding his bicycle on the sidewalks. He’s not the only one, as many other “city officials” have been spotted doing the very same thing, including our Mayor Dawn Zimmer.
How he is qualified in this role of “authority” is beyond me. Any complaints? Contact Superintendent of Schools Mark Toback at firstname.lastname@example.org to share your thoughts about his antics.
The Hoboken Board of Education (1115 Clinton Street) meets tonight at 7pm.
A robust 25-page agenda is chock full of items, including dozens of staffing changes (16 employees retiring – many B&R) plus new hires and various contracts exceeding $1 Million Dollars. Feel free to browse through it to see what they’re up to with your tax dollars!
In a town with close to 50,000 residents – the fact that less than 4,000 folks (4,982 3,637 to be exact) showed up to the polls today is pathetic!
Preliminary Results: Kids First appears to sweep
With 100% of the machine and absentee ballots counted (and not including provisional ballots) here are the results of the 2010 Hoboken Board of Education election so far:
(Results NOT final until all ballots counted – and the only outcome that seems to have a chance of changing is final candidate for 3yr term)
3 Year Terms
Irene Sobolov: 1,626
Leon Gold: 1,464
Rose Marie Markle: 1,322
Rounding out the list: John Madigan (1256), Kyelia Colon (1071), Patricia Waiters (978), Elizabeth Markevitch (772), Perry Lin (661), Kathleen Tucker (659)
1 Year Term
Jean Marie Mitchell: 1,243
Runners Up: Ken Howitt (1083), John Forsman III (610)
School Board Budget
4/20/2010 AM Update:
The last word before the polls open
So, you’ve been reading about the Hoboken Board of Education election for weeks. What you really want to know is who’s going to win today. There’s only one rule of thumb for low-turnout Board of Ed elections – those who get out their vote, get the win! Year to year the threshold for winners and losers changes dramatically. Anyone on the ballot today can win. Here’s how…
The numbers say Markle has reason to worry
The only true incumbent running this year is Rose Marie Markle. Three years ago she won her seat with only 952 votes. Markle barely squeaked in, coming in third with the fewest votes of any successful candidate in memory. In comparison, Maureen Sullivan won last year with 2792 votes – nearly triple Markle’s public support.
Heck, John Madigan got 1401 votes when he ran in 2003. When both Madigan and Markle ran as independents in ’02 Madigan got 1180 votes to Markle’s 538. Both lost. See where we’re going here? Win or lose, the Kids First high vote getter will most likely be Irene Sobolov. She’s Born-and-Raised like Markle, but comfortable with Zimmer yuppies.
Everything Gold doesn’t always glitter
First KF tried to sell Leon Gold to concerned taxpayers as a one-time member of the Revolt steering committee. Then they went to the Teachers Union and touted his experience as an adjunct professor who could be friendly to their interests. Which is it? He can’t be both, and he’s not a parent, either. Gold turned some voters off with his abrasive attack mode at the Candidate Forum (see videos below).
Watch for Markle and Sobolov’s old-school Hoboken voters to go into the booth and leave without pulling the lever for Leon.
Real Results does the math, hopes for an upset
The Real Results team has arguably run the best campaign in the race. They came out of the gate strong and kept up the heat on a Kids First team that seemed more comfortable resting on it’s laurels and hoping Mayor Dawn Zimmer will import some HCDO street workers to make up for the KF defections to the RR slate. Liz Markevitch is battle tested after taking on Anthony Russo in the 2003 City Council election. Perry Lin is a strong newcomer who shows a command of the issues. Kathleen Tucker is an active campaigner who offered reasoned opinions and showed a willingness to listen.
Colon & Waiters hope for a big neighborhood vote
Kyelia Colon is well respected in the voter-rich Hoboken Housing Authority – where most public school students live. Patricia Waiters knows her way around Applied Housing and is never at a loss for energy on the campaign trail. With the only African-American member of the Board of Ed (Carrie Gilliard) retiring, Colon and Waiters have an added burden to keep their communities – which make up so much of the student population – represented on the board.
Mitchell v. Howitt v. Forsman for the 1-year seat
There are really two elections today. One has nine people squaring off for (three) three-year seats on the left side of the ballot, while the other has three people vying for a one-year seat on the right. Kids First put up Jean-Marie Mitchell, who supported a three-year Teachers Union contract which gave 4.3% raises in each year.
Ken Howitt planned to run independent, then joined with Frank Raia, who backed out. He’ll be able to leverage nearly a quarter century of Hoboken life today. John Forsman also has good shot at winning on the Real Results slate. His supporters shouldn’t have any trouble finding his name on the ballot.
So who’s going to win?
This is not a partisan race, but if 2/3rds of the registered Republicans in Hoboken vote for Real Results, they’ll win. If the HHA and Applied come out strong for the “Children are our priority” slate, they’ll win. If Kids First can overcome defections, bullet voting and the growing public disillusion with all things Dawn Zimmer, they’ll win.
If all of these things come together at once, you could see a split result. It’s possible each ticket could have at least one winner, and if the lone independent can build on his earlier election tallies, he could win, too! Wouldn’t a four-way split be nuts? That’s how close it could be this year. Share your voting experiences here in the most-read comments section in Hoboken, and come back tonight after 9pm for the results.
From the horses mouths…
This years BoE election is like no other in recent memory. I’m sure you’ve seen fliers, internet chatter (i.e. multiple anonymous persona’s), and much more. However, your final opinions of the slates may change if you watch these videos of the individual candidates in action. See what the candidates have to say from their own mouths. Be an informed voter. Don’t be sheeple.
It’s down to the final weekend before the Board of Education election. All sides are mobilizing with four seats and control of the board at stake. Several complaints came in today about a mass e-mail from Mayor Zimmer. It takes a shot at the Real Results slate and ignores the other four non-Zimmer/Lenz-supported names on the ballot (Colon, Howitt, Waiters and Madigan). Real Results is a ticket created and supported by former Kids First supporters.
Remember the Dave Roberts years when Theresa Minutillo-supporting “reformers” would cry foul that “There is no place for City Hall politics at the Board of Ed” when the Mayor would back a ticket? How times have changed.
Here’s a signed letter from someone offended by Zimmer’s attack:
I was a resident of the 4th Ward and voted for you in 4 different elections, all the way up to mayor. At this time, you have completely lost my faith and any future support.
I saw your recent email stating that Real Results slate for school board intends to “starve the schools”. I am appalled at your lack of credibility at such a critical time for our schools. If you read the Real Results web page and/or literature or attended the candidates’ forum this past Monday at Stevens, you would have some clue about the Real Results platform. The goal of Real Results is to get more money to the children in our schools – not into the hands of overpaid and underperforming administrators who have bloated salaries and pensions.
You ran for mayor as a “reformer”; the Real Results team are also reformers —a group of enthusiastic young individuals who are committed to civic service and finding a better way to handle business. I voted for Kids First when they ran for school board and have been extremely unhappy with their “business as usual” approach. There are serious changes needed to improve our schools and Kids First has not been ready or able to make the tough choices. I believe that bringing the experienced individuals on the Real Results slate who have backgrounds in management and finance can only help our town.
Keep in mind that the candidates who are on the Real Results ticket, their supporters and families, are also your constituents. You can properly support your candidates without tearing down the other slate. Sending a mass email on the town’s time with your preferences for school board is inappropriate, at best. Tasteless, tactless and unacceptable also come to mind.
You are the mayor of this town – I ask you to act like it.
Gwyneth K. Murray-Nolan, Esq.
Meanwhile the videos of this week’s candidate’s debate will be running this weekend on Cablevision Channel 78 after the interim Superintendent refused to allow them on the school channel 77 as originally planned (so much for transparency!) More to come…
Hoboken BOE Ballot positions drawn
Today, the ballot positions were drawn for the upcoming Board of Education Election.
Position “A” (three year terms) were as follows: 1A – Leon Gold, 2A – Irene Sobolov, 3A – John Madigan, 4A- Rose Marie Markle, 5A – Kathleen Tucker, 6A – Kyelia Colon, 7A – Perry Lin, 8A – Frank Raia, 9A – Patricia Waiters and 10A – Elizabeth Markevitch.
Position “B” (one year term) was as follows: 1B -Jean Marie Mitchell, 2B – John Forsman and 3B – Ken Howitt.
The candidates that showed up for the drawing were Irene Sobolov, Rose Markle, Kyelia Colon and Patricia Waiters.
13 candidates file for Hoboken Board of Ed Election
As you read earlier, today at 4pm was the deadline to submit petitions to run for one of four Hoboken Board of Education seats.
So who’s on board?
Two “slates” of four, and five individual candidates filed. Note all candidates are running for three-year terms, except the ones noted – which are for one year terms (1):
Running under the “Kids First” Slate are: Irene Sobolov, Leon Gold, Rose Marie Markle and Jean-Marie Mitchell (1).
Independent, or no specific affiliation are: Ken Howitt (1), Patricia Waiters, Kyelia Colon, Frank “Pupie” Raia and John Madigan.
With 13 people filing to run for four seats it’s likely some may drop out. Usually candidates bail out before Board Secretary David Anthony draws ballot positions for the candidates. That takes place next Monday at 5:30pm.
Hoboken Board of Ed Petition filing deadline TODAY
Today is the deadline for Hoboken Board of Education candidates to file petitions to run in the April election. You only need ten signatures, so it’s typical for many people to file, only to see some back out before the ballot positions are drawn. Four seats are up for grabs, and as always there are many people looking to throw their hats into the ring.
Who’s up for re-election?
For the first time in years it looks like only one incumbent is going to run for re-election: Board President Rose Marie Markle of the “Kids First” organization aligned with Mayor Dawn Zimmer.
Markle’s former slate-mate Carrie Gilliard is stepping down at the end of her term. Gilliard broke with Kids First following the controversy surrounding the hiring of a new Superintendent of Schools. Carrie was the first African American elected to a citywide Hoboken office when she was first elected to the board in 1996. She didn’t join Kids First until 2006.
After serving on the board since 1974, City Clerk James Farina is expected to retire at the end of his term. Farina – named Honorary Irishman of the Year by the Hoboken St. Patrick’s Parade Committee – has been a big vote getter in the 26 years he’s served. Phil DeFalco held the fourth seat up for grabs before he stepped down halfway through his first term. A majority of the board appointed Hoboken native Irene Korman Sobolov to take the seat on an interim basis. She’s expected to run for the remaining year of the unexpired term on the Kids First ticket with fellow “B-and-R” Rose Markle.
So who else is running?
It’s not even clear right now who’ll be running with Markle and Sobolov on the Kids First ticket, let alone who the challengers will be. With Gilliard and Maureen Sullivan breaking from Kids First, Theresa Minutillo and company entered talks with Carmelo Garcia to consider cobbling together a “fusion ticket” where two candidates friendly to Garcia would join Markle and Sobolov. The names mentioned were Scott Delea and Jean-Marie Mitchell. Delea put his name in for the open seat back in December, and Sullivan supported him in the first public sign she was beginning to break from Kids First. If Delea is not on the Kids First slate, he may launch his own today.
Garcia is also the Executive Director of the Hoboken Housing Authority. It’s a job he wants to keep, and the HHA board appointed by the Mayor and her council majority signs his contracts. With Farina stepping aside, Carmelo is not in a position to launch a slate that would compete directly with Kids First.
Frank “Pupie” Raia is also not expected to head a slate because he’s been in the hospital for an undisclosed condition. Hoboken411 wishes Pupie a speedy recovery! So do Zimmer’s political advisors, who want Raia to run against 3rd Ward Councilman Michael Russo again in 2011.
No sign of a Mason ticket. Republicans in the midst?
Despite rumors to the contrary, there’s no sign 2nd Ward Councilwoman Beth Mason is prepping an alternative slate of candidates to challenge Kids First.
Mason annoyed a lot of voters with her decision to not endorse a slate of candidates in last year’s election. If another “reform” slate emerges, it won’t be at Mason’s prodding.
There are a lot of other people who are unhappy with the choice of Superintendent, lack of significant budget cuts, and inability of the new administration to remove students from outside Hoboken who are still attending city schools. Watch for some of them to emerge at today’s 4pm filing deadline.
Comment below and check back with Hoboken411 this afternoon to see who filed by the deadline!
Also read these EXCLUSIVE Board of Ed stories to catch you up on the scene: