Getting mean in Roxbury

Democracy continues to be a foreign concept to some school boards.

Monday night in Roxbury, two residents stepped forward at the school board meeting and condemned board members Chris Rogers and Maureen Castriotta for opposing and campaigning against the school budget,which was recently defeated.

One fell back on the ridiculous notion that once a decision is made, the whole board should support it. The second man who spoke was even sillier, asking, for instance, “Why would you not want to spend more money for schools?'”

My  God, does this fellow live on Mars?  The reason is that property taxes in NJ are the highest in the nation. In addition, much money alotted to schools goes to pay teacher salaries and benefits. The second fellow had with him one of the signs urging a no vote on the budget. He threw it on the ground in front of the board as he left. 

Interestingly, the board instructed the board secretary to keep the sign. For what purpose?

Those who have seen the malicious nature of some school boards probably can guess. John Moschella, the board president, gave a hint when he said an ah hoc committee had been formed to investigate a confidential matter.
Another sign that something is afoot was that two attorneys were present, Nathanya Simon, the board’s regular attorney and another partner in the firm, Steve Edelstein.
Hmm. could they be investigating the vote no signs?
Why?

As we said, democracy is a foreign concept to many school boards.

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About fsnowflack
Fred Snowflack was editorial page editor and a political columnist for the Daily Record of Morristown for almost 12 years. He has won numerous awards for editorial and column writing from the New Jersey Press Association and has written a blog on county and state politics for the last three years. He lives in Ledgewood in Morris County.

3 Responses to Getting mean in Roxbury

  1. Bob says:

    Simon & Edelstein are the same legal team which represented the Denville Board of Education against Laurie Dunkley when that band of Educational wizards charged her with ethics violations. The entire deal wound up with a letter of repremand against Dunkley which was read at a public meeting–the cost to Taxpayers, as the Denville BOE had to pay Dunkley’s legal fees, was around $50,000.

    Look for the same thing here. This is simply an intimidation tactic.

  2. Ted says:

    Yes, Laura Dunckley’s case was used to intimidate. After the ruling most board’s decided that only board presidents could speak for the entire board and it became an unwritten rule that if a board majority approves a budget, all are required to do so.

    After her reprimand, Laura was silenced. In Rockaway Township, I was censured by the board but continued to openly express dissent without repercussion. Rodgers and Castriotta shouldn’t fear charges (and they don’t). BTW, Laura’s case was not related to the budget. It had something to do with educational services for her son

  3. P says:

    Freedom of Speech also seems to be a one way street. When students want to protest in support of public sector workers out of control salaries and benefits teachers and administrators actively support the concept. But when a non-partisan personality (who happens to work for a company they don’t like) is scheduled to appear (gratis) at a pro-education event, the NJEA has a conniption – http://www.app.com/article/20100524/NEWS/100524091/Teachers-oppose-Big-Joe-Henry-as-host-of-Count-Basie-Theatre-Awards

    But remember – “it’s all for the kids.”

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