PERTH AMBOY — While City Hall is seeking a $330 property tax hike for the average homeowner, Eric Rodgers and Milady Tejeda are boasting that the proposed school budget they helped introduce includes no increase in the local levy for the schools as part of their campaign for re-election.
The two candidates in the school election, which will be held on Wednesday, April 27, are part of the changing guard at the Board of Education as the city tries to put the Joe Vas era in the past.
Tejeda was appointed to replace Austin Gumbs, a political ally of former mayor Joe Vas who retired from the Perth Amboy Board of Education.
Rodgers was elected last year to complete the term vacated by Raymond Geneske, another Vas associate who was convicted of political corruption crimes.
Vas was recently sentenced to state and federal prison terms but there are stark reminders of his tenure as some of his key aides struggle to survive politically.
Dianne Roman, who was appointed as city business administrator by Vas and now remains on the city payroll as supervisor of senior services, is seeking also a seat on the school board.
Melvin Ramos, a top aide to Vas who was also sentenced last week, dropped a bomb on the school election when he said that Roman sent municipal employees to do her personal shopping and deliver goods to her home after using a city charge card to pay for the groceries.
Roman has declined repeated opportunities to refute the accusation and her supporters attempted to squash the story by allegedly stealing hundreds of copies of this newspaper’s April 8 edition.
Two other candidates, Jacqueline Rodriguez-Sanchez and Nina Perkins Nieves, have kept a low profile in the campaign.
Voters will also be asked to approve the school budget, which contains no tax increase and includes ample state funding.
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