A tale of two superintendents

The Bayonne and Jersey City school districts are in the midst of conflicts over whether or not to retain their superintendents of schools.
Jersey City schools superintendent Dr. Marcia Lyles appears to have the support of Mayor Steven Fulop. In Bayonne, many thought Dr. Patricia McGeehan was going to be replaced by a newly-elected Board of Education. But it appears that in the rush to replace outgoing board members, the selection committee may have stacked the new board with those who wish to give McGeehan a contract extension. This is likely to aggravate Mayor Jimmy Davis, since he originally offered McGeehan a one-year contract last time, but the previous board made up of appointed board members gave her a two-year contract instead.
Just why Jersey City wants to get rid of Lyles is a mystery to many of her ardent supporters, some of whom have even appeared in front of the City Council to ask for intervention to help her keep her job.
Lyles supporters have pulled every possible political trick to keep her, outwitting those who want to find someone else.
McGeehan, meanwhile, seems to have a new life. An accomplished teacher, principal and administrator, McGeehan is seen as a holdover from the unpopular administration of Mayor Mark Smith, although in truth, she predates Smith.
Some of the newly-elected board members have vowed to replace McGeehan, but it appears that some of those recently appointed to fill vacated seats may turn the tide in her favor.

Republican challenge in Bayonne

Michael Alonso, who was recently overlooked and not named to the Bayonne Board of Education, is making a move to take over the Republican Party in Bayonne. He apparently intends to run a full slate of committee people in an attempt to become chairman.
Alonso has run several times for various offices. This move could position him to become a thorn in county Republican circles, since Bayonne often votes for the GOP in national and state elections.
This move might also position him for an attempt to take control of the county GOP organization.

Christie and Trump… perfect together

Some media have speculated that Gov. Christopher Christie may be seeking the vice presidential nomination in his newfound support for GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump.
Christie, who was hardly present in the state during his own bid for the GOP nomination, is once more stumping the nation on Trump’s behalf. Seven New Jersey newspapers have called for Christie’s resignation since he spends so much time campaigning he can’t possibly be doing the job people elected him to do.
In the past, Trump blasted Christie for spending so little time actually doing the job of governor. But these days, Trump seems happy for the company. Christie, who took potshots at Trump during debates against him, now sees Trump as the best choice for president.
Most likely, Christie’s sudden shift is aimed towards becoming the top cop for the nation as the U.S. Attorney General, just as his political fundraising for George W. Bush in the late 1990s led to his being appointed U.S. Attorney for New Jersey.
Although some raise serious questions about his fitness to run national law enforcement after the questionable behind-the-scenes political use of Big Rig III that propelled him into the State House. But many think Christie would be even worse as vice president.
In that position, Christie would have less power. Traditionally, vice presidents tend to be subdued characters, people with good people skills who are able to smooth feathers some presidents tend to ruffle.
With the exception of Dan Quayle and Richard Nixon, vice presidents have mostly mended fences internationally. Few believe Christie has the people skills to mend anything.

Raia retains H.O.P.E.S. seat

Frank Raia has endured a rough series of political setbacks over the last few years, losing his bid to run for City Council in Hoboken in 2013, then failing to get reappointed to the North Hudson Sewerage Authority. But this week, he was reappointed as chairman to H.O.P.E.S. in Hoboken, a post he has held for almost three decades.
Raia was recently passed over for reappointment to the sewerage authority by a divided Hoboken City Council. His backup plan was to fill one of the West New York seats. The authority is made up of members assigned from each of the four towns that use the service. Raia has in the past sat in as a Weehawken representative.
Raia had apparently come to an agreement with West New York Mayor Felix Roque to get the appointment. But some of those who ran with Roque in last year’s municipal election were put off by the fact that Raia backed an opposition ticket headed by Count Wiley. This apparently nixed the deal with Raia.
A former Board of Education member, Raia will likely run in next year’s council/mayor election. He funded a third ticket in 2013 that spilt the anti-Zimmer vote and ended up allowing Mayor Dawn Zimmer to be reelected. Some anti-Zimmer people think he may run a third ticket again either as a council candidate or even as a mayoral candidate.
This could guarantee Zimmer’s reelection if she chooses to run again. Those close to Zimmer say she intends to run for a third term.

Al Sullivan may be reached at asullivan@hudsonreporter.com.

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