Politics is local and we can have the most impact on our school boards

Your superintendent is the highest paid, most powerful public official in the municipality. Do you know his name?

Elected board members, although well intentioned are easily led by their paid employees; teachers & administrators.

Do you know what they're all doing? Well here in New Jersey they represent at least 60% of your property tax bill and budgets grow at an astounding compound rate each year.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Things That Make One Wonder.

It’s kind of funny (peculiar not ha-ha funny)..  When asked to document the “many” inquiries from Ted Doty, our school business administrator can quickly retrieve data and create a Power Point presentation illustrating the nasty, vindictive person that is me.  But when asked to recall the most recent of those correspondence for response to a Government Records Commission complaint, a time extension is needed.

Originally Verbist was given a deadline of February 25 to present correspondence relating to three records requests; my inquiries as well as his responses but  James Verbist found the need to ask for and was granted a 5 day extension.. 

I understand that administration is busily preparing a budget but James was able to open the data base to show me as a bad person, why can’t he extract information  to prove he’s a good guy.


Saturday, February 19, 2011

Isn’t little Jimmy cute?

Verbist just emailed the following; at 7:24 am 2/19/11.

Doty Response Letter 2 19 11 re photographs

Verbist, you've enough trouble keeping accurate records.  Now there’s a failed attempt at the legal profession...

First of all , Board Policy does not have the force of law.  So stop wasting taxpayer money, your and Chief Ardin’s time by pursuing this folly.

Secondly, there is no date or time stamp on the pictures you reference.  So we have no idea what was going on in the room

Finally, I have taken no pictures.  I explained that but apparently you refuse to accept what you’re told.

But it is kind of cute that you boldly repeat the phrase “cease and desist”  as if you have power, authority and community respect.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Oh Oh A Verbist threat

I received the correspondence shown below on 2/18/11.  Briefly, James Verbist finds me in violation of Rockaway Township School Board Policy 9326.1- Recording and Photographing of Public Meetings.  James specifically mentions “unauthorized photography “ and tells me to remove “any and all photographs which were illegally taken…” from my Blog.

Document _4_ -

Well first of all, James omitted a comma between the words “photographs” and “which”.  More important however, I haven’t photographed any Public Meeting or closed session ;either legally or  illegally.  Nor  have I posted any photos of public meetings or closed sessions to my blog.. 

James,  I realize you’re upset but you’ll have to be more specific.  BTW don’t you have to  respond to a GRC  complaint by the 25th?

My response to Friedberger

With any luck it will get published.

Dear Editor,

On a typical Day, the sun will rise, the sun will set and if  the Rockaway Township School Board President speaks, his words are at the very least hyperbole.

Neither State nor County Education officials have ruled that my allegation of fund misuse is incorrect. In fact, a department of education commissioner ruled state aid would be withheld for the exact violation committed by the RTBOE. If the board’s year-end chicanery is allowed, RT taxpayers will unnecessarily spend hundreds of thousands I think the situation warrants further investigation.

The State Election Law Enforcement Commission passed no judgment on my allegations but asked for evidence that only last year’s board candidates have. And clearly they won’t self incriminate.

Regarding the solar project, RTBOE President Michael Friedberger wants us all to forget that the project was sold as a revenue replacement not a simple cost saver. But I’m glad the board now accepts my analysis.

Friedberger also loves to talk about School Ethics Commission decision C22-03 but neglects to say that my previous complaints prompted advisory opinion A13-02, which reduced union influence on board members negotiating contracts. .

But studying history is a good thing.  With Decision C14-97, the School Ethics Commission found  “although he had personal involvement when he…announced that he was not renewing the contract of the administrators”, Superintendent, Gary Vitta did not violate the school ethics act..  Vitta’s personal involvement was that the woman he fired was suing for sexual harassment, religious discrimination and hostile work environment. The decision says a great deal about the School Ethics Commission. And hopefully the RTBOE learns that people in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones.

Ted Doty

Rockaway Township

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Why is Transparency So Difficult for Verbist?

Slick Jimmy’s avoidance transparency is at a ridiculous level..  This April 27th there will be two open seats on the RTBOE but the district’s News Release provides both misleading and incomplete information…typical Verbist.

The press release isn’t clear as to what seats will be open.  For example, are two, three year seats open?.  If so, that would mean neither Frank Giarratano and Diane Power are running this year.  A second option is that two other members are leaving unexpired terms.  The final option is that either Frank or Diane are not running and and some other member will leave an unexpired term.  Clarification is important since some potential candidates prefer to fill an unexpired term as Sue Salny did in her first run.

The press release should have explained that candidate kits can be obtained from any district office.  Often, candidates prefer a lower profile while gathering petition signatures.  Completed petitions however must be submitted locally.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Real Problems and Giarratano’s Avatar, Bertram

Rockaway Township has at best a mediocre education system. as reported by Deborah Grefe at the December 8 RTBOE meeting.(click for the mediocre presentation) 

Our $200,000/year School Superintendent ,who claims he’s worth more  in the private sector responded “Well, look at our competition:”: Slide 3 of the presentation shows the competition…Gary Vitta, if you can get a better offer take it…please save us the trouble of firing you.

Superintendent Vitta and Business Administrator, James Verbist.improperly transferred between $212K and $750K; at taxpayer expense of course.(read Siphoning Funds II)

There are other issues as well click here to read about federal grant money.  And then there’s the ill fated $2.6 solar fiasco click to read "control costs..."

Amid these important and costly issues,  Frank Giarratano and his Communications Committee worked diligently on an internet avatar, Bertram  to obfuscate facts and discredit me by miscounting my communications to the RTBOE..  If anyone is interested, click here for the RTBOE communications record.  The grand totals are 96 communications, 92 of which were comments, 4 of which were inquiries.  For all 96 communications the were 0 responses or answers:  the records reflect 20 board meetings.  click here for worksheet

Important issues go unresolved while board members play games and swear to Slick Jimmy Verbist’s lie..  Another way to look at it, “ Nero fiddles while Rome burns”.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

One Picture Worth a Thousand Words

Remember January 19 when Slick James Verbist told the world Chartwells donated the board meeting feasts  but then on February 9 denied that he had said it?

Well here’s a  couple of pictures of the pre meeting feast..  The topic of this session was to count emails from Ted Doty, project future emails and assign a cost.

“Slick Jimmy” who isn’t known for accurate record keeping blew this assignment as well…even as Sue Salny looked on.

Instead of socializing and plotting against one or two whistle blowers, perhaps the board should explain why they defied DOE directives and mismanaged $212,055.47…or even better, work on improving  NJASK scores…or explain why they hired a superintendent with a sexual harassment scandal in his past.