April 11, 2007

Lesniak, Bollwage & Eliz. Board of Ed. - Are Not Perfect Together

A little less than a year ago, State Senator Raymond J. Lesniak, appeared to go on the attack against the Elizabeth Board of Education in the taxpayer funded Union County Directions newspaper. “Directions” put out by the Union County Alliance two times per year is funded in large part by the Board of Chosen Freeholders and lands in the mailboxes of all county residents just a few days prior to the primary elections in June and the general election in November.
Senator Lesniak contributed an article that called for a state investigation of the Elizabeth School Board claiming that they hired their relatives after they got elected and that school employees were permitted to work on election fundraising actives using school equipment and facilities.
He went on to say that nepotism policies must be made mandatory in Elizabeth schools. When reading the article it was clear that the senator was doing the very same thing by using what was intended to be a vehicle to inform county residents about economic development in Union County as a vehicle to promote his desire to wrest control of the board away from those individuals that were dully elected by the people.

It is no secret that Senator Lesniak is allied with Elizabeth’s mayor, Chris Bollwage, who is very unhappy with the status quo, so unhappy in fact that the mayor has gone on record to not only voice but to demonstrate his support of an opposing slate of candidates to unseat the incumbents in next weeks school board elections.
Mayor Bollwage, for a number of years, has led the charge against a board that appears to want to act independent of his control and not be maneuvered away from their mission to do what is the best for the children, as they should be allowed to and are intended to in New Jersey.
Further, it has been illustrated in newspaper reports that the mayor has well heeled friends in high places and it stands to reason that he would be interested in pleasing them and supporting their business endeavors just as they have supported him and his political allies, even when the board of ed gets in the way.

It so happens, that the mayor is the host this evening of a fund raising event for school board candidates Hawkins, Casio and Alma at the City Tavern, to attend the minimum contribution is $250 and maximum contribution is $7,800. Judging by the cost of admission these guys mean business and are in the throes of an expensive campaign that would rival that of any politically oriented election.
And who says that Board of Education Elections are non-partisian??? Certainly not Chris Bollwage and friends.