From the DailyRecord.com Capitol Quickies blog:
Perhaps the best quote of the day during Gov. Chris Christie’s press conference came when he riffed on one of his favorite tops — high superintendent salaries and the school boards who award them.
“These school boards need to start representing the taxpayers and stop being agents for school superintendents,” Christie said.
He then drew a bead on the Chatham Board of Education, which recently approved a new contract for its superintendent that exceeds the salary cap Christie is seeking to impose in 2011. Saying the board’s enthusiasm for its superintendent goes beyond what baseball super-agent Scott Boras would do to sell one of his clients, the governor tore into the board.
“I look at the school board in Chatham. You know, they make Scott Boras blush with their advocacy for this Jim O’Neill character,” Christie said. “You would think the guy invented the book from the way they talk about him.”
“So let’s get real here, OK,” the governor continued. “It’s time for (school boards) to start representing the people who vote for them and who pay the bills and stop looking for ways to circumvent the superintendent pay cap.”
Christie said he had directed Department of Education acting commissioner Rochelle Hendricks to keep a close eye on any new contracts and challenge them when necessary.
Asked tonight about the governor's comments, Steve Barna, the president of the board, wondered how Christie can look at a high achieving district like the Chathams and "hurl darts" at the board. Barna said he would love to have Christie, who lives a short distance away in Mendham Township, visit the district and see how well it is doing.
Jonathan Chatinover, a board member who spoke to the governor at a recent town hall meeting in Parsippany, said the board is representing the taxpayers, He noted that voters in the district overwhelmingly backed the school district;'s budget last spring and that they have been consistently doing so for 20 years.
Dear Governor Christie, I love you but please get off this issue. You are wrong.