Lee Seitz the villian??

That’s what Gov. Chris Christie said today at a town hall meeting in Ocean County about Parsippany superintendent of schools Lee Seitz, who is due to get a new five-year contract at tonight’s school board meeting. The contract would eventually pay Seitz $234,000 a year, which would be way above the governor’s pending $175,000 salary cap on superintendents.

The governor took aim at Seitz, called him greedy, and said that he is the poster boy for reckless school spending.

A governor going after a superintendent by name? That’s a new one. 

Let’s see what happens at the meeting.


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.

21 Responses to Lee Seitz the villian??

  1. Ed France says:

    $ 175,000 is even more then Chis Christie makes I believe. Is this man worth over $200,000? Education is important. But so is law enforcement and other public services.
    Maybe in an ideal world there would be a County,State or even a Federal school system in the USA. Right now HOME RULE in New Jersey provides that many towns can do what they want. They can hire and fire who they want. They can pay what they want.
    In boom times many taxpayers do not question some spending issues. But these are times that dictate looking twice at spending budgets.
    I just hope there are some kind of guidelines going forward.

  2. Ted Doty says:

    did the board extend Seitz contract last night?

  3. Ted Doty says:

    Thanks. I guess the next move is Christie’s and it appears the only stick he has is to get the DOE to kick budgets. But will he kick the Parsippany budget next March or wait until 2012 when Seitz original contract would have expired.

    I’m guessing 2012. He’ll give the Parsippany BOE a year to reconfigure pay scales of all teachers and administrators who’d be making more than both the governor ans Superintendent.

  4. P says:

    Ted – For the BILLIONTH TIME, the county super WILL NOT be kicking, rejecting, etc. ANY budgets because of superintendent contracts. She had a chance to reject what was submitted, but she didn’t (because the current regs did not allow her to), and now Seitz is good-to-go for another four-and-a-half years.

    P.S. According to this story – http://www.dailyrecord.com/article/20101110/COMMUNITIES/311100004/1005/news01/Parsippany-OKs-schools-chief-contract-despite-Christie–greed–slam , his contract was expiring at the end of this school year (June 2011).

    In addition to superintendents, the new regs also address BAs and assistant supers, but not principals, other administrators, or professional staff (including teachers).

    You can read all about it here – http://www.state.nj.us/education/code/proposed/title6a/chap23A.pdf

    As usual, please provide proper citations when attempting to peddle your misinformation so we can verify the veracity of your claims.

  5. Ted Doty says:

    Pbrain, I don’t know what, if anything Christie will do but rejecting budgets are most certainly a weapon at the governor’s disposal.

    You really need to learn the facts And if you’re an authority masked man. reveal yourself

  6. P says:

    Ted – I’ll bet you all the tea in China that not a single Budget gets rejected because of a Super’s contract.

    Still waiting for a cite from the new regs supporting your “theory.”

    P.S. If you REALLY thought about it, rejecting a budget because of a contract makes no sense. What would a board do – Cut the amount that the super’s contract is over the cap? Whoop-de-freakin-do. In Parsippany, that $40 or 50K is a tiny fraction of the budget and could be absorbed without even a peep. Or would the board have to break a contract that the state has already signed off on and is legally enforceable?!

    As my bud Ted would say – Think Teddy, think!

  7. Hey P, I must disagree … I certainly can see budgets being rejected because of a super’s contract, given the fact an overly-generous contract in these tough times shows a board that is out of touch

  8. P says:

    Rejected by the Voters – ABSOLUTELY YES; by the County Superintendent – NO! Which, BTW, is what Ted “believes.”

  9. Kevin Nedd says:


    You keep referring to the “new regs” as if they are current law. Like the “tool kit”, the regs are a proposal that has yet to become law.

  10. P says:

    Aloha Nedd – If they were in effect, Leroy’s contract wouldn’t have been approved by Dr. Serafino. And unlike the Tool Kit, they will not require approval by the legislature. So the chances that they will not be approved is slim to none.

    But that’s not what Ted and I were “discussing.” It was whether or not the law, currently, or as amended, would allow the county executive superintendent to reject a school district’s budget if they renewed a super today to skirt the impending changes.

    P.S. I’m not even sure they are “regulations.” The official doc posted by the DOE talks about standards and procedures being amended. They suggest what is being proposed would be wholly consistent and operate within the current state regs.

  11. Kevin Nedd says:

    To be precise, these are proposed changes to New Jersey Administrative Code.

    For the record, I am totally against any form of the state capping compensation for school execs. This move subverts the authority of elected school boards to negotiate contracts with their school execs. As long as their budgets (which include the exec salaries) fall within the tax levy caps, it’s not the state’s business how much anyone person is paid This is just another one of Christie’s red herrings and a does nothing to excuse the fact he has yet to live up to his number one campaign promise of LOWERING PROPERTY TAXES!

  12. A Cute Observer says:

    Kevin Nedd,

    LOWERING PROPERTY TAXES will only happen by lowering education costs.

    Sure it would be great if school boards exercised some restraint on their own, but since that ain’t happening putting a cap on how much they overspend on executive pay is a great and much needed step.

  13. Kevin Nedd says:

    I hope you are cute, because you don’t observe very well. The last time I checked, there was a 2% tax levy cap in place to ensure school districts don’t overspend overall. So instead of micromangaging school districts, the Governor might want to focus on things that have a snowball’s chance in Hell of meeting his campaign promise of LOWERING PROPERTY TAXES. Things such as consolidating police departments and school districts to the county level. Our property taxes are the highest in the nation due to our structural inefficiencies, not because we pay our school execs too much. Get a clue!

  14. P says:

    The only way property taxes in suburbia are going down is if the governor and the legislature grow a pair and tell the NJ Supremes that they are re-writing the school aid formulas to provide equal funding (i.e., per pupil), to all school districts.

    Unless you know a way to stop the general growth in costs – salaries, heath care insurance, energy, transportation, etc. costs will continue to grow.

    But the ‘burbs are now getting a 0% return on their Income Tax dollars, and if Christie wants support from out here in his re-election run in ’13, he needs to get that fixed.

  15. P says:

    And for all the carping about Lee Seitz, where is the governor on this – http://www.dailyrecord.com/article/20101113/UPDATES01/101113010/NJ+politician+quits+on+day+she+s+eligible+for+pension+ ??

    A lifetime of free health care and $64K to boot for just three out of twenty five years at a high salary. The rest, at relatively lower pay scales, and the last few as a P/T commissioner. What a steal. These politicians are the real villains.

  16. Renee says:

    Ah – The geniuses in Joisey approved keeping this guy Seitz in – and continue to cry their taxes are too high.

  17. Kevin Nedd says:


    Sounds like you are making excuses for the Governor, who stood up before voters in 2009 and promised to LOWER PROPERTY TAXES! When is this going to happen? So far my taxes have property taxes have only gone up.

  18. P says:

    It wasn’t “an excuse,” it was a set of directions for soling the Property Tax Problem, and a promise of my own – Fix the Formula, or lose a lot of votes (mine included).

    Do you favor leaving the state aid funding formula “as is”?

  19. Kevin Nedd says:

    I have always been an advocate for adjusting the formula so that it provides an equal amount of state funding for each public school child within the state.

  20. P says:

    And if that were done, would your taxes not go down . . . significantly?

    Where I live, it would cut by about 1/3 the property taxes needed to fund the local school district.

    60% (school district % of total tax bill) * 33.3% (% reduction in property taxes needed to fund schools) = 20% reduction in Total Property Taxes.

    Promise Fulfilled.

    Everything else will just reduce the rate of increase of expenses/taxes, even consolidation of services or the merging municipalities/townships/school districts.


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