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Guest Oly Schmidt

What a Shocker! Disgraceful BOE...

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Guest Oly Schmidt

The actions of the BOE tonight were disgusting. Members of the Fab5 who were present should be ashamed of themselves. Two cops, a mayoral hopeful and a whatever showed their true intentions before a full house. They had a unique opportunity to do the right thing for our children and they failed miserably. Again and again, they put politics ahead of our kids. It was clear from the presentations that both individuals before the board are highly qualified for the positions they held. By not renewing Dr. Baumgartener and Mr. Hoff, and with their inability to attract a permanent superintendent, they have created such a huge gap in the administration that the school district is collapsing all around them. They are too dumb and too stubborn to see it. They have succeeded in putting the district on its head and there appears to be no end in sight to their insanity.

Their motivations are crystal clear. Our kids mean nothing to these five individuals as long as there are political axes to grind. Castelli is up for re-election this year and King and O'Malley are up next year. Send them a strong message by voting them all out. Put our children first and lets take back our schools.

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Guest Stymie

Well, well, well. If nothing else, we learned that the Fab 5 (or 4 if you count O'Malley's absence) aren't very good at HIRING but they sure do know how to FIRE.

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Guest Phonies

The actions of the BOE tonight were disgusting. Members of the Fab5 who were present should be ashamed of themselves. Two cops, a mayoral hopeful and a whatever showed their true intentions before a full house. They had a unique opportunity to do the right thing for our children and they failed miserably. Again and again, they put politics ahead of our kids. It was clear from the presentations that both individuals before the board are highly qualified for the positions they held. By not renewing Dr. Baumgartener and Mr. Hoff, and with their inability to attract a permanent superintendent, they have created such a huge gap in the administration that the school district is collapsing all around them. They are too dumb and too stubborn to see it. They have succeeded in putting the district on its head and there appears to be no end in sight to their insanity.

Their motivations are crystal clear. Our kids mean nothing to these five individuals as long as there are political axes to grind. Castelli is up for re-election this year and King and O'Malley are up next year. Send them a strong message by voting them all out. Put our children first and lets take back our schools.

The REAL disgusting thing is the fact that a small group of people, a town council member, a mayors aid, a deputy mayor all attend a BOE meeting instead of being where they belong.... at the Town Council Meeting. Want to talk about politics, look no further!!!! The BOE has long been a disgusting hiring hall for unqualified individuals. Now you have people who ARE doing the right thing for kids, with NO POLITICAL motivation and that is what you think......because your friend or a friend of a friend was not reappointed. The four that PLAY this game over and over are the ones that should be GONE! November will tell. Do voters want to continue the same old same old, or move forward and continue to do things for KIDS!!! How many more family members is DORAN going to hire, how many more defunct administrators is Viscuso going to try to PROTECT, how many more strings is McDonald going to pull to get her friends jobs and Schalago, thank god she won't be back she is ****** as they come!!

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Guest Horrified Observer

BRAVO !!! You hit the nail on the head? But, where was OMalley? Seems like an important meeting to miss! WOW!

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Guest Oly Schmidt

The REAL disgusting thing is the fact that a small group of people, a town council member, a mayors aid, a deputy mayor all attend a BOE meeting instead of being where they belong.... at the Town Council Meeting. Want to talk about politics, look no further!!!! The BOE has long been a disgusting hiring hall for unqualified individuals. Now you have people who ARE doing the right thing for kids, with NO POLITICAL motivation and that is what you think......because your friend or a friend of a friend was not reappointed. The four that PLAY this game over and over are the ones that should be GONE! November will tell. Do voters want to continue the same old same old, or move forward and continue to do things for KIDS!!! How many more family members is DORAN going to hire, how many more defunct administrators is Viscuso going to try to PROTECT, how many more strings is McDonald going to pull to get her friends jobs and Schalago, thank god she won't be back she is ****** as they come!!

I wouldn't call those in attendance a small group of people. The room was packed to capacity with the overflow extending well into the hallway. The people present at the meeting were concerned parents, educators and tax payers, all of whom had every right to be there to voice their support and to hold their elected officials accountable.. Your lack of regard for those rights and your support of the Fab5 and their actions is proof positive of whats wrong in the schools in Kearny. The people in attendance got to see two highly qualified administrators get railroaded by a group of board members with political axes to grind and who have politicized every aspect of the board's business since being elected.

Our children and their education is being held hostage by five individuals who could care less about doing the right thing. Wake up Kearny! Our children are too important to let this continue.

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Guest Guest

BRAVO !!! You hit the nail on the head? But, where was OMalley? Seems like an important meeting to miss! WOW!

Heard he's in Aruba with his good friend, the **** ***********.

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Guest Another Upset Observer

Hey Phonies,

There's a lot of truth to what you said. Councilwoman Cifelli-Pettigrew, ex-Councilwoman Cifelli-Sherry and Mayor's aide Torres should have been at the Council meeting doing their jobs rather than going to a Board of Education hearing on the non-renewal of a school principal and vice-principal. The threesome were at that Board of Ed meeting because they no longer have a Superintendent they can call or have lunch with on a regular basis, or a High School Principal they can call. The three are now hamstrung in getting family members and friends hired and/or promoted.

A Superintendent's recommendation and Principal's support are critical to any district employee's advancement, renewal or hire. The lady threesome has family members and/or friends in the Kearny school district. They claim to speak on principle when in reality they're just shilling. They also think that showing up at a Board of Education meeting and sitting together will somehow scare or intimidate their opponents. They did the same thing to get Frank DiGesere's retirement rescinded (even though test scores dropped under DiGesere). They certainly have no shame in playing the intimidation card when it comes to key personnel decisions. But when it comes to substantive issues like curriculum or teacher evaluation policies, those three were too busy ******** it up at *******.

By the way, I hear Mayor Santos is not supporting the same Board of Education candidates as the Shilling Lady Threesome. He's upset with how the school district has been used for personal gain. I think Madams Cifelli, Pettigrew and Torres are checkmated. Stay tuned.

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Guest Get Serious

Now you have people who ARE doing the right thing for kids, with NO POLITICAL motivation

Can you be serious? Are you smoking something illegal? You are either one of the Fab 5 or someone so totally out of touch with reality that you ACTUALLY believe your own crap. Unbelievable. I'm going to go out on a limb now and predict that you're going to have a very hard time trying to sell that one to the ever growing number of people who know the facts. Good luck.

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Guest Mouse Police

The REAL disgusting thing is the fact that a small group of people, a town council member, a mayors aid, a deputy mayor all attend a BOE meeting instead of being where they belong.... at the Town Council Meeting. Want to talk about politics, look no further!!!! The BOE has long been a disgusting hiring hall for unqualified individuals. Now you have people who ARE doing the right thing for kids, with NO POLITICAL motivation and that is what you think......because your friend or a friend of a friend was not reappointed. The four that PLAY this game over and over are the ones that should be GONE! November will tell. Do voters want to continue the same old same old, or move forward and continue to do things for KIDS!!! How many more family members is DORAN going to hire, how many more defunct administrators is Viscuso going to try to PROTECT, how many more strings is McDonald going to pull to get her friends jobs and Schalago, thank god she won't be back she is ****** as they come!!

Angry much? I find it awfully pompous of you to suggest that certain people, whether they serve the town in an elected capacity or if they're employed by the town, should somehow NOT be interested in the education of THEIR town or how THEIR taxpayer dollars are being spent. Do you need to be reminded that 2 of those individuals used to serve on the board and maybe they STILL have an interest in the educational integrity of THEIR town? To the casual observer it would seem that their interest in what's going on is exactly appropriate considering the downhill slide this school district is on. So, rant on and point your bony finger at the people who area concerned, not because of politics, but because of the blatant disrespect for education that this current board of education's majority is quite clearly showing for all the town to see.

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Guest outoftowner

Not 100% sure, but there may be some ethics violations on the part of the BOE members who didn't discuss this with their colleagues as so stated at the meeting by 2 of the board members that voted yes to reconsider. "We were never given a reason" or something to that effect was stated. I was an outsider from another town observing the meeting, and I think you've folks got some serious issues with the BOE -from the way the meeting is conducted to the conduct of board members. Instead of fighting about who's right and who's wrong, someone should seriously consider bringing an ethics complaint. It's relatively easy and the form is found online. Also, I do think the Board president is supposed to reside over the meeting as per their bylaws, found on the Kearny BOE website. I know this was a different kind of meeting and maybe the board attorney had to step in with a few legal things, but I still think the meeting is supposed to be run by the President. I didn't hear him speak once and at times, he was reading something and not looking very attentive.

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Guest outoftowner

And I forgot to mention - I love OPRA - the Open Public Records Act, I mean. Review BOE Bylaw #0169 BOARD MEMBER USE OF ELECTRONIC MAIL/INTERNET. I'm sure the BA is very versed with OPRA requests & productions. Start holding these people accountable!

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Guest outoftowner

To Another Upset Observer: Your statement - "A Superintendent's recommendation and Principal's support are critical to any district employee's advancement, renewal or hire" only bolsters what the attorney and all of the audience was saying ... These 2 people were RECOMMENDED by the Super & Principal (who the BOE, including the 3, appointed to make these decisions). The 3 that voted "no" are supposed to follow the recommendation. They're not educators - they're policymakers. Also, they're supposed to refer complaints to the Superintendent. And none of them stated why they voted no or what, if any, complaints they had; nor did they share that with their fellow board members.

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Guest Guest

The "FAB FIVE" have demonstrated their total lack of respect and consideration for the taxpayers of Kearny and their children. My suggestion is to utilize their own words in election campaigns: Remember, the Board can do better! Their self righteous actions and disrespect speak volumes. Send the "FAB FIVE" beetles back to their dung heaps.

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Guest Guest

Whats going to happen and how much money are we going to have to pay when Hoff and Baumgartner sue the BOE for wrongful termination. If and when this happens will those responsible be held accountable?

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Guest Dazed and Confused

I know this was a different kind of meeting and maybe the board attorney had to step in with a few legal things, but I still think the meeting is supposed to be run by the President. I didn't hear him speak once and at times, he was reading something and not looking very attentive.

Really no need to pay attention when your mind is already made up, is there? If they didn't have to speak to vote, we'd have to wonder if they could speak at all. Not that I would expect very much if they did speak.

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Guest Guest

Whats going to happen and how much money are we going to have to pay when Hoff and Baumgartner sue the BOE for wrongful termination. If and when this happens will those responsible be held accountable?

What's going to happen? Hoff and Baumgartner will more than likely win their case because each of the lame reasons cited by the Fab 5 and their attorney will not stand up to the scrutiny of a judge after Bolandi testifies that he RECOMMENDED THEM FOR REAPPOINTMENT. I think he has a bit more credibility than the extremely inexperienced board members who tossed those administrators out.

How much is it going to cost? Ah, the cost of revenge won't come cheap. The attorney's fees alone will be exorbitant, never mind if a settlement is handed down. Can you say "ka-ching".

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Guest WHY

What's going to happen? Hoff and Baumgartner will more than likely win their case because each of the lame reasons cited by the Fab 5 and their attorney will not stand up to the scrutiny of a judge after Bolandi testifies that he RECOMMENDED THEM FOR REAPPOINTMENT. I think he has a bit more credibility than the extremely inexperienced board members who tossed those administrators out.

How much is it going to cost? Ah, the cost of revenge won't come cheap. The attorney's fees alone will be exorbitant, never mind if a settlement is handed down. Can you say "ka-ching".

Thanks BOE my taxes are not high enough. Now we may have to pay for getting rid of qualified administrators, after they were recommended by their superiors, setting up a huge lawsuit. What the f**k were you guys thinking? I supported you guys and now you are going to potentially cost me and the taxpayers of Kearny money! WHY?

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Guest Guest

I know the word out there is that both Dr. B and Mr. Hoff have attorneys to represent them in this matter, but, 2 things: without tenure you have no job security and can be let go without any reason - Dr. Baumgartner has no tenure in Kearny. When she left (I don't remember how long ago) she gave up the tenure she had so I don't believe she has any legal recourse at this time. Mr. Hoff has NOT been terminated. He was bumped back to his most recent position - Music and Arts Department Head (or some similar title). He has tenure in Kearny so he wasn't terminated from the district. He did NOT have tenure in the position of VP, so once again, without tenure he did not "own" that job and could be removed without reason. That's the way the system works and more people need to understand tenure and tenure rights.

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Guest Empty Pockets

What's going to happen? Hoff and Baumgartner will more than likely win their case because each of the lame reasons cited by the Fab 5 and their attorney will not stand up to the scrutiny of a judge after Bolandi testifies that he RECOMMENDED THEM FOR REAPPOINTMENT. I think he has a bit more credibility than the extremely inexperienced board members who tossed those administrators out.

How much is it going to cost? Ah, the cost of revenge won't come cheap. The attorney's fees alone will be exorbitant, never mind if a settlement is handed down. Can you say "ka-ching".

Funny how only some info gets out and other info does not. How about the personal crusade of (1) individual that has been costing the TAXPAYERS tens of THOUSANDS of dollars already and much, much more to come. BOE member James Doran Jr. has been using TAXPAYERS money to attack and harass (2) other BOE members for no apparent reason, but his OWN self interest. Wait for the law suits filed back against him personally and the BOE for his actions taken. Ka-ching, ka-ching, ka-ching!!!! Not to mention all the ETHICS VIOLATIONS. Talk about a BOARD MEMBER not knowing what their role is SUPPOSE to be!!!!!

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Guest BIG GUEST

Why is it that whenever you disagree with how something is done you always say it will cost taxpayers money. Did that occur to you in the Correnti case? I seem to recall boardmembers voting against the superintendents recommendation. No it only matters when you are not in control. Seeing so many elected officials and dignataries attending these last few meetings tells me that Councilwoman Pettigrew and her ilk cannot control this BOE. Must really piss her off. Why is she so angry? Dr. Baumgartner had a job in Harrison with her before the vote to tenure her even came up. We here in Kearny say the fab5 are doing a great job in putting children first. Not like previous boards. If that were the case neither DiGesere nor Sprague would have been given their jobs. But then again Laura can't control these new men.

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Guest outoftowner

I know the word out there is that both Dr. B and Mr. Hoff have attorneys to represent them in this matter, but, 2 things: without tenure you have no job security and can be let go without any reason - Dr. Baumgartner has no tenure in Kearny. When she left (I don't remember how long ago) she gave up the tenure she had so I don't believe she has any legal recourse at this time. Mr. Hoff has NOT been terminated. He was bumped back to his most recent position - Music and Arts Department Head (or some similar title). He has tenure in Kearny so he wasn't terminated from the district. He did NOT have tenure in the position of VP, so once again, without tenure he did not "own" that job and could be removed without reason. That's the way the system works and more people need to understand tenure and tenure rights.

Here's the actual law you need to read:

N.J.S.A. 18A:27-4.1 provides that a board can only remove a certificated or a non-certificated employee based upon the "recommendation of the chief school administrator" and then by a "recorded roll call majority vote of the full membership of the board." The recorded roll call majority vote to be taken is for the list of recommended renewals submitted by the superintendent. While a district board may disagree with a recommendation of its superintendent, or even override that recommendation, such actions require the board to provide its own reasons. The statute states that a board shall not withhold its approval of the recommendation of the superintendent for "arbitrary and capricious reasons."

What's troubling is that it was stated by the Board attorney that the said objectors contacted him. BOE members are supposed to go to the Superintendent if they receive/have complaints, etc. It's in the Bylaws - look it up. Also, it was stated publically by at least 2 other board members THAT THEY WERE NEVER TOLD WHAT THE OBJECTIONS WERE. I do believe that a BOARD is a BODY of (in this case 9 - excluding conflicts of interest) and THEY ARE REQUIRED TO DISCUSS THINGS as a full board. Ethics charges right there.

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Guest Dazed and Confused

Why is it that whenever you disagree with how something is done you always say it will cost taxpayers money. Did that occur to you in the Correnti case? I seem to recall boardmembers voting against the superintendents recommendation. No it only matters when you are not in control. Seeing so many elected officials and dignataries attending these last few meetings tells me that Councilwoman Pettigrew and her ilk cannot control this BOE. Must really piss her off. Why is she so angry? Dr. Baumgartner had a job in Harrison with her before the vote to tenure her even came up. We here in Kearny say the fab5 are doing a great job in putting children first. Not like previous boards. If that were the case neither DiGesere nor Sprague would have been given their jobs. But then again Laura can't control these new men.

Why say it will cost taxpayers money? Because it will and because this whole scenario has been put in motion as a personal vendetta on the part of these 5 board members. Everyone should be honest here, FINALLY. Those two administrators were targeted because of their connection to Digesere, pure and simple. Argue all you want, disagree, say it isn't so, but it's a FACT. And that FACT did not have had any bearing on their performance as administrators. And personal, political vendettas piss people off. And when people are pissed off, they push back. And if you find that hard to understand , you must have been born yesterday. How exactly is that "putting children first"? The board is in tatters and so is the school system. No permanent superintendent, no assistant supt, no high school principal. This is how you put children first? I'm super happy that you think the fab 5 are doing a great job. You must be happy in your tiny little world.

P.S. After all these years, you think you would have finally learned the correct spelling of THAT MAN'S name . . . not DiGesere . . . Digesere. You must be a slow learner.

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Guest Shocked & Appalled

Why is it that whenever you disagree with how something is done you always say it will cost taxpayers money. Did that occur to you in the Correnti case? I seem to recall boardmembers voting against the superintendents recommendation. No it only matters when you are not in control. Seeing so many elected officials and dignataries attending these last few meetings tells me that Councilwoman Pettigrew and her ilk cannot control this BOE. Must really piss her off. Why is she so angry? Dr. Baumgartner had a job in Harrison with her before the vote to tenure her even came up. We here in Kearny say the fab5 are doing a great job in putting children first. Not like previous boards. If that were the case neither DiGesere nor Sprague would have been given their jobs. But then again Laura can't control these new men.

WHOA NELLY: It would appear that you are the one pissed off. Why are you picking on Laura Cifelli? She at least had the tenacity

to ask intelligent questions to a Board who doesn't seem to have any answers, truthful ones, anyway. It is her right, as a tax paying citizen, as well as anyone else who was in the room that night, to ask legitimate questions, and EXPECT, honest answers. But, it was very obvious, this wasn't going to happen !!! As for her "ilk," they, too, are intelligent, tax paying citizens who had a perfect right to be

where they were that night! Problem would appear to be that honesty and integrity simply isn't a concept that the Fab 5 is familiar with, let alone "putting the children first.". As far as Mr. sprague is concerned, none of you could shine his boots !!!

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Guest Guest

I thought you couldn't ask question at board of Ed meeting. Wasn't that the policy. No question just comments. Now the tables are turned and the rule is no longer good. Haven't you eten enough already. Ride off into the sunset you've had a good run. Don't be so greed.

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