Sunday, January 31, 2010

Retro BOE Video - "This is Our Town!"

Here is another retro BOE video gem from Hoboken watchdog Eric Kurta. Some people have been wondering why perhaps it is hard to find a Superintendent of Schools that already has been or is a current Superintendent of Schools that really wants to work in Hoboken. The simple answer could be: Who in their right mind who is already a Superintendent in a good school distict would want to put up with crap like this? This video is from a BOE meeting in November of 1993. Note that current 4th Ward City Councilman Michael Lenz is on the School Board in an unpaid and non-county position:

Here is Eric's summary of the video:

In November 1993, the Choice for Change reform majority on the Hoboken Board of Education voted to hire an individual from outside the district to become the new principal of the Demarest Middle School (I only remember that his last name was Diaz). Back then, most of the kids at Demarest were Latino and many had parents who spoke little or no English. Conferences between parents and the principal often had to be held with the school janitor translating (he was supposedly the only employee that could translate). Mr. Diaz came with great qualifications and was highly recommended as someone who had turned problem schools around. He was also Spanish-speaking, an added bonus given the school population.

Many locals took offense, however, at his hiring. Larry Sciancalepore was the favorite in-district candidate of the Hoboken born-and-raised crew led by the recently-elected mayor, Anthony Russo. Seconds after the Board voted to hire Diaz (00:26), Sciancalepore’s son let it all hang out, espousing the sentiment that was quite common then - and still is, to some extent - among Hoboken’s born-and-raised community.

“This is OUR town! Get out of our goddamn town!”

Diaz was hired, but Anthony Russo would gain control of the Board of Ed the following April and Diaz was let go. Sciancalepore took the position, but had difficulty performing and eventually stepped down after suffering a heart attack.

As an extra perk, I left in a few seconds of me and Perry Belfiore competing for Best/Worst 80s hairdo.

- Eric Kurta

Eric Kurta is a former Hoboken for People for Open Government (POG) President and citizen activist/archivist/watchdog. He also had a nice full hair frizz on display for this video. There must have been some serious humidity in the air that day since I am pretty sure Eric didn't use Jheri Curl back then.


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Hoboken Photo of the Day - Life without people

Today's photo of the day is of the Hoboken train terminal that is normally very busy but this shot shows what it might look like if people were to suddenly disappear. ◦
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Saturday, January 30, 2010

Hoboken City Council Budget Workshop Meeting 1/30/2010 from 9:30 AM - 5:00 PM - Live video feed!

Upcoming Hoboken City Council Budget Workshop Meeting 1/30/2010 from 9:30 AM - 5:00 PM - Live video feed! - with Cover it Live! Live blogging software starting at 9:15AM:


Schedule:
9:30am to 9:45am - Introduction
9:45am to 10:30am - Public Safety
10:30 am to11:15 am - Environmental Services
11:15 am to 12:30 pm - Health and Human Services
12:30 pm to 1:30 pm - Lunch Break
1:30 pm to 2:15 pm - Community Development
2:15pm to 3:00 pm - Transportation and Parking Utility
3:00 pm to 4:30 pm - Finance/Administration/Corporation Council/Courts
4:30 pm to 4:45 pm - Office of Emergency Management
4:45 pm to 5:00 pm - Administration

Editor's Note: The live streaming portion will be available for tomorrow's budget workshop.

Earlier I had called a few people to confirm if this special meeting would be covered via the live feed and I contacted 4th Ward City Councilman Michael Lenz who issued this statement:

"From the begining, in order to get the most information out about the budget to the public, the Mayor, City Council and Finance Committee have made clear that the expectation is that all City Council meetings are indeed filmed and live streamed online.

The era of behind the scenes government has been closed.

If this special meeting is live streamed tomorrow then the Administration and the City Council should get the credit they deserve. If not, then criticism for it not being available would be justified."

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Friday, January 29, 2010

Friday Funny - from Icanhascheezburger.com

Here is a funny picture of a truly fat cat basking in what appears to be a very small portion of a TARP funded JP Morgan Wall Street style bonus. Photo courtesy of http://www.icanhascheezburger.com/.

funny pictures of cats with captions
see more Lolcats and funny pictures
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Hoboken Budget Workshop Schedule

I got confirmation that the budget workshop tommorow will be video taped and live via the City of Hobonen's UStream website. Here the schedule for the meeting tomorrow:

COUNCIL BUDGET WORKSHOP SET FOR SATURDAY, 9:30 AM

The Hoboken City Council will hold a day-long workshop on the proposed 2010 municipal budget on Saturday, January 30th beginning at 9:30 am in the Council Chamber in City Hall. The session will conclude at 5 pm.

The entire workshop will be streamed live at http://www.hobokennj.org/ and supporting documents can be downloaded from the site. Tomorrow morning a video of the workshop will be aired on Channel 78. The public is invited, but questions will not be taken during the meeting.

The schedule is as follows: 9:45am to 10:30am – Public Safety, 10:30 am to11:15 am – Environmental Services, 11:15 am to 12:30 pm – Health and Human Services, 1:30 pm to 2:15 pm – Community Development, 2:15pm to 3 pm - Transportation and Parking Utility, 3 pm to 4:30 pm – Finance/Administration/Corporation Council/Courts, 4:30 pm to 4:45 pm - Office of Emergency Management, and 4:45 pm to 5 pm Administration (continued). There will be a lunch break between 12:30 pm to 1:30 pm.

Each department director, along with Finance Director Nick Trasente, will lead their respective workshop. ◦
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Radio Shack - Hoboken Business Profile

Here is the continuation of the Hoboken Business Series....

From Hoboken Journal

Radio Shack

Business Type: Electronics, cell phones
Address: 218 Washington St,  Hoboken, NJ 07030
Phone:  (201) 459-0490
Website: http://www.radioshack.com/
Hours: Monday - Friday: 9am - 9pm
Saturday: 9am - 10pm
Sunday: 10am - 8pm ◦
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HUMC Meeting of 1/27/2010 Recap -"Hospital will not close"

Update 1/29/2010:

The HUMC has released the draft copy of their budget for 2010. It is just the high level numbers and subject to change as it is a draft:



Original Post 1/28/2010:

From left to right CEO Spiros Hatiras, Commissioners Desai Tejal,  Jonathan Metsch, Toni Tomarazzo and Steve Rofsky

The HUMC meeting last night was packed with mostly employees for the Hospital and a few concerned citizens. Spiros Hatiras addressed the audience and said that "the Hospital will not close.":

Here are some highlights of his report:
  • $3 Million of the $7 million stablization money has been paid out to date. $1 million will be applied to the 2009 budget.
  • The union and management employees have agreed to 10% salary cuts across the board and that will result in a total savings of $6.5 million for 2010. Another $5 million will come from vendor reductions totaling $11.5 million. That coupled with the $6 million dollars of stabilization money applied to 2010 will make up a gap of $17.5 million in total compared to the prior year.
  • Physicians also volunteered to take pay cuts as well.
  • Her explained the the new Governor's transition report did not include the voluntary 10% wage cuts from employees when it made the assessment that the hospital would close in several months.
  • Spiros reiterated his thanks to all the employees for coming together and helping the hospital to trim its expenses to continue its operations (paraphrased).
Here is a more detailed summary of the meeting on Hoboken Patch:

http://hoboken.patch.com/articles/hoboken-university-medical-center-proposes-draft-budget-for-2010

Part 1 of Spiros Hatiras' remarks:



Part 2 of Spiros Hatiras' remarks:


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Hoboken Museum Reopens Sunday, Jan. 31 - Two New Exhibitions and Party, 2 – 5 pm

The Hoboken Museum Reopens Sunday, Jan. 31, With Two New Exhibitions and Volunteer Appreciation Party, 2 – 5 pm.

Come celebrate “Surveying the World,” a hands-on exhibition about Keuffel & Esser, a major Hoboken employer from 1870 – 1968 world-renowned for its slide rules and surveying equipment, and “Hoboken Light and Geometry,” a photography exhibit.

“Surveying the World,” a hands-on exhibition about Keuffel & Esser

Hoboken, N.J. – January 25, 2010 – K&E, the initials carved into the roofline of the building at the corner of Third & Adams Sts., are the only local trace of a company that played a key role in America’s phenomenal age of discovery and growth. Keuffel & Esser, a precision engineering instrument manufacturer that was based in Hoboken from 1870 to 1968, supplied the tools for expeditions to the North Pole and across the American continents and for such engineering marvels as the Brooklyn Bridge and Panama Canal. It also created jobs for thousands of Hoboken residents, including the “Spider Lady,” Mary Pfeiffer, who ran K&E’s spider ranch from 1889 to World War II, producing the filaments that were used as crosshairs in telescopic sights.

Anyone who remembers using a slide rule for complex calculations can thank K&E for popularizing the tool, its best-selling item among the thousands in its catalog. In over 90 years of operations in Hoboken, K&E became the leading purveyor of tools and instruments used by engineers, surveyors and the military, selling more than 10,000 items from nearly 300,000 square feet of office and factory space in Hoboken.

Examples of many of these instruments will be on display in the Museum’s Main Gallery starting Sunday, Jan. 31, with the opening reception from 2 – 5 p.m., for Surveying the World: Keuffel & Esser + Hoboken, 1875 – 1968. At the event, we will celebrate our many volunteers, and outline volunteer opportunities for 2010.

Visitors will be able to interact with some of the items on display, including slide rules, surveying instruments, lettering systems and drafting tools. Descriptive plaques will describe how these tools were used in building railroads, farming and exploration. School groups can arrange tours through education director Sherrard Bostwick, at education@hobokenmuseum.org or 201-656-2240. The exhibit is made possible in part through a Special Project grant from the New Jersey Historical Commission, and the generosity of corporate sponsors: The Applied Companies, John Wiley & Sons, and Bijou Properties.

The company’s founders, William J.D. Keuffel and Hermann Esser, built a series of large factory buildings around the 300 block of Adams, after opening their headquarters in New York in 1867. In 1975-76, the concrete “West” building became one of the first examples of adaptive re-use of an industrial building, known as The Clock Tower Apartments for its iconic four-sided clock, and joined the National Register of Historic Places in 1985. The “East” building was converted in 1984 to residential use.

Hoboken: A Study in Geometry and Light

Photo by Peter Zibel

Photographer Peter Ziebel has been walking around Hoboken with a camera shooting photos of the changing urban landscape off and on for the past 30 years. Since April 2009, he has met the personal challenge of posting a photo a day on his website, www.kingnopa.net. He calls it “a daily log of light and geometry.” That’s the inspiration for Ziebel’s current show in the Upper Gallery of the Museum, Hoboken Light and Geometry, A Selection of Photographs, which also opens on Jan. 31. Most of the photographs are drawn from images he’s taken in the past year, although some go back a little farther.

“My work is a continuing attempt to depict my experience of the ever-changing face of Hoboken’s urban landscape,” Ziebel says. “I am particularly interested in the visual juxtapositions of old and new, classic and kitsch, growth and decay, public and private, the mundane and the majestic, that define the visual character of this city.”

This is Ziebel’s second HHM show. Ziebel also teaches an evening series of photography classes at the Museum, in which he helps demystify digital cameras. He teaches art and photography at the Hudson School, and he published a children’s book in 1989, “Look Closer,” which inspires kids to identify objects from close-up photographs. He’s been a professional freelance photographer for the past 20 years.

About the Hoboken Historical Museum

Founded 1986, the Museum’s mission is to educate the public about Hoboken’s history, diverse culture, architecture and historic landmarks. In 2001, the Museum moved into one of the oldest buildings on the waterfront, in the former Bethlehem Steel shipyard, at 1301 Hudson St., Hoboken, where it maintains a series of rotating exhibits. The Museum is open six days a week, 2 – 7 pm on Tues. – Thurs., 1 – 5 pm on Fridays, and noon – 5 pm on weekends. It offers special exhibits, tours, events and lectures, as well as educational programs for adults and children on a weekly basis. An updated schedule of events and an online catalog of many items in its collections are available at http://www.hobokenmuseum.org/. The Museum is a not-for-profit tax-exempt 501(c) entity.


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Update on Corzine's 11th Hour Public Employee Relations Commission (PERC) Appointments

Here is an update from Donna Antonucci on departing Governor Corzine's last minute appointments to the NJ Public Employees Relations Commission (PERC) which is an important commission when it comes to potentially reforming the way union contracts are handled going forward for the State of NJ and its many municipalities. This article presents both facts and opinions and does not necessarily reflect the opinions of this editor or the steering committee on the whole of Hoboken Revolt to which she belongs. Here is her update.....


What happened with the PERC nominations....

The Senate confirmed Adrienne Eaton, Paula Voos, and Sharon Krengel in the last day of Corzine's term to the Public Employee Relations Commission (PERC). Corzine withdrew Ira Stern's nomination I believe, in part, because of the letter writing campaign promoted by Council President Cunningham asking our legislators to block the nominations.

This is good and bad. A) we won't have a union rep as the Chairman (Corzine nominated Stern, a union rep, for the role of Chairman). Christie has to appoint a union member to the panel but he can appoint the union rep to a regular Commissioner's role and head the panel with someone with a more balanced view. B) By appointing 3 not 4, Christie can appoint 3 rather than 2 now as there are 3 others in holdover status. The term of the last Corzine appointee on the panel of the 7, expires in March 2011. We will just have to wait until March of 2011 for Christie to be able to put in his 4th appointee to create a Christie taxpayer friendly panel.

We should get Christie to make appointment ASAP ie not sit on it as Corzine did. By doing so, we would have a taxpayer inclusive view for Hoboken's next round of contract negotiations.

We will have a chance to get to know who ever Christie appoints -observe their POV regarding the burden of proof needed to change the pattern of bargaining. We can watch appeals and have an idea if we should try to immediately push our next set of contracts to arbitration or not.

I got the list of how those on the Judiciary Committee voted. All appointments have to go through the Judiciary Sub-Committee before going to the Senate for confirmation. The Judiciary Committee could have held these nominations in sub-committee until after Christie's inauguration and in my opinion that was the ethical thing to do.

The reason why a Governor gets to make these appointments is so that he has appointees in policy positions to help him deliver his platform and vision. This is presumably why people voted him in. So denying a Governor this ability in my opinion is denying the will of the people.

One would hope that if a Governor is over stepping his bounds, the Senate would step in and stop him. Let’s be real about what Corzine did. Three nominees were confirmed and they were in office for a total of 7 days of Corzine’s term. It meets the letter of the law but not the intention. He artificially extended his failed platform into Christie’s term.

Six out of seven PERC Commissioners were in holdover status which means their terms had expired already. Almost all of them had terms that expired in late 2007 or early 2008, so Corzine’s statement that he couldn’t put these appointments through earlier because the legislature was stymied for 6 months by the election process is as my Father would say is bolderdash. If Corzine appointed these 6 when their terms expired they would have expired in the first 6 months to a year of Christie’s term. This action was undermining of the will of the people.

Senator Stack abstained from the vote. I spoke with him at length about the importance and impact of the PERC on property taxes - how public employee costs constitute 55% of local budget, Police and Fire constitute 70% of the employee base so contracts under the PERC constitute 38.5.% of our municipal taxes. I asked him to not only vote against moving these nominations to the floor, I asked him to make a passionate plea to his Judiciary Committee colleagues. 7 votes were needed to hold these nominations in the Judiciary committee. By abstaining, Stack sat there idle not helping the cause even though he absolutely knew the consequences. The purpose of sub-committees is to vet issues and to make sure they can bring the facts to the floor. Abstain? Why? He acted in cowardess! In my opinion, this is a serious failure to lead. Isn't that we elect people - to lead?

Here is the vote breakdown:

Cowards (those who voted to allow these nominations to go to the floor):

Paul Sarlo
John Girgenti
Nia Gill
Ray Lesniak
Bob Smith
Bill Baroni
Chris Bateman
Gerald Cardinale
Those who abstained
Brian P Stack
Lorretta Weinberg

Statesmen (those who voted no):
Jen Beck

Absent (someone too busy to do the job he was elected to do):
Joe Kyrillos

Senators Buono and Smith could have blocked these through senatorial courtesy once they got to the floor but they did not.

Please spread the word. Everyone should know who is responsible for selling NJs future.

- Donna Antonucci

Steering Committee Member of Hoboken Revolt on her own behalf and not that necessarily of the entire committee

Note- the article is also on the Hoboken Revolt website; link is below:

http://www.hobokenrevolt.com/forum/topics/corzines-11th-hour-public
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Hoboken Retro Ads - Stanback's Powders

Today's Retro Ad serries from 1957 features Stanback's for pain relief. What in the heck neuralgia anyway? Is that a Dr. Marcus Welby term or real medical terminology? ◦
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Photos of the Day Snowboken

Here are some photos of Hoboken during yesterday's light snowstorm....


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Thursday, January 28, 2010

Open Letter To Governor Christie From Hoboken Revolt January 28th, 2010

Here is a letter from the Organization Hoboken Revolt to newly elected Governor Christie on the current budget situation in Hoboken.

Open Letter To Governor Christie From Hoboken Revolt

January 27, 2010
The Honorable Chris Christie
Office of the Governor
PO Box 001
Trenton, NJ 08625

Dear Governor Christie:

I am writing to you on behalf of the steering committee of Hoboken Revolt, a community-based, nonpartisan watchdog organization whose mission is to ensure fiscal responsibility and accountability in Hoboken government. Since its formation a little over a year ago, our website has grown to include almost 800 members and is considered a primary destination for local government related news and discussion.

As you are aware, Hoboken has been mired in official corruption scandals, including the arrest of former Mayor Peter Cammarano after a mere three weeks in office, as well as the indictment, a month ago, of the former head of the Hoboken Parking Utility in connection with the alleged theft of over $600,000 in quarters collected from parking meters. The city has been plagued by financial mismanagement for years. The municipal budget has ballooned from $65 million in 2003 to $120 million in 2009. The situation became so dire that, in 2008, a state fiscal monitor was appointed when the Council failed to approve a budget. When the fiscal monitor completed her initial review, the taxpayers of Hoboken were saddled with a devastating 47% municipal tax increase. To make matters worse, the taxpayers are on the hook for what may be more than $52 million (plus accumulated interest) in hospital bonds, in the event that Hoboken University Medical Center should fail. Furthermore, the tax burden is not fairly allocated among property owners since the city has failed to conduct an evaluation since 1988, in clear violation of applicable law.

Hoboken's runaway budget has been fueled in large part by uncontrolled personnel costs completely out of proportion with the needs of our mile-square city and out of line with similarly situated municipalities in Hudson County and elsewhere in the State of NJ. Hoboken was highlighted in the December 2009 report of the State of New Jersey Department of Investigation entitled "The Beat Goes On, Waste and Abuse in Local Government Employee Compensation and Benefits." The report cites extraordinary terminal leave and vacation accrual benefits, cash stipends, longevity raises and special leave benefits, including days off to attend weddings, baptisms, and to give blood, afforded to public safety employees.

The taxpayers of Hoboken demand accountability and transparency. We are aware that a police department audit was conducted by the state, at the behest of the fiscal monitor, in late 2008. As a result of the audit, the state fiscal monitor called for the elimination of sixteen positions in the police department. That plan has never been implemented and the audit report has never been released.

In response to then-Councilperson, now-Mayor, Dawn Zimmer's March 2009 request that the report be provided to the city council, the fiscal monitor indicated that the report had not been finalized, but would be made available by April 2009. Nine months later, in response to this group's December 26, 2009 call for public release of the report and for the city to undertake efficiency and forensic audits of all other municipal departments and agencies, Mayor Zimmer disclosed that the 2008 police department audit still had not been released by the State. State DCA Director Susan Jacobucci reportedly represented to Mayor Zimmer that the report was still in the "final editing stage" and committed to provide the report by January 18, 2010. Mayor Zimmer pledged to make the report available to the public soon thereafter, following an opportunity for the Police Chief and Public Safety Director to review it. It is our understanding that the DCA has failed to meet the commitment of issuing the audit of the Hoboken police department on January 18, 2010. The State has twice failed to comply with its own, self-imposed deadlines and the report remains unavailable to the public.

Yesterday, in response to our inquiry, State Fiscal Monitor Judy Tripodi represented that, to date, she had not received a final copy of the police department audit. It is our understanding the mayor and city council have never seen the report, even in draft form. Ms. Tripodi made no commitment to make the report available to the mayor, the city council or the public prior to presenting a proposed public safety labor contract to the council and further, indicated that it was her intention to finalize the contract, with or without the approval of the city council.

With a new local administration in place, the 2010-11 budget under review, and public safety contracts in negotiations, the taxpayers of Hoboken are hopeful that some relief may be on the horizon. The State should play an active role in helping Hoboken achieve fiscal health, including a responsible budget commensurate with the needs of the community and public employee contracts that are fair and equitable for the employees and taxpayers. Department audits are critical to identifying available cost savings in the budget and evaluating labor contract provisions. The State's excessive delay in releasing the police department audit is inexplicable and inexcusable. It is an affront to the principle of open government and undermines the ability of our elected officials to take responsible steps toward right-sizing our budget. We ask that, consistent with your expressed commitment to fiscally responsible, honest and open government, you direct DCA to release the police department audit immediately and direct the state fiscal monitor not to present the city council with the proposed police department labor contract, or finalize it, until the report is forthcoming and there is a reasonable opportunity to review it.

Finally, whether or not the fiscal monitor has the legal authority to overrule the city council on this issue, to do so would effectively disenfranchise the voters of Hoboken. We ask that you consider instructing Ms. Tripodi to honor the decision of the city council on the contract issue. We invite you or your representative to meet with us to discuss our concerns and help to identify ways in which state and local governments and community groups like ours can work cooperatively to achieve our mutual goals.

Sincerely,

Hoboken Revolt Steering Committee

cc: Mayor Dawn Zimmer
Members of the Hoboken City Council
Susan Jacobucci
Judy Tripodi

Below is the link of the letter on Hoboken Revolt's Website:

http://www.hobokenrevolt.com/forum/topics/open-letter-to-governor

Share your thoughts as to this letter's contents in the comments section below.....

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Literary Obituary - J.D. Salinger Dead at 91 - Author of "Catcher in the Rye"

Here is a significant obituary of a literary great J.D. Salinger who passed away yesterday at the age of 91. Thanks to reader Infotainme for the suggestion.


Here is a brief excerpt from a New York Times article:

J. D. Salinger, who was thought at one time to be the most important American writer to emerge since World War II but who then turned his back on success and adulation, becoming the Garbo of letters, famous for not wanting to be famous, died Wednesday at his home in Cornish, N.H., where he had lived in seclusion for more than 50 years. He was 91.

..........

Mr. Salinger’s literary reputation rests on a slender but enormously influential body of published work: the novel “The Catcher in the Rye,” the collection “Nine Stories” and two compilations, each with two long stories about the fictional Glass family: “Franny and Zooey” and “Raise High the Roof Beam, Carpenters and Seymour: An Introduction.”

To read the rest of the story from the renound newspaper, The New York Times, click on the link below:

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/29/books/29salinger.html?hp
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Hoboken Journal Live Blog Page

This is the Live Blog Page for the Hoboken Journal. Live and Recent Events are below:

Main events covered are Hoboken City Council Meetings but sometimes other special events are covered.


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N.J.'s pay-to-play reforms on solid ground after Supreme Court's campaign finance ruling

Here is an article from Harry Pozycki ,Citizens' Campaign Founder on the recent Supreme Court ruling on campaign financing and how how NJ's pay-to-play legislation remains on solid ground in his opinion after that ruling. I felt this was a worthy article to post given the efforts of play to play that have happened already in Hoboken.



N.J.'s pay-to-play reforms on solid ground after Supreme Court's campaign finance ruling


By Harry Pozycki Citizens' Campaign Founder
January 26th, 2010

The sweeping U.S. Supreme Court decision last week on campaign spending raised concerns among some observers about whether New Jersey's pay-to-play reform laws would now be more open to constitutional challenge. If anything, the opposite is the case.

First, it is important to understand what the court did and did not do in its 5-4 decision. It did strike down existing restrictions on corporations independently spending money on efforts to influence elections. That includes television ads and direct mail pieces done without coordination with a candidate's campaign. In federal races, a corporation previously would have needed to form a Political Action Committee and solicit money from its employees to conduct this kind of effort. Now, corporations will be able to spend directly from their corporate treasuries and presumably unions will be able to follow suit.

The court also overturned the ban on television advertising by corporations and unions to influence the election of a particular candidate, by name, 30 days before a presidential primary and 60 days before a general election. This was a component of the 2002 McCain-Feingold law.

The court left in place the federal prohibition on corporations directly contributing to candidates, as well as existing contribution limits. It also spelled out that disclosure of corporate spending can be required.

The importance of upholding disclosure of corporate campaign spending was the subject of an amicus brief submitted by Gary Stein, the chair of the Citizens' Campaign Legal Task Force and a former New Jersey Supreme Court Justice. We at the Citizens' Campaign were pleased that the court by an 8-1 margin agreed with Justice Stein's argument.

While this ruling certainly will make it easier for corporations and unions to spend more freely on elections, it does not impact our state or local pay-to-play laws. These laws are not sweeping campaign-finance restrictions; they are narrowly tailored public contracting regulations designed to curtail actual or perceived corruption in the award of state and local government contracts.

Both federal and state courts have repeatedly affirmed the rights of the federal, state and local governments to limit contributions by those seeking or performing government contracts.

This new court decision leaves pay-to-play laws standing - and may expand their adoption at all levels of government as an effective and constitutionally sound way to ensure that merit, integrity and cost-effectiveness are restored to all government contracting.

As Craig Holman, a national expert on pay-to-play legislation, puts it, "Citizens United does not impact New Jersey's pay-to-play laws. In fact, the decision may bolster pay-to-play laws as a possible response to unlimited corporate spending in elections." ◦
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City Budget Workshop Saturday January 30 9:30AM - 5PM - Note from Revolt

Here is a section of a note sent out by Hoboken Revolt, The Hoboken Tax Reform Coalition in a message to all members of their group.


Saturday's Budget workshop meeting :

This Saturday, January 30th, 9:30am-5pm City Hall. The city council will be meeting with the city department directors to ask questions in regards to the budget. The public can attend but will not be provided the opportunity to speak. The Hoboken Revolt Steering Committee submitted the following questions to our council representatives. We strongly encourage all members to contact the council with the questions you want answered!

1. Personnel Costs. We would like to see comparisons from 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2010 budgets from department heads for all municipal employees with the following details: Salaries, Headcount by Department, Healthcare Costs, Cell Phones (for who, and at what cost), City Vehicles (who has them, how many are there and what are the costs). We would like to hear how each department benchmarks their budget and headcount based on other municipalities.

2. Pilots. We would like to hear an update on the management of current pilots. Is the city receiving the appropriate revenue streams? Which pilots are in arrears and how will that be corrected? What is the status on the Church Towers pilot in regards to compliance with a HUD program?

3. Reassessments and Revaluation. What is the status on assessment challenges and impact on revenue for 2010 and 2011. Are there assumptions in the budget to account for those who win assessment challenges? What is the status on revaluation?

4. Debt Management. What amount of debt should a city like ours incur? How to do we compare to other comparable cities? What percentage of the budget is dedicated to infrastructure update? What is going on with the municipal garage? What are the tax implications of the hospital closing? and, of the hospital staying open?

5. Future Budgets. There is no election in the upcoming year. Can we get a commitment from the council to begin working on the 2011 budget in a timely way to insure adoption by the fall of 2010? If not, why?

Visit Hoboken Revolt at: http://www.hobokenrevolt.com/. ◦
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Photo of the Day - Low Clearance


This photo is from the underpass at 14th and Clinton Street. Every so often a truck driver will neglect to read the sign and hit the underpass with the top of their truck. Under the recently presented plan by the County, this underpass at Clinton Street will be closed off when the 14th street viaduct project is completed about 3-4 years from now. One less thing I have to worry about hitting my head on. :) ◦
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BOE Superintendent Finalist Forum Video Highlights - Updated

Update 1/28/2010:

I have completed processing of Dr. Frank Romano's Q and A Board of Education session highlights in 2 seperate videos on YouTube:

Dr. Frank Romano Q and A part 1:



Dr. Frank Romano Q and A part 2:



Original Post 1/27/2010:Last night at the Hoboken High School Auditorium, the two finalists for the Hoboken Superintendent of Schools position made themselves available to the public to introduce themselves and answer questions provided by the public.

There is still more of Dr. Romano's video to come but in the meantime check out this writeup from Claire Moises from Hoboken Patch:

http://hoboken.patch.com/articles/candidates-introduce-themselves

Here are some video highlights:

Dr. Gayle Griffin Part 1 Q and A:



Dr. Gayle Griffin Part 2 Q and A:



Dr. Frank Romano Introduction:



I have another video or two of Dr. Romano and will post late tonight once processing has been completed. ◦
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Wednesday, January 27, 2010

State of the Union Address Live




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HUMC authority Meeting Tonight at 7PM - Assumption Hall

First they need a $7 million stabilization bailout, and just last week the HUMC states a projected $3 million surplus for 2010. The HUMC is always full of surprises when it comes to turnarounds in fiscal data. Just last spring Peter Cammarano said the hospital "was thriving" based on a glowing report he he recieved by the HUMC and good old Harvey Holzberg. By the end of the year (2009) the HUMC reported losses in excess of $22 million for the year. Ouch!

Stayed tuned for the financial drama known as "The HUMC Turns". I plan to attend and possibly ask a few questions to get a better idea of where the hospital stands. Keep in mind that I would love the hospital to succeed but I believe there are a variety of regulatory and business environment factors that make it difficult for any hospital to succeed let alone this urban one.


Photo by Hoboken Journal - All Rights Reserved

Here is tonight's generic agenda....

HOBOKEN MUNICIPAL HOSPITAL AUTHORITY
JANUARY 27, 2010 MEETING AGENDA

7:00 pm Regular Meeting

1. Open Public Meetings Act Disclosure Statement
2. Roll-Call
3. Pledge of Allegiance
4. Approval of Minutes
- December 16, 2009 Executive Session #1
- December 16, 2009 Executive Session #2
- December 16, 2009 Regular Session
5. Executive Session Closed to the Public (IF NECESSARY)
6. Report from the Hospital CEO*
7. Committee Reports
- Finance
- Quality/ Patient Safety
8. Finance Report by Vincent Riccitelli, Acting CFO*
9. Presentation of Authority matters by the General Counsel
10. New Business
• Resolution Authorizing Payment of Claims
• Resolution electing a Treasurer/ Finance Committee Chair
• Resolutions amending the Bylaws
• Resolution Retaining the Services of an Auditor
• Resolution Approving the Credentials Committee Report
• Any other matters that may come before the Board
10. Discussion Items
11. Public Comments
12. Adjournment of Meeting

* Key times in meeting to get update on financial situation

ACTION WILL BE TAKEN AT THIS MEETING

MEETING PLACE

ASSUMPTION HALL
HOBOKEN UNIVERSITY MEDICAL CENTER
308 WILLOW AVENUE, HOBOKEN, NEW JERSEY ◦
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Hoboken Issue - Out of District Students

Hoboken Issue - Out of District Students

One of the hot button issues in Hoboken Schools is the assertion that a large number of students are attending Hoboken Schools that are not from the City of Hoboken. It is important to note that there are legitimate examples of that and one such example would be a special education student approved to participate in Hoboken schools from another district through proper means.

Already under Peter Carter, the interim Superintendent of Hoboken Schools, 12 such students have been found not to be living within the Hoboken School District. That is a start and it is certainly there will be more such out of district students when a thorough investigation is completed.  Since the total number is a bit of speculation, I figured I would add a poll to see what readers who follow the Hoboken Schools feel will be the correct number. Note: At the request of the current Hoboken BOE board, all students have been asked to re-register coming soon.

For your edification a source of mine has given me these links to explain the NJ State regulations on the issue of registering students. It is my hope that this will create a more informed debate on the topic. Regardless of your individual opinion on what should be done, the Board and Administration must follow these rules to properly handle the issue of out of district enrollments. It's the law.

NJ BOE Out of District Regulations:

Sample Forms

The Department of Education has developed the following package of sample forms, notices and informational materials to facilitate implementation of the laws governing a student’s right to attend public school based on domicile or residency in a school district. The package is intended to aid in the understanding of the rights and responsibilities of districts, and of persons seeking to enroll students in school, under N.J.S.A. 18A:38-1 and N.J.A.C. 6A:22.

http://www.state.nj.us/education/code/current/title6a/chap22sample.pdf

Regulations

http://www.state.nj.us/education/code/current/title6a/chap22.pdf

Here is the poll on what readers feel is the current total number of out of district students:



Editor's Note:

For those who expect a panacea of savings from this, don't expect too much, Savings or cuts that is. It is most likely that the students who could be found to be out of district more or less evenly distributed amoungst classes. The resulting class size reductions would necessarily mean any reduction in the number of classrooms since the ratio fof students to teachers would be again likely to be within state regulated guidelines. ◦
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Hoboken for Haiti Relief Concert at Maxell's Sunday January 31st

Hoboken for Haiti Relief concert at Maxell's Sunday January 31st


This Sunday, January 31st, the City of Hoboken is teaming up with Maxwell's, WFMU and The Guitar Bar for a Hoboken for Haiti Relief concert at Maxell's! The suggested minimum donation is $10. Checks should be made out to the Clinton Bush Haiti Fund. We strongly urge attendees to bring checks in lieu of cash. The concert will be in two parts, with a family event from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. and an evening event from 5:30 pm to 11 pm.

The afternoon event (minimum suggested donation: $10 per person or $20 per family) will be from 2pm to 4pm and will feature performances by the following groups:

Students from Be Vocal music school
Garden Street children's choir
Puppetonia
Big Jeff & the Bouncy People
The Fuzzy Lemons

The evening portion (minimum suggested donation: $10 per person) is being co-sponsored by radio station WFMU, Maxwell's and The Guitar Bar. Performances will begin at 4 p.m. The following bands are scheduled to appear:

Glenn Mercer of The Feelies
Schocholautte
Smokey's Round-Up
Sputnik
Shrubs
Dakota Davenport & Dan McLoughlin
Abbe Rivers
Jennifer Lampert

...and more!

For more information about the bands go to this link:
http://www.hobokeforhaiti.com/

Hoboken for Haiti will also offer raffles, a 50/50, silent bid auctions and more. Come down to Maxwell's (1039 Washington Street) on Sunday, January 31st to help the people of Haiti and enjoy a great evening of music!

For more information, please email Geri Fallo at hoboculturalaffairs@gmail.com. ◦
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JYAH to Sponsor Salsa Cocktail Party Thursday February 11th

JYAH to sponsor

Salsa Cocktail Party


The Jewish Young Adults of Hoboken (JYAH) is sponsoring a evening filledwith sexy, fun, and exciting salsa dancing and drinks on Thursday, February 11th.

From 7-8PM, there will be an open bar and refreshments at Our Lady of Grace (brick building), 411 Clinton Street, 2nd Floor. The beginner dance lesson will start at 8PM and run for 1 hour. Afterward, additional drinks and dessert will be provided.

This class is limited to 25 people. Singles and couples are welcome; everyone will have a partner.

$20 until 2/5, $25 until 12PM on 2/5, $30 at the door. Ticket prices include a 1 hour dance lesson, food and 2 hours of open bar. To pay in advance, go to http://jyahsalsacocktailparty.eventbrite.com/. The prepay site will close on Friday, February 5th at 12PM. ◦
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Music Tests - Funny Answers

Regardless of what school district you are from, it seems there is always a need for improvement. I received this list of funny student answers from a former teacher in Upstate NY. Even if some of these answers are not true they are funny nonetheless.


Music Tests - Funny Student Answers

Following are allegedly some actual answers compiled recently from students on music tests:

- The principal singer of nineteenth century opera was called pre-Madonna.
- Gregorian chant has no music, just singers singing the same lines over and over, like in church
- Sherbet composed the Unfinished Symphony.
- All female parts were sung by castrati. We don't know exactly what they sounded like, because there are no known descendants.
- When asked, "What is your favorite musical composition?" Young scholars have expressed their rapture for the Bronze Lullaby, the Taco Bell Cannon, Beethoven's Erotica, Tchaikovsky's Cracknutter Suite, and, one of the most excited students mentioned loving Gershwin's Rap City in Blue.
- Music sung by two people at the same time is called a duel; if they sing without music, it is called Acapulco.
- A virtuoso is a musician with real high morals.
- Contralto is a low sort of music that only ladies sing.
- Probably the most marvelous fugue was the one between the Hatfields and the McCoys.
- I know what a sextet is but I'd rather not say.
- "Johann Sebastian Bach wrote a great many musical compositions and had a large number of children. In between he practiced on an old spinster which he kept up in his attic." ◦
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Hoboken Retro Ads- Kool Cigarette Ad from 1957


Here is an ad from Kool cigarettes that is pretty outlandish looking back from today's perspective. Whether a cigarette is menthol or not it is still very addicting. In my opinion it was a good thing when cigarette advertising was banned in the 1960's. Chime in your thoughts below.... ◦
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Hoboken BOE Adult Education Classes Spring 2010

Just recently I received the Hoboken BOE Adult Education Classes Spring 2010 brochure in the mail. Registration dates for all courses are Wednesday February 3, Monday February 8, and Wednesday, February 10 from 6:15-7:30PM at Hoboken High School, located at 9th and Clinton Street. Classes begin on 2/22-2/24 unless otherwise noted. Classes will be conducted at the Hoboken High School. A mind is a terrible thing to waste so get learning people! :)

Here is the brochure embedded for you reading convienience:


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Photo Highlights from Stacks Pancakes Grand Opening

Last night Stacks Pancakes House had their grand opening event that started at 6:30PM. The event included members of the media and a few bloggers such as myself as well as friends and associates of the partners in the restaurant. Here are a few photos from the event. I was not able to stay long since I left to cover the BOE Superintendent's forum.

,

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Hoboken Photo of the Day - Happy Bhudda


Today's Hoboken photo of the day features a happy Bhudda fully intact, perhaps a little too full and not decapitated unlike a previous recent photo of the day which received some concern from a few readers on religious insensitivity. This Bhudda from Off the Wall Chinese Food wears his gut with pride. ◦
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Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Hoboken BOE Superintendent Finalists Forum - Tuesday January 26, 2010 at 7PM

Update:

The two candidates for Superintendent are Dr. Frank Romano from Fort Lee and Dr. Gayle Griffin from Newark.

Dr. Frank Romano has his resume online below:

http://www.teachnologist.com/pdf/romano_resume.pdf

Original Post: Tomorrow Tonight there is an open public meeting for the selection of the new Superintendent of Hoboken Schools for the next academic year. Initial candidate vetting meetings with the Board of Education were not held in public as per NJBOE policies but the public will get a chance to meet the final two candidates.

Hoboken BOE Superintendent Finalists Forum
Hoboken High School Auditorium
7:00 P.M. Tuesday, January 26, 2010




All residents of Hoboken are invited to interact with the two finalists for the position of Superintendent of the Hoboken Schools. Each candidate will spend approximately 45 minutes with the public, and after giving some background information will respond to questions. NJSBA Search Consultant, Susan McCusker, will facilitate the meeting.

Those in attendance will be able to share their impressions of the candidates with the board, which has the responsibility for making the final decision. ◦
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Update: Hoboken BOE Fact Check- Dr. Petrosino's 4/7/2009 BOE contract and lawsuit!

Update 1/26/2010:

I take accusations of slander seriously whether directed at me or one of my regular posters. One reader sent me in Dr. Anthony Petrosino's bio from the University of Texas with a last updated date of September 30th 2008. In addition, several people I know called to confirm that he was at his Texas location when they called which indeed he was. Now that I have established that Dr. Petrosino did indeed spend some time in Texas during the tenure of his Hoboken BOE contract the main question is from the taxpayer's perspective is simply how many days that other commitment took from his time from the Hoboken Cirriculum Project.

Here is a screenshot of his bio page from the University of Texas last updated 9/30/2008:




Here is the link to Dr. Petrosino's bio page from the University of Texas:

http://www.edb.utexas.edu/education/faculty/view.php?ID_PK=68D67E87-B9AF-127F-617086C059AFF421&coedept=coe

Below is a story about a $12.5 million dollar grant Dr. Petrosino was involved in down in Texas. Note that the date of the article is September 23, 2008.

12.5 Million National Science Foundation Grant to Fund UTeachEngineering Program for Educators

September 23, 2008
AUSTIN, Texas -
.......

Associate Professor Anthony Petrosino of the College of Education says the partnership uniquely combines the nationally recognized academic strengths of the College of Education, the College of Natural Sciences and the Cockrell School.

"The grant will allow researchers a real chance to advance our understanding of effective teacher preparation and development, while also making significant advances in addressing critical shortages of highly qualified professionals in science, technology, engineering and mathematics-related K-12 education," says Petrosino, a co-principal investigator.

To read the whole story click here:

http://www.utexas.edu/news/2008/09/23/uteach_engineering/

Dr. Petrosino's blog:

Dr. Petrosino also has a blog http://www.hobokencurriculumproject.blogspot.com/ which has a fairly detailed account of his activities from fall 2007 to the present, with particular detail from Spring 2008 to Summer 2009. I do encourage readers to check this blog out as there are many articles on how to improve education and draw their own conclusions about his efforts in this field.

Editorial Clarification:

I must make this editorial statement. By doing this fact finding I am not bringing into question Dr. Petrosino's qualifications as an educator.  I am simply providing facts on this contract and some background information
on this contract and from what I perceive to be excessive generosity. The political issue here is simple form my standpoint, I will not be voting for a BOE member that would ever allow such a contract to be ratified ever. I do believe many taxpayers are in agreement with me on this issue.

Dr. Petronsino files a lawsuit regarding his last contract with the Hoboken BOE....

The jist of the lawsuit is to recover 120 days of lost pay, sick, vacation and personal days, lawyer fees, cost  of suit, economic loss, interest and punitive damages. Is this lawsuit valid? Read below the embedded copy to get additional perspective.

Here is a copy of the lawsuit that he filed against the Hoboken BOE:



Here is some background on New Jersey Public School Contracts Law:

All contracts shall cease to have effect at the end of the contracted period and shall not be extended by any mechanism or provision, unless in conformance with the "Public School Contracts Law," N.J.S.18A:18A-1 et seq., except that a contract may be extended by mutual agreement of the parties to the contract when a board of education has commenced rebidding prior to the time the contract expires or when the awarding of a contract is pending at the time the contract expires.

Here is some information about mulityear contracts....do they go out for bid, annually ?

18A:18A-42. Multiyear contracts
All contracts for the provision or performance of goods or services shall be awarded for a period not to exceed 24 consecutive months, except that contracts for professional services pursuant to paragraph (1) of subsection a. of N.J.S.18A:18A-5 shall be awarded for a period not to exceed 12 consecutive months. Any board of education may award a contract for longer periods of time as follows:
a Supplying of:
(1) Fuel for heating purposes, for any term not exceeding in the aggregate, three years;
(2) Fuel or oil for use of automobiles, autobuses, motor vehicles or equipment, for any term not exceeding in the aggregate, three years;
(3) Thermal energy produced by a cogeneration facility, for use for heating or air conditioning or both, for any term not exceeding 40 years, when the contract is approved by the Board of Public Utilities. For the purposes of this paragraph, "cogeneration" means the simultaneous production in one facility of electric power and other forms of useful energy such as heating or process steam; or
b. Plowing and removal of snow and ice, for any term not exceeding in the aggregate, three years; or
c. Collection and disposal of garbage and refuse, for any term not exceeding in the aggregate, three years; or
d. Data processing service, for any term of not more than seven years; or
e. Insurance, including the purchase of insurance coverages, insurance consultant or administrative services, and including participation in a joint self-insurance fund, risk management program or related services provided by a school board insurance group, or participation in an insurance fund established by a county pursuant to N.J.S.40A:10-6, or a joint insurance fund established pursuant to P.L.1983, c.372 (C.40A:10-36 et seq.), for any term of not more than three years; or
f. Leasing or servicing of automobiles, motor vehicles, electronic communications equipment, machinery and equipment of every nature and kind and textbooks and non-consumable instructional materials, for any term not exceeding in the aggregate, five years; except that contracts for the leasing of school buses may be awarded for any term not exceeding in the aggregate ten years. Contracts award pursuant to this subsection shall be awarded only subject to and in accordance with rules and regulations promulgated by the State Board of Education; or
g. Supplying of any product or the rendering of any service by a company providing voice, data, transmission or switching services, for a term not exceeding five years; or
h. (Deleted by amendment, P.L.1999, c.440.)
i. Driver education instruction conducted by private, licensed driver education schools, for any term not exceeding in the aggregate, three years;
j. Provision or performance of goods or services for the purpose of conserving energy in the buildings owned by any local board of education, the entire price of which shall be established as a percentage of the resultant savings in energy costs, for a term not to exceed 15 years; except that these contracts shall be entered into only subject to and in accordance with guidelines promulgated by the Board of Public Utilities establishing a methodology for computing energy costs;
k. Any single project for the construction, reconstruction or rehabilitation of any public building, structure or facility, or any public works project, including the retention of the services of any architect or engineer in connection therewith, for the length of time authorized and necessary for the completion of the actual construction;
l. Laundry service and the rental, supply and cleaning of uniforms for any term of not more than three years;
m. Food supplies and food services for any term of not more than three years;
n. Purchases made under a contract awarded by the Director of the Division of Purchase and Property in the Department of the Treasury for use by counties, municipalities or other contracting units pursuant to section 3 of P.L.1969, c.104 (C.52:25-16.1), for a term not to exceed the term of that contract.
Any contract for services other than professional services, the statutory length of which contract is for three years or less, may include provisions for no more than one two-year, or two one-year, extensions, subject to the following limitations: a. the contract shall be awarded by resolution of the board of education upon a finding by the board of education that the services are being performed in an effective and efficient manner; b. no such contract shall be extended so that it runs for more than a total of five consecutive years; c. any price change included as part of an extension shall be based upon the price of the original contract as cumulatively adjusted pursuant to any previous adjustment or extension and shall not exceed the change in the index rate for the 12 months preceding the most recent quarterly calculation available at the time the contract is renewed; and d. the terms and conditions of the contract remain substantially the same.
All multiyear leases and contracts entered into pursuant to this section 18A:18A-42, including any two-year or one-year extensions, except contracts for insurance coverages, insurance consultant or administrative services, participation or membership in a joint self-insurance fund, risk management programs or related services of a school board insurance group, participation in an insurance fund established by a county pursuant to N.J.S.40A:10-6 or contracts for thermal energy authorized pursuant to subsection a. above, and contracts for the provision or performance of goods or services to promote energy conservation authorized pursuant to subsection j. of this section, shall contain a clause making them subject to the availability and appropriation annually of sufficient funds as may be required to meet the extended obligation, or contain an annual cancellation clause. All contracts shall cease to have effect at the end of the contracted period and shall not be extended by any mechanism or provision, unless in conformance with the "Public School Contracts Law," N.J.S.18A:18A-1 et seq., except that a contract may be extended by mutual agreement of the parties to the contract when a board of education has commenced rebidding prior to the time the contract expires or when the awarding of a contract is pending at the time the contract expires.
Amended 1983, c.13; 1983, c.108, s.8; 1983, c.281, s.3; 1983, c.554; 1984, c.49, s.1; 1988, c.143, s.4; 1998, c.55, s.2; 1999, c.440, s.78; 2001, c. 146, s. 2.

Here is some helpful information on "Professional Services":

What are "professional services"?

To qualify as a professional service, as defined in the law, the service to be procured must meet the following criteria:
  • It must be rendered or performed by a person authorized by law to practice a recognized profession; and
  • It must be rendered or performed by a person whose practice is regulated by law; and
  • Performance of the service must require knowledge of an advanced type in a field of learning acquired by a prolonged formal course of specialized instruction and study as distinguished from general academic instruction or apprenticeship and training;
  • OR, alternatively the procurement must be rendered in the provision or performance of goods or services that are original and creative in character in a recognized field of artistic endeavor.
 When is a resolution needed to award a Professional Service Contract?

A resolution is required when the amount to be awarded exceeds the bid threshold. A Notice of Award must also be published in the official newspaper within 10 days of the award.

How are professional service contracts awarded?

Professional Service contracts above the bid threshold are awarded by a resolution of the governing body at a public meeting, and a notice of the award of contract must be published in an official newspaper.

How are professional service contracts under the bid threshold awarded?

If the governing body has delegated to the purchasing agent the authority to award contracts under the bid threshold, the purchasing agent can award professional service contracts. In some cases, governing bodies may want to retain professional services contracts at all levels to themselves. This should be made clear in the act delegating the authority to the purchasing agent.

What is the maximum length of a professional service contract?

Professional service contracts can be awarded up to 12 months.

What is in a "Notice of Award"?

A notice of award is a summary of the awarded contract for professional services or extraordinary unspecificiable services. The notice includes the name of the person to whom the contract was awarded, the purpose, the cost and duration. The notice must be published in an official newspaper.

Original Post 1/22/2010: Recently on Hoboken 411, Dr. Anthony Petrosino, hired by the previous Hoboken BOE to develop cirriculum for the Hoboken Schools under the direction of former Hoboken Superintendent Jack Raslowsky, was very critical of Interim Superintendent Peter Carter when Lorraine Cella resigned from the Hoboken High School to take a better job elsewhere in New Jersey as Assistant Superintendent.

I figured it was time to give a little background on Dr. Petronsino's employment contract with the Hoboken BOE to give the readers an idea of why he would possibly be so fervent in defending the legacy of Jack Raslowsky. The contract is embedded below for your review but here as some highlights:

1) Dr. Petrosino's primary attention should be devoted to the district but acknowledges that he is a fully tenured professor employed by the University of Texas and may be required to complete outside duties from time to time. One day working notice was specified in the contract to give notice when these situations were to arise.
2) Salary $144,900 per annum.
3) Benefits Medical, Prescription, Dental, Vision as per collective bargaining agreement.
4) 5 weeks vacation.
5) 15 sick days.
6) 3 personal days.
7) And finally the big loophole: Professional days in which to attend his obligations at the University of Texas. No limit of these days is specified and there is no provision in the contract to adjust salary if those days were to exceed a certain threshold.

This contract was signed 4/7/2009 by Frances Rhodes Kearns BOE President at the time exactly two weeks before the April 21, 2009 BOE election won by the Kid's First slate of Minutillo, Sullivan, and Mcallister.

The contract also is one year in duration with a 120 day notification and auto renewal clause in which the Board can terminate with or without cause. I look at it as a 120 days worth of salary and benefits that have to be paid out by the Board when they want to go in a new direction, or in corporate parlance a mini poison pill.

The question that comes to me first is how many days did Dr. Petrosino spend working on Hoboken vs. the University of Texas? The second question that comes to mind is why was this contract signed so late in the year when the approval to hire had been done about 9 months before?

Reader Question: Is this a fair contract from the standpoint of the taxpayer or the School system? Share you thoughts in the comments section.

Read for yourself below:


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Stacks Pancake House Grand Opening Tonight at 6:30 PM

Stack's Pancake House and Cafe will be having their grand opening tonight at 6:30PM. This will include, a champagne toast, a sampling of their menu, a cake from Buddy of Carlo's Bakery, aka "The Cake Boss" and possibly a ribbon cutting ceremony with city officials.



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Video - Snuggie 3rd Sleeve Parody from Front Page Films

Here is a Tuesday funny video to snap you out of your office duldrums for those stuck in a cubicle. This is from Front Page Films and is a parody of the Snuggie offering a new deluxe version for men with a third sleeve. Warning- Strong language and adult themes are in this video but it is a hoot!:


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Reto Ads - Mmmmmm Bacon! Ferris Bacon! Not Kevin Bacon!




I am getting near to the end of my 1957 tresure trove of ads from local newspapers but I saved a few meaty ads for last. This ad goes out to all the meat loving non-vegetarians out there. If there is one meat that clogs arteries faster or is laden with more nitrates it is probably bacon. But the smell and taste is so delicious even many health conscious individuals can't resist its draw albeit every once in while. Does anyone remember Ferris Bacon? Was it worth a few pennies more back then? Was it a "rich dividend of eating pleasure"? ◦
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All Saints School Fundraiser at Willow Billiards February 5, 2010

Below is an upcoming fundraiser for the All Saints School. This school has 172 enrollees from Nursery through the 8th grade and their next fundraiser will be at Willow Billiards early February. Cue up for a good cause. Details are below:



CUE UP FOR ALL SAINTS


FRIDAY FEBRUARY 5, 2010


7 PM TO 10 PM


WILLOW BILLIARDS, 1313 Willow Avenue, Hoboken

$35 per person, $65 per couple for unlimited pool and a hearty dinner. Cash bar.

Cash, checks and credit cards accepted before event and night of.

Please RSVP to Nancy Randall, All Saints Development Office – nrandall@allsaintshoboken.com
or  Kirsten Georges, Event Chair, at kirstengeorges@yahoo.com. ◦
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