Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Hackensack school board is a lesson in politics

Hackensack Board of Education member Jason Nunnermacker, center, is running for City Council in the May 14 election on a slate that has sent out false attack mailings about its opponents. He is flanked by interim Schools Superintendent Joseph Abate, left, and Timothy J. Hoffman, 19, who was elected to the board on April 16 by a ridiculously small minority of registered voters.

The superintendent of Hackensack schools and his staff moved to a building at 191 Second St. about 3 years ago, but the sign out front, above, still does not reflect their occupancy, as if they are deliberately trying to hide from parents, and there are no visitor spots in the parking lot.

The word "SUPERINTENDENT" on the door isn't visible from the street. Parents have to play "find the superintendent," because older phone books still list 355 State St. (the Middle School) as his address and contain obsolete phone numbers. A current phone book doesn't even list the superintendent's office under Hackensack schools.

The Hackensack Board of Education's policy on political activity doesn't bar an active board member from running for City Council, the board's attorney said Monday night.

School trustee Jason Nunnermacker is a member of the Hackensack Coaltion for Open Government, a slate of candidates seeking election on May 14.

There is plenty of evidence the slate is backed and financed in part by Lynne Hurwitz, the city's Democratic boss and the power behind the Zisa family dynasty that is so desperately trying to hold onto power in "Zisaville."

At the board's meeting in Hackensack High School, attorney Richard Salkin objected when independent City Council candidate Victor E. Sasson accused Nunnermacker and his slate of lying about their opponents in attack mailings.

Sasson asked if that was appropriate behavior for a board member, who is supposed to set an example for students.

The Open Government slate already set a poor example for children when its lead candidate -- former high school resource officer and retired police detective Kenneth Martin -- was caught by a store surveillance camera stealing signs put up by the Citizens for Change slate.

Sasson and other members of the public get only 3 minutes to speak before the board, compared with 5 minutes before the council.

Public jobs 

Salkin has a second public job -- municipal prosecutor. And he's a former city attorney, a position he was appointed to by the powers that be.

The attorney also has escorted Nunnermacker and his running-mates to at least one council meeting, where the candidates were overheard discussing where to get the best empanada in Hackensack.

When they encounter Salkin, many taxpayers see red -- the color of his modest Toyota SUV. 

Do they have a minyan?

Sasson also asked if Nunnermacker's colleague on the board, former Councilman Mark Stein, is an official at Temple Beth El on Summit Avenue, but Salkin again objected, saying that was "personal."

The synagogue apparently has been rented by Nunnermacker and other members of his slate to meet congregants on Thursday night, and the other six council candidates are excluded. 

"The board prohibits the use of school premises and school time ... for political purposes," according to board policy.

Nunnermacker appears to have violated the spirit of the regulation when he and other members of his slate mailed campaign material to an unknown number of teachers and support staff on a "confidential" list.

Is there any good reason to vote for Nunnermacker? Hackensack's board spends more per student than Ridgewood, and has little to show for it.
'Instant' heroin series

Beginning with Friday's "major heroin bust" on Page 1 and ending with today's report on parents facing "the agony ... of a child's heroin addiction," The Record appears to have come up with an "instant" series.

Were all of the stories coordinated with Bergen County Prosecutor John L. Molinelli, who erroneously released a photo of a Fair Lawn woman who was not charged with any wrongdoing (see the embarrassing "Retraction" on A-2 today)?

Two corrections also appear on A-2 today, but the paper can only blame them on the incompetence of Production Editor Liz Houlton and her sleepy copy editors.

Dog news

A photo on L-2 today seems to say Teaneck spent $20,000 on a dog park, but nobody -- and no canine -- is using it.

Were the editors so desperate to fill space in the Local news section that they couldn't send the photographer back for a shot filled with people and dogs? 


  1. the reason you post photos and names is to sell papers. imagine the readers (those kids' grandparents) seeing their grandchildren plastered on the front page?
    I tried twice to post that on their website and my comments never were put through.

  2. NJMG no longer accepts anonymous comments, if you tried to comment that way.


If you want your comment to appear, refrain from personal attacks on the blogger. Anonymous comments are no longer accepted. Keep your racism to yourself.