So, GA hears that last night's BoE meeting was uneventful- which in Hoboken terms means: no Nazi Trucks, no Mason videographers, no tough guys lining the back of the room or speakers demanding to be arrested when asked to leave the podium after their allotted 5 minutes are up.
Uneventful is good. That's the way we (Reform) roll. A bunch of rule-obeyers and fuddy-duddies.
Of course, in Hoboken it is nearly impossible to get through a public meeting without one attempted hot-gas explosion. Last night was no exception.
The star of this ill-fated performance (in Latin: grandstandus interruptus, gas-bagium abortus, photo-opus Facebookus): Tim Occhipinti.
Yep, Timmy was on deck, camera-ready, to harangue the Superintendent and School Board. About what, you ask?
It appears Tim was there to speak about a valid concern for many parents: busing for students displaced by the flood. What's wrong with that? Nothing, except GA heard some buzz that Timmy had already met with the Administration (off-camera) at which time he must have been apprised of the issues the district and taxpayers face if we bus.
The Hoboken school district is categorized 'non-busing' because no child has a 2-mile or greater commute to his/her (public) school.
The issue's been raised because of hurricane Sandy; the storm destroyed classrooms in Connors and children were relocated to Brandt for the duration of repairs. That's a long walk. GA sympathizes with all who have to schlep so far now to bring their little ones to school. It's yet another way the hurricane has disrupted the lives of Hoboken residents. Other ways include the destruction of businesses, public and private property. Now for some, it's transportation to school- time or money spent (hiring someone to bring your child, taking public transportation or car service).
GA hopes a legal or creative solution can be found for the displaced Connors kids; I am guessing there is, and it will take earnest effort to find. Thank goodness pre-k is free in Hoboken. Unlike most other cities.
As for busing, the problem we face with changing our 'non-busing' designation is once the district does for some, they are required to do it for all. All means all children attending public, charter, and private schools... no matter where the child attends school: Hoboken, Jersey City, Manhattan, Brooklyn, etc. And, if we don't provide that child with busing, we are required to pay them a stipend for transportation- the cost I heard was $884 per child.
Who is going to pay for it? Of course, busing would be a convenience for Hoboken parents- including me.
So, if Timmy wanted to dive into this issue by all means, he should have shown up armed with ideas, not argument. One can assume he came to blame. Busing was not on the agenda, so unless Tim was allowed to speak first, he would have to wait until the end of a 54-page agenda. GA hears Timmy tried to speak first but was denied. So he left the meeting at about 8 pm when the Board went into Executive Session. Enough said?