Thursday, April 14, 2016

Union objects to Zisas' use of teacher addresses in election

The Hackensack Scoop blog says school board candidates Timothy Hoffman, an incumbent; Modesto Romero, a former board member; and Johanna Calle are being backed by the Zisas, who ruled Hackensack for decades and ran the city into the ground.


The president of the union representing Hackensack teachers is objecting to the Zisa political organization's use of members' addresses to solicit support in the school election next week.

In an email, Michael DeOrio said:

"I just received a call regarding a letter that was sent out to HEA [Hackensack Education Association] members, who live in Hackensack, inviting them to a meet-and-greet bbq at [teacher] Anthony Zisa's home.
"This letter came from Team Hackensack, a political organization, endorsing a particular ticket for BOE trustees in the upcoming election. It is well-known who the players are in this political organization."

Team Hackensack is principally supported by Jack Zisa, a former four-term mayor; and his brother, Ken Zisa, the disgraced former police chief, whose son, Anthony, is a teacher at Hackensack High School.

The meet-and-greet barbecue is scheduled for Friday afternoon at Anthony Zisa's home, 337 Maple Hill Drive, Hackensack.

Team Hackensack sent out letters with the salutation, "Dear Hackensack Educator," and listed the three candidates the Zisas are backing in hopes of consolidating their control of the school board.

"Feel free to bring family members, colleagues, neighbors and friends" to the backyard reception, the letter said.

$104 million budget

There are three vacancies on the nine-member board, and voters also can say "yes" or "no" to a $79 million tax levy in support of a proposed $104 million budget for 2016-17.

The spending plan for the schools exceeds the city's own budget, and represents nearly half of residents' property tax bills.

In Tuesday's election, the Zisas are backing three candidates:

Timothy Hoffman, an incumbent; Modesto Romero, a former board member; and Johanna Calle.


Referring to the use of teachers' addresses, DeOrio, the union president, said:

"How did this happen? Why did this happen? Who released our members' addresses? To compromise our members' right to privacy for political interest is UNACCEPTABLE.

"I do not condone this action and find it to be warranted of an investigation. The HEA CANNOT do these things without the proper proposal and consent of our membership.

"Sanctions and/or discipline will be sought for those involved in the matter," DeOrio's email said.

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