Seeking re-election, Bayonne Board of Education Vice President Denis Wilbeck claims transparency has improved since the board has become elected and that cronyism is over.
“Over the past 30 years, there has been an appointed board and what has happened is become the good ol’ boy, good ol’ girl show,” Wilbeck told Hudson County View.
According to Wilbeck, when trustees were appointed to the board, it was routine for them to help their friends and relatives find employment in the school district.
“Slowly but surely now that’s coming to a stop,” he added, exclaiming that the decision making process, as well as the transparency around it, at the board has immensely improved.
Wilbeck further stated that “there is always room for improvement”, but that the district has tried to become more accessible by making the current trustees reachable via email, Facebook and/or Twitter.
The incumbent said he would like to continue serving on the board because it’s his way of giving back to the City of Bayonne.
“I’m a product of Bayonne myself. I [was] a student here, a teacher here, then an assistant principal and now a trustee,” he explained.
“It gives me an opportunity be involved with the decision making policies that are important to the families, help provide very positive educational opportunities for our students, the families and the citizens of Bayonne.
According to Wilbeck, current Superintendent of Schools Dr. Patricia McGeehan “has done an outstanding job,” so the national search for a replacement when her term is over will be a difficult one.
“The new superintendent is a person that has to be able to govern, finance, facilities, personnel and it goes on and on,” he said.
As for the teacher’s contract is concerned, Wilbeck stated that the negotiations are on the “threshold” and he sees the progress since the administrators, bus attendants and the custodial workers recently received their contracts.
Wilbeck is seeking a three-year term on the board and Election Day is November 8.