Hoboken Ed chief plans exit; Meeting erupts into uproar

Jersey Journal

HOBOKEN - Schools Superintendent Patrick Gagliardi is on his way out and taxpayers in the Mile Square City will be footing the hefty buyout, even though the Board of Education opted to renew the administrator's contract a little more than a year ago.

Gagliardi's resignation will take effect at the end of the 2007 school year - two years before his contract expires. The superintendent had another two years left when the board renewed it last year.

Newly appointed School Board Secretary David Anthony said Gagliardi's current salary is between $165,000 and $175,000 a year with a 5-percent-per-year increase. That means the buyout will cost taxpayers more than $350,000.

Gagliardi, 64, refused to comment on his reason for leaving, except to say that he will be discussing his "retirement" at a later date.

The resignation is just one of several recent changes at the Board of Education, and appears to be connected to a larger agenda to install Anthony as board secretary.

Board members agreed to accept Gagliardi's resignation in exchange for assurance that Anthony, a board member, would be installed as secretary, which he was, at least on a temporary basis, at the board meeting Tuesday night.

The board was then expected to appoint Ron Rosenberg - who ran unsuccessfully for City Council on Frank Raia's ticket - to fill the vacant seat, but plans changed when Board President Carmelo Garcia and three others stormed out of the four-hour meeting.

The five remaining board members agreed to allow Anthony to remain on the board while serving as secretary, so long as he doesn't receive a salary. The board will convene for a special meeting on Sept. 6 to discuss the appointment.

Garcia said he left the meeting because he believed too many personal agendas were at work.

"I am a state official," Garcia said. "I was elected to represent the children of this district and I will not stand by and allow for mismanagement of procedures."

Anthony denied cutting any deals, saying he simply lobbied individual members.

Anthony is asking for a salary of $48,000 for a 20-to 30-hour week job of school board secretary. He also works as a manager for the Department of Motor Vehicles in North Bergen.

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