Caught a piece of the public portion of the last council meeting on local access and couldn't help noticing the return of Senor Emil Ferlicchi to the podium. Just when you thought he was out, they pulled him back in - a little humor with that but you really want to pay attention to what he's saying.
But first, you remember Emil 'Do the Right Thing' Ferlicchi. Recently retired, a teacher in Downtown Edison for many years and President of the ETEA for a long time. A staple at School Board and Council meetings eloquently delivering his famous 'Do the Right Thing' speeches when it came to school budgets, bond referendums and especially at Council meetings when school budgets were defeated. A favorite teacher of my daughter from her 5th grade year (and she still tells me to this day to leave Senor Ferlicchi alone) here in Downtown Edison.
In fact, he was so good at his public pleas that I actually said at a school board meeting that he's good, he's very good - and if I didn't know better, I'd actually believe him.
So, here's the point to all this stuff. First, Senor Ferlicchi brought up the need for the Council to support us getting 'Our fair share' of state aid - Abbott Districts and all. And, wouldn't you know, Rob 'March on Trenton' Karabinchak jumped all over this. No surprise there - in fact, that's why I refer to Karabinchak the way I do. At one of those defeated school budget council meetings, he was gonna march on down to Trenton with Ferlicchi to get us our money. Well, I take it they never made the trip since we're still not getting our fair share.
Look, we never got our fair share and, most likely, never will. So, let's stop all the meaningless rhetoric and recognize what this is all about. It's about getting you to pay more for the school district's out-of-control spending when the state doesn't chip in enough. And since Karabinchak isn't the best or most reliable source when it comes to school budgets, you should just about treat anything that comes out of his mouth with the thought - oh..that's nice and forget what he said.
Really now, the only time you hear about us not getting our fair share is when school budgets get defeated and they use it to try to sway the Council from cutting the school budget (like the Council ever respects the wishes of the residents and cuts the school tax levy when we reject those school budgets). Have you ever seen anyone over there on Mythomania Lane go to a Council meeting and complain about not getting our fair share when school budgets pass?
Actually, the scariest thing that Ferlicchi brought up was moving the school board elections to November. Seems he got a vibe at Candidate's Night that some of the candidates were open to the idea.
We're one of the few districts in Middlesex County and the State that still have April elections. You remember the law - individually, the Council, the School Board or the Public (by petition) can make a change to November.
Now, you can guess why the Maeroff Board didn't want to move the elections to November. They'd most likely lose control of the board if they opened it up in this one-party town. The Council should be a tad bit leery to make a move like that because it'd be hard to justify and, more importantly, explain to the residents. A move like that would just turn the school district into a cash cow again.
You never want to put control of the Board of Education into the hands of the Local Dem Party here in Downtown Edison. And if the Council tries to do it - then, they better clean out that bloated pot of money the school board calls a budget before they let them carry it forward and then take away the residents right to vote on the budget. We'd only be able to vote on any increases above the cap.
Anyhoo, it was nice to see Senor Ferlicchi back in action again. Just don't bite on his well-spoken but not in your best interest rhetoric.