As a parent with a child in the school system and a taxpayer I am disheartened by the recent actions of the Board of Education regarding employment issues relevant to relatives of Board members. Recently, a pay raise was granted to a teacher whose family member is currently serving on the Board and a 5th grade substitute teaching position was awarded to the son of a former Trustee, the mere fact that these decisions may be affected by the relationships that they have with present and former Board members is morally repugnant. As has been the case in the past with certain Board members, nepotism is of the rule rather than the exception. When personal relationships result in favoritism in job selection it is questionable whether our children are getting the most qualified teachers and coaches available. Certainly, those with obvious conflicts of interest must recues themselves from decisions directly affecting their relatives, however, how can we be sure that lobbying has not taken place or deals have not been cut? We can’t. For that reason Board members must adhere to the highest ethical standards and not allow even the slightest hint of impropriety to exist.
I do not wish to paint all that have served on the Board of Education with the same tainted brush. Indeed, most have served honorably and without expectations that they or someone from their family would benefit from their service.
Greed and nepotism, long a staple in Hudson County politics, have recently contributed to the fall of some of our most prominent political servants. With the arrival of a new mayor and Council we have an opportunity to redeem ourselves in the eyes o four citizens and the press. If our new superintendent Mrs. Randina and Board trustees wish to win public approval they need to put an end to an activity that can be perceived as nepotism and adopt the highest ethical standards. In doing so, they will ensure the best for our children and honorable fulfill the duties of the office.