Thursday, November 11, 2010

Another golden video from Chris Christie

Cubachi and Ed Morrissey link to a great video of Chris Christie blasting a school superintendent and the school board of Parsippany, New Jersey for negotiating a contract to retain the superintendent for an average of $225,064 a year despite the new law that the governor passed through that would have capped his salary at $175,000. Christie excoriates the superintendent and school board for their arrogance and greed for working so fast to get around the pay freeze. Those six school board members who voted for the pay increase may have a hard time explaining to their voters why they rushed through this new contract despite pleas from two other members to delay the new contract until the new law goes into effect in February.
In July, Christie proposed a superintendent salary cap. Under the proposed regulation, superintendents’ pay would be directly proportional to the number of students enrolled in the district. The new regulation would have capped Seitz’s salary at $175,000.

"I feel very strongly that our board has negotiated very strongly the best possible contract," board member Debbie Orme said amid cat-calls, whistles and yells from the crowd in Parsippany last night.

During the board’s discussion of the contract, board member Michael Strumolo made a motion to table the vote for a later date. The motion was seconded by Bob Crawford, a vocal opponent of the contract.

"No board member who is committed to openness and transparency will have no issue with delaying this vote," Crawford said.

The motion was promptly voted down by the board, 6-2, with one abstention. During the public comment period, scores of people questioned why the board would not wait until the governor’s cap is enacted before renewing the superintendent’s contract.

"Just because you can do something doesn’t mean you should do something," said M. Stanley Kron, a Parsippany resident.
With Christie vowing to make Superintendent Seitz's new contract the poster boy for greed and arrogance, expect those board members and the executive county superintendent, Kathleen Serafino, to be answering angry questions from taxpayers for a good long time, maybe right up through the next election.

Cheers to Chris Christie for highlighting exactly what has been going on for way too long among New Jersey politicians. Other counties considering getting around the pay freeze to rush through similar pay increases for their school superintendents may well think twice before they become the newest poster boys for Chris Christie's wonderful traveling transparency show.