Retired Cop Fills Board of Ed Vacancy, Cogan Denied Again

Anthony DeIntinis earns one-year term by a 5-3 vote.

Parsippany's Board of Education is again a board of nine.

At a special meeting Thursday night to choose a candidate to fill its vacant seat, the board selected former police officer Anthony DeIntinis.

The board seat was supposed to go to Joanne Mancuso, who came in third behind James Carifi and Frank Calabria in the Nov. 6 election to win a spot on the panel. In late December, she said personal issues forced her to opt out of being sworn in and taking the position.

Though Mancuso was not a sworn member, new President Susy Golderer announced Jan. 3 that the board would follow the same procedures used to replace a sitting member who steps down mid-term. 

The board heard from three applicants: Calabria's running mate Alison C. Cogan (who came in fourth in the November election), Carifi's ticketmate Anthony T. DeIntinis (who came in last) and retired U.S. Army Col. Richard Gaydo, a deacon at St. Christopher Church who said he has no current ties to the school district.

Cogan said the most important issues are children and their education. She spoke of her experience as a mother of five kids ranging from special needs to gifted, a certified public accountant and a volunteer in schools and youth sports. She also served as the owner/director of a child care center delivering "curriculum-driven education for children."

"In this role I worked with budgets and managed a staff of 15," she said. "Working there showed me the power of education on a daily basis."

And serving as a school volunteer, she said, taught her how schools operate and how the staff interacts.

DeIntinis came to the podium next and defined "the most important issue at hand" as school safety.

"School safety and security, training, every school district has unique needs," he said. "I want to make every child feel safe and supported."

DeIntinis spoke of his experience as a police officer, police union leader, school resource officer, wrestling coach, and field hockey booster club, and said his skills, including his experience working with budgets, would make him a valuable board member.

Gaydo, who talked about the importance of helping children get a quality education.

"It may not be true that it takes a village to raise a child, but it does take proactive participation of as many as possible in our town to successfully pass the test," he said.

He noted that he was not an expert in providing security—"I don't want to see schools become an armed camp," he said. He added that he wasn't an expert on education. But with any issue, he said his approach is to study the question "and come up with an answer that is "palatable to everyone."

"Any suggestion that has legs must be palatable in the community," Gaydo said, adding that humility is an important quality for a leader. "There must be a force of good in any kind of group setting, indivs can be heard freely, where opinions and comments meet open minds, no one should have to go away from any meeting feeling beaten up or dejected." 

Members of the public then were given an opportunity to state their feelings about the candidates.

Most in the audience appeared to be present to support Cogan.

Former board member Deborah Orme said Cogan's more than 5,000 votes earned last November was as much as mandate as the about 3,000 votes Michael Strumolo received to win his board seat. 

"Do not ignore the very constituents who gave you their confidence," she said pointedly to the BOE members. "The public was charged with choosing and that choice was taken from their hands and given to you. Don't disenfranchise the voters. This is a time to confirm to the public that you do listen. I implore the board to listen to the votes cast just 60 days ago."

George Blair agreed.

"These are three outstanding candidates, but it has to be Alison," he said. "She's always at meetings. I've barely seen [DeIntinis], and the colonel has a great resume, but I've never seen you at a meeting."

He turned to the board.

"Don't come back with a politicial vote," Blair intoned as many in the room applauded. "Don't do it! Do the right thing, and you know what it is."

Michael Espejo argued that attending meetings does not necessarily make someone the most qualified candidate.

"I would argue that an outsider with a lot of qualifications and who is well rounded is needed to bring new life into this board and this town," he said. "The colonel doesn't have a personal agenda, he's just for the betterment of the community.

"I'm impressed with all of them, but someone from the outside may be needed in this town."

Resident Linda Gom also praised all three candidates, but noted how good DeIntinis was with children of all ages.

Bob Venezia asked the board if the appointment was for a one-year unexpired term; President Golderer indicated yes.

"That makes a good case for the one who came in fourth, but we don't know where Mrs. Mancuso's votes would have gone," he said. "Vote who you think is best for this one-year period."

"Our priority has to be education, all else is secondary," insisted PTA mom Sandy Nussbaum Giercyk. "Character and past behavior of candidates are important. Make this board something we can be proud of. Make us role models for what we want our children to be. Pick a member who can advance education."

The board went into closed session to deliberate and returned to the meeting room about 45 minutes later.

In the end, the vote broke down along factional lines. Strumolo, Golderer, Shamsudin, Martin and Carifi voted for DeIntinis. Calabria, Mancuso and Orthwein supported Cogan.

About half of the audience walked out of the room just before the new board member was sworn in by Business Administrator Robin Tedesco.

"I'm excited," said a smiling DeIntinis. "I can't wait to get to work with the board to make sure our children get the best education and are safe in our schools."

Roman Hoshowsky January 12, 2013 at 03:42 AM
First of all Alison Cogan is a fine, outstanding person and I have no doubt she will sit on the Board one day. Few will argue that ballot positioning played a role in the last election, and obviously the Board is broken into two camps. Some are upset because they felt Alison, who received 5,101 votes in the last election, should have been chosen over Anthony DeIntenis, who got 4,352 votes. The law says if a vacancy occurs, the sitting members of the Board get to pick a new member. The law does not say the board has to pick the next person who had the next highest amount of votes. The sitting Board members did not makeup the law. Also, ask yourself why would James Carifi, who received 7,589 votes, want to negate his vote by picking for someone who ran with the opposing side over his running mate, In one year there will be a new election and it will be your turn to vote. Relax folks! And congratulations Anthony!
Carol M. January 12, 2013 at 02:21 PM
Really? You think that Mrs Sclafanie and Mr Blair were attempting to bully the board because they expressed their opinions to the decision making body? That's a conveniently twisted and frightening definition. The last I checked that sounds more like freedom of speech and to bully means to treat abusively or to affect by means of force. And while we are at it, to be a bully is someone who is cruel to others who are weaker. Hmmm, who do we know in a position of power that made his very first priority an act against the most vulnerable amongst us, CHILDREN. And here goes your vivid imagination again; how are you judging Mrs Cogan priorities? I've heard her only talk about education during her campaigns and at multiple meetings. She also spoke out against Dr Seitz contract many times at board meetings that I can remember. And her answer was that she needs all the information about an issue before she makes decisions unlike the others who said they would easily make decisions regardless of having the full picture. You say it is common knowledge who she aligns with well if that's the case, it works both ways. 1000 voters preferred her over the last place vote getter who was aligned with Mr Strumolo and Mrs Golderer but that message fell on I don't give a hoot what the voters want ears! Sounds like 5 members of the board exhibited some very bully like qualities to me, they disregarded our wishes and forced their candidate upon us at a time when we were vulnerable.
Sick of the trolls January 12, 2013 at 05:21 PM
Know what, "Donald?" At least Mrs. Orme, Mrs. Sclafani, and Mr Blair have the courage to sign their names to their comments. They are willing to stand up in a public forum and let everyone, including their friends, family, and neighbors, know how they feel and what they think, instead of making insulting comments from behind a pseudonym, "Donald." What are you so afraid of, "Donald," that you can't even come to the meetings to make your opinion known? Why should we take anything you say seriously? For all we know you don't even live in the township.
linda January 12, 2013 at 08:19 PM
I am very pleased with the decision made. Alison Cogan is not the right candidate for the job. For many obvious reasons. Think about it people; she herself has made a few really good points! Perhaps, you should go and speak to the teachers and students before you make random choices. When it comes to Alison, there are no facts; but interpretations. Anyone can do that job. You do not need an expert in finance or education (which, by the way, is is neither). Good luck Mr.DeIntinis. May you and the rest lead with your heart and reason. Go out and speak to everyone in town get the pulse of the people living here; especially the students! They are the ones living day by day this town's flowed education system that is now in place. Start with administration. Seitz and company need to go. The fish always smells from the head and it is now putrified and rotten! Good luck to all!
linda January 12, 2013 at 08:20 PM
Monica Sclafani January 12, 2013 at 09:16 PM
Nobody is arguing the fact that they had the right to pick the new member. Just wish they would have listened to the 5700 Cogan voters and those who spoke at the meeting Thursday. Mr. Strumolo and company always claim that they are listening to the voice of the residents and taxpayers. I wish they would have practiced what they preach the other night.
Jeff January 12, 2013 at 09:57 PM
I guess that is because she was the only person that was asked a pointed question on weaknesses. Based on my observations - Cogan was a good choice. Unfortunately except for school safety and sports - don't have much to go on with the new choice. From class size issues to education - Allison has been on the side of the children. I look forward to her running again.
joe raich January 13, 2013 at 01:40 AM
Monica Sciafani: We are finally in total agreement on how the BOE does business.I was impressed with Allison at the candidate's night years ago. Remain vigilant on Strumolo's activities...
friend of parsppany January 13, 2013 at 02:08 AM
It is a dysfunctional board with a very low IQ. They Are in it for who knows what, but it is not to make sure the kids are getting a quality education. Cops with huge egos have always been dangerous. How did Carifi become wealthy? He doesn't seem to follow the rules-he has his own. He sounds like an egomaniac with an inferiority complex. His partner too. God help the many issues the school district is putting under the carpet.
Parker Jones January 13, 2013 at 02:44 PM
I, for one, am embarrassed by the way some members of this board conduct themselves. I am sick and tired of the negative news articles and those who are labeled advocates by the news, when in realtity and for the most part they are a bunch of haters, who have personal agendas, and simply know how to stir/manipulate a crowd into a frenzied mob. Strumolo is one such person. Wherever Strumolo goes, confusion and calimity follow. Stumolo sits up there on the pulpit with his poison cool aide drinkers, both on the board and in the audience, bullying his way through meetings. Wouldn't it be prefered to have board members who can disagree in a respectful and meaningful way with each other, board members who actually have the school districts interests at heart and who know how to conduct themselves in a professional mannter, but that is not Strumolo's way. When he was on the council he created the same hostile atmosphere. He sits in his gas station spewing venom to anyone who will listen to him and surrounds himself with people who he can manipulate into following his wishes. He and his crew personify the saying that "politics makes strange bedfellows". Their cause: to destroy anyone they see in the way of accomplishing their self-serving, egotistical agendas.
Parker Jones January 13, 2013 at 02:59 PM
I find it interesting that the same people who are either defending the process or who have remained uncharacteristicly silent on the choice of DeIntinis as a BOE member have also labled the Republican Committee,s choice of Stanton & Ferrara as cronyism. It seems that if the person who is chosen is someone that they support then they support the legal process, but when it is someone that they do not support it is cronyism. This real show will begin when the clash of the gigantic ego's between Carifi and Stumolo begins. There is no way that these two guys can work together unless it will be to form an alliance to destroy the current Mayor in the next election. After all, Strumolo is anti Barberio because Strumolo is no longer the unofficial Mayor of Lake Hiawatha and Carifi's motives...well let's see if you can or will connect the dots based upon headlines in the near future.
Parker Jones January 13, 2013 at 03:01 PM
Folks, do not delude yourselves, the disturbances on the council and on the BOE have noting to do with virtue and/or concern for the community, but have all to do with power and greed.
Parker Jones January 13, 2013 at 03:28 PM
Let's look at what has happened over the past 6 months. Let's take a look at Lou Valorie, the self-proclaimed conservative Republican, who want's people to believe that he was improperly disqualified from sitting on the council. First, Lou Valorie was on terminal leave from the police depart. For those of you who do not know what that is, it is when a police officer who is about to retire goes out on leave and gets paid his salary without working as compensation for sick/vacation time that he hasn't used. Therefore, Valorie was not qualified to be on the council because he remained on the force and payroll collecting $100's of thousands of dollars in compesatory pay until his anticipated date of actual retirement. This type of compensation is usually looked upon with disgust by the public, yet not one person maked an issue out of this when Valorie continued to eat from the troff and also wanted a government seat he wasn't entitled to. Instead, he & his crony supporters blamed everyone, including the Mayor instead of accepting responsibility for trying to deceive the public themselves.
Parker Jones January 13, 2013 at 03:38 PM
Next, in recent times Valorie has described himself as a supporter of the Republican Party in town, and a good, conservative Republican. His past behovior speaks otherwise. Does a good conservative Republican sign a letter entitled "Republicans for Luther" in support of the Democrat candidate over the Republican candidate? Does his conduct show respect for the people's choice to represent them in the general election? NOT. While on the BOE, Valorie voted for the Superintendent's contract before he voted against it. Does that seem like a good conservative Republican move to you? NOT. So ask yourselves folks, why? I'll let you draw your own conclusions.
patchitup1 January 13, 2013 at 04:49 PM
Well said Parker.
Mark January 14, 2013 at 02:14 AM
What a disgrace.
steve revette January 14, 2013 at 03:31 AM
Trolls who are you to talk about people using names? Your name is sick of the trolls and you're talking to other people about theirs. Also Carol I don't see what Mr. Carifi doing as bullying. In fact some people could say that the taxpayers are and were being bullied by a ridiculous policy such as that. In fact maybe we should let all children of people who work in Parsippany and not just teachers and other school officials go to school here. It is a BIG conflict of interest and I'm willing to Go all in that Children of teachers do not get treated the same as other students as far as rules go. Also I think Mrs. Cogan will make an excellent board member. Also TBH in my opinion the only reason I believe that Mrs. Cogan isn't a board member is because of moving the elections to November. We can all say yes or no but fact is that the positioning of a ballot played a role in it. Only people who actually cared about the school board and board of education came out and voted for school elections.
debbie blair January 14, 2013 at 03:07 PM
Parker Jones Your are spewing negative information against people that is so so inaccurate and you are minipulating the facts. Please stop!! Thats why there is new Republican Leadership desperately needed in Parsippany!!!
debbie blair January 14, 2013 at 03:24 PM
Parsippany is desperately in need for new LEADERSHIP!! It will be comming very soon!!!
Sick of the trolls January 14, 2013 at 04:07 PM
Mr. Revette, I just think that if you're going to attack people who have the guts to stand up and make their opinion known, you should at least have the courtesy to do the same. Hiding behind a pseudonym to attack a person who is publicly taking a position is the worst kind of cowardice. What gives anyone the right to anonymously accuse their neighbors of being childish and selfish? Wouldn't you want to know who that person in your community is? In one of his (or her) 2 other posts, this "Donald" has accused certain members of the BOE of making their comments through other people; how do we know this person isn't a member of the BOE, using a fake name to influence our opinions? How do you know I'm not either? That's the point: if you don't use your real name, why should anyone trust anything you have to say?
Mike January 14, 2013 at 09:27 PM
Who are you going to vote for mayor? Will Valore run. How about Carifi's brother. If he runs and wins then we will sure be in trouble with both Carifi's in a public office. You already see what Jim has tried. Who knows what Paul will do in office. Somehow we will get screwed in the long run.
VietNam Vet January 16, 2013 at 09:32 AM
The Colonel said he didn't want it to turn into an armed camp. I don't think any of us want something like that to happen either. Lets not go overboard just because one mentally disturbed kid went nuts, lets not go off half cock here like the demoncraps in Wash.
VietNam Vet January 16, 2013 at 09:42 AM
Well how do you think odummer got back in office to screw up the country somemore. The party voted and they fixed the elections as they always do, thats the only way they can win anything. The corruption was on the board but now maybe it won't be all about more money all the time and they can get some real business done, instead of all the greed and back stabbing. If the corruption continues then I'll be one of the first on here to speak out about it. With the other board it had to go speitz's way or the highway. The next one to go is mancuso for his deal with the supt.'s contract that cost the taxpayers more money and the supt. went off with about $ 38,000 more than he was supposed to because of the old board and mancuso.
VietNam Vet January 16, 2013 at 09:57 AM
Monica, I know you don't like me, and I'm not worried about that. They went with DeIntinis because of his record as a Police Officer and his experience with the children and with keeping them safe, maybe that doesn't matter to some people but it may to many others. I don't want to see the same corruption going on like with the previous board members. I will be watching things very close myself and if something isn't right I'll be the first to speak up about it. You may not believe that, but I'm telling the truth. Keeping the kids safe is of utmost importence to many and I look for that and I worry about the taxpayers being taken advantage of like with the last board. The seniors of Parsippany cannot afford to see their taxes continue to go up and up, when many people are out of work because of the Wash. idiots.
Paul Brown January 16, 2013 at 10:38 AM
Hi. I am Paul Brown, I live in Lake Hiawatha. I don't know who this person is who is posting under my name, and now using the name VietNam Vet, but it is not me and he does not speak for me. I am a vet, and I am offended that someone in our community would do this. Please stop it.
Kevin Brancato January 16, 2013 at 12:01 PM
Again corruption. prove it or shut up. How do you know what the Board Intended when they voted. I don't and I have a relative on the Board. I know you go under Paul Brown aka VietNam Vet but you really talk like Mike Strumolo. Just who are you sir? If you are Mike, well you have been thumbing your nose at the voters for a number of years now. I just wish you would stop hiding behind your minions and take credit for all your work,
Jeff January 16, 2013 at 02:18 PM
VietNam Vet -- agreed that it was a misread as I noted further down in the comment thread.
Kevin Brancato January 16, 2013 at 03:01 PM
To Paul Brown, There was a time when there were postings under the name Paul Brown then that string turned into VietNam Vet after I identified Paul Brown (or whoever was posting under that name) as Mike Strumolo's neighbor. If what you are saying is true than someone must have hijacked you account, maybe right from the beginning. I would contact Natalie Davis to straiten this out. I'll tell you this much both posters by intent and misspelling seem the same as Paul Brown or VietNam Vet. So this person started as Paul Brown right from the beginning. Could your neighbor across the street have started posting in your name then changed it when I identified you? The guy seem to know what's going on and slants his spew toward Mike Strumolo's positions. Wonder who it could be?? If it truly is not you I'm sorry, like I said contact Natalie, I'm sure they can research thru IP addresses who has stolen your name. Kevin Brancato
Kevin Brancato January 16, 2013 at 03:03 PM
To VietNam Vet Now Paul Brown is posting that you hijacked his name. So who are you??? The internet police will find you.
VietNam Vet January 17, 2013 at 09:11 AM
You people were all happy when the bullying came from speitz and the rest, but now the shoe has turned and your not happy. You don't care about the children or whats best for them, it was all just greed, and now its over...I hope.


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