Secaucus Superintendent of Schools Jennifer Montesano has recommended tenure charges against former High School Principal Robert Berckes, the first step towards firing the former high school principal, said a story in NJ.com on Tuesday.
Berckes and Assistant Principal Jeffrey Case were suspended in April over the handling of an incident involving a student. The student was found with a pocket knife and a small quantity of marijuana. Berckes was then transferred to an elementary school in the coming year.
Berckes has protested the suspension.
At the May 10 school board meeting, Berckes alleged that he and Montesano agreed on a five-day suspension of the student and the marijuana was flushed down the toilet on the recommendation of a police officer stationed at the middle school/high school.
At the Board of Education meeting in June, Berckes was replaced at Secaucus High School and appointed to the same position at Clarendon School.
NJ.com quoted Berckes' attorney David Castellani at the time as saying the tenure charges are "improper ... concocted, vindictive and retaliatory."
Information about the incident was forwarded to the Hudson County Prosecutor's Office, which investigated and declined to press charges against any school officials or the police officer at the school. The officer has since been transferred to duty at another district school.
Berckes, who had been principal at the high school since 2010, recently filed a notice of a $5 million lawsuit against the district.
Case resigned at the end of the school year.
Berckes can submit a response to any charges, and the school board at a special meeting can vote on whether to drop them or forward them to the state commissioner of the Department of Education. The next regular meeting of the school board is scheduled for July 26.
The state commissioner will review any charges.
National Night Out is Aug. 7
The annual National Night Out will take place Tuesday, Aug 7 in Secaucus at 5 p.m. in Buchmuller Park. The park is located across the street from the Plaza Center. The night out is a nationwide event for residents and local police to mingle and establish closer communication and cooperation.
Secaucus Food Pantry seeks donations
The Secaucus Food Pantry will accept food donations on Saturday, July 28. These include pasta, soup, peanut butter, canned vegetables, jelly, and canned chicken. Items can be dropped off at the center, 101 Centre Ave., on between 8 a.m. and 12 p.m. Contact Judy or Eileen at (201) 330-2014 for more information.
Show off your garden on TV
If you’ve ever wanted to show off your garden on television and you live in Secaucus, here’s your chance. Email your garden pics to firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com. The town will post them on its website and Channel 36.
Town seeks tow operator applications
Secaucus officials are preparing to process tow operator applications for licenses covering the period of Sept. 1, 2018 through Aug. 31, 2020. Applications will be accepted through July 31 at 10 a.m. They are available at the Town Clerk’s office, 1203 Paterson Plank Rd., second floor. You can also get applications online at Secaucusnj.gov/Current Bids/RFPs/RFQs . There is no license fee.
Those with questions regarding the application should contact Captain Carlos Goyenechea, Secaucus Police Department, at (201) 809-4603.
Stack calls for utilities to notify towns of power shutoffs
Following the death of a Newark woman in hospice care after PSE&G shut off her electricity, State Senator and Union City Mayor Brian Stack has called for PSE&G to notify municipalities of pending, non-emergency shut offs.
“It is an absolute tragedy that a grandmother lost her life because her electricity was shut off and she was unable to use her oxygen tank,” Stack said. “Municipalities are in a position to assist residents, either through their own resources or through social service agency resources. This should never occur because a resident got behind on her payments.”
Stack has sponsored state Senate bill S-2477, which requires utilities providing electric, gas, or water services to notify the mayor, chief law enforcement officer, and health officer, in writing, at least 21 days prior to a non-emergency shut off. This would allow municipal officials, if needed, to intervene.
“I have pleaded with PSE&G for over 20 years to change their policies and work with municipalities to prevent unnecessary shut offs,” Stack said. “Residents, especially the most vulnerable, must be protected to ensure that tragedies like this do not continue to occur. My heart goes out to Linda Daniel’s family, who watched her needlessly suffer.”
‘American Pickers’ to film in New Jersey
‘American Pickers’ is a documentary series that explores the world of antique picking on History.com. The show follows Mike Wolfe and Frank Fritz, two of the most skilled pickers in the business, and their team, as they hunt for America’s most valuable antiques. They are always on the hunt for sizeable, unique collections and to learn the interesting stories behind them.
As they hit the back roads from coast to coast, Mike and Frank are on a mission to recycle and rescue forgotten relics, and along the way, to meet characters with remarkable and exceptional items.
The pair hopes to give historically significant objects a new lease on life while learning a thing or two about America’s past.
They plan to film episodes of the hit series throughout New Jersey in August 2018.
‘American Pickers’ is looking for leads and would love to explore your hidden treasure. If you or someone you know has a large, private collection or accumulation of antiques that the Pickers can spend the better part of the day looking through, send them your name, phone number, location and description of the collection with
photos to: firstname.lastname@example.org or call 855-OLD-RUST or at Facebook: @GotAPick.