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Guest IFC Harrison NJ
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Guest IFC Harrison NJ

Nexus: –noun, 1.a means of connection; tie; link. 2.a connected series or group. 3.the core or center, as of a matter or situation. 4. Cell Biology. a specialized area of the cell membrane involved in intercellular communication and adhesion.

Nexus of power politics in Harrison NJ: ******** *****, aka Town Hall East or Board of Education West

PART 1

At the center, the one man with the most concentrated power in town is unquestionably James Doran. Not only is James Doran owner of ******** *******, but he is President of the Town Council, out of the 4th Ward, Chairman of the Finance Department, and Superintendent of Harrison Public Schools with a listed salary of well over $200,000.00. Who else would have the clout to give public sector jobs to employees of his private business? The latest, a broker, has a lucrative “administrative” position (secretary) at a starting salary exceeding $40,000.00. After one year, his salary jumped to $56,800. We can only guess what kind of raise he received July 2010 (and we won’t know until after the election), but to put things in perspective, a teacher with a master of arts (MA) degree in Education would’ve had to work ten years to make $55,319.00. What are his credentials? We don’t know because only teachers have their degrees listed.

Take a look at the Harrison Board of Education, most have or had relatives employed by Harrison Realty and/or Harrison Public Schools. Look at the Harrison Town Council and all have relatives and/or are employed themselves in either a town job, at Passaic Valley, or in Harrison Public Schools with the glaring exception of Maria and Steve. The same names pop up over and over again on the various appointed Boards.

How many candidates were screened for the position of Superintendent? Where is the NY Times ad for the position? Does any reasonable person believe that no one from Columbia University would apply for a $200,000.00+ position? We’ll never know because his cousin, then the President of the Board of Education, and the rest of the Harrison Realty cabal ushered his appointment lickety-split with no open forum, no comparison to other candidates’ qualifications and no input from the parents. Take a look at the Harrison Public Schools website, the major “qualification” for a position or contract with the school system is “personal knowledge of the Board”. In other words, “if you’re not one of our friends or relatives, don’t bother submitting a proposal or application.”

What is the result? Well from observing actions over the years, we have seen that incompetence and bad behavior are rewarded, and that anyone who rocks the boat, anyone who questions the “entitled elite” – no matter how competent – will face retribution.

Case in point:

At the end of the 2008-2009 school year a highly qualified Science teacher at Washington Middle School was anticipating a letter informing her that she was granted tenure starting the following September. Instead, she received a letter informing her that she was being fired. She fought it, publicizing her qualifications, her extra-curricular work with students and her affiliation with a highly regarded science institute. Her case was the subject of an article in The Observer (7/1/09). She hadn’t a chance.

So while we were (and still are) desperate for highly qualified Science teachers, the Board of Education forces one out. What is the benefit of firing a highly qualified teacher? The Board of Education doesn’t have to explain itself, but shouldn’t it answer to the parents of the children who missed out on the first class science education she would have provided? Is it any wonder then that parents with high performing children elect to send them to schools other than Harrison High School?

Why does this happen?

The Board of Education is supposed to represent the interests of parents, children, and the taxpayer. But what is the incentive to represent all students, parents and taxpayers if the Mayor appoints the Board, the Superintendent of Schools is also the President of the Town Council, and the town or the school system employs your relatives? Board members will protect their own interests at the expense of the rest of us.

Some newly hired teachers were grossly overpaid when the Superintendent and the BOE elected to start them at salaries thousands higher than they were allowed to under the contract. Taxpayers forked over four hundred thousand dollars more than they had to. The BOE should have represented the taxpayers and questioned the inflated starting salaries, but instead they rubber-stamped them.

The Superintendent, the Board of Education and their offices have stated the appointments and policy decisions have nothing to do with politics, when in fact everything is political. From the 2010 graduation speech where the Superintendent told graduates and their families that they should thank the Mayor and Council, and presumably himself, for giving $400,000.00 so that no teacher would be fired, to the use of school personnel and facilities to promote political fundraisers for the McDonough administration, it is all partisan politics to benefit the party in power.

Follow the money. The Mayor and most of the Council, again with the notable exception of Maria and Steve, have become fabulously wealthy at taxpayer expense. This is unacceptable. Nepotism laws should be enforced with no “grandfathering” of already hired family members. Board members should choose: family salaries or the seat on the Board – one has to go.

What do you think?

Edited by KOTW
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Steve and Maria are unemployable, that's what I think. They only know how to ruin a business, do illegal construction (see Observer) and bankruptsy.

Which of these skills would you hire them for?? DIDN'T THINK SO THEY ARE AND WILL BE LOSERS! YOU'LL SEE! He can't even makes payments to a neutral court where the judge not only lowered the fines, but also extended the payments. What a man!?!?!?!?

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Nexus: –noun, 1.a means of connection; tie; link. 2.a connected series or group. 3.the core or center, as of a matter or situation. 4. Cell Biology. a specialized area of the cell membrane involved in intercellular communication and adhesion.

Nexus of power politics in Harrison NJ: ******** *****, aka Town Hall East or Board of Education West

PART 1

At the center, the one man with the most concentrated power in town is unquestionably James Doran. Not only is James Doran owner of ******** *******, but he is President of the Town Council, out of the 4th Ward, Chairman of the Finance Department, and Superintendent of Harrison Public Schools with a listed salary of well over $200,000.00. Who else would have the clout to give public sector jobs to employees of his private business? The latest, a broker, has a lucrative “administrative” position (secretary) at a starting salary exceeding $40,000.00. After one year, his salary jumped to $56,800. We can only guess what kind of raise he received July 2010 (and we won’t know until after the election), but to put things in perspective, a teacher with a master of arts (MA) degree in Education would’ve had to work ten years to make $55,319.00. What are his credentials? We don’t know because only teachers have their degrees listed.

Take a look at the Harrison Board of Education, most have or had relatives employed by Harrison Realty and/or Harrison Public Schools. Look at the Harrison Town Council and all have relatives and/or are employed themselves in either a town job, at Passaic Valley, or in Harrison Public Schools with the glaring exception of Maria and Steve. The same names pop up over and over again on the various appointed Boards.

How many candidates were screened for the position of Superintendent? Where is the NY Times ad for the position? Does any reasonable person believe that no one from Columbia University would apply for a $200,000.00+ position? We’ll never know because his cousin, then the President of the Board of Education, and the rest of the Harrison Realty cabal ushered his appointment lickety-split with no open forum, no comparison to other candidates’ qualifications and no input from the parents. Take a look at the Harrison Public Schools website, the major “qualification” for a position or contract with the school system is “personal knowledge of the Board”. In other words, “if you’re not one of our friends or relatives, don’t bother submitting a proposal or application.”

What is the result? Well from observing actions over the years, we have seen that incompetence and bad behavior are rewarded, and that anyone who rocks the boat, anyone who questions the “entitled elite” – no matter how competent – will face retribution.

Case in point:

At the end of the 2008-2009 school year a highly qualified Science teacher at Washington Middle School was anticipating a letter informing her that she was granted tenure starting the following September. Instead, she received a letter informing her that she was being fired. She fought it, publicizing her qualifications, her extra-curricular work with students and her affiliation with a highly regarded science institute. Her case was the subject of an article in The Observer (7/1/09). She hadn’t a chance.

So while we were (and still are) desperate for highly qualified Science teachers, the Board of Education forces one out. What is the benefit of firing a highly qualified teacher? The Board of Education doesn’t have to explain itself, but shouldn’t it answer to the parents of the children who missed out on the first class science education she would have provided? Is it any wonder then that parents with high performing children elect to send them to schools other than Harrison High School?

Why does this happen?

The Board of Education is supposed to represent the interests of parents, children, and the taxpayer. But what is the incentive to represent all students, parents and taxpayers if the Mayor appoints the Board, the Superintendent of Schools is also the President of the Town Council, and the town or the school system employs your relatives? Board members will protect their own interests at the expense of the rest of us.

Some newly hired teachers were grossly overpaid when the Superintendent and the BOE elected to start them at salaries thousands higher than they were allowed to under the contract. Taxpayers forked over four hundred thousand dollars more than they had to. The BOE should have represented the taxpayers and questioned the inflated starting salaries, but instead they rubber-stamped them.

The Superintendent, the Board of Education and their offices have stated the appointments and policy decisions have nothing to do with politics, when in fact everything is political. From the 2010 graduation speech where the Superintendent told graduates and their families that they should thank the Mayor and Council, and presumably himself, for giving $400,000.00 so that no teacher would be fired, to the use of school personnel and facilities to promote political fundraisers for the McDonough administration, it is all partisan politics to benefit the party in power.

Follow the money. The Mayor and most of the Council, again with the notable exception of Maria and Steve, have become fabulously wealthy at taxpayer expense. This is unacceptable. Nepotism laws should be enforced with no “grandfathering” of already hired family members. Board members should choose: family salaries or the seat on the Board – one has to go.

What do you think?

What a breath of fresh air! It's about time someone connected all of the dots. Thank you.

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Guest IFC Harrison NJ

What a breath of fresh air! It's about time someone connected all of the dots. Thank you.

The Department of Engineering and Construction should be renamed the Department of Extortion and Graft. Wonder how the town can afford some of these salaries? Ask the Mayor how much they’ve collected in permit fees and fines – especially the fines. You may file and get the necessary permits, but they’ll get you in fines at the inspection. Better yet, you may get them pounding at your door with an “anonymous” complaint that someone is living in your basement because you purchased your home with a summer kitchen and a bathroom.

On our walks through the wards we heard a number of stories with the same theme – tear out your kitchens and baths, destroy the value of those rooms on which you pay ridiculous property taxes – or else – pay tens of thousands in fines. Even if you do as they ask, you’ll pay thousands to destroy your own home and will have to face these thugs in a final inspection where they can ring more money out of you to fix fictitious violations.

Point out a property, whose sale was managed through ******* ******, which has the same “violations”, and you’ll hear that they went through the proper procedures and were granted variances so they don’t have to adhere to the same ordinances that you do. You want your certificate of occupancy? Pay up!

Contrast this with the new Harrison High School. Do you know when the school received its Certificate of Occupancy? Would it surprise you be to learn that it was at the end of the 3rd school year? For months, students and teachers were breathing in construction dust blowing through the ventilation system, had several floods, and the 3rd floor to this day has leaks through the ceiling. The lights outside the school turn on automatically but there apparently is no “off” switch. The list goes on and on. We paid a former councilman over $170,000.00 to “oversee” the Schools Construction Corporation’s work.

It is said that a corrupt government can easily bankrupt a rich man. Well, what about a middle-class local businessman and his wife? The McDonough Administration would like you to believe the Steve and Maria are bad guys – thieves worse than William “Quarters” Tansky, as one cowardly “guest’ on KOTW put it. So what do we know? An architect and a structural engineer, real ones, drew up Steve’s plans. The Department of Extortion and Graft assessed fines in 6 figures and refused to give him his CO even after he made numerous changes because of the fines. Like many people we’ve talked to, he decided that to keep fighting would mean he would lose the building completely, so he capitulated and agreed to a lesser fine. That wasn’t enough for the McDonough Administration; they kept harassing Steve by making his potential tenants jump through hoops. This harassment has cost Steve 6 years of stable rental income. A lesser man would have given up.

So, as a voter, I am faced with a choice: Steve, a man who won’t give up and who opposed give-a-ways to developers costing taxpayers a hundred million dollars, or the McDonough Administration who can’t account for their financial misdeed and who harass small business owners, senior citizens, heart attack and cancer victims and immigrants. Each voter must make his or her own choice, but we, their running mates, will go with Maria and Steve every time.

Edited by KOTW
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