BoE Re-org Meeting Tonight

5/1/2008 Update:

Lo behold, another city meeting….

BoE Re-Org meeting

The postponed Board of Education re-organization meeting takes place tonight with the Presidency and Vice Presidency up for grabs (see the Hoboken411 opening line below after the jump) as well as a $75,000 contract for “Public Relations”. The Hoboken Reporter did an article about this over the weekend, with signs pointing to the contract headed into the hands of longtime Hudson County political operative Anthony “Tony” Amabile of Meadowlands Associates.

Amabile is the guy who put together the infamous race-baiting flier sent out by winning candidates Carmelo Garcia, Frances Rhodes-Kearns, and Phil DeFalco. They say to the victor goes the spoils, and some believe the PR contract will go to Amabile as a “political plum” (as retiring Freeholder and former BoE PR contract holder Maurice Fitzgibbons put it) following his work on the campaign. Although its common practice in Hudson County to reward political consultants with taxpayer-paid PR contracts, others find it irregular and distasteful. If Amabile gets the PR contract, will he send out a race-baiting flier to promote the schools?

The re-org meeting begins at 7pm tonight in the basement meeting room at Wallace School.


See previous postponement post after the jump…


Tonight the Hoboken Board of Education was supposed to meet to reorganize for the new year, but that’s not going to happen. The re-org meeting is one of the most closely watched of the year because the board gets to choose who the next President and Vice President will be, and award contracts for services. Apparently those decisions are not yet ready for prime time, so the meeting has been postponed until Thursday, May 1, 2008.


Since the election there has been a lot of speculation and horse-trading going on ahead of the meeting. The often feuding forces of old school Hoboken politics came together to ensure the defeat of the “Kids First” ticket and two independents, but members are already looking to the next election even before the new school board can get to work. That means the name of the next President may not be known for sure until the vote is taken on May 1.

See the exclusive Hoboken411 early handicapping of the odds after the jump…

Opening BoE Re-org lines:

10 to 1: Jimmy Farina

hoboken-jimmy-farina-headshot.jpgThe City Clerk could end up being the compromise candidate once again as various factions fail to pick a President on their own. In times of political strife this 35-year member of the BoE is often the go-to guy, though he’s not a big fan of the job because it cramps his style.

15 to 1: Carmelo Garcia

hoboken-carmelo-garcia-headshot.jpgAs the top vote getter by far Garcia could receive the job by acclamation. However, the thrill of victory may subside as it becomes clear that a lot of people “Bullet-Voted” him in. “Memo” has been punished in the past for similar shenanigans, and with about 250 votes more than each of his running mates, keeping him out of the Presidential seat could be one way to wrap his knuckles.

35 to 1: Anthony Romano

hoboken-anthony-romano-headshot.jpgPolice Captain Anthony Romano is on the HCDO line for County Freeholder. That means both the HCDO and Union City Mayor Brian Stack have agreed to support “Stick”, who could get a boost for in the primary if he is elevated by his peers. The problem is he is running for Freeholder against a peer who controls more school board votes than he does: Frank Raia. Still, if Stack says Stick, then Stick it is.

50 to 1: Frances Rhodes-Kearns

hoboken-frances-rhodes-kearns-bubbles.jpgOfficially as the current Vice President Rhodes-Kearns is in the running to take the helm. “Bubbles” could be a compromise candidate who would please Frank Raia, but not “Stick” Romano. She is no political threat to anyone on the board at this point, but if her committee reports are any indication, the meetings could be very difficult to endure with Bubbles at the helm.

100 to 1: Frank Raia

hoboken-frank-raia-headshot.jpgRaia is still in the race for Freeholder, which means he is unlikely to get the nod for President. However, if Pupie were to exit the Freeholder race in a deal that would provide him some support for another run for Mayor next year, he may be persuaded to take BoE President ahead of the Mayor’s race. That would leave Stick Romano and Ines Garcia Keim to fight for the Freeholder job. Others say this scenario is remote since Raia is a real threat in a three-way race for Freeholder, and is not likely to fold his cards so soon for such a small prize.

750 to 1: Phil DeFalco

hoboken-phil-defalco-headshot.jpgIt would be absurd to see Phil DeFalco get elected President on his first visit to the Board Meeting Room. However, Mayor Dave Roberts has his eye on the strapping young CPA, and some say Peter Cammarano should be kicked off the “Roberts Team” to make room for DeFalco, who is now the preppy clothes wearing, Italian silver-spoon sucking political “Ham Sandwich” of the moment. DeFalco could be a dark horse for Vice President, but is more likely to be named Finance Committee chair.

1993 to 1: Carrie Gilliard

hoboken-carrie-gilliard-headshot.jpgWhy 1993? That’s when Anthony Russo was elected Mayor. Not long after Carrie Gilliard was supported for School Board by the same Anthony Russo. After losing her board seat to a Dave Roberts ticket Gilliard re-emerged as part of “Kids First”. Now that Kids First has been placed on life support (after what should have been it’s greatest triumph) some say Gilliard may be looking for a new home once again and could be a key swing vote that chooses the next President.

500,000 to 1: Rose Markle

hoboken-rose-markle-headshot.jpgThe board member with the truest intentions will find few friends on the new board.

10,000,000 to 1: Theresa Minutillo.

hoboken-theresa-minutillo-headshot.jpgThe current President has no shot at repeating in her position after placing her only prospects for gaining a true majority in the hands of former School Board President Michael Lenz. Instead of growing the fragile majority she built a year ago, Lenz and Minutillo chose a different strategy and lost it all. Instead of another run for President, people are asking whether Minutillo will run for re-election next year.

These odds can and will change between now and May 1, when the BoE will take the only vote that counts.

Leave a Reply

15 Comments on "BoE Re-org Meeting Tonight"

Sort by:   newest | oldest

PR? Oh jeez.

What has this world come to?

Next thing you know Path Train Teddy will have a press secretary to issue a statement the next time he gets busted for scamming on the train.


How does the PR budget balloon to 150K before the RFQ even goes out? Eliminating (or including) production costs would be stipulated in the RFP.


Good dot connection, Matt.


“1) Why is a public school district advertising? They get paid from the tax payers and don’t lack for money so what is the point of advertising? Shouldn’t this money be spent IMPROVING the schools, especially Hoboken High’s dismal performance?”

Let’s revisit recent history. During the last mayoral election the lack of open space/parks a big issue. Mayor Roberts, aka Quimby, saw that his opponent Carol Marsh was gaining traction on this issue. Consequently Mayor Roberts had his own parks plan drawn up with all sorts of proposed park space including tennis courts on top of parking garages. On a side note, I don’t believe a foot of this park space has been built over the past four years.

The Mayor had mailings of this plan sent out via the Board of Education with his picture on the mailings. In doing so I believe he avoided having his campaign pay for them. I suppose you could loosely say a park plan is related to education. 😯

Fast forward to the present. Mayor Roberts has begun once again speaking about a parks on rooftops plan in the Hoboken Reporter last week.

Now ask yourself once again, why does the Board of Education needs a $150K PR budget?


Exclusive video: Backroom celebration at last night’s BOE reorganization meeting.