Never having honed a personal friendship or political relationship with Republican Bret Schundler when Schundler served as mayor of Jersey City, old school Democrat North Bergen Mayor/State Sen. Nicholas Sacco can’t confess to a high degree of comfort with Gov.-elect Chris Christie’s selection to run the state Department of Education.
But he insists he’s open to Schundler.
“It’s not surprising because of his strong school voucher support,” the 32nd District senator told PolitickerNJ.com. “I don’t know what his expertise in education is, or whether he has any.
“I’m in wait and see mode and interested to learn what type of knowledge he has,” Sacco added, before deadpanning, “I thought they might be looking toward a former superintendent of education.”
Sacco serves as assistant superintendent of public schools in North Bergen.
Although doubtful himself about their merits, the veteran senator said he doesn’t see himself shutting out Schundler based on the former mayor’s vouchers advocacy.
“In certain organizations, teachers unions, of course, vouchers send out alarm bells,” Sacco admitted. “We would need to understand his vision on educational programs, including how he perceives the funding formulas. As you know, there was a lot of disagreement between myself and Gov. Jon Corzine on education testing programs. What does Bret Schundler feel about some of those issues? The bottom line is we need an improved school environment for kids.
“I have a completely open mind,” the senator added. “I have issues i would like to talk to him about. We never really developed a personal relationship. Nothing negative, we just never really had an opportunity to work together.”