Letters

Pinelands Mess

May 08, 2019

To the Editor:

At two of the last Pinelands Regional School Board meetings, the board president bemoaned the fact that it isn’t easy, running the meeting and keeping the whole thing in shape. Suggestion: Quit. I’ve never seen such self-serving bemoaning.

If a person runs for a government position, embrace it and relish the privilege. Honor the trust earned by being elected.

Perhaps the most shocking thing about this district is how imperious its demeanor is toward its constituents, the parents, staff and, most importantly, the students. Dialogue and explanation are dirty words with this group. Very honestly, there are sincere, earnest and intelligent representatives on this board, but they are the minority.

In a word (many, actually), this is a board that allowed a whole building to fall apart. The high school has been closed for over a year and a half! The building committee seems mystified and unaccountable, yet verbose and accusatory.

The budget is projected to be $400,000 in the hole in the next three years, and that’s a reason to lay off a bunch of staff versus trim other non-direct accounts. And the board president and vice president shrug their shoulders and state that budget stuff is way beyond them; thank goodness someone else is on that committee (actual quotes). The board president said she’s cleaning things up, for the last six years. Wow. I’d hate to see her bathroom.

So the board majority is obsequious and happy to hand the whole mess over to a cabal of administrative buddies who will cut costs, protect for-profit private services, lay off valuable staff, push for inter-district shared services, and then hire administrative assistants for the whole bunch. It seems like a brew made in a taxpayer-funded kettle.

Costs may be going up. It’s hard to tell when the board won’t explain its decisions. Of special note: Two members, Mr. Kubricki and Ms. Poklikuha, valiantly promoted a critical review of the budget, but most of the rest of the board and the administration chatted, looked at their phones or snickered. The concept of critical review, per an actual policy, seemed to annoy some of the board for the delay in ending the meeting.

Apparently not using 2 percent of cap money the last three years meant we will get even less money this year and going forward. Duh! Since most of Little Egg Harbor is filled with high-value senior housing and even some vacation homes, which don’t send students to school but pay taxes, it’s a mystery or a crime that there is not enough money to keep schools properly funded. Shame.

The board president, after committing to do so, refused to provide contact information for board members: no emails, phone numbers, anything, no member biography, terms of service, nothing. Mayberry RFD had more transparency, clarity and effectiveness.

Charles Roth

Tuckerton

 

 

 

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