It’s brutal in Elizabeth already, as two long warring sides prepare for another conflagration in November.
An early target this season in the Board of Education contest is Board Member Jose Rodriguez, an ally of Mayor Chris Bollwage/state Senator Ray Lesniak (D-20).
The partisans backing incumbent Board Member Tony Monteiro assert in a complaint filed with the Schools Ethics Commission assert that Rodriguez failed to disclose that he was a President of the Union in the District he teaches and allegedly failed to disclose the income he received as president.
“There may have been conflicts of interest when he voted as well,” said a source close to Team Monteiro. “As a president of a local he was voting on items that affected the membership.”
It is – again – an election wherein control of the board is at stake, as the Elizabeth Board of Education affiliated with Fajardo attempts to hold onto two seats and add a third. Running for reelection from the Fajardo Team are Board members Monteiro (who in June lost his bid for an assembly seat in June) and Elcy Castillo-Espina (below, below left). They are joined on a slate by Michelle Velez-Jonte, a principal in the Perth Amboy School System.
The slate backed by Bollwage and Lesniak (D-20) is composed of incumbent Board of Ed Member Charlene Bathelus (pictured, right), and her running mates: City of Elizabeth Firefighter Daniel Nina and Stephanie Goncalves.