Thursday, December 8, 2016

Update on NHSA applicants


Well folks, it's official: so far there are (3) applicants to replace NHSA Commissioner Tony Soares, whose term expires in January 2017.

From left to right (refer to above graphic) the applicants are: BoE Trustee Leon Gold, former NHSA Commissioner Frank 'Pupie' Raia, and  New Guy, Paul Blanos.  Paul has never run for nor held elected office in Hoboken, and is a private citizen (so far).

About Leon Gold: 
Leon's a 40-year resident of Hoboken and an adjunct professor at Columbia University 's School of Engineering & Applied Science.  Leon loves cleaning up sewage.  He is really good at it.  In 2010, when Leon was elected to the Hoboken Board of Education, the place was a cesspool. Reform Board allies had already begun the clean-up, but still, messes were everywhere!

Leon inherited a Hoboken district enrollment bloated by an estimated 20% non-resident students here illegally!   Bloated enrollment allowed prior BoEs to use the district as a jobs bank; under BoE President (and NHSA applicant) Frank Raia, an audit of the 2005-2006 BoE found 1,050 persons on the payroll, many without basic identifying information.

Leon 's 6 years on the Hoboken BoE serving as board president and chair of both finance and curriculum committee, have seen a return to financial solvency, exciting new programs, and an increase in community support for district schools. In short, he cleaned up.*  

*GA note: Leon was UNFAIRLY pilloried for his 2014 Salon interview where he blasted Christie administration's property tax cap as "starving public schools" and charter-expansions as "increasing the segregatory effect."  In fact, GA's recent posts of NJDOE Performance Report demographic data  support  Leon's statements to Salon.   


Yeah, he spoke bluntly, but let's not stigmatize truth-tellers. Especially now in the Post-Truth Trump Era.

About Frank Raia:
Here's a thousand words:


Frank served on the NHSA for about 30 years.  GA hears he served well, did a good job, and was respected by most of his colleagues.   Raia also has vast experience with sewage;  he left metric-tons of it for Reform to clean up in Hoboken District Schools.

About the New Guy 
Paul would be a newbie to Hoboken public service.  On his application he wrote "I have  many years of experience in creating and fulfilling governmental and private contracts, as well as a very tech-heavy background."  Sounds good to me!

GA embraces the idea of new people stepping up to serve the community, and Paul does not seem to be involved in local politics- another plus.

Coincidentally, he and his family live across the street from GA, further up the block.   I've met him but really don't know him.  However, I do know his family was flooded out by Sandy.  Like many others on this block, they were hit hard.  They renovated and moved back in 2014.

Willow Terrace North post-Sandy

So... that is the status of NHSA applicants to date, to fill Soares' seat.

Of course, there is still plenty of time for folks to apply, and may the BEST MAN/WOMAN win!

86 comments:

  1. Blanos or Gold.

    Thanks to Raia for past service but there is no need to have him do it again. And anyone pushing for him on the council should seek only his support when they run again. Because they should not get the support of reformers

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  2. Anyone from reform currently on the council, and the mayor, should think really long and hard about their political prospects (which will be none) before they support the Pupie. A vote for Pupie is a vote for your own political death. I am tired of hearing that a guy that shit his pants and wouldn't go home to change them when he was a kid (hence, the nickname) is the perfect candidate for the NHSA as he really knows his "shit". He's had 30 years of knowing his "shit" on the tax payers' dime. Enough. Wipe your ass and move on, Frank.

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  3. Any member of the council who votes for FR is dead to me.

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    1. Didn't Peter vote for Frank last time?

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  4. Any council member, who claims to be with reform, votes for Frank at their peril.

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  5. PC is done if he goes through with what I hear is a planned vote for Frank. Over and done.

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    1. Please tell me no. If he does, that is the ultimate FU to reform.

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    2. A Reform Minded CharacterDecember 8, 2016 at 6:54 PM

      Well, if that is indeed true, it would be interesting to hear his explanation for the vote. Not sure that he would be able to get through the explanation with a straight face, though.

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    3. That is just a rumor - I don't believe it. Cunningham wouldn't. Not credible at all.

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  6. ABF = Anyone But Frank.

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  7. How can any reform council member vote for the King of VBMs? That would be the ultimate traitorous act. He is responsible for sticking us with Tim O. in the 4th Ward and the election that brought about the Reign of the Witch from Upper Hudson as Council President. Does anyone else not remember or understand the corrosive effect that Mr. Raia has had on Hoboken reform and elections, not just elections for council and mayor, but for the BOE as well? It is well past time to put him out to pasture.

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  8. I like the white flight guy!

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  9. Vote for Frank? Have people taken leave of their senses?

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    1. A Reform Minded CharacterDecember 8, 2016 at 7:20 PM

      I think we owe it to Peter (and he owes it to Reform) to allow him the opportunity to explain his alleged support, if that is, in fact, accurate, for Raia. I remain pessimistically optimistic that he will able to articulate a rationale that Reform is able to digest.

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  10. It may not matter much for the duties & responsibilities involved, but from observations of his social media presence, Blanos seems extremely politically conservative. Perhaps even to the degree where a staunch attachment to ideology sometimes trumps logic & fact-based reasoning. But I doubt that would color his understanding of what tends to float to the top.

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    1. Don't you live out of state now? You're a real special case.

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    2. Uh - what is wrong with a conservative on the board of a sewer authority? What, you don't like people who tend to care about how the finances of an agency are managed? I suspect you are the one who's attachment to ideology is out of wack.

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    3. And there's the rub (or the flush). We are on a slippery slope (or sewage pipe) if applicants to local municipal boards are decided on partisan political POVs- left or right. IMO, its irrelevant as long as they leave partisan politics at home when they are doing public work.

      That said, EXTREMISTS on either left or right- Alt Right shitheads, for example- MAY not be fit to serve, because such extremists cannot leave their POVs at home, and everything they see/do is seen through the lens of their extremist ideology. That is my opinion! But I believe there's an interview process to weed out the crazies.

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  11. So the "health problems" that forced him to drop out of the 3rd ward council race last year won't interfere with his ability to serve on the sewage commision? Oh.

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  12. Didnt Gold say the distract was going bankrupt because of the charters...a few months before the auditor said the district had a $5 million surplus?

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    1. I hate to dignify your dumb Petrosino talking point with a reply, as it is common sense why districts (and municipalities) need to carry a surplus- for natural disasters, emergencies, infrastructure maintenance, repair and capital improvements.

      In addition to classroom needs, the Hoboken district is custodian of aging buildings and infrastructure including: Brandt, Calabro, Wallace, Demarest and Connors, the High School field and field house. In addition, our kids deserve capital improvement projects like new labs and state of the art equipment.

      No, Sir/Ma'am, we are not going to zero out our surplus so HoLa can keep it's 7th/8th graders out of district schools.

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    2. I'm no fan- but the surplus was from the appropriated budget-you can carry a surplus (and should) but you cannot allocate money to fund a surplus. Especially when you are claiming to be bankrupt.

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    3. And you can prove that allegation- that money was allocated spedcifically to fund the surplus or it's your opinion/belief/assumption?

      Forward your evidence: grafixavenger666@gmail.com

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    4. Either money was allocated for padding a surplus or Gold approved a budget that was over $5 million in excess-- pick which explanation you prefer.

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    5. Gold thinks he's twice as smart as anyone else in the room-his reign at the HBOE has led to nothing but rising costs, lower enrollment, and plummeting scores. Horrible

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    6. Well he's twice as smart as someone whose idea of commentary is memorizing the discredited talking points of every anti-reform BOE ticket, including the one that got trounced last month.

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    7. those are not talking points-- those are verifiable facts. Election results do not determine what is true or not....at least not yet.

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    8. 4:05- they are talking points, all debunked here. Who sent you?

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    9. GA-love you but the facts are the facts.

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    10. Piss off. Repeating your drivel and calling it facts means nothing.

      There's one fact here. You hate Gold. Good for you.

      PS. there's no way you love a staunch public school advocate and bullshit debunker like GA. So you're stuck on one fact.

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    11. Explain how you can have "white flight" as Gold said when the percentage of whites is increasing in hobokens public schools? Going bankrupt when you have a $5 million yearly surplus?

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    12. 12:40, you are a hopelessly dishonest butt-hole.

      We get it. You hate Leon Gold and will use any subject including the NHSA open seat to express your loathing.

      Is your life so empty that you must carry on this humiliating crusade so long as Leon Gold has any standing in this world? Could you be any more pathetic?

      Maybe a teaching job in another city, Austin for instance, would take your mind off your irrelevance?

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    13. 12:40 is as irrelevant as Gold is effective and qualified for the NHSA

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  13. Is tony leaving that position?

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  14. Blanos lacks decorum and respect.

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  15. I prefer Blanos to Gold because I prefer new blood to recycling the same characters over and over.

    I'm sick of the same politically connected people being on the merry go round of boards/appointments.

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    1. A less negative way of thinking is that some people have been willing and able to give of their time to give back to our City.

      Leon Gold has been one of those people.

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    2. Yeah, have to give 1:23 a thumbs up in agreement. The reason you see the same names a lot is because in most cases those people are willing to give their time and energy to some very thankless jobs.

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    3. Understood. But when a new guy throws his hat in the ring, the first thing that happens is people crawl out of the woodwork to say negative stuff about him. Leon's no prince, but since Bossy Boots is like-minded Leon gets a pass.

      And the anon who mentioned Blanos lacks decorum and respect is undoubtedly pointing to facebook posts. If we're going that route, there are SEVERAL board members who lack decorum and respect, they just happen to also be left leaning.

      So forgive me if I'm a little cynical and negative on this topic. It really irks me the way someone who isn't liberal enough is tarnished by a bunch of anons who won't even use a consistent screen name (Bossy Boots being the exception).

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    4. Come on Snoopy - don't slam anyone anonymous who posts. The Bajardi SLAPP suit was successful in the sense that anonymous political free speech has definitely been chilled. Who needs the headache of 5 years of litigation with a bunch of thin skinned assholes? You and I can count a number of people that no longer appear on any site expressing any opinion - as a direct result of that lawsuit. And many of those commenters and their views are missed. You and I may just be braver (or dumber), have better insurance, perhaps are more pugilist, or just have a "who the fuck cares" attitude. Or all of the above.

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    5. LOL QOTV - I just use the same name over and over so that people can say "Snoopy is someone I agree with" or "Snoopy is an asshole". And so I can get credit for all of my amazing wit. Yea, wit, that's it. :)

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  16. Leon Gold unfairly, credits Zimmer with supporting "White Flight"

    Salon: "Dawn Zimmer – what role has she played in this situation?"

    Leon Gold: :A very poor, bad role …

    I just got reelected to the school board, and we were running together. HoLa wanted an expansion, and HoLa wanted our City Council people to write letters, and the mayor. We begged Dawn, “Don’t write a letter” … We have tried to explain to her what the financial impact would be …"

    http://www.salon.com/2014/03/13/christies_charter_school_nightmare_white_flight_and_they%E2%80%99re_bankrupting_us/

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  17. Didn't the a vendor host a big retirement Party for Raia last year?

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  18. Leon can be a bit of a pariah at times, but ultimately has consistently proven an able and effective public servant dedicated to always getting the best possible results for the community. Raia should be a non-starter for all the obvious reasons. I don't know Blanos, but he has a reputation for being a bit of an alt-right internet troll, and that makes me uneasy about having him as a representative.

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  19. Leon can be a bit of a pariah at times, but ultimately has consistently proven an able and effective public servant dedicated to always getting the best possible results for the community. Raia should be a non-starter for all the obvious reasons. I don't know Blanos, but he has a reputation for being a bit of an alt-right internet troll, and that makes me uneasy about having him as a representative.

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    1. I question your use of the word "pariah" as it is inappropriate in the context.

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    2. Alt-right? Really? I've read his comments. He's a conservative. He is certainly not a bigot, racist or KKK member. Just because he didn't like Clinton doesn't mean he's alt-right.

      I actually know him in real life and have to say he's a genuine guy who would help any friend in need. And he understands/knows government contracting.

      I'm getting to the point where I'm starting to believe if you're not bluer than blue and more left than liberal you're just not good enough for people in these parts. That's a shame and if it's true, it's a narrow minded approach to take. I hope I'm misreading things.

      (And I don't mean GA doesn't want opposing viewpoints, I just mean some of the commenters. . .or maybe it's one commenter. I can't tell, everyone is anonymous).

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    3. If you regularly link to sites that identify as alt right, you're alt right. By definition. It's the reason nobody goes to Horsey's site anymore, and a legitimate reason for being careful about appointing someone who could be a lightning rod.

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    4. If you regularly link to sites that identify as alt right, you're alt right. By definition. It's the reason nobody goes to Horsey's site anymore, and a legitimate reason for being careful about appointing someone who could be a lightning rod.

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    5. Oh brother. . .now we're looking at what he's linking to online in political debates that he may or may not just be being pithy about. We've reached a new level of crazy.

      I don't really care who gets on the board. I'm not going to argue this one. I just find it absurd that Leon gets a free pass, other board members get a free pass for their fb shenanigans (and no, I'm not going to name names), but Blanos gets a bad rap for being conservative.

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    6. Hear you, Snoopy. I get "that QOTV is an asshole" all of the time. Who the fuck cares?

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lx0z9FjxP-Y

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    7. Well, I've said it already- IMO a person's politics do not matter if they are qualified for the public position they are seeking and leave their politics at the door. I am talking about REASONABLE people, NOT militant extremists who see everything through the lens of their partisan POVs- Alt-Right shitheads, for example. Reform has a big tent. Everybody in- except for Alt-Right shitheads. May the best man/woman win.

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    8. I post links from WaPo, TP Memo, MotherJones, NY Times, and CNN. That doesn't make me a liberal. Just sayin'.

      QOTV - I was in no way implying you're an asshole. I was making fun of myself.

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    9. Reform is a big tent and has a long and proud history of backing staunch republicans like Jen Giattino, Tom Greaney, James Sanford and Bill Tobias. That doesn't mean there shouldn't be scrutiny around someone who makes a habit of hectoring city officials and their relatives and linking to fringe sites espousing ideas that fall outside mainstream conservatism.

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    10. snoopy

      I just saw this. The thread is getting out of control. I never thought that you were implying that I was an asshole. It was just a throw away comment about the risks of getting called an asshole when one comments with a consistent name (and a reason to link to Fried Green Tomatoes, a classic that I love to watch). No offense was taken. Seems we may have met in a prior cyber incarnation. I miss the old crowd. The asshole Bajardis drove a lot of good people and voices underground.

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    11. Agreed QOTV. Glad the comment I made was taken in the spirit it was made & I didn't offend you. :)

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  20. Gold? The guy who accused Charters of being akin to school segregation?

    No thank you.

    I will never for for a councilperson who votes for Gold.

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    1. I'm less concerned about his comment on charters than the fact that he'll have to grove for votes from some of the council members he has viciously insulted.

      I hope he gets the appointment and is duly humbled by the experience.

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    2. Anon at 4:16

      "for for" and you are talking about an educational topic? Sounds to me like you got your English education at HOLA.

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    3. Ghesh - did the HOLA idiots come out in force today or what? Someone should keep them after school so that they can receive remedial tutoring in how to communicate in English. I guess that HOLA's curriculum doesn't really support dual language education after all.

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    4. You would never vote for a councilperson with a lick of integrity.

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  21. Anon at 4:16 p.m.
    If the shoe fits, wear it.

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  22. 4:16, Gold referred to a "segregatory effect" which a lot of Petrosino smoke and mirrors has done nothing to diminish.

    What people have continually objected to is the implication that charters set out to achieve the same objectives as southern bigots. But Gold didn't say that, and honest people know it. It's a shame there aren't more honest people arguing on behalf of HOLA.

    In other news, Gold has lately been joined in his charter school skepticism by the NAACP. So everyone is going to have to ask Santa for new talking points.

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    1. HoLa wrote about "white flight" in their appeal brief. So it's only a problem when the BoE acknowledges it.

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    2. Wait, so even HoLa admits that school exists to cater to white people? That is too funny. What hypocrites.

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    3. Gold threatened to run against Dallarra, Sobolov and Evans this year and that's a fact. He didn't because cooler heads ( or the voices in Leon's) convinced him not to.

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    4. @11:45, I know we live in a Breitbart world where all that's needed to create a "fact" is to say "that's a fact."

      But this isn't Breitbart. Back it up or peddle it elsewhere.

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  23. If you understand that this appointment is for a position that has virtually zero real power and impact on anything it is odd how much time is wasted on debating politics of it. Now that the health benefits has been dropped from position it isn't the political patronage plum that it once was.

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    1. Raia thinks he gets the benefits if he returns within 18 months

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    2. No he doesn't.

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  24. OMG- did you read about the forced sale of the Bajardi couple's condo to pay back legal fees to a victim of their SLAPP suit? http://hudsoncountyview.com/judge-couple-must-sell-home-to-pay-225k-owed-to-hoboken-man/

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    1. Not to change topics but...THIS IS YUGE, BIGLY!!!!!

      What a Xmas present! Karma, baby.

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    2. Looking forward to extensive coverage of this big news in the Hoboken Reporter...oh, wait a minute.

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    3. Karma again proves to be a bigger b*tch than even Kim or Lane.






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    4. Purple Pillow Puffers AnonymousDecember 10, 2016 at 12:51 PM

      Wonder if any local "benefactors" make it up to them in some way or leave them hanging?

      BTW, these emails are so hilarious. Lane and Perry are absolutely convinced that people are paying close attention to their every word, LOL. What self-important douchnozzles.

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    5. Lady MacBeth and her greasy fish are watching them twist in the wind. Out damned spot!

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  25. Hope Blanos gets the position.

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  26. MBB, you and JS need to stop drinking WaWa coffee

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  27. Folks- I just rescued 16 comments from my SPAM bucket. Sorry if yours was one, or two, or more. I don't know why that happened.

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  28. Without health benefits, with very little financial compensation, what does someone as seemingly corrupt as Raia want this position for? What's his motivation, what does he hope to gain?

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  29. What does the position actually involve? What makes a good sewerage authority commissioner? I agree that national politics shouldn't play a role in most local positions, but if someone were a climate change denier, would that affect their ability to do this job?

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    1. Maybe I'll post some NHSA minutes next week so folks have a better idea of what happens at these meetings. I think they are largely voting up or down on contracts, but we'll have a look.

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