While the North Bergen school referendum passed with ease back in December, a lawsuit by mayoral hopeful Larry Wainstein has prevented the project from making any progress.
“We know Larry Wainstein clearly doesn’t care about our schools because his children live with him in Franklin Lakes and don’t attend them, but it’s disgusting to see him hurting North Bergen children because of his bitter vendetta against the Sacco Team,” Freeholder Chair Anthony Vainieri, who is also chairing the Team Nick Sacco campaign, said in a statement.
“This lawsuit has no basis in reality and the only thing Wainstein will accomplish with it is making our kids wait months longer for these important school improvements to be made. It’s disgusting but it’s no surprise coming from Larry Wainstein, someone who is obsessed with grabbing power and willing to tell any lie and hurt anyone to try and get it.”
Just days before the December 11th referendum, which will allow the North Bergen Board of Education to bond for $60 million to give the school system a complete makeover, Wainstein filed suit alleging the referendum was not properly noticed.
That lawsuit was dismissed and Wainstein’s attorney in the matter, Mario Blanch, filed another suit with a different client the day before the polls opened.
While the effort did not postpone the vote, it did leave the door open for further court proceedings on the matter.
Wainstein said that while he supports upgrading the North Bergen Public Schools, he’s not on board with the current plan.
“Unfortunately, the multi-million dollar mouthpiece for North Bergen is again misstating the facts. I believe all the schools in North Bergen need to be brought into the 21st century,” Wainstein told HCV.
“However, the plan by Sacco is to pour tens of millions of dollars into an outdated building on one of the most dangerous highways in the country. The current proposal is not only bad for North Bergen, it is dangerous for the children of North Bergen who have to walk and commute to a school on Tonnelle Avenue.”
The plan would allow the North Bergen BOE to acquire the old High Tech High School building, located at 2000 85th Street.
Wainstein also alleges that the project is “significantly cheaper than $60 million,” adding that the stands for transparency and student safety.
Sacco campaign spokesman Phil Swibinski responded that is Wainstein wanted to make good on his word, he’d drop his lawsuit for the sake of the greater good.
“If Wainstein cared about North Bergen children at all he would drop his ridiculous lawsuit and let the School Reorganization Plan move forward,” he said.
“But he won’t do that, so his statement is just another lie from Lying Larry. 74% of voters approved this plan because it’s financially sound and will deliver the school facilities that North Bergen children deserve, thanks to the hard work of Mayor Sacco and his team.”