By James J. Devine
Perth Amboy schools Superintendent Janine Caffrey estimates the Board of Education has spent $70,000 on the struggle to be rid of her, but she refuses to accept responsibility for the problem and get out of the way.
If the Republican education policy advocate cared about taxpayer money then she would let the elected representatives of the people do what they believe is right for the public schools.
Three votes have now been taken to get rid of Caffrey but each time, an un-elected Republican bureaucrat in Trenton has overturned the decision.
When voters picked the Board of Education members, they invested them with power. Caffrey does not respect the public. She is a masterful politician who has made good people look bad by playing fast and loose with the facts, exploiting political connections and scamming the media.
The law firm of David B. Rubin, of Metuchen, is working as a special counsel the on Caffrey employment matter, while board attorney Isabel Machado has also submitted monthly bills far greater than expected due to Caffrey-related costs.
Caffrey says the school board spent $70,000 but she is the one driving up costs to taxpayers.
Caffrey wants to deprive teachers of tenure — the right to job protection — but she is using every legal and political tactic in the book to drag out her own firing.
It is obvious that Caffrey is a hypocrite who cares nothing for children. She is a bully whose philosophy would mean an end to free public education and a new age of privatization, profiteering and politics that would deny society the benefit of citizens able to think and function as the engine of democracy.
One board member, Kurt Rebovich, who is little more than a child, has been defending Caffrey but his mother works for the superintendent. Another Caffrey supporter is Dianne Roman, now an employee of the Mayor Wilda Diaz administration who previously held the top city job under disgraced former mayor Joe Vas.
The dimwitted Diaz has also stood up to defend the indefensible Superintendent, but with no more than a high school education, a clear lack of pedagogical understanding and limited intellectual ability at best, her opinion really should have no weight.
The last holdout for the $172,500 Superintendent is Mark Carvajal, a coward who urged two other board members to fire Caffrey before they had made up their minds and then failed to summon the nerve to cast a vote to do just that.
There have been a lot of smoke and mirrors distracting people from the main event here, but so far nobody has explained why the people that hired her should be stopped from firing her now that she has made such a mess of things.
Firing Janine Caffrey is the only course of action that makes sense for Perth Amboy. It is time to get it over with and move on.
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