|Not a done deal-yet: "Divert" Green Acres Status, renegotiate 50-year Lease agreement with the B&G, HoLa can apply for Variance to expand|
What a week! GA was hosting guests from out-of-town (way out-of-town)--Osaka, Japan.
I took this photo on Saturday. Against the harsh forces of winter, a few cherry blossoms had sprouted from an otherwise barren tree.
Given warmth, rich soil and bright sun, all flowers may flourish. Deprive them, and only the rugged survive.
Flowers are like children.
Let's re-cap. Here is what we have learned recently about Hoboken's Boys & Girls Club:
The membership fee has gone from $15/year to $65 week; that is $2, 860 for 44 weeks of the program (not including 8 weeks of summer camp). That amounts to an annual increase of $2,795 per child.
GA hears this fee hike has caused B&G Club kids to leave "in droves".
We've also learned the B&G Club Director is Margarita Garcia, who is on the Faculty & Staff of HoLa as the school's AfterCare and Enrollment Coordinator.
We know that the Boys and Girl's Club has been sub-leasing their space to HoLa, Dual Language School, which makes B&G Director/HoLa Staff member Garcia landlord and tenant of the space the B&G leases from Hoboken for $2/year.
|Screen caps: 12/15/2014|
A GA reader posted the HoLa Aftercare and Enrichment classes rates.
If those rates are accurate, then sub-lessee HoLa is a regular cash cow for the B&G Club.
Or is it? B&G Director Garcia can ask the HoLa Aftercare Coordinator Garcia.
Perhaps B&G Director Garcia can negotiate with HoLa's Aftercare Coordinator Garcia to allot space in the "Enrichment classes" for economically disadvantaged B&G kids and/or kids priced out of B&G club membership, since taxpayers subsidize the building for $2/year.
Oh, one more thing: 123 Jefferson was built with Green Acres public funding and the presence of the Charter is an apparent violation to the Green Acres rules.
In August 2011 MSV wrote, in part:
The Hoboken Boys and Girls Club has failed to provide required annual reports to the City of Hoboken showing specific compliance requirements serving the community's underprivileged youth. The terms of the agreement are part of a fifty year lease originally created back in the mid 90s.That was 2011; what's happening now?
The complete terms appear in an original ordinance dated November 1994 in City documents. As part of a 50 year agreement, the building at 123 Jefferson Street is leased annually from the City of Hoboken for $2.
The original ordinance states a requirement of the lessee (the Boys & Girls Club) to the City of Hoboken in item 10:
The Lessee agrees to use the facilities for the sole purpose of conducting youth programs and the Lessee activities. It will not rent or lease the facility for commercial purposes without first obtaining City permission nor will any commercial activities be conducted at the facility.
Meanwhile, the building is expanding - to benefit the HoLa school...
Questions on the authorization of these activities and the City's oversight and approval role in the process remains outstanding. Complaints have been going on for months among public school parents including other charter schools on the unfair competitive advantage of a charter school being hosted at the Boys & Girls Club while underprivileged community youth have been bumped out of the building to make way for HoLa.
GA has learned the City is on track to "divert" Green Acres status from 123 Jefferson to 16th Street, then re-negotiate its "50 year lease agreement" with the Boys and Girls Club with two parties: the B&G and HoLa.
I kid you not. The City's 50-year lease to agreement with the Boy's and Girl's Club of America to use the facilities for the sole purpose of conducting youth programs and the Lessee activities is to be canned so the taxpayer-funded building at 123 Jefferson can legally host an expanding Charter school, with its upscale demographic. Of course, all this is contingent upon "diverting" Green Acres status from the site.
On September 17 2014, the City Council voted 8-0 in favor of the Resolution below (Castellano was absent):
Now, read Section 6b of the Tripartite Agreement Hoboken Boys and Girls Club, HOLA, and the City of Hoboken carefully, keeping in mind that Director Garcia is BOTH Parties: HOLA and BGC:
b. Neither HOLA nor BGC may assign, transfer or delegate any of its rights or obligations hereunder without obtaining the prior written consent of the other Parties, which may be withheld for any reason, whether reasonable or unreasonable.If the City is determined to re-purpose a taxpayer-funded building intended to benefit poor youth and youth programs to a Charter school catering to an upscale demographic (oh yeah, it does... check out the fees on the "Enrichment classes"), GA implores the City to use it's leverage to negotiate rights for the children of the Boys and Girls Club, including use of facilities and reduced membership fees.