Continued political hay on the School Board
Jun 02, 2013 | 1427 views | 0 0 comments | 42 42 recommendations | email to a friend | print

Dear Editor:

Below is what I believe will be my final response to School Board Trustee Peter Biancamano’s two previous letters as I have asked the same question multiple times already – How can a School Board Trustee, a member of the BOE Finance Committee, refuse to participate in a budget discussion? Why would a Trustee not want to weigh in on our most important duty, especially if he objected to the budget?

Mr. Biancamano has addressed me twice in this paper, both times throwing a variety of topics in the air, yet never once answering my question. I also asked him at the last BOE meeting and rather than answer, he motioned to close the meeting. It is clear there will be no answer.

Unfortunately, this only reconfirms my original thought that this was purely a symbolic vote. An attempt to cast himself (and two others) as the sole proponents of the taxpayers, which is completely false.

What further leads me to this belief is that his responses to me included a laundry list of topics filled with inaccuracies and having nothing to do with the recent budget negotiations. I have a long (and I believe strong) record of my commitment over the last 13yrs as an active community volunteer. My activities on the School Board over the last 3 years have been very public and are easily “google-able” as is my email irene.sobolov@hoboken.k12.nj.us

What I find particularly telling is his attempt to insert politics in this budget conversation. Mr. Biancamano wants everyone to believe he is a victim of a divided Board; however, almost every single vote for the past 3-4 years has been 9-0 or 8-1 including his own votes on the School Choice students that he now objects to. Almost every vote has been “mixed” over the years, including the vote on a dual language program in the district. (on the record, one of my biggest concerns then was where the program was going to be housed. Although I was not on the Board then, I certainly opposed any involuntary relocation of existing district students to house the proposed program).

The Board committees are also “mixed” and Mr. Biancamano sits on the Finance Committee. During the budget process, the Chair of the Finance Committee made multiple offers to hold the meeting at any time convenient for Mr. Biancamano. There was none.

So, I believe this will be my last response to Mr. Biancamano via this forum. I believe I already have my answer.

I will continue to look forward, move ahead and concentrate on the district.

Sincerely,
Irene Sobolov

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