ELEC: Pro-Hoboken school referendum group has raised $8.5k, ‘no’ groups haven’t filed yet


The Friends of the New Hoboken High School, a group in favor of the $241 million school referendum, have raised $8,489.33 to date, with $2,999.13 cash on hand, while groups opposing the measure have not filed yet, state records show.

By John Heinis/Hudson County View

According to NJ ELEC regulations, joint committees must file if they raise more than $3,200, with a committee needing to report a contribution or expenditure in excess of $1,900 within the 48-hour reporting period.

FNHHS is chaired by Antonio Grana, a local parent who also serves on the zoning board, and lists Laura Block as their treasurer, according to a committee filing with the New Jersey Election Law Enforcement Commission yesterday.

Jim Kocis, of the Burgess Group, was the largest donor by far, contributing $4,000 on January 14th, according to a separate campaign finance filing from the same day.

Three family members of Board of Education President Sharyn Angley combined to chip in $500, Councilwoman-at-Large Emily Jabbour contributed $1,000, with Matthew Shoemaker, the husband of Trustee Ailene McGuirk, donating $2,000, yet another January 14th disclosure form says.

Their largest expenditure was to Connecticut-based Mission Control, who received $5,493.20 for the printing and postage for direct mail on January 13th. They were also utilized by Mayor Ravi Bhalla and his team last year.

The Hoboken Friends and Neighbors group is listed on at least two mailers (though without an explicit “paid for” line), with window and lawn signs being paid for by the Hoboken Republican Party.

Jerome Abernathy, one of several spearheading the vote no effort, said they are “a loose confederation” of groups as opposed to one organized entity like the FNHHS.

“We’re a loose confederation of a number of ‘vote no’ groups, so there’ll probably be multiple filings by multiple groups. I think our aggregate spending is similarly small,” he said in an email.

The Hoboken school referendum is on January 25th.

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  1. So the truth exposes another Dr. Johnson lie. No matter how may times she may insist that there is a separation between the HBOE and Mayor Bhalla’s Administration, the people and money behind pushing her school design are exactly the same. One can then be easily made to wonder if these people will be rewarded with position on the Mayor’s next ticket or quietly given preferential consideration to their children within HBOE or some other favor granted. The problem with not being honest, truthful and transparent in the first place it makes everything that comes after suspect.

  2. Everyone saw at last night’s City Council meeting that even if you are the most qualified for the position and would be the best candidate to serve the public good, that to voice any opinion that Mayor Bhalla he has not been authorized you will be placed on his enemies list and removed.