More on Trenton’s Special Education “Warehouse of Hopelessness”April 17, 2013
Inequities in Charter School FundingApril 17, 2013
Camden Mayor Dana Redd, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer, has “shaken up the Camden Board of Education” by appointing two new members, Dorothy Burley and Jennifer Martinez. They will replace Sean Brown, who said he was uninterested in serving on a newly-designated Advisory Board instead of a typical School Board, and Ray Lamboy, who wanted to stay on the Board.
Both Brown and Lamboy, according to the Inquirer, were critical of the state takeover and Lamboy “abstained from voting in all Renaissance school-related votes, citing what he said was a lack of analysis of the schools’ long-term impact.” That’s a reference to the new mini-district in Camden run by KIPP Charter Schools. Another seat remains open on the Camden School Boar because Kathryn Ribay resigned the day the state announced its takeover.
The state takeover of Camden diminishes the power of the Board, which was mayor-appointed anyway and already answered to a State Fiscal Monitor with veto power over all budgetary items.
The first new Camden Board of Education member, Dorothy “Dot” Burley, was described in a 1993 Inquirer article as a “longtime soldier in the Camden City Democratic Party” upon her appointment as city clerk.
From the two-decades old article:
“Old soldiers never die,” one well-wisher whispered to Burley as he passed her in a receiving line after ing the ceremony.
Burley is treasurer of both the Camden city and county Democratic committees.
She will leave her post with the Camden County Board of Elections to work as city clerk. But she will continue as chairwoman of the Camden Housing Authority Board of Commissioners.
Some critics of the appointment, who attended a recent Council meeting, questioned whether Burley as a longtime party activist could be objective in the new post, especially with the increase in petition drives that have occurred in recent years as a backlash against the city’s Democratic organization.
“I’m here to do what’s right,” Burley responded yesterday after the ceremony. “I’ve always been able to separate politics from city duties. Whether we’re Democratic, Republican, independents – until we come together as people, we’ll never solve our problems. As long as we fight each other we’re part of the problem not the solution.”
Questions were raised about the process of Burley’s selection.
“They didn’t even make a half-hearted attempts to find someone qualified,” explained Jose Delgado, a community activist.
Jennifer Martinez, according to her bio on the website of the 2012 Hispanic Leadership Summit,“ is the first independent female minority-owned certified food distributor in New Jersey and New York.”