I could not respond to Mayor Gonnelli after his non-logical letter appeared in your column attacking me prior to the school board election. I had more important things to do at the time.
It seems that Mayor Gonnelli is a bit confused about keeping politics out of the school system. This is not surprising since his entire letter is/was illogical and confusing. Mayor Gonnelli concludes that because an individual has run for council at one time and then at another time seeks election as a school board trustee in a school board election, this “is putting politics into the school system”
When a elected official, let us say a mayor, is instrumental in getting candidates to seek election as a school board trustee, as Mayor Gonnelli has done in this election, such behavior does not involve politics in our educational system, that is an illogical statement.
In his letter the mayor wrote, “running for the school board should not be used as a stepping stone to run for political office.” It just happens that a present council member, Sue Pirro, was not only a school board member, she was President of the school board before running for council. Talk about running for the school board as a stepping-stone before running for council. Councilwoman Sue Pirro could be the poster girl.
Permit me to explain. Back in November of 2006, then, Secaucus President of the Secaucus Board of Education, Sue Pirro admitted after my questioning that she had faked one signature of the six Board members that had endorsed a political advertisement supporting a council slate backed by then Mayor Elwell. Her explanation that she was unable to find fellow board member Mark Bruscino in time to run a newspaper advertisement produced a back lash. She and Bruscino had been seen as potential candidates on a 2009 ticket. Now according to Mayor Gonnelli, “one who is a school trustee should not seek election to the council”, unless of course the school board trustee is a supporter of Mayor Gonnelli.
Is it any wonder why Mayor Gonnelli waited six whole years to talk about the time he first sought election as a council member from the Second Ward? At that point in time the objective was to defeat Mayor Elwell, and his administration. I thought by running for council from the Second Ward we could then support Mike Gonnelli for mayor and bring about a most needed change in Secaucus. What Mayor Gonnelli failed to remember from that meeting six years ago is that he and his mentor did not want me, an independent thinker who would not be his “yes” man, in their administration.
In his letter Mayor Gonnelli bragged about how in last year’s school election he opposed the school budget and now arrogantly takes credit for the voters turning down the budget. The record shows he never took credit for defeating last years budget until after the budget was defeated. Whom does he think he is kidding?
Former Secaucus School Board Trustee