I am writing to correct numerous statements made by Mrs. Renee Alford in the local press. Her letter is an example of someone speaking without facts and desirous only of attacking on behalf of someone else.
She writes as if she has attended many recent meetings of the board, which she has not. Mrs. Alford, when was the last board meeting you attended?
She has not observed in person, the disrespect shown to minority board members. And, she fails to recognize the lack of transparency practiced by the administration that my comments presented. She supports actions of the majority to continue hiding information from the public. She fails to address the recent inaccurate statements by administrators regarding the ability to disclose information or place it on the website in advance of meetings. Instead, she harps on one older example of suppression of minority members.
In addition, she expresses support for candidates who are clearly not going to shed their biases or vote with independent minds. One of her favored candidates failed to exercise oversight and question the need to close Mohawk Avenue School. We all remember the unnecessary expense and disruption to education that caused.
Another of her favorites is the former president of the teachers union. Does anyone believe that with her past union actions she can be counted upon to fairly represent the public in dealings with her union? If this person is elected, there will be three union teachers on the board. At this time, one of them was self-appointed to the negotiations committee. The board of education is supposed to represent the community as a whole. Clearly, the community is not one third union teachers.
I ask that voters use their better judgment and vote for candidates like Rich Bladek and Carey Anne Gluck-Bomensatt. Rich has the independence to ask questions, evaluate the facts and vote for the best solutions. He is the only board member who spent the many hours needed to obtain NJSBA member certification. Carey Anne has been an outspoken supporter for improving the delivery of quality education to the children in the lower grades. Both will be effective advocates for the kids.
In closing, I suggest that Mrs. Alford make the effort to attend board meetings frequently. And I offer to meet with her and discuss her opinions, once they have been formed independently and see if they have been influenced by facts.
Paul C. Johnson
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