To the Editor:
Shakespeare’s play Hamlet says “a fish rots from head to tail.” It means that those at the top of political hierarchy can negatively affect the rest of the governed body. And so goes the state of the Bayonne Board of Education Trustees.
During the Bayonne BOE reorganization meeting, Michael Mulcahy assumed his position as one year term BOE and his previous position had to be filled. Instead of picking the candidate with the second highest vote total, which seems to be the most logical choice, the trustees selected Charles Ryan (who did not even run in the one-year term and came in 6th place in the elections for a three-year term). Let me be clear, Trustees Jodi Casias, Christopher Munoz, and Maria Valado made it clear they stand with Bayonne.
The Administrators Union’s legal team was there begging the trustees, to not appoint Ryan. The BOE will now most likely face lawsuits or future grievances. Alonso was the fifth and deciding vote for Ryan, and along with Alonso’s vote, Broderick’s and Wilbeck’s place as the BOE leadership was guaranteed.
Alonso was chosen as Finance Chair, replacing Munoz. Why? “Quid Pro Quo,” a favor or advantage granted or expected in return for something. I believe Alonso sold his vote in order to be the Chairperson of Finance, have control of the school budget, and push his Republican, Tea Party agenda. Alonso 1) was accused by several candidates of stealing campaign literature during the election, has been placed in a position to have an enormous influence over a $130 million budget! 2) told the Senior Citizens of Bayonne that he was going to get them a tax waiver or exemption from school tax; 3) stated that he will not vote for a tax increase under any circumstances no matter what the situation and does not appear to be pretending to have an open-mind 4) pursued changing the name of the BHS Tennis courts instead of worrying about the children of Bayonne; 5) attacked President Broderick and his family! Munoz was being punished for having the audacity to consider challenging the leadership. Trustee Wilbeck even went so far as to attack Munoz saying he was not qualified to be President because Trustee Munoz had a family to support. I thought hard work was rewarded in this country? Don’t parents and teachers make a difference? How many programs will be cut, jobs lost, and educational opportunities squandered under Alonso’s watch? The Finance Committee under Trustee Mary Jane Desmond and Trustee Christopher Munoz turned losses into gains and turned the BOE finances around.
I am following this whole situation very closely and you should too. We want a Bayonne BOE that actually fulfills the promise of an elected school board; not the appearance of one that mimics the old appointed board. But hey, this is my opinion. There is something rotten in Bayonne and it’s coming out of 669 Avenue A.