William E. Cleary Sr.
IS THERE SOMETHING FISHY GOING ON?—We received a letter via snail mail recently implying that there was something “fishy” about the way the Gloucester City Public School District is advertising for applicants to fill certain positions, specifically high school principal and attendance officer. Here is an excerpt from that correspondence.
Mr. Cleary, I thought you might find this interesting. Recently the principal for Gloucester City High School (GHS) resigned. The Superintendent quickly placed an internal posting for anyone interested in the position of principal. I assume he thought the district had a lot of qualified people internally for the position.
A few weeks prior the Superintendent put out a request for an attendance officer. The request was not an internal posting it was opened to the public. The Gloucester City School District has numerous former police officers working in the schools. They have qualified security personnel and other staff personnel that could obviously fill the position, but they decided to look outside the district.
The question I have is; are they trying to obtain a patronage job for a friend from the outside for the attendance officer position? Or are they trying to limit quality applicants from the outside to keep a patronage job on the inside for the principal position?
We asked Superintendent Joseph Rafferty if he would explain how the school district handles the posting of jobs.
As a rule, I do not respond to unsigned letters, but I would like to make a point or two of clarification.
The School Board provides the staff of Gloucester City School District with opportunities to advance their education through various colleges and universities. The board makes the investment in staff to have them prepared to take on new roles in the school district as they become available. When an opportunity for advancement or administration presents, the district wishes to first look at the staff who have made significant academic advances in their career and have established a high quality professional work reputation. This is the natural progression of a career in education. If our interested staff is appropriately reviewed and there is not a candidate to fill the position, then we would advertise to find candidates from outside of the school district.
In the case of the attendance officer position, the school district posted the job internally, on the district website and in the Gloucester City News on April 24, 2014. The position is not one that requires a master’s degree or certificate issued by the NJDOE. The position is entry level and the response was from both internal candidates and external candidates. No further action has been taken in the search, however, because the school district would prefer to fill the principal position and the assistant principal positions before the attendance officer position will be filled. The principals and assistants will be a part of the selection process for the attendance officer. Applicants for the attendance officer position will be notified shortly of the delay in the process caused by the unanticipated change in administration.
SHAME ON YOU GOVERNOR CHRISTIE—The state of New Jersey is broke, according to Governor Chris Christie. As a result, Christie has delayed a property tax relief program that averages $500 for seniors and some families. The Governor is also withholding $2.4 billion in payments to the state pension fund because of revenue shortfalls.
Yet, the Governor was able to find money to give nearly all of the state employees responsible for helping him to promote his image a 23-percent raise. NorthJersey.com reports that some of those who received the biggest boosts temporarily left state government to work on Christie’s reelection campaign last year, then returned with new titles and higher salaries. A deputy press secretary in the governor’s office who earned $75,000 last year before he left to serve as press secretary for the campaign, for example, now makes $110,000 as a deputy communications director.
Christie ran on a platform of fiscal responsibility. He was going to be different from his predecessors. Come to find out he is no different than any other politician who held that office. As history has shown us politicians, be they Republican or Democrat, tell you what you want to hear when running for office. But, as soon as they get elected those promises go out the window. No wonder the public has no faith in their leaders. See NorthJersey.com