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.