Home School News Brick BOE Member Cusanelli: Why I’m Not Running for Re-Election

Brick BOE Member Cusanelli: Why I’m Not Running for Re-Election

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Karyn Cusanelli (File Photo)
Karyn Cusanelli (File Photo)

The following was submitted to Shorebeat by Brick BOE member Karyn Cusanelli.

It has been my honor and pleasure to represent our community since 2013. I’m proud to have served with members of visionary boards that voted to institute full-day kindergarten, long-overdue improvements to our facilities, and extensive upgrades to the technology available to our students. All this was accomplished without ever raising taxes, but by prioritizing the needs of the students, improving efficiencies, and cutting waste. As a lifelong resident and product of our schools, myself, I am gratified to have been involved in these, as well as many other, positive changes for the benefit of our childrens’ education.

My hopes and vision for the district are not in agreement with that of the new majority of the board. The lack of transparency (shown not only to the public, but to myself as a board member) does not lend itself to a unified community or gain public confidence and trust. Raising the tax levy 3.5%, firing staff, and ignoring budgetary waste have also indicated a direction with which I do not wish to be associated. My decisions have always been made for the enrichment of all our students, not for the benefit of partisan politics. Therefore, I have decided not to run for another term.

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Prior to becoming a board member, I attended nearly every board meeting since 2007, as a parent and a concerned taxpayer. As a volunteer board member, I have spent countless hours on research, meeting preparation, and additional school board training. I have taken every vote and every issue very seriously and I have performed to the best of my ability; I will continue to do so for the remainder of my term. Brick is my hometown and, like my own parents, my husband and I chose to raise our family here. I love our town and its people; I can only pray more parents will get involved and board members (both current and future) will give our schools and our residents the dedication and respect they deserve.

Thank you for giving me the opportunity to serve as a board of education member in this great town.

Karyn Cusanelli


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  • jo jo ormaz

    all of this over the cost of coffee and two doughnuts….. shame to see her go, maybe she’ll be back in 2017 looking at a different board.

  • Spock’s Brain

    Miss Cusanelli voted for new contracts for Teachers, Bus Drivers, and Administrators that added up to 10% pay raises over 3 years… then she blames the new board for the tax increase. If she would have given the standard raise of no more than 2% per year, there would have been no tax increase this year… but it is very convenient for her to blame board members that were not even on the board when the contracts were negotiated. What a joke!!!

    • Wally Statler

      NOT true, Spock:
      http://brick.shorebeat.com/2015/07/new-contract-approved-for-brick-teachers/
      “The first year of the contract is “essentially a wash,” said Kalac, explaining that when the increases in salary are tempered with concessions in the cost of teachers’ health insurance coverage, the district’s cost will only total about $145,000 more in the first year, with similar modest increases in the remaining years. The cost of health benefits will decline by about $1.9 million in year one of the contract alone, officials said.

      “To get a change in insurance in this day and age is quite an accomplishment,” Kalac said.”

      • Spock’s Brain

        Sorry, but you are misinformed.

        It is true that YEAR ONE of the contract was “essentially a wash”… but there is no mention about YEAR TWO and YEAR THREE in this article. Hmmmmm… I wonder why?

        The problem is that the district gets crushed in 16/17 and 17/18, with pay raises of 3.3% and 3.19%, respectively.

        Teacher salaries were $58 Million when the contract was negotiated… add 3.41% in Year One, 3.3% in Year Two and 3.19% in Year Three and that goes up to $63.9 Million. And that is just the teachers… it’s more than a million more when you factor in the contracts for the administrators and the Bus Drivers and other employees… and then you have to add in the increased pension contributions from the district due to higher salaries.

        Do the math. That is an increase of between $7 Million and $8 Million in 3 years, conservatively, so even if you factor in the $1.9 million in health benefits savings (in Year One only), you are still looking at a net increase in over $5 Million, conservatively.

        So Cusanelli sticks the new board with these contracts and then blames them for tax increases. It’s no wonder she didn’t want to run again this year.

      • Wally Statler

        Check your facts. You didn’t read the article, Spock. It says, “with similar modest increases in the remaining years.” Raises were on the total amount and were offset by changes to health care and to employee contributions. When that cost is lowered it is lowered every year not just yr 1. Same was done with other two contracts. If u watch the meetings u would understand. the clean slate dems fired health broker to put in mega donor graham’s Fairview not to mention mega donor enright’s nw financial. you can follow the $, Spock. Of course, that won’t include the campaign donations to these new board members, since they never reported them. Right, Mitch?

        http://parsippanyfocus.com/2015/05/07/parsippanys-insurance-broker-linked-super-pac-mayors-best-friend/

        http://www.shorenewsnetwork.com/2016/01/brick-execution/

        http://brick.shorebeat.com/2015/12/complaint-alleges-campaign-finance-violations-by-brick-boe-slate/

      • jo jo ormaz

        – it looks like we are cutting strings of the BOE – “cleaning the slate” for new beginnings…..in 2017 ,,,……. 🙂
        ~ Is this the same Mitch or someone named Mitch? as rumored who “works with the town??” .. lives in e- woods cutting deals with landloards to get permits approved quicker than the rest of the town people and Sandy people who’ve been waiting months to get a permit or inspection for his lower rental deals.? [ use of power for personal gain] it can’t be ..no way… ..? people must be making this up..?

      • Wally Statler

        Must be the Jon Salonis EZPass, jojo:

      • jo jo ormaz

        OH that guy…. we see him and him all over town…., isn’t he a personal photographer, life coach, consultant or something with a $60K a year job- ( guess that’s the pay for photographers?) and the other guy also doing well as a consultant,, life coach, for businesses,,..?

        Good for them,,,,!!! I don’t know..please say it isn’t so.? They look like a couple of nice guys.. Com’on – that’s an olde sign…,,,

        Aahhhhh it’s all rumors,, I don’t believe it…..” nice picture of these guys,, they look like fun to hang out with.

      • Spock’s Brain

        We are talking about Health Insurance costs. Really? You think the Health Insurance costs are going to go down $2 million for 3 years in a row… because the nice lawyer who negotiated the deal says so (without giving any numbers to back it up). I guess you will believe anything. And by the way, I am a Nigerian Prince that needs $5000 to reclaim my throne. Please send me money and I will repay you millions.

  • Donald Trump for President

    Why doesnt Green Party candidate Jill Stein get credit as first woman running for President?

    • J W

      Because she isn’t even the first female candidate to run on a third party ticket. That would be Victoria Woodhull of Ohio, who ran for President in 1872 under the Suffrage Party line.

      • Donald Trump for President

        So Hillary is not the “first” and she broke no glass ceiling.

      • J W

        I’m not surprised you can’t differentiate between minor third parties and the two big ones that actually matter. You Trump suckers really are that dim.

      • east coast resident

        its great to hear someone with historical knowledge. America needs more of that. Then maybe Trump wouldn’t have made it as far as he has. Its a known fact that he depends on the least educated for his popularity. If you show me a Trump supporter, I”ll show you someone ignorant