Sources say Coniglio will drop re-election bid, Wilson keeps the pressure on Corzine over Katz emails, arrested Pleasantville school board members defy calls for resignation, another person looks longingly at Lautenberg’s seat.
UH OH, CONIGLIO
“State Sen. Joseph Coniglio, who is the target of a federal corruption investigation, has agreed to drop his bid for re-election in the 38th district. Coniglio had resisted intense internal pressure from Bergen Democratic leaders to drop out of the race, but has now told Democratic officials that he would end his bid for a third term.
But Bergen County Democratic Chairman Joseph Ferriero is strongly denying that Coniglio is dropping out, saying the report is "absolutely not true."
"Senator Joe Coniglio and Bergen County Democratic Chairman Joe Ferriero vociferously deny the report that Senator Coniglio has dropped out of his District38 race," said Brian Hague, Coniglio's campaign manager. (Editor's note: PoliticsNJ.com continues to stand by our report of Coniglio's plan to withdraw.)
Ferriero, Senate President Richard Codey, and State Sen. Paul Sarlo have a meeting scheduled with Coniglio tonight.
Sources say that a date for Coniglio's formal withdrawal has not been set, and that Democrats have not yet decided on a replacement candidate to challenge Robert Colletti, the former Elmwood Park Councilman who is the GOP Senate candidate. But PoliticsNJ.com is told that Assemblyman Robert Gordon and Assemblywoman Joan Voss, who received subpoenas as part of the federal probe of state budget Christmas Tree items but have not been implicated in the Coniglio investigation, will not be considered for the Senate seat.
Paramus Mayor James Tedesco could emerge as the front runner to replace Coniglio, Democrats say.” (Editor, PoliticsNJ.com)
“Sen. Joseph Coniglio, D-Paramus, has told party officials he won't seek reelection in November, according to a Democratic party source.
Coniglio expects to complete his Senate term, which expires in January, said the source, who spoke Tuesday on condition of anonymity.
Democratic state party Chairman Joseph Cryan didn't immediately return a call seeking comment Tuesday afternoon.” (Bergen Record)
“The state Republican chairman asked a judge yesterday to order the governor's office to spell out in more detail what it did to track down e-mails and other correspondence between Gov. Jon Corzine and state employee union leader Carla Katz.
The motion is the latest in an ongoing legal battle over whether communications between the governor and Katz, his former girlfriend, during negotiations on a state worker contract must be made public.
Last month Superior Court Judge Paul Innes ordered Corzine and his staff to turn over all such communications so he could review them privately and decide whether to make them public. The governor's office complied Sept. 4.
Republican State Committee Chairman Tom Wilson said yesterday the governor's lawyer failed to provide the judge with specifics on how his staff checked for e-mails between Corzine and Katz.
The court filing by William C. Brown, senior associate counsel to Corzine, said he had asked 21 people in the governor's administration whether they had records of communications with Katz, and had asked Corzine's campaign attorney for any such documents.” (Star-Ledger)
HE JUST CARES TOO MUCH FOR THE CHILDREN
“PLEASANTVILLE – Board President James Pressley not only refused residents' calls to give up his seat Tuesday, but halted a board member's motion requesting his resignation.
Pressley and fellow board member Rafael Velez were among 12 men – 11 of them public officials – arrested last week in a federal corruption sting charging them with taking money in exchange for contracts. Pressley, who has insisted he is innocent, would not call the vote after Jerome Page seconded a motion by Joanne Famularo to ask for his and Velez's resignations.
As audience members chanted, "Call the vote," Business Administrator Dennis Mulvihill said he wanted to hear from the board's attorney.
"It has no validity," Ronald Hunt said of the motion.
The board voted instead to go into executive session.
Pressley and Velez may have escaped the motion, but not the wrath of angry residents.
"Whenever you're in the paper, especially Mr. Pressley, it's negative," resident Rick Norris said. "This is not for the betterment of the kids. This is for personal gain.”
"I'm appalled to see you sitting there as board members like you're proud," he continued, as the near-capacity crowd applauded.” (Cohen, Press of Atlantic City)
PLEASE FORM A LINE
“While two recent independent polls show that a majority of New Jerseyans think Frank Lautenberg is too old to serve another full term in the U.S. Senate, so far there have been no Democrats willing to discuss openly primary bid.
Add Tom Byrne to that list.
Or, to be exact, Brendan Thomas Byrne, Jr, the son of the former governor.
yrne, a 53-year-old financial consultant and the Democratic State Chairman from 1994 to 1997, is sitting on about half a million dollars left over from the exploratory committee he set up to mull a Senate race in 2000, which he decided not to enter after Jon Corzine started gaining traction.
Byrne downplays the idea that he would challenge Lautenberg, saying he doesn’t want reporters to “stir the pot when nothing’s there.”
“Most people think that (Lautenberg) has done a good job in office and has the energy to continue,” said Byrne, whose firm advertises on PoliticsNJ.com.
But he won’t rule it out either.
“A few people have talked to me about it, but I haven’t really done anything, so I don’t see it,” said Byrne. “That my name comes up, I’m complimented to hear it.” (Friedman, PoliticsNJ.com)
KEAN SPEAKS ON 9/11
“The federal government has enacted many of the recommendations the 9/11 commission issued three years ago, but the nation is still vulnerable to terrorist attack, the leaders of the now disbanded panel said yesterday.
The commission's former chairman, Tom Kean, and co-chairman, Lee Hamilton, acknowledged some improvement but called on the federal government to place more emphasis on diplomacy and a higher priority on guarding nuclear materials.
"It's our belief that we have made some progress, but we still have a very long way to go," Kean said during an afternoon news conference. "It's difficult, incomplete and very slow, but progress has been made.
Speaking on the sixth anniversary of the 2001 attacks, Kean, the former Republican governor of New Jersey, and Hamilton, a former Democrat congressman from Indiana, said the nation needs a renewed commitment to improve America's standing among the world's 1.3 billion Muslims.
"We can best protect our long-term security if the Muslim world sees us not as a threat, but as an opportunity," said Kean, who called for education and cultural exchanges and increased foreign aid to Muslim nations.” (Orr, Star-Ledger)
“A Superior Court Judge today ordered that the two parties in Campos v. Zimmer reach a consent agreement in their post election municipal election standoffin Hoboken.
That means former Councilman Christopher Campos and, as or today, former Councilwoman Dawn Zimmer, the woman who squeaked out a victory over him in June, arescheduled to go head-to-head again.
The special election is scheduled for Nov. 6th.
Zimmer served two months on the council before meeting Campos' challenge today in a court of law and agreeing to relinquish her seat in the interest ofa decisivecontest. The pair have already been through two mano-a-mano elections, including the runoff in June, which Zimmer narrowly won with the difference maker coming by way of absentee ballots. Campos' main challenge post-runoff involved the Zimmer campaign's collection of absentee ballots.” (Pizarro, PoliticsNJ.com)
Attorneys for the two – William Northgrave for Zimmer and Alex Booth for Campos – were reluctant to comment beyond the statement.
However, the campaign for the November election appears to have started already.
Zimmer, who said she was confident she would win, released a statement saying she did not want to force her campaign workers, who had been subpoenaed, to waste time and money taking time off work to go to court.
She also said her workers had faced "harassment" and tactics to "scare" them. "This is not about voter fraud, this is about voter disenfranchisement," the statement said.
She said the allegations made by Campos were in fact "misunderstandings."
Former Jersey City Mayor Gerald McCann, who has been helping Campos serve more than 130 subpoenas, has denied there was any harassment.
Campos said he viewed the joint agreement as a "victory for the voters of Hoboken."
"I am excited about the opportunity to meet with the voters to talk about the issues," Campos said.
“CLAYTON — The borough's public works supervisor was charged last week with stealing vinyl fencing that had been donated to the borough, the Gloucester County Prosecutor's Office said Tuesday.
Clifford Hart, 42, of Porch Street, appeared voluntarily at the Gloucester County Justice Center in Woodbury Thursday and was formally charged with one count of third-degree theft. If convicted, Hart faces up to five years in a state prison.
Hart is accused of removing vinyl fencing and a gate from the borough public works yard on two occasions in October 2006, according to authorities. The fence was found partially installed at the property of an acquaintance of Hart's in Buena Borough, Atlantic County.
The fencing was supposed to be used at a municipal athletic field and is valued at about $3,500, officials said.
Hart was hired in March 2006 to replace longtime Public Works Director Ed Bell, borough Solicitor Timothy Scaffidi said Tuesday.” (Huelsman, Courier-Post)
SCARIER THAN ANY HAUNTED HOUSE
“Doing anything on Halloween after you're finished trick-or-treating? Candidates for the contentious District 12 race for the state Senate are debating that night.
The Republican slate of candidates got about one-third of what they asked for — four debates out of the "12 debates in 12 weeks" they'd sought during the summer. Democrats said they are scheduling debates as they have received invitations from organizations hosting them.
State Sen. Ellen Karcher, D-Monmouth, released a schedule of debates with her Republican challenger, Assemblywoman Jennifer Beck, which includes a Halloween debate at 8:30 p.m. at the Greenbriar Clubhouse, 21 Clubhouse Lane, Marlboro, sponsored by the Greenbriar Political Awareness Committee. Assembly candidates were not invited to participate, said spokespeople for the Democrats and Republicans.” (Higgs, Asbury Park Press)
NJ CONGRESSIONAL DELEGATION DIVIDED ON PETRAEUS REPORT
“Gen. David Petraeus' report was expected to provide a template for congressional Democrats and Republicans to agree on how to proceed in Iraq, but consensus is unlikely among New Jersey's delegation.
The Garden State's nine Democrats and six Republicans remain divided along partisan lines over Iraq.
Since Petraeus, the top U.S. commander in Iraq, and Ryan Crocker, the ambassador to Iraq, submitted reports to Congress this week, New Jersey lawmakers are clinging to previously held positions over the war — and even strengthening them.
The stalemate continues over a war that a majority of New Jerseyans oppose, according to recent polls.
Democrats and Republicans differ on when the 160,000 U.S. troops should be withdrawn from Iraq.
Sen. Robert Menendez, D-N.J., asked Petraeus when the troops would come home during the general's testimony Tuesday before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
The commander declined to say.
After the hearing, Menendez said, "He said that even if (President Bush) were to ask him such a question, he would decline. It is evident to me that . . . our top general cannot see an end to the war."…………
Meanwhile, Republicans argue Petraeus' report shows that Iraq is slowly being stabilized. As proof, they pointed to Anbar province, where violence has dropped since more U.S. soldiers were sent there.
"We can choose to stay committed to success, withdraw at the appropriate time and leave the Iraqis celebrating freedom, or we can leave prematurely and allow the forces of evil and terror to carry out their mission," said Rep. Jim Saxton, R-N.J., a House Armed Services Committee member who has visited Iraq seven times since the war began in 2003. ” (Chebium, Gannett)
PATRAEUS GIVES REPUBLICANS POLITICAL COVER
“After two days of grilling on Capitol Hill, it seems clear that Gen. David Petraeus has won the battle.
Iraq is still a violent mess, and American soldiers are still fighting and dying. But the general just knocked the anti-war movement onto its heels, because he offered enough hope to keep moderate Republicans on board. And without them, Democrats don't have the votes to force a withdrawal.
Take New Jersey congressman Mike Ferguson, who barely survived the 2006 election, due mainly to his support for the war. A few months ago, the Republican demanded a change in course and hinted that he might defect from the White House this fall if he didn't see it.”
But now, Ferguson is grabbing onto Petraeus' testimony and holding it like a shield against the war critics.
"This is the first time we've heard a commander on the ground testify in Congress in favor of a troop withdrawal," he says. "The surge has created a window of opportunity for the Iraqi government. Now they need to seize it." (Moran, Star-Ledger)
NEWARK’S NEW POLICE DIRECTOR
“His wife says that Garry F. McCarthy, a police officer since they met, never left his work at the office. Not when he was a beat cop in the Bronx, and not after he rose to become the chief crime strategist in the New York Police Department.
“My children knew murder statistics for the end of the year,” Gina McCarthy said. “He brought it all home.” She could see the tense moments in his eyes and in his habit of chewing on his moustache.
The past month has been filled with such moments, since the night when they were awaked with the news of a brutal triple homicide in a Newark playground.
Recruited from New York City about 10 months ago in large part for his expertise in the Compstat computer crime data system, Mr. McCarthy had chipped away at Newark’s grim crime numbers as the city’s police director; nearly every category, including rape and assault and even shootings, had dropped.
But when Iofemi Hightower, Terrance Aeriel and Dashon Harvey, college students with no police records, were shot and killed near midnight on Aug. 4 as they socialized behind an elementary school, Mr. McCarthy could find little solace in the overall drop in crime numbers. There was no use saying — as he often did — that most of the city’s violence was tied to drug trafficking.
“For me to brag about the fact that we’re down 10 percent in murders doesn’t resonate,” he said in an interview in his office some weeks later. “You can’t tell that to Mrs. Hightower, or to any of the victims of violence in this city.”” (Fahim, New York Times)
IT'S ALASKAN MINKS, NOT DOGS, THAT GARRETT IS SCARED OF
“The Humane Society is protesting U.S. Rep. Scott Garrett's (R- 5th Dist.) vote against a bill that stiffened penalties for dogfighting from a misdemeanor to a felony.
In March, Garrett was one of only 39 members of Congress, and the only representative from the New Jersey delegation — and from the Northeast — to vote against the Animal Fighting Prohibition Enforcement Act.
The bill passed the U.S. House by a vote of 368 to 39, (with 26 members not voting), unanimously passed the U.S. Senate, and was signed into law in May by President George Bush.
The law upgrades the penalties for illegal transportation of animals for fighting — one of the crimes to which football player Michael Vick has pleaded guilty — from a misdemeanor to a felony, with jail time increasing from one to three years.
The Humane Society's Legislative Fund has blasted Garrett for "giving dogfighters a free pass" with his vote against the bill, and is planning to hold a protest outside Garrett's district office in Paramus today.
"An overwhelming majority of the U.S. House, the entire U.S. Senate, and President Bush all disagreed with Rep. Garrett's position, and the bill was signed into law," the group said in a statement. "Humane organizations and more than 400 law enforcement agencies supported the federal bill, yet Rep. Garrett showed his true colors by giving dogfighters a free pass."
Garrett, however, said he op poses dogfighting but voted against the bill because it "is dupli cative with the laws of all 50 states and diverts critical resources from criminal acts that can only be pursued under federal law," such as terrorist crimes, illegal immigration, racketeering and Internet child pornography.
"My vote was to stop federal law enforcement from further creeping into state criminal statutes," Garrett said in a statement. "Regrettably, with each passing year, Congress seems to expand the reach of federal law, overlapping significantly with state law in ways that diminish our ability to marshal federal resources to fight criminal activity."” (Lockwood, Star-Ledger)
“BUYING TOO MUCH HOUSE”
“Within an avalanche of statistics unleashed yesterday by the Census Bureau is an eye-popping estimate: Nearly one in every six home-owning households in New Jersey spent at least 50 percent of its income on housing costs last year.
Fully 17.1 percent of all New Jersey homeowners used half or more of their income to pay mortgages, property taxes and utilities in 2006, the Census reported. The percentage of householders in that category was up from previous years; in 2005, they represented 15.3 percent of mortgage holders, in 2004, 13.8 percent.
Fueling the trend were looser lending standards, plus consumer confidence in the ever-rising value of real estate, housing analysts said yesterday. But because the current housing climate is less robust than it was in 2006, with stagnating prices and tighter credit standards, some of these overextended homeowners could conceivably lose their homes in the future, analysts said.
"A lot of people are buying too much house. They're willing to spend enormous shares of their income to get all the shelter they want," said James W. Hughes, a Rutgers University professor who closely follows regional economic and housing trends.” (Patterson and Gebeloff, Star-Ledger)
NEW LOBBYING GROUP
“Physicians unhappy with the direction of the state's medical society have created a competing group to push for lower malpractice premiums and provide "a strong, unified voice for doctors," organizers will announce today.
Several doctors from around the state will travel to Trenton to announce the creation of NJ Physicians, a group that will lobby for physicians' interest.
The impetus for our group is that the Medical Society (of New Jersey) has over the years not been as effective as most physicians want," said Ron White, chief of surgery at Bergen Regional Medical Center in Paramus and president of the new group.
"A group of doctors got together and said, 'We can put together a different sort of organization that will be more cooperative than adversarial,'" White said. ” (Campbell, Star-Ledger)
“The New Jersey Public Advocate's office rebuffed an anti-abortion group's request to take legal action against the state Health Department for its failure to properly inspect the state's licensed abortion clinics, according to a letter obtained Tuesday by The Press of Atlantic City.
Marie Tasy, the executive director of New Jersey Right to Life, sent a July 19 letter to Public Advocate Ronald Chen, who has authority to sue government entities, requesting that he intervene to force the Health Department to inspect the clinics according to the department's set standards.
The office's recent response shows it has no immediate intention of suing the Health Department.
"To ensure that the state continues to move toward a system of timely inspections, we will continue to monitor the situation with (the Health Department) regarding its progress toward compliance," the reply states.
"This is very disappointing," Tasy said Tuesday. "It's certainly not, I feel, an adequate response."” (Clark, Press of Atlantic City)
IN TOMS RIVER
“Three candidates are vying to replace Toms River Mayor Paul C. Brush in November. The race is between the Republican nominee, Township Council President Gregory P. McGuckin, former mayor and Democrat Richard P. Strada, and the independent candidate, Carmine C. Inteso Jr., a current Republican councilman.
Toms River Councilman Carmine C. Inteso Jr. wants the township to adopt an ordinance requiring elected officials and others to disclose more information about their personal finances to the public.
Inteso's call for increased transparency came at the Toms River Township Council meeting Tuesday night. The meeting was the first since it was made public last week that Council President Gregory P. McGuckin has more than $120,000 in federal tax liens for unpaid income tax liabilities.” (Kidd, Asbury Park Press)
“In a case of judicial déjà vu, the state Supreme Court reheard arguments yesterday over Parsippany's still-contested 2005 mayoral election.
After a similar hearing in May, a decision was expected during the summer. But the panel last month ordered return appearances by at torneys for Republican Councilwoman Rosemarie Agostini and Democratic Mayor Michael Luther. Luther, who won by 39 votes, has served almost half of the four-year term.
Chief Justice Stuart Rabner said he had listened to the tape of the earlier session — conducted be fore the retirement of his predecessor, James Zazzali — but did not explain why the justices wanted a replay. Justices Jaynee LaVecchia and Barry Albin again did not sit for the arguments, leaving a future ruling to the five other justices………..
Agostini brought the case a month after she lost her fifth bid for the mayoralty of Morris County's most populated town. Parsippany is the only municipality in the county with a full-time mayor; the job pays $108,000.
After giving her additional time to cure her initial filing's defects, Superior Court Judge Theodore Bozonelis dismissed Agostini's suit in January 2006. Appellate judges overruled Bozonelis in November and ordered a trial. Genova then appealed to the high court, which last December agreed to hear the case. ” (Frank, Star-Ledger)
R.I.P. JESSE W. ANDERSON
“Anyone who has visited or lived in Seaside Park over the past 55 years has probably crossed paths with Jesse W. Anderson at one time or another.
Anderson was a police officer in Seaside Park for nearly 30 years, a councilman and the borough's acting Mayor in 2003. He was also an active member of the Seaside Park Volunteer Fire Company and the Tri-Boro First Aid Squad for five decades until Monday.
Anderson, 74, died on Monday of a heart attack.
Flags at the municipal offices in the borough were set at half-staff yesterday in his honor.
"Jesse had a wonderful sense of humor," said Ella Rice, the Seaside Park Chief Financial Officer who had known Anderson since 1969.
Anderson suffered a heart attack a little over a year ago and had been undergoing dialysis treatments for the past year, according to Rice. He had a leg amputated a few years back but still kept a positive outlook on life.
"People said Jesse was like a cat with nine lives," said Rice. "But he always kept his sense of humor. Even after he got his leg amputated he used to joke about it as if it was no big deal."” (Ruscitti, Asbury Park Press)
“The township council on Tuesday approved an ordinance that limits the influence of pay-to-play.
"I think we as a governing body took the lead on this," Deputy Mayor Mike Schmidt said at the council meeting. "And, I view this law as a law of public trust."
The ordinance passed 3-2, with council members Debbie Sarcone and Chris Brown voting against it. Both said they wanted to wait to include an amendment that would exclude from the ordinance companies that could be considered for contracts of $10,000 or less. Some officials expressed concern that enforcing the pay to play legislation on such small contracts could limit the quality of businesses available to Evesham.” (Laughlin, Courier-Post)
IN FRANKLIN TOWNSHIP
“Voters in Franklin Township's 3rd Ward yesterday ousted Deputy Mayor Ellen Ritchie in Somerset County's first recall election, replacing the first-term councilwoman with Republican candidate and former Mayor Robert Mettler.
The two-part referendum asked voters whether to remove Ritchie from office and to choose among three candidates, including Ritchie. The recall passed 1,165 to 291 votes, and Mettler won an 11-vote victory over Democratic candidate and planning board Vice Chairman Michael Orsini to replace Ritchie.
Mettler garnered 625 votes, while Orsini, who actively collected petition signatures for the recall campaign, tallied 614. Ritchie, who served 18 years as Franklin's township planner, ran as an independent and received 213 votes, according to township clerk Ann Marie McCarthy.
Mettler's narrow victory means Republican Mayor Brian Levine now has "at least one ally" on the nine-member township council. Mettler, who served more than two decades as an at-large councilman and serves on the planning board, said he is looking forward to being back.
"It will feel very nice," Mettler said last night, while celebrating at O'Connor's restaurant in the Somerset section of the township. "I really do love Franklin."” (Abdou, Star-Ledger)
RECALLS ALL AROUND
“Angered by Mayor Garrett Smith's recent effort to make his position full-time and raise his salary, a group of Roselle citizens is hoping to remove him from office.
The ad hoc committee's main concern is Smith's expansion of the mayor's role, which began last winter when he fired business administrator David G. Brown II and assumed his executive duties, said committee chairwoman Barbara Cochran.
"(Roselle's mayor) is a powerless position. He made it a powerful position," said Cochran, who is also vice president of the Roselle Democratic Committee. "We are not going to change the type of government here. That's what he's trying to do."
Smith, a Democrat, cast the tie- breaking vote on a salary ordinance last Wednesday that would raise his pay by $53,000 to $65,000. He explained that the pay raise reflects the full-time hours he has worked since assuming the borough's executive duties last February. ” (Rothman, Star-Ledger)
IN LONG BEACH ISLAND
“Viking Village played host to the New Jersey Conference of Mayors' annual Summit and Seafood Festival on Saturday, and chances are good it will be coming back to Long Beach Island next year………
With an estimated turnout of more than 500 people, the event was "a casual and informal opportunity for the business community and politicians can talk and eat great seafood," Weber said.
Barnegat Light Mayor Kirk O. Larson said he thought the event went well and was excited to have mixed with such a diverse crowd of people.
"I was able to meet a lot of people from all around the state — Camden, Bay Head, Cape May — and places way up north," Larson said. "Being a commercial fisherman and the mayor of Barnegat Light, it was neat having all these mayors come to the town," he said.
As for the day's featured speaker, Gov. Corzine, Larson said he kept it short and sweet by reiterating former Speaker of the House Thomas "Tip" O'Neill's famous quote: "All politics is local."” (Hunter, Gannett)
IN ANDOVER TOWNSHIP
“The trial of a former Andover Township mayor, who is charged with driving a snowmobile that hit a teenage pedestrian and left him seriously injured, began yesterday in Superior Court in Newton with jury selection.
David C. Mosner, 44, who has no prior criminal record, has pleaded not guilty to the charges…………..
The snowmobile incident occurred on March 6, 2003, on Goodale Road in Andover Township around 7 p.m. when pedestrian David McInnis, then 17, was hit by a snowmobile while walking his dog, authorities said.
McInnis had a flashlight and shined it at an oncoming snowmobile traveling at between 45 mph and 50 mph, but the vehicle hit him and kept going without stopping or slowing, authorities had said. McInnis suffered two broken bones in his right leg and lay in the road until flagging a passing motorist for help.
Police knew Mosner rode a snowmobile in that area, found tracks from his house to the Goodale Road area, and his family members also said he had been riding a snowmobile on March 6, according to an affidavit for his arrest.
Arrested on Dec. 24, 2003, Mosner was indicted in 2005 on fourth-degree charges of assault by auto and leaving the scene of a motor accident resulting in serious bodily injury. Each offense carries a penalty of up to 18 months in jail and a $10,000 fine. ” (Lockwood, Star-Ledger)
IN JERSEY CITY
“State Education Commissioner Lucille E. Davy is scheduled to meet with members of the Jersey City Board of Education this morning to discuss the process by which governance of the district is to return to local control.
Run by a state-appointed superintendent since 1989, the opportunity to return governance powers to the locally elected school board emerged this summer when a state review concluded the district has the capacity to run its own affairs in the areas of governance and finance.
The Quality Single Accountability Continuum review required the district to come up with "corrective action plans" in three other areas: instruction and program, personnel, and operations management.
But returning the nation's longest-running state takeover district to local control puts both the state and the district in uncharted territory.
According to the QSAC legislation, an election must be held to determine if the board continues to be an elected body or one that's appointed by the mayor.
But when will that election be held? Can the board's powers be fully restored before that election takes place? And what role should an about-to-be fully empowered board play in deciding if the contract of Jersey City's $230,000-a-year Superintendent of Schools Charles T. Epps Jr., is renewed?
These are just a few of the questions board members hope Davy will answers. ” (Thorbourne, Jersey Journal)
A POTENTIAL “NEVER-ENDING CYCLE” IN BRIDGETON
“BRIDGETON — Solicitor Theodore Baker is concerned the controversy surrounding a salary ordinance that would allow Mayor Jim Begley's administration to keep a full-time public safety director could continue for months, maybe even years.
It could go on in a "never-ending cycle" if both sides in the heated debate concerning Begley's appointment of retired state police major Lanuel Ferguson refuse to come to a compromise, or if neither side concedes to the other, he said.
"I would like to see people sit down (to work toward an agreement) because of the possibility of continued challenges to the same substantive action. That's not good for anybody in the city," Baker said following city council's meeting Tuesday night.
Baker clarified for city officials and the few members of the public who attended the meeting the many scenarios that could unfold if Clerk Darlene Richmond certifies a petition challenging the salary ordinance — a step that will require her to verify 381 registered voters' signatures, or signatures from 5 percent of registered voters, are valid.” (McCullen, Bridgeton News)
“Democratic council candidates are claiming their new opponent could put himself and the township in an awkward position if he's elected.
"As a candidate, I believe the council needs to police and be the watchdog," said Kromenacker. "We have to maintain an independent oversight over the developers. If (Cox) gets elected, we'll lose that."” (Clark, Press of Atlantic City)