Time to stop Aiello

| 14 Feb 2012 | 05:28

    As a trustee of the West Milford Township Board of Education, I am concerned that the general public is being “duped” by John Aiello’s latest scheming on the school board.

    Recently, Mr. Aiello and his cohort, Barbara Carter, have revisited the discussion of implementing full-day kindergarten in our district’s six elementary schools.

    I find it quite interesting that John Aiello is the driving force behind this request, because he is the one who has actually prevented full-day kindergarten from being an easy decision to make.

    I will tell a brief story to help us jog our memories.

    Let us go back nearly three years, to April 2009, when then-candidate John Aiello campaigned for a seat on the school board under the slogan “Just Vote No.” This was a sentiment echoed by then-candidate Barbara Carter who became his de facto running mate.

    These two individuals utilized campaign signs (Mrs. Carter’s were attached to telephone poles, which is illegal) and a word-of-mouth campaign to get people to vote them in and vote the budget down. It worked.

    That year, the school budget failed.

    Now fast forward to April 2010, when self-appointed political strategist John Aiello ran a campaign under the slogan “Fed Up, Vote No.” It was painted on puke-green signs and garbage cans all over our beautiful community. John ran different candidates, but the result was the same.

    That year, the school budget failed.

    Here comes the best part of my tale. In May 2010, the West Milford Township Council decided to cut $750,000 from the school budget. This was announced at a public meeting.

    Some people in the audience did not like that number because it was “not enough” and came up to speak against the decision. Who was the most outspoken opponent? Well, it was none other than John Aiello.

    John wanted over one million dollars cut from that budget. Thankfully the council disagreed and imposed the reduction as agreed upon. However, John was happy that a substantial chunk of the budget was being taken out.

    John then tried at the May 2010 school board meeting to cut an additional $2.25 million from the budget via a motion made at about one o’clock in the morning, after many people, including the press, had left. Thankfully, once again, our local elected officials defeated John’s initiative.

    Now, just about two years later, John Aiello is pushing for full-day kindergarten. All of a sudden, John sees the need to spend money on the children, when he has done nothing but try to cut and slash their funding for the last two years and 10 months of his tenure on the board.

    The moral of the story is this: If John Aiello had not worked so hard to dismantle our school budget, full-day kindergarten would be a no-brainer.

    Now, thanks to his game playing with our children’s education for his own personal agenda, the task of extending the kindergarten day has become 750,000 times more difficult.

    As I have previously stated, I support full-day kindergarten and would love to see it established in West Milford so that we can solidify the foundation of our children’s educational system. I firmly believe this would be an asset to our district with great benefit to future students.

    However, this decision has been made more difficult as a result of John’s efforts.

    Perhaps it is time for John Aiello to end his reign of terror over the dollars that fund our children’s futures. Perhaps it is time for John Aiello to stop manipulating the public and making a mockery out of the office of school board trustee. Perhaps it is time for us to stop John Aiello. April’s election is our opportunity.

    Matthew Conlon West Milford Conlon is a trustee of the West Milford township Board of Education. The opinions expressed herein are his own and do not necessarily reflect those of other board trustees or the board as a while.