The Jersey City Education Association (JCEA) has endorsed the “Education Matters” ticket for the November 3 board of education election, which consists of John Reichart, Vidya Gangadin and Marilyn Roman.
By John Heinis/Hudson County View
Reichart, who works at the city-based real estate company Silverman – the company which may redevelop city hall – wrote on Facebook this past Monday that he would be joining Gangadin and Roman, the president and vice president of the Jersey City BOE, respectively, to form the “Education Matters” ticket.
“Very proud to announce that I’ve joined with Vidya Gangadin & Marilyn Roman as a unified slate for election to the Jersey City Board of Education. I’m humbled to stand beside these two accomplished, seasoned incumbent board members,” he said.
Yesterday, the JCEA announced their endorsement via an email sent to the membership by President Ron Greco. Hudson County View obtained a copy of the email.
“With the Board of Education election on November 3rd, the JCEA PAC and Election Committees have been busy preparing for the upcoming race. The PAC recently interviewed all four of the candidates in anticipation of endorsing those that best meet the needs of the criteria set forth by the committee’s bylaws and guidelines,” Greco explained.
“Considered during the interviews are Accessibility, Electability and a Shared Vision. The PAC Committee consisted of members from each arm of the JCEA: teachers, teacher assistants, teacher aides, paraprofessionals, secretaries and non-certified supervisors.”
Going on to call the decision “near unanimous,” Reichart is recognized as a retired police sergeant with experience “in both contract negotiations and PERCC rulings.”
As Hudson County View noted during their analysis of the candidates back in July, the JCEA also credited Gangadin for playing a major role in their contract negotiations, also essentially calling Roman an easy choice given that she spent 43 years of her life as an educator – 32 of which were at the Jersey City Public Schools.
Greco was not available at his office on Friday to elaborate on the endorsement.
The odd woman out is now Gina Verdibello, the fourth and only other candidate seeking a three-year term – where three seats are up for grabs.
Verdibello was unable to overcome the JCEA’s endorsement of a different Education Matters team last year, but decided to give it another shot this time around.
In an interview about her candidacy, Verdibello said that she was focused on getting students a better quality education and improving school facilities.
Earlier this month trustee Lorenzo Richardson endorsed Verdibello, who he ran with last year, and Roman.
“While I would have appreciated working with the union, I’ve always considered myself a parent advocate and I will continue to put children first for any other consideration,” Verdibello said regarding the endorsement this afternoon.
Reichart has not returned calls and messages to his office requesting an interview, while Gangadin has not returned calls to her cell phone requesting the same. Additionally, Roman did not return emails sent to her school address.