Sunday, June 5, 2016

Petition Circulating to end Unfair Labor Practices by City Manager David Troast and the City Council


The Hackensack City Council, and their 4th City Manager in under 4 years, have taken to bullying and intimidating city workers.  This is resulting in lawsuits on your tax dollar, and a decline in city services.  Members from each of Hackensack’s collective bargaining units have complained that morale among their collective bargaining units are at all time lows.  Generally, I would brush it off as sour grapes or silly complaints, until I really listened.   

Councilmen Sims and Battaglia have bullied and harassed DPW workers since their coming into office (http://hackensackscoop.blogspot.com/2014/09/department-of-public-works-requests-end.html).

Deborah Keeling-Geddis came on to the council already showing her animus and hatred towards our uniformed services having gone to Trenton to attempt to block the approval of a bond issue citing reckless spending in giving the PBA modest 1% and 1.5% salary increases (despite the PBA contributing back up to 35% of the cost of their health insurance coverage).  (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=khsPjECyebw

Deputy Mayor Canestrino and Mayor Labrosse led the charge in hiring their campaign manager Thom Ammirato to be their city paid campaign manager while hiring their campaign fundraiser Anthony Rottino to a made up position (before making him the City Manager).  Well, Ammirato left Hackensack in disgrace losing two public jobs in exchange for an agreement with the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office not to prosecute him (http://hackensackscoop.blogspot.com/2014/10/politically-affiliated-county-employee.html).  

After Labrosse and Canestrino fell out with Rottino, they pleaded behind closed doors with residents to help run him out of town. The result of the bullying of Rottino? A big fat settlement and lawsuit at the tax payers expense! And what are they doing now?  They have brought back a city funded public relations firm in this, their last year in office, to try to make themselves look good going into campaign season.   

Canestrino took it on herself, along with Rose Greenman, to harass and intimidate the City Clerk out of her job (http://hackensackscoop.blogspot.com/2014/08/you-read-it-here-first-former-city.html) due to her perceived “political affiliations. The result? Another big fat civil rights violation lawsuit that continues to be ongoing. 

The City Manager, in the last 6 months, has:

1) Negotiated a contract with the white collar employees which was finalized in January.  Despite the contract terms being complete, he will not sign the contract and according to a union member is “holding it over every worker’s head that they are working without a contract as a scare tactic.” 

2) Frozen steps for our police officers, despite a judge’s ruling that you cannot freeze steps because a contract has expired.  The City Manager refuses to give the young police officers their contractual steps.  What most people do not know is that police officers start at very modest salaries (approximately $36,000) before rising over a nine year period to a salary of $100,000+.  These young officers with families are struggling to make ends meet and the City Manager refuses to honor their existing contractual step increases. And why is he holding up the steps stubbornly?  Presumably because if an unfair labor practice complaint is filed the current contract negotiations are forced into arbitration (see 3 below).

3) Will not give the PBA a contract.  The PBA during the last contract negotiation accepted 1% and 1.5% salary increases while giving back up to 35% of their cost of health insurance benefits.  The result was a net negative increase in take home pay for every officer.  In this new contract negotiation, the PBA offered the city a 2-year contract with NO SALARY INCREASES.  The City Manager’s response? He FILED FOR ARBITRATION!

4) Started discussions on the privatization of the sanitation department which will result in a decline in services as a private contractor comes in and many hard working city employees losing their jobs!

While all of this was going on, the City Manager and CFO received $7,500 and $7,900 raises and the City Manager reinstated a 21% raise for Councilman Battaglia’s wife (http://hackensackscoop.blogspot.com/2015/04/councilmans-spouse-has-rescinded-raise.html). 

I implore you to please consider signing the below petition and telling your City Council to stop these unfair labor practices, treat our workers fairly, honor their existing contracts, sign the contracts they have negotiated, and give all of our collective bargaining units contracts!  The result if they don’t? A decline in city services and undoubtedly more lawsuits and shame brought to our City.  If they can give a councilman's wife a 21% raise, the City Manager and CFO a $7,500 and $7,900 raise, the HR manager a city car, spend $21+ million on pet projects, and hire their own campaign manager on the City's dime, they can give our policemen their steps, all of our collective bargaining units a fair contract, and keep all of our city services intact!

Petition:

Please feel free to forward this to your friends, family, and coworkers, should you feel so moved.


Thursday, April 14, 2016

Zisa Aligned "Team Hackensack" Endorses Deserter and Alleged Boisterous Bully for Board of Education

The Zisa Aligned PAC "Team Hackensack," which is self described as seeking to "participate in every aspect of Hackensack life: educational, governmental, civic, and political" has endorsed three candidates for the Board of Education.  These Zisa candidates are Modesto Romero, Johanna Calle, and Timothy Hoffman.  Modesto Romero and Timothy Hoffman are longtime allies of the Zisa family having both previously served on the Board of Education with Zisa backing.  The third candidate, Calle, is the live-in partner of the Chairman of "Team Hackensack" who recently lost (overwhelmingly) his bid to take over the Hackensack teachers' union (Hackensack Education Association).

Former Mayor Jack Zisa, brother of disgraced Ex-Chief Ken Zisa, serves as the "organization's" Treasurer 

Hoffman disappears from Board, chooses Zisa's in political rift


Well, Hoffman is kind of a longtime ally.  There was of course his brief hiatus from Zisaville when he flirted with the idea of remaining aligned with the offshoot faction of reformers, formerly loyal to the Zisa regime.  Insiders have advised HACKENSACK SCOOP Hoffman turned his back and went back to the Zisa's with hopes of advancement past the Board after feeling shunned when he was not considered for the chance to run for a vacant council seat this past year.  I can see how a naive young aspiring politician, who ultimately will want to seek higher public office, and potential public employment, can be sucked in by the charisma of the ever-tan Jack Zisa.  But like I said, naiveté at its best.  Remember, the moth drawn to the shiny blue light.... well he generally gets burned.  Going "all-in" on a ship wreck such as the Zisa name is a bold move that one can only hope for his sake pays off, as if not reelected his trust and loyalty are seriously in question by future handlers for higher level office.

Unfortunately more than just political shifts render Hoffman a no vote for me.  This past summer Hoffman's eagerness and hard work paid off when he landed a wonderful summer internship in Washington, D.C. pursuing his passions, and gaining experience.  Unfortunately, he literally disappeared from his responsibility to the Board of Education for three months missing over 750 votes at the Board.  I understand that this young eager beaver needs to gain experience and pursue his passions in a hope to form a career, however the Board of Education has a long standing policy allowing Trustees to telephone conference the meeting and participate and vote by phone.  Hoffman did not exercise these rights.  His place on the Board of Education is unfortunately no more than a resume builder and I can not endorse, or vote for, a candidate who would abandon his post not making his presence on the Board an absolute priority.  If Hoffman does not have the time and focus to concentrate on our children, he has no place on the Board.  Our children and the Board of Education are NOT resume builders to be used as a stepping stone to higher office.

But I digress... on to the point of the article.....

Romero in schools "compromises the safety and well-being" of school communities  


Romero, who has a colored past as a Board Trustee formerly served as Vice President of the Board. Unfortunately, his tenure on the Board was marked with divisiveness and controversy as he allegedly often let the title "Board of Education Trustee" go to his head, and give him a false sense of power.  Public records obtained by HACKENSACK SCOOP document incidences where Modesto Romero harassed, intimidated, and bullied public school employees, using his title in an attempt to receive preferential treatment.  Further, in these records a former district Principal advised the Superintendent that Romero's ongoing presence in her school (if allowed) compromised "the safety and well-being of the Hillers community."  




On March 10, 2010, Dr. Padovano (Principal of Hillers School), wrote a letter to Superintendent Ed Kliszus.  In the letter, Dr. Padovano memorializes at least two occasions where Modesto Romero interrupted her school causing scenes, using profanities in front of teachers, students, and parents, and creating an unsafe environment for a school.  On March 9, 2010 Romero allegedly barged into the main office with a parent seeking to enroll their child in the school.  Apparently there was an issue with documentation submitted by this parent and in the secretary's detailed account of the incident Romero screamed "this is bullshit and this bullshit is going to stop. I am Vice President of the Board."    Romero allegedly repeated this three times while pounding his fist on the desk.  The secretary described Romero as "bullying, rude, and disrespectful." 

Dr. Padovano's letter explains that this is not the first time that Romero behaved in such a manner and that he routinely refuses to follow district policies of wearing his identification badge and signing into the building.  On a prior occasion, Romero allegedly walked into his son's classroom unannounced and berated the teacher in front of students.  Padovano's letter states that on more than one occasion Romero has indicated that "he is the Vice President of the Board and will have her job."  

The letter goes on to state that Romero continued to harass teachers, secretaries, the assistant principal, and was frightening students.  Padovano concluded advising that Romero's ongoing presence in her school (if allowed) compromised "the safety and well-being of the Hillers community."  

When asked about Romero's past, the candidates' Facebook page apologized for my confusion and denied that such incidents have ever occurred indicating it must not be the same Modesto Romero.  Has more than one Modesto Romero served on our Board?



We have seen what harassment, intimidation, and bullying have cost our City.  More than $6,000,000 for Ken Zisa's charades and countless new lawsuits for the ongoing harassment perpetuated by our new council.  

First question to you the reader and voter, can the Board of Education afford a liability of a power hungry wild card such as Modesto Romero?

Second question to you the reader and voter, can you in good conscience support someone to be a guiding force in setting policy in our schools and being a role model to our youth with a hot temper and history such as this?  A district Principal's very words that Romero's presence in our school's compromises the safety and well-being of our children.

Third question to you the reader and voter, can you in good conscience vote for a slate of candidates that would associate with, and support, Modesto Romero?





 

Thursday, April 7, 2016

He's Back....

Hi Scoopers.... Sorry for the hiatus. I was really trying hard to give the benefit of the doubt.  But these dolts are at it again....

STORIES AND POSTS TO COME, but for now.......

Who remembers this witch?  Happy Throwback Thursday... talk about hypocrisy!

 
 

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Hackensack Rotary Holds Annual Texas Hold'em Fundraiser

On Sunday, April 3, 2016, the Hackensack Rotary will be hosting their 3rd Annual Texas Hold’em Tournament at the Rochelle Park Knights of Columbus.  Entry in the tournament is $100 and there are prizes of up to $1,500 for the winner.  The tournament begins at 1:00 pm.



The tournament is run by a fully licensed professional casino operator, each table is run by a professional dealer.  Last year there were approximately 85 players and many spectators who enjoyed 4-5 hours of poker, fun, and camaraderie.

All of the net proceeds will be donated to the club to support their mission of providing scholarships, feeding the homeless, funding the Rotary's Gift of Life program (offering life saving heart surgeries), sending children to the Rotary Youth Leadership Award (a one week intensive leadership conference) and many more well deserving charities. 

Those interested in registering, or supporting the event with a sponsorship, can contact Dr. Dave DeOliveira at 201-490-6285 or hackrotarytix@gmail.com



Hackensack Rotary Holding Raffle for College Scholarships

The Hackensack Rotary Club is holding their annual raffle to benefit the High School Scholarship Fund.  Hackensack Rotary scholarships are made available to graduating seniors who are residents of Hackensack.  Scholarships are also presented to children of Hackensack firefighters from a special fund created after the tragic loss of five Hackensack firefighters in the Ford Dealership fire on July 1, 1988. Last year, the Scholarship Fund awarded $20,000 in scholarships to local High School seniors.

Raffle tickets are $10 and can be purchased from any Hackensack Rotarian, or by emailing hackrotarytix@gmail.com.  Each raffle ticket has six chances to win.  Drawings to win $200 will be held on April 21, May 5, May 12, May 19, and June 2.  On June 23rd, a $1,000 winner will be drawn.



Sunday, January 3, 2016

Hackensack Rotary Feeds More than 250 in Need

Yesterday, the Hackensack Rotary donated turkeys, hams, and trimmings, to feed people in need at The Christ Church.  With the assistance of local charitable organizations such as the Rotary, Michele Hart-Loughin, Susin Christador, and John McCarthy who began this Holiday feast more than twenty years ago, have been able to continue to grow this event.

Yesterday, more than 250 people in need were provided with a hot meal, a hat and scarf, and a to-go container with a second helping.

Hosting this annual event is no small feat.  Many volunteers and organizations contribute to its success.  Judy Banes of the On Our Own self help center (179 Main Street) spreads the word to those in need.  The Christ Church donates the use of their hall and kitchen.  The Hackensack Rotary sponsors the event through the donation of the turkeys, hams, and vegetables.  Michele, Susin, and John prepare the meals and coordinate the event with the assistance of the Hackensack Rotarians and their families.









Rotary is a worldwide organization of more than 1.2 million business, professional, and community leaders. Members of Rotary clubs, known as Rotarians, provide humanitarian service, encourage high ethical standards in all vocations, and help build goodwill and peace in the world. There are 33,000 Rotary clubs in more than 200 countries and geographical areas. Clubs are nonpolitical, nonreligious, and open to all cultures, races, and creeds. The Foundation is a not-for-profit corporation supported solely by voluntary contributions from Rotarians and friends of the Foundation who share its vision of a better world.

Anyone interested in joining is encouraged to call 201-490-6285 or email: membership@hackensackrotary.org.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

No Shave November

For the month of November I have put down my razor.  Symbolic of the hair that many cancer patients lose during treatment, I am going to let mine grow wild and free for the month of November.  I'll put my razor down, if you will help support great causes by visiting my fundraising page.  I have opted to do my fundraising efforts through the Matthew Hill Foundation which was started by 8 siblings who lost their father to colon cancer in November of 2007.  They use the funds raised through their Foundation to help support cancer patients, fund research, and promote screening and prevention through the funding of four amazing charities: the American Cancer Society, Prevent Cancer Foundation, Fight Colorectal Cancer, and the St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital.



Please click here to visit my fundraising page and learn more about No Shave November and the Matthew Hill Foundation.