Thursday, July 31, 2014

Time for a change in Super O'Malley's 'Refer To' Name!?!

Well, in this blog, I frequently refer to Super O'Malley as Dr. Richard 'Build the Trust' O'Malley. There's a reason for that - he said he was going to 'Build the Trust' here in Downtown Edison.

So, while waiting for that trust thingie to happen, what does this guy that we gave a golden opportunity to here (a 4.4 year contract with a huge starting salary, bonus possibilities plus other perks, all rushed in before the Super Cap became law) DO?

He publicly seeks employment elsewhere on our watch. Now, I'm sure he had his reasons but where I come from - that's a slap in the face to the people who gave him this opportunity and pay his salary, the residents and taxpayers.

Take it then, with this move, that his goal of 'building the trust' is a lost cause - how do you trust someone who does something like this?? You can't. Who wants someone is such an important and highly paid position looking for employment elsewhere??

You know, while the de facto leader of Edison's Board of Mythomania managed to get his contract renewed under these circumstances (subject to DOE approval of course - but Not Yours), you really have to wonder why this Board (in secret, of course) wants to give him another opportunity to slap us in the face again?!?

They should open up a new Super Search and give the residents and taxpayers of Downtown Edison an opportunity to select someone who really wants to be here to do what needs to be done.

Anyhoo, in the meantime - let's refer to him as - Super Dr. Richard 'Looking for the Exit Ramp' O'Malley. Who knows how long it will be before he finds it?

Monday, July 28, 2014

Gene Maeroff passes - I will miss his friendship

Was so sorry to hear about Gene's passing this past week-end. Found this piece on him in the New York Times here.

A scholarly man with a passion for education but, more importantly, a kind, decent and compassionate man. He will be remembered by all those fortunate enough to cross his path.

I know I will.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

The O' so Mal Conundrum - don't let those who lead from behind - Leave You Behind!?!

You know, there's a reason I refer to the Edison Board of Education as the 'Board of Mythomania.' Here's a board whose oversight, accountability & transparency is so abhorrent that it makes Edison Council President Rob 'March on Trenton' Karabinchak look like a Charismatic Leader!?!

For Years now, we've had a school board that operates as a closed club, whichever political faction controls it - and You're Not Invited. They do what they want, when they want and when they ask for Your input, more often than not, it's too late for it to matter.

Their $pending Budget is now up to $217 million, 90% or so which comes from YOU and represents some 55% of Your total Property Tax Bill - and they treat it as a big, fat pot of money to $pend pretty much as they want. There's no real oversight, accountability or transparency to go along with it. They believe that You're not approving a Budget when You vote - but approving a single number to $pend pretty much anyway they want, regardless of what's in the budget line items. Unlike the Muni side, they can have budget transfers anytime they want and You see them all the time in the stuff they do show You.

They refuse to provide any real monthly accountability, reporting and disclosure on the single largest expenditure in these bloated budgets - Staffing. Hence, the on-going Staffing Shell-Game, which last time I looked, had some net 396 Heads added to the payroll but You never saw in or were disclosed to You in all those school budgets You voted on.

So, what's the point of all this? Their latest double-secret decision to renew, without informing You,  Super Dr. Richard 'Build the Trust' O'Malley's contract which expires on July 1, 2015. They negotiated a contract with him, sent it off to Trenton and once it comes back - they'll call a meeting and put it up for a vote. Duh!! Unfortunately, by that time, it will be too late for Your input to matter.

Now, maybe it's me, given the circumstances that went on with O'Malley publicly interviewing for another Super position, how this board could just assume that they could just decide that O'Malley's contract should be renewed without asking You first - and why our input is less important than Trenton's on that decision?

I recognize that O'Malley is their guy - they rushed him in to beat the new Super Cap back in late 2010 and have been particularly mute on his publicly interviewing for another position while working for us, but come on now, that puts a bunch of reasonable questions on the table for discussion with You before they just go ahead and renew his contract. We've invested a lot of time and money in this guy and we deserve to have a say in any decision to renew his contract.

I also recognize that they think he's the best thing to come along since they they came up with a way to hire additional staff, hide it and Not tell you about it in all those budgets they asked You to approve.

But let's get real here. If they think he's so great and done some good things here in Downtown Edison, they should of highlighted & demonstrated his accomplishments to You and then gone forth with their decision to renew his contract. Doing it this way is just as bad as Former Board President Maeroff claiming O'Malley was the best Super in the state - even before O'Malley knew where all the bathrooms were. Just silly.

By not giving You a chance to chime in - You don't get a chance to hear all the Wonderful things they think he's done or get a chance to discuss all the Not so Wonderful things You may think he's done.

Hey, anybody can $pend Taxpayer Money and Raise Your School Taxes and O'Malley sure has done a lot of that - but the question is what did we get for it - the board owes You an explanation.

The O'Malley Years - and this is after all that hoarded taxpayer relief money that they used to increase $pending - and Not give back to You!

Anyhoo, if You want any real Oversight, Accountability & Transparency over their on Mythomania Lane, and You should, - then You need to make it happen and in this case, step in and make them open up a search for a New Super - and one like O'Malley had when he interviewed down south, one where the candidates answer questions from the public. At least You'll then know what's going on over there on Pierson Avenue - without Your knowledge.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Why You're only Important at Election Time here in Downtown Edison!?!

If you don't have Buyer's Remorse - You Should!

Anyhoo, we should be thankful we're not getting all the government we're paying for here in Downtown Edison!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Karabinchak-Led 7/21 Council Worksession - Now, that's really 'Worse than Watching Paint Dry'!?!

Well, if you have a high tolerance to upchucking, then you should watch Monday night's council work session. A review of some of the Local Dems big tax dollar disasters from that $5.6 million spent for some dirt and a mud puddle, aka the Oak Tree Pond (now a historical site) to the 1-Cent Open Space tax that expired last year (looking to have it resurrected).

Anyone seriously thinking about self-taxing themselves with another 15 year Open Space tax to support the Local Dems frivolous spending, well - deserves what they get. Just look at what they did with all that money they got by leveraging out that first 15 year Open Space tax. Don't know, ask Senor Russomanno, he'll tell you what a great job they did with Your tax money back then.

We did learn something though - not that it matters but the Council is calling a special meeting on August 14th to Introduce their council amendment to Mayor ChoiLankey's 2014 Budget, which comes with a 9.2-Cent or 8.3% Tax Hike and included in Your 3rd Qtr. (August) Tax Bill.

More interesting though was Rob 'March on Trenton' Karabinchak's inability to persuade Bob 'See No Conflict' Diehl of anything and his reaction to Diehl's comments is priceless.

Anyhoo, there should be a one-time only 6 minute time limit on Karabinchak - the new guy deserves a break and watching Karabinchak ramble on and on is, as he says, 'Worse than Watching Paint Dry.'

Friday, July 18, 2014

Top 10 Reasons - you gotta like the Board of Mythomania's handling of Super Dr. Richard 'Build the Trust' O'Malley's expiring contract!?!

10. Because you like seeing the Board of Mythomania give website updates on the Teachers' Contract Negotiations but provide Nothing on Dr. O'Malley's Contract Negotiations.

9. Because you find it encouraging when reaching out to the Board's Leadership on the status of his contract and getting the courtesy of No Response and, when you follow up, get an "Out of Office' Auto Reply.

8. Because you get greater comfort when you don't get a response from Board Prez. Veena 'Out of Office' Iyer, you reach out to the Board V.P. Dr. Frank and he follows suit.

7. Because you like it when you ask about the status of Dr. O'Malley's contract, their Silent Majority rises to new heights.

6. Because you like it when Your Super publicly interviews for another position and the Board of Mythomania doesn't think it's important enough to publicly explain to You.

5. Because you like it when they've already decided to renew his contract and don't bother to tell you that tad bit of a fact or get your input first.

4. Because you like it when they define transparency as 'On a Need to Know Basis' and You don't Need to Know what they're doing.

3. Because you like it when the people elected to represent You don't ask for public input until it's too late for Your input to matter.

2. Because you like it when You've invested a lot of time and money in a guy (now at $223k) and the Board negotiates and sends a new proposed contract to the State for approval without asking You - if that's what You want.

1. Because no matter how the State deals with O'Malley's current $223k against the Super Cap of $175k in whatever contract they've agreed to and submitted, You don't have a say in their decision to renew his contract - and that's just Not Nice!

He's Stayin' - whether You want him or Not!

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

'Fresh Start Tour' Entourage Cuts to Mayor ChoiLankey's 2014 Budget?!?

Just in case you want to know what the effect is to You of any 'Fresh Start Tour' entourage Cuts (geez, I crack myself up) to Mayor ChoiLankey's 2014 Budget, which comes with an increase of 9.2 Cents or 8.3% - just drop in Your Assessed Value and what You think they should cut below.

Looks like they'll be meeting on July 23rd to tell us all about their review.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Not to worry - Rob 'March on Trenton' Karabinchak will be all over Mayor ChoiLankey's 2014 Tax Hike!?!

He'll show Mayor ChoiLankey he can't do this to the people in the 'DemBadLands.'

Anyhoo, hope he knows he can't ask Mayor ChoiLankey for help with this budget review!?!

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

3rd Qtr. Estimated Edison Property Tax Bills are out!

Just saw the estimated 3rd qtr tax bill. While there isn't very much helpful information on it - the amount  due may be paid without interest until 8/11/14.

This estimate is calculated using an annual tax rate of 4.931 (per hundred), which is 15.5 cents or 3.25% up over last year's 4.776. This year's 4.931 consists of 1.212 for the muni tax, .20 for the garbage tax, .786 for the county taxes and 2.733 for the school tax.

If you want to know how much of an increase is in that amount on your 3rd qtr. property tax bill, just subtract that amount from what you paid for the 2nd qtr (May 1 bill). That will equal half the increase for 2014. The second half will be paid with the 4th qtr. tax bill.

Recognize that this 3rd qtr estimate assumes that the Edison Council leaves the Introduced Muni budget intact with a 9.2 cents or 8.3% tax hike.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Super Dr. Richard 'Build the Trust' O'Malley's employment contract - expires 7/1/15!

Just a heads-up not to let the Board of Mythomania fly under the radar on the status of his contract. This will be the final year of his contract. You can see his current contract here.

Remember this is the guy they rushed in back in November 2010 to beat the new Super Cap law. He started at $210,000 back then and will be at $222,854 come July 1, 2014. This is also the guy who publicly interviewed for another Super position, which the Board of Mythomania never addressed.

Anyhoo, we have invested a lot of time and money in this guy - and the Board has a lot of explaining to do and you shouldn't be shut out of the process, until the last minute when they vote and it's too late.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Vote for democracy, not Democrats, in Edison

That was the title of a piece (below) that I wrote some 11 years ago. Given the actions by Mayor ChoiLankey and his 'Fresh Start Tour' entourage - just change Spadoro and his all-Democratic rule to ChoiLankey and his 'Fresh Start Tour' entourage and you get the same results.

[[About the only thing that Edison Mayor George Spadoro and the local Democratic party like more than winning is making the other side lose. In the latest example, while it's called wards, it's really the will of the people they're trampling all over to keep the status quo. It's not surprising, since it's all about maintaining power and one-party control over the purse strings - and they'll do and say whatever is necessary to keep it away from the people. It's the reality under Edison's all-Democratic rule; protect and preserve the Democratic party's interests above all, including those of the people.

Someone once quipped. 'a democracy is where two wolves and a sheep take a majority vote on what's for supper.' The point is democracy works best when there is an open and free exchange ideas, and when debate is encouraged. When dissenting opinion is absent, representative government is at its weakest and most clandestine. Such is the case under Edison Mayor George Spadoro's all-Democratic government. It's an unfortunate by-product of our form of government - the one-party rule.

The overwhelming concern with Spadoro's one-party government is information or more specifically, the lack of information, With total control by the democrats, what you get to know, how much you get to know, and when you get to know it is all predetermined and detrimental to your pocketbook. There's no one to challenge anything or to tell you otherwise. Priorities are set and monies disbursed without any substantive questioning or verifiable rationale.

There is no distinction between the administration and the council and hence, no checks and balances. The open and free exchange of Spadoro's ideas and policies is non-existent. Public involvement and input is impossible since debate is limited to what they want to tell you and only when they tell you.

The simple reality is that Spadoro's one-party government unnecessarily costs us money to fund party excesses. It's not what they tell us that costs the most but rather what and when they don't tell us.

With four council spots up this year, it's time we arm the sheep and prevent the wolves from determining what they'll be having for supper again. We need to vote out the democrats and break-up the one-party rule.

On Nov. 4, whether you are a Democrat, Republican or Independent, a vote for the Democratic slate is about the most un-Democratic thing you can do.]]

Anyhoo, welcome back to one-party rule in Mayor ChoiLankey's 'DemBadLands.' As Yogi Berra says, 'it's deja vu all over again!'