On July 28, after an audit, the NJ State Comptroller wrote:
“North Bergen School District continues to violate law … North Bergen School District is failing in some of the most basic ways to protect public funds — even after our 2019 audit highlighted these problems. … The mere mention of the risk of awarding contracts based on favoritism should be enough to get North Bergen moving quickly in the right direction. … Instead, they provided a litany of excuses for not fully implementing 13 of our 15 recommendations.”
North Bergen wasted our taxpayer money by going to court trying to prevent this audit.
What the audit/report left out is how North Bergen wasted millions of taxpayer dollars, beginning in 2001, when it violated NJ Department of Environmental Protection regulations by moving its 17-trailer preschool into Braddock Park. Taxpayers are now responsible for replacing the land North Bergen violated in Braddock Park, by creating 5X as much new park land, as per DEP regulations.
North Bergen and Hudson County tried to beat this requirement by dishonestly offering land that it knew already existed as park land.
NJ DEP should dismiss North Bergen’s current application for a diversion, which, if approved, would allow North Bergen’s preschool trailers to remain in Braddock Park, where non-recreational (school) use is not permitted, in 21-year-old trailers that state regulations say can be used for a maximum of five years if they’ve been approved for use by the New Jersey Department of Education.
Trouble is, NJ DOE doesn’t possess records that indicate it ever gave North Bergen approval to use these preschool trailers.
North Bergen Superintendent of Schools George Solter, Mayor/State Sen. Nick Sacco and Nick Sacco Jr. (the principal of Lincoln School, which administers the preschool) and his wife, Jennifer Sacco (the supervisor of the preschool), have not been forthright about the violations of Braddock Park, the wasting of taxpayer funds, nor of the dangers these old trailers pose to students/faculty/employees.
It’s time for North Bergen to provide proper school facilities for preschoolers and for fiduciarily irresponsible, unethical officials to step down.
Nepotism and corruption don’t belong in our schools or government.
NJ DEP park regulations need to be enforced, not disregarded.
All Braddock Park land is important – the Hudson County Master Plan says we have way too little park land!