News

Hola Board to school’s director: Say Hola to unemployment

A rare weekend story from Jessica Rosero on Hoboken Patch noted charter school discontent surrounding  the dispatch of the Hola school director Maria Acosta.

The apparent dismissal is the latest in a wave of others at the charter school.  The lasted was noted in a November 10 email by Hola board president Jen Sargent stating Acosta had been placed on administrative leave.

There’s no stated reason why Acosta was suddenly let go during the school year.  The Hola Board is not saying but there’s hints of an emerging pattern noted on Grafix Avenger.

Grafix Avenger highlights the State law for public schools and the odd notice from the Hola Board President that appears to acknowledge a coup d’état may have taken place outside of NJ law.

Another open question at Hola revolves around its school construction last summer and Frank Raia, a controversial figure in Hoboken elections where legions of Hoboken Housing Authority residents continue to find regular payments, usually for $40 to “campaign” and continuously vote absentee (vote by mail).

Raia who sits on the Hola board of trustees looks to have garnered a windfall construction contract this past summer in a no bid process – a clear violation of State law.

Previously MSV has questioned the use of the Boys and Girls Club by the charter school.  There’s numerous tax problems in the arrangement and the negative impact on the original clients – disadvantaged children in the neighborhood was covered here earlier.

MSV ran into one HoLa parent this weekend.  She was tight lipped about the reason for Maria Acosta’s apparent dismissal and without addressing any details said she “stood by the Board’s decision.”

Hola Board Trustee member Frank “Pupie” Raia is again in the middle of controversy.
Turnover at the Hola school has been very high in its short existence with concern about
the Board overstepping its role and legal authority in dismissing the school director.

Here’s the HoLa board and their respective email addresses:

Board of Trustees

Jennifer Hindman Sargent, President
Barbara Martinez, Vice President
Tia Narciso, Treasurer
Susan Costomiris, Trustee
Anthony Petrosino, Trustee
George Duke, Trustee
Frank Raia, Trustee
Jennifer Austin, Trustee

Talking Ed Note: MSV hasn’t fully told the Boys & Girls Club story with Hola and most media outlets have completely ignored that story – except for our colleague Grafix Avenger. The common denominator in media avoidance – Frank Raia, an Old Guard stalwart who when named a year ago in criminal referrals in the Lenz-Occhipinti election saw complete media silence.

Those complaints went to the NJ Attorney General’s Office and could very well remain an open matter.

Raia hasn’t only been throwing his weight around on local elections and Hola construction projects, he’s also been seen at BoE meetings in recent months. The less than open secret among the Old Guard is he intends to take over the school system from Kids First and bring back his old time patrongage system where audits were ignored year to year and sent to the video “cleaners” to keep the public from seeing. 

When an audit’s results were aired at a 2010 BoE meeting, the tape was scrubbed removing that portion before it was telecast on cable. MSV investigated but was told by the technician it was most assuredly a technical problem. Who was the technician?

Patrick Ricciardi.

Superintendent Carter did not accept the explanation and promptly relieved Ricciardi of his services. (Not to worry, Ricciardi was able to absorb that loss of work and make more than 200K in earnings from his City job’s base salary of 73K.

 Raia is eager to run again and has his slate all but announced.  Several sources say Pupie is planning a ticket with himself at the top with Anthony Oland joined by current Trustee Maureen Sullivan. Maureen Sullivan?

 Go ahead and explain this to those in the Hoboken Republicans who backed Maureen First.
People have long warned Maureen Sullivan would pull a Beth Mason and sign on with the Old Guard.

Spin that one.

Leave a Reply