Friday, October 19, 2012

Roxbury CARE Takes Down Website After Being Accused of Spreading Inaccurate Information

After being accused of reporting inaccurate information at a recent board meeting, it appears the three school board candidates, running for school board as the slate "CARE", have decided to take down their website from the public's view. The website address

Prior to last week, school board candidates Volz, Coakley and Casola were reporting the following information on their website:
Because of budget defeats and the governor's cuts, Roxbury Schools have suffered the following:
  • The dismissal of 51 staff members including teachers, aides, secretaries, a vice principal and transportation staff.
  • Funding was cut to the transportation budget ($275,000) thereby forcing the department to reschedule some bus routes.
  • The Board of Education is forced to consider outsourcing transportation and other services.
  • Guidance services have been reduced K to 12.
  • Technology has been scaled back.
  • There is now a 400 to 1 ratio of students to administrators at the high school.
  • Students have to pay to participate in sports and clubs. Often parents are paying significantly more for pay- to-play than they would have paid in tax increases if the budget had passed.
  • Repairs in all of our school buildings are past due because there just isn't enough money to do them.

"Most of these accusations are just plain false." stated Fran Day, Roxbury TEAM candidate
for Roxbury School Board. Day went on to say, "Superintendent of Schools, Patrick Tierney confirmed at this week's board meeting that technology had not been scaled back. Actually, every classroom is now equipped with a smart board which greatly enhances learning."
"The school board has not lost 51 staff members this or any year." stated Garry DeFilippis, Roxbury TEAM candidate for Roxbury School Board. "Although it is true the school board outsourced several custodial positions over the past two years, past Roxbury Schools Superintendent Jim O'Neil confirmed previously that the district added 6 teaching staff members in 2010 / 2011 and then reduced the teaching staff by 6 in 2011 / 2012. This much smaller reduction was because of declining enrollment, not because of failed budgets."

Garry DeFilippis went on to say, "The New Jersey Department of Education website states that the student to administrator ratio for the district was 178 to 1 in 2009 / 2010 and 188 to 1 in 2010 / 2011. The current school board has actually added administrative costs, not reduced them."

Current school board member Chris Rogers said, "The policy called Pay To Play has NOT been eliminated. It has only been put on hold for three years, mainly because Roxbury TEAM made it a campaign issue during last year's election. Soon after, school board member Maureen Castriotta and I advocated the total elimination of the policy. There is more than enough money generated in the budget every year. Pay To Play should be eliminated once and for all. There is no need to scare parents with the possibility of paying extra fees even if the school board does not increase the tax levy year after year."

Although it is unclear if the Roxbury CARE candidates were purposefully trying to mislead the public, it is clear that many of the facts they reported on their website and in the recent newspaper article are false. The CARE website, run by wife of current school board member Ron Lucas could not be reached via email for comment.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

DeFilippis, Gariola and Day Welcome Debate

Roxbury School Board candidates, Garry DeFilippis, Michael Gariola and Fran Day are looking forward to a debate. The problem? The Roxbury Parent Teacher Association scheduled a debate for October 10th without first checking the availability of the candidates.
DeFilippis, Gariola and Day will be speaking at the Roxbury and Mount Arlington Consolidation event on the same date. Kendall Warsaw, current PTA leadership, and former 2008 candidate for the Board of Education, has been asked to consider a date change, but after numerous requests, no new date is forthcoming.
"We want to have a debate. It gives residents a chance to hear what we have to offer, and how we want to make Roxbury's school system the best there is." stated Garry DeFilippis, Roxbury School Board candidate.
DeFilippis, Gariola and Day were invited to another debate by the Roxbury Tea Party, and will be attending. Fred Snowflack, journalist for the Bergen County Record, will moderate that event, scheduled for Monday, October 29th, at 7PM in the Roxbury Public Library. CARE candidates, Leo Coakley, Margaret Casola, and Marty Volz were invited, but as of this writing, they have not accepted.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Roxbury School Board Candidates Debate Scheduled for Monday, October 29th at 7pm

The six Roxbury School Board candidates: Leo Coakley, Margaret Casola, Marty Volz, Garry Defilippis, Michael Gariola and Fran Day been invited by the Roxbury TEA Party to debate the important issues relating to Roxbury student, parents, taxpayers and voters.

There are three seats open on the Roxbury School Board this year.  Leo Coakley, Margaret Casola, Marty Volz are running as a slate called Roxbury CARE which stands for “Concerned Advocates for Roxbury Education.”  Garry DeFilippis, Michael Gariola and Fran Day are running as a slate called Roxbury TEAM which stands for “Roxbury Taxpayers’ Education Association Members.”

The candidates will be asked about topics such as educational quality, school funding, tenure reform, property taxes, shared services, administrative costs and the proposed Roxbury and Mount Arlington consolidation.

The debate will be held on Monday, October 29th at 7pm at the Roxbury Public Library located at 103 Main Street in Succasunna. The debate, which is open to the public, will be moderated by Fred Snowflack, journalist for the Bergen County Record.  This event is free, but seating is limited.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Group discusses consolidation of Roxbury, Mount Arlington Oct. 10 - New Jersey Hills Newspaper: Roxbury Register News

Group discusses consolidation of Roxbury, Mount Arlington Oct. 10 - New Jersey Hills Newspaper: Roxbury Register News: ROXBURY TWP. -- Gina Genovese, executive director of Courage to Connect New Jersey, will be the featured speaker at a public forum beginning a…

Roxbury and Mount Arlington Consolidation Commission to Begin October 10th at 6:30pm

Roxbury TEAM members Chris Rogers, Ralph Nappi, Virginia Mushinski and Independent candidate for Morris County Freeholder, Maureen Castriotta, will be hosting an open meeting for Roxbury and Mount Arlington residents to discuss the proposed study to connect municipal and school functions in both towns in an effort to achieve improved efficiency and savings. The event will be held on Wednesday, October 10th at 6:30pm at the Roxbury Public Library, 103 Main St. Succasunna.  
Gina Genovese, former Mayor of Long Hill, will be our keynote speaker. Gina is the founder and Executive Director of Courage to Connect NJ, which helps NJ's municipalities analyze the feasibility of consolidation. Princeton Borough and Princeton Township conducted the study in 2011, and implemented their consolidation with favorable results. Fanwood and Scotch Plains are in the process of appointing their study commissioners, after successfully petitioning the state for a municipal consolidation study.

Fred Lange and Don Parisi will discuss the ongoing, two-year process in Scotch Plains and Fanwood, as well as provide some guidance on how a similar effort can begin in Roxbury and Mount Arlington.

Fran Day, Garry DeFilippis and Michael Gariola, this year's Roxbury School Board candidates, also share TEAM's goal to improve educational quality in our school by eliminating waste, lowering property taxes and directing savings to the classroom. They will be speaking at the event, and are interested in meeting with residents to hear their thoughts and ideas.

Independent Morris County Freeholder candidate and current Roxbury School Board member Maureen Castriotta has also recently joined the committee. "We are glad to have Maureen on board as she has proven over and over again that she is interested in creating results and not just talking about them." said Chris Rogers, Roxbury TEAM Secretary.

"At the very least, it is in the best interest of both the Roxbury and Mount Arlington taxpayers to conduct the study. We believe a substantial amount of tax dollars can be saved by consolidating." stated Virginia Mushinski, Roxbury resident and TEAM Vice President.

Find out how we, too, can achieve success on October 10th.