School Security Project Pulled Back, No Longer Up for Vote in March

$4.8 million project was to upgrade and replace several security and safety components in every school.

The Wayne public school district will not go out for a bond referendum on a multi-faceted safety and security project.

The Board of Education approved a measure Thursday night rescinding the affirmative vote trustees cast at its meeting Jan. 16. Residents were going to vote March 11. 

“We remain confident that students are quite safe in all schools,” Superintendent Ray Gonzalez said in a blog entry posted Monday on the district website. “The proposed improvements represent needed upgrades to further strengthen our security, surveillance, and communication systems, as well as an opportunity to have the state fund 40 percent of the project.”

Gonzalez could not be immediately reached for further comment. Board of Education President Laura Stiziano did not return a message seeking comment.

If the referendum was approved, the district would have bonded the entire cost of the $4.8 million project. It would have received a state grant to cover 40 percent of the cost, or about $1.9 million. The district would have received the money as the project was completed.

The remaining $2.9 million would have been financed through the district’s annual budget. Officials previously said the project would not have impacted the 2014-15 budget.

"While the proposed upgrades are important, the decision was made to ensure voters would be casting ballots on spending for upgrades with full information on the upcoming budget's tax impact," Gonzalez said in the blog post.

Since the state has already given approval for the referendum to take place, Gonzalez said in the post that it “remains a possibility” the referendum could to out to voters this September or next January.

The project was slated to cost the average homeowner about $12 in taxes annually.

Safety and security upgrades were to have been done at every school. New security access terminals, video and, intercom systems were to be installed at eight of them; surveillance systems, doors, and fire alarm systems were also to be installed.

Security vestibules and additional motion sensors were to be installed in several buildings and main offices were to have been moved.

— Have a question or news tip? Contact editor Daniel Hubbard at Daniel.Hubbard@patch.com or find us on Facebook and Twitter. For news straight to your inbox, sign up for our daily newsletter.

Flood Plain January 23, 2014 at 05:39 PM
PAD, you stated that the Passaic County School superintendent makes just under $265K a year, + benefits, a County car, gas & maintenance and may also be eligible for bonuses of up to 15% of salary. Has the public ever seen his/her job description that justifies the position being worth over $300K in compensation? If so, where? If not, it's time to publish it and consider elimination of all duplications between the individual supers and the county super. A few less government/education bureaucrats would be a nice change of pace.
Pad January 23, 2014 at 07:52 PM
Yes, its on the internet just look up Passaic County School superintendent. There is now an interim Super. The Super Scam in NJ has taken millions away from the taxpayers. Spender Gonzalez has received a bonus for meeting his own set goals and then fails a state audit. His # 2 person has laid low, don't know if she is still employed. There is a big scandal involving her being covered up by the BOE. Many know about it. Why does a County school superintendent making almost $265K need a County owned vehicle for her use? She can't afford a car or gas? Wayne got hit hard with the Super Scam, The 1st one left with cash in her pockets, the 2nd didn't even last a full school year and he left with pockets full of our tax money. When asked why he left the BOE stated he retired. Funny he was working down the hill in a neighboring town. He didn't fulfill his contract yet they paid him out the door. Then along comes "Spender Gonzalez" from Hackensack and he brings his friend in from Paterson where they previously worked together. Her specialty before her administrative credentials was ESL. See where I am going with this? They fill their pockets and then leave and move on to the next high bidder. Gonzalez is young so we probably are paying his health benefits but most these Supers are receiving full teacher pensions, lifetime health benefits paid by the taxpayers and then go to these high paying Super Scam jobs. What a racket these guys set up. This is just part of the problem. But in Wayne a lot of things are covered up by the BOE from the public. Otherwise why the soundproof room at Nellis Drive? Why when questions are asked do they hide behind the confidentiality BS. I see many contracts and salary amounts in the newspapers and why people are let go etc. But not in Wayne. We need to demand a cut in the number of high paid administrators, wasteful spending, hiring and most of all a full independent audit of all financial holdings, cash, expenditures and hiring practices. After all out of a budget of almost 142 million a years they say 113 million covers salaries & benefits that leaves about 30 million for everything else. They even have the gall to ask parents to donate school supplies. Something is very wrong here in Wayne. Get the picture?
C6 January 23, 2014 at 09:26 PM
Pad-What's the deal with Berrios?
Bobtwo January 24, 2014 at 08:39 AM
I am shocked, 265K per year plus benefits. Many senior execs in private industry, and self employed, who have real jobs don't get paid that well. This is a joke and 113, out of 142 million, towards salaries, another joke.
Wayne's World January 24, 2014 at 11:39 AM
I am surprised to learn that a county superintendent even exists? What for, other than a lucrative political patronage job? The whole idea behind home rule is to run our own school systems...why would there even be a need for this position? Double dipping for public servants is a disgusting misuse of public funds. Being allowed to retire at full pension and then re-hired in another position for full compensation/bennies is highway robbery and ought to stop for all public workers. Education ought to be pretty simple. A couple of administrators to handle the business end of things, a senior teacher to be the head of each department, and then nothing but teachers and resources for the actual education. The way it has gone the last 20 years, we are top-heavy on administrators, rules, regulations and everything else that chokes the system, to the detriment of the teachers and students. How have we all collectively lost our minds on this issue? I would propose to leave the measly $2-3 million we receive from the state and withdraw from the state education system. If Wayne is 100% self-funded (as opposed to 99%), we can run our school system any way we want. No Common Core, no expensive administrative structure. We can have an uncomplicated hierarchy with one super and necessary staff, and not too many chiefs at the school-level. Going back to basics instead of the "forward thinking" that has been moving us backwards for 30 years. Doesn't sound so radical, does it?
Wayne's World January 24, 2014 at 11:50 AM
It seems to me that all of the education initiatives over these past few decades is designed to raise median test scores. In essence, they are teaching to the bottom performers instead of challenging the middle to be nearer the top. The only saving grace (in Wayne at least) seems to be that there are many AP classes available for motivated/bright students. That really is great. But instead of trying to lift up the bottom performers to raise the median test scores, why not try to challenge the middle of the pack to be better, demand more of them? At the end of the day, learning the 3R's basics are the only things to stimulate and make possible higher learning. If we want to beat the Europeans and Asian countries in testing, then we have to segregate our school systems like theirs, where anyone not seeming like college material by the 5th grade or so gets funneled to a vocational education. Of course, that will never fly in the U.S. There ARE such things as late bloomers. But we can't have it both ways - comparing our entire school system to the top 25% or so of other countries (all of which are generally homogenous and don't have the glaring demographic disparity/language/poverty problems the U.S. does) vs. 100% of our nation is never going to measure up. So we either stop comparing, or we adopt a similar structure. In the meantime, ALL the kids are being hurt by this nonsensical educational structure. The best of the best need to be endlessly challenged, and the middle of the pack needs expectations to be raised in order to make it in the world. For those who truly are not cut out for higher education (and we shouldn't aspire to a nation full of paper pushers), they should be led down a sensible path of high-tech and necessary mechanical education. Other nations have figured this out long ago, even if their systems are rigid. This is not rocket science....our public school systems will never again reach the heights of the golden age for many reasons. As a case in point, my father's high school education from the 1950s probably exceeded most of my college education in the early 1990s. Since we can't go back to the past let's just try to educate for our present and future reality.
Justice January 24, 2014 at 04:50 PM
It is truly shocking to note what the administrators in the Wayne School System were paid (salary only, benefits additional) for the 2012 year: http://php.app.com/appendixc/results.php?county=PASSAIC&district=WAYNE+TWP&name=%25&Submit=Submit NJ School Administrators Benefits and Pay 2012 County District Name Title Base Pay Allowances Bonuses Stipends Insurance Additional Pension Retirement Pay PASSAIC WAYNE TWP CATHY LABATE Coordinator/Dir./Mgr./Supvr. $150,960 $4,750 $0 $0 $0 $0 $18,000 PASSAIC WAYNE TWP CLAUDIA OLIVO Coordinator/Dir./Mgr./Supvr. $110,000 $4,750 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 PASSAIC WAYNE TWP DARRYL FENNELL Coordinator/Dir./Mgr./Supvr. $97,873 $2,040 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 PASSAIC WAYNE TWP JOHN CELENTANO Information Technology $76,899 $1,000 $0 $1000 $0 $0 $0 PASSAIC WAYNE TWP JOHN MASO Coordinator/Dir./Mgr./Supvr. $140,400 $4,750 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 PASSAIC WAYNE TWP JUANITA A. PETTY Business Administrator $163,200 $1,732 $0 $0 $600 $0 $0 PASSAIC WAYNE TWP MARY ROSE SCALO Coordinator/Dir./Mgr./Supvr. $157,080 $4,750 $0 $0 $0 $0 $12,763 PASSAIC WAYNE TWP MARYSOL BERRIOS Assistant Superintendent $160,000 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 PASSAIC WAYNE TWP NICHOLAS POLISE Information Technology $97,855 $1,000 $0 $2000 $0 $0 $0 PASSAIC WAYNE TWP NICOLE C. SCHOENING Asst Business Administrator $108,000 $3,625 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 PASSAIC WAYNE TWP RAYMOND GONZALEZ Superintendent $177,500 $0 $14,422 $0 $0 $0 $0 PASSAIC WAYNE TWP ROBERT WACHE Coordinator/Dir./Mgr./Supvr. $95,000 $1,600 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 PASSAIC WAYNE TWP ROBERT ZAWISTOWSKI Coordinator/Dir./Mgr./Supvr. $92,650 $1,500 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 PASSAIC WAYNE TWP TIMOTHY CARLIN Information Technology $127,455 $5,250 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0
Justice January 24, 2014 at 04:57 PM
Why are we paying a business administrator 163000 in 2012? Why are there so many highly paid IT personnel? And they have the fracking nerve to complain about property tax reassessments? How many of these people actually pay property taxes in Wayne? This is WAY out of CONTROL..
Bobtwo January 24, 2014 at 05:15 PM
Justice, there wasn't any need to itemize the salaries since they are displayed in the web site that you provided. Again I am really surprised at the salaries. seems that there are a lot of administrators at very good salaries. Don't forget there are benefits also. Very expensive this school system.
Flood Plain January 24, 2014 at 05:21 PM
Justice and Bobtwo: The administrators' --in addition to their wages--also receive fringe benefits that are worth about an additional 40% of their base wage. Also, don't forget that there are a lot of Wayne classroom teachers on 9 month contracts with base wage rates of about $112 K. PLUS the teachers get another 40% or so on top of that wage rate in fringes.
joann ranalletti January 24, 2014 at 05:22 PM
There is the Passaic County superintendent who oversees all the schools in Passaic County and there is the Director or Superintendent of Passaic County Technical Institute(PCTI) which one is being referred to in the above posts?
Justice January 24, 2014 at 05:27 PM
Bobtwo, I appreciate and thank you for your input. I was actually thinking of people with blackberries/smartphones. Sometimes the links do not transfer through. However, the impact is much more heart-wrenching with the cut and paste itemizing the actual salaries.
Justice January 24, 2014 at 05:28 PM
FP. Some of the guidance counselors exceed the six-figure mark. What exactly do they do?
Bobtwo January 24, 2014 at 05:38 PM
Flood Plain, the poor things. I guess I am out of touch with things because those incomes far surpass what individuals in private industry made.
Bobtwo January 24, 2014 at 05:45 PM
Pad, most of us are not aware of what transpired with the woman. Perhaps the papers will enlighten us one day.
Justice January 24, 2014 at 05:48 PM
Our taxes do not only pay for the Passaic County Tech Super but all the teachers, etc. Do the search for Passaic County and only ONE schools shows up. Here is a HairDresser Teacher making over 6 figures, hairdressing!!!!! Details PASSAIC PASSAIC COUNTY VOCATIONAL SCHOOL DISTRICT Passaic County Technical Institute O'BRIEN MICHAEL D 6 $84,455 School Psychologist Details PASSAIC PASSAIC COUNTY VOCATIONAL SCHOOL DISTRICT Passaic County Technical Institute ALVAREZ JANICE 21 $108,181 Cosmetology/Hair Styling 2
Justice January 24, 2014 at 05:49 PM
One school singular, not pural.
Justice January 24, 2014 at 05:58 PM
Search school counselors for Wayne, total up the salaries. This is in addition to the school psychologists, etc. There appears to be repetitive positions, duplications, etc. Private industry would terminate these positions. How much teaching do the students actually receive? This system is top heavy and it is a game that the taxpayers are paying for. It is a crime.
Pad January 24, 2014 at 06:19 PM
Bobtwo This was a while ago and they have kept it quiet but many people know about it. Ask around and you will know the details. Also a certain school psychologist at AWMS also has an interesting background out of New York City that public knowledge on the internet yet she was hired in Wayne. How come? And this was a criminal investigation into her job performance and was found guilty.
Bill January 24, 2014 at 06:47 PM
Pad What is the deal with Berrios? Spit it out. As far as the counselor from NY if it is public then post it. Our children do not need to be subjected to criminals that may have not been screened by the governors pay to play outsource agency.
Pad January 25, 2014 at 04:51 AM
Ask around its not for me to post here. As for the other person it involved her job performance falsification of documents, records etc. Nothing criminal against the kids except for issues pertaining to evaluations, IEPs etc. Serious enough that she is banned from working in schools in NY State and also faced jail time.
Pad January 25, 2014 at 05:11 AM
BTW, She pleaded guilty and was facing seven years. But a first time offender so never received jail time after her arrest. Just banned.
Bill January 25, 2014 at 08:29 AM
Pad, found her in both states. It took all of 10 minutes. Yet, the BOE hired someone with a record!!!! The governor's outsource agency didn't find this? Who else with dubious credentials is being paid by taxpayers? Yet, a big deal was made by a Jean, probably not even a Wayne resident, who posted a sarcastic letter to the editor regarding a recent situation at the BOE. I will post their letter following this.
Bill January 25, 2014 at 08:30 AM
As promised, here is the letter as it appeared in the Wayne Today on January 23: Bad behavior will not get anyone anywhere I read the front page article last week of the Wayne Today regarding a glitch in Cathy Kazan's swearing in. I am concerned for two reasons. First, in response to the way a state office conducts routine operations. In the corporate forum, a contracted vendor has previously been through a screening process for evaluating the vendor services and supplies. Certainly a government contractor should be subjected to a screening process as well, just as Ms. Kazan herself. Ms. Kazan's quote in the article from North Jersey page one Jan. 9, 2014 states "I feel this was all due to the incompetence of a government contractor." Please tell me New Jersey Department of Education (NJDOE) is subjected and follows the same guidelines as everyone else. This brings me to my second concern. Cathy Kazan's self indignation gave me pause and prompted me to write. No one should get a "pass" or exception and disregard a process because a system has inconvenienced them due to circumstances beyond control (weather). Michael Badiner or any individual in public service elected into office might exhibit some restraint and not attempt to circumvent due process. I would expect a degree of professionalism. Using adjectives like "preposterous," "ridiculous" and a "travesty" regarding this personal situation concerns me, particularly regarding an office within the NJDOE. Throwing MetroTrak and Donald Pavlak under the bus and bullying behavior will not get anyone anywhere. Do not bend the rules. When Cathy Kazan does swear in, she works for the people and hopefully will have a degree of humility. To quote an unidentified gentleman mentioned in the article, "What is the big deal lady?" indeed. This story does not warrant front page news. Jean O'Reilly Wayne - See more at: http://www.northjersey.com/news/opinions/241593531_Letters_to_the_editor__Jan__23__2014.html?page=all#sthash.G6VkAMXF.dpuf
Pad January 25, 2014 at 10:02 AM
Bill, That person was facing seven years in jail and is prohibited from working in education in NY State for the rest of her life. But yet Wayne hired her. She falsified records and forged signatures. There can only be to explanations here. Either the Wayne BOE didn't find out about this or she knew someone. Either way her professional conduct & honesty are in question. here. She plead guilty and there was a ruling by the court.
joann ranalletti January 28, 2014 at 10:28 AM
Pad, Rumor in the system has it that this person went off on a leave of absence in Dec.2012. Whether the person ever returned I do not know. The admin and BOE were made aware of this person's arrest, suspension and license removal in NY by a parent in early 2012.
Jack Q January 28, 2014 at 11:45 AM
Joann, the question to be asked is, was it a paid leave or unpaid leave?
joann ranalletti January 28, 2014 at 06:34 PM
Jack Q That appears to be one of the many best kept secrets of the admin and BOE. Eventually someone will leak it out. Knowing this BOE and the big spender it was probably paid!
Pad January 30, 2014 at 04:54 PM
Well, is she on a paid leave of absence on taxpayers money since Dec of 2012? Why hasn't the Wayne BOE terminated her? This was a felony conviction. How did she get hired here and who was responsible for hiring her? I think these questions need to be answered. Leave of absence so I guess she can come back to work? This is what I mean when I say there is so much corruption and information that is kept from the public by those in charge at Nellis Drive. Wayne taxpayers beware of what goes on there. All they tell you is fluff and the scandals and the dirt are left out in all their PR info.
Pad January 30, 2014 at 04:56 PM
Enter her name in the website that list public workers salaries. But it may not be current for the year 2013.


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