Bayonne Board of Education candidate George Vinc says that his biggest concerns motivating his candidacy are taxes, the teachers’ contract and his infant son.
Vinc describes the school system as being “stretched at the seams” when it comes to the fiscal challenges homeowners have after taxes continue to be raised.
“As a homeowner, I feel that our taxes are pretty high right now. I believe they’re the second highest in Hudson County. I believe, 3.185 percent is the effective tax rate and everyone is quick to hit that button…it’s not the solution,” Vinc said at an interview during a meet and greet at The Sicilian Club on Thursday evening.
“We have non-tax revenue alternatives that we need to explore before we hit that tax button and raise taxes on homeowners.”
Homeowners in New Jersey pay the highest property tax of any state in the entire country. Bayonne is expected to see an average of a 2.27 percent property tax increase for the 2016-2017 fiscal year.
On Election Day, Bayonne voters can vote to cut their property tax, which is the school tax earmarked for the board of education.
Vinc wants to explore alternate tax revenues by utilizing Bayonne’s hockey rink, Rich Korpi Ice Rink on 28th Street, to host weekend events to raise nontaxable revenue.
The topic of the teachers’ contract was a main concern for Vinc since his son, a primary motivator for his campaign, will attend Bayonne public schools in future years.
“The teacher’s contracts are imperative. The fact that we do not have a contract in place. The financial uncertainty of the teachers presently, every day going into that classroom, not knowing what’s going to happen,” he explained.
“These are the same people that are teaching our children. They’re responsible in shaping the minds of this city and they’ve done a pretty good job up until now.”
Getting teachers a long-term fiscally satisfying contract is one of Vinc’s goals if elected to a three-year term on the board of education.
Overall, Vinc said he agrees with tenure, but was outspoken about eliminating PARCC since he feels there are other ways to determine a student’s and teacher’s success and readiness for college.
“I’m not a fan of the one size fits all PARCC testing and unfortunately, the way it’s utilized it’s not that our children are being taught to pass a test as opposed to being taught how to function when they graduate. I think that’s something on a state level that needs to be reevaluated.”
Having a full-time pre-K system would also alleviate parental stress and fiscal challenges of day-care or a babysitter since the school system has implemented a half-day pre-K class schedule, according to Vinc.
“There are a lot of parents, especially in today’s society where mom and dad work. My wife and I, I work, she works. We’re fortunate that we have nonna, which in Italian means grandma, living next door…With the way the city’s growing, we have so many people that are two-income households that they need to have that option.”
Vinc is one of nine candidate seeking a three, three-year term on the board, while three more candidates are vying for a two-year term. Election Day is November 8.