I feel obligated to write a response to Mrs. Sobolov’s recent letter to your paper. Certainly Mrs. Sobolov is entitled to her opinion, but as I said in my previous letter, she should not use selective memory in basing those opinions. I again ask Mrs. Sobolov, why she wouldn’t put a 4 percent tax increase on the ballot? She certainly wrote many reasons why she voted to raise taxes, but did not discuss how or why she took the right away from the public to vote on what to do what their money. Oh that’s right, it “happened over a year ago”, so perhaps Mrs. Sobolov is hoping that everyone will have forgotten about it by now. Perhaps by “cold comfort” Mrs. Sobolov meant that since taxpayers cannot vote on the municipal budget here in Hoboken now they have no choice about a 4 percent increase in their school taxes either.
Mrs. Sobolov partially blames the Hola Charter School for raising taxes, but again I need to remind the public of her actions in the past. The Dual-Language program initially wanted to be part of the public school system but Mrs. Sobolov and many of her political allies were against this. Now the Dual-Language Hola Charter School currently has nearly 250 students – the majority of who could have been part of our public school for it wasn’t for the opposition from Mrs. Sobolov and her allies. That, too, happened more than a year ago so perhaps she would prefer that we just forget about it and take “cold comfort” from the fact that we have out-of-town students to fill some of the otherwise empty seats.
The board majority, specifically Mrs. Sobolov, say that they are very curious about what the board members who voted against a tax increase would do to cut the budget. Yet, a few years ago, Mrs. Sobolov and her allies voted to fire Paula Ohaus and Chen-Yen Hillenbrand even though hundreds of residents came out and the board minority including myself told them not to. Time and time again, the members of the Board Majority demonstrate that they do not value the other Board Members’ input if it differs from their opinion. Yet they want to hear my suggestions now? If I thought they were up to no good, I might think that they were looking for someone on whom to lay blame. But, perhaps they just forgot, again, the lack of respect they have shown in the past for my input.
Anyone can look at the district report card on the NJDOE website to see our actual enrollment figures and verify the information in my previous letter. You can see our test scores, you can see our costs. But perhaps we can all take “cold comfort” in knowing that Mrs. Sobolov tells us that the tax increase she voted for was “needed.”
Hoboken Board of Education Member