Bergson Leneus
Running for 3rd Ward Councilman for East Orange
in the November 7th Election on LINE A

04/23/17 - Bergson Leneus came to my house with his four children to ask me to vote for him as my 3rd Ward Councilman, replacing Ted Green who is running for mayor this year. He handed me the flyer shown above. Having his children present with him stopped me from asking him questions; I wouldn't want to embarrass him in front of his children. However, I notice that while he was talking, one of his children kept trying to ask him for something and was ignored. If he doesn't listen to his own children, I can't imagine he would listen to me, either.

I would have asked him what he meant by "Stabilize Taxes" on his flyer. None of the council persons has ever done anything to lower, reduce or stabilize taxes in this city as long as I have lived here. Taxes have always been raised, by the mayor but then always approved by the council afterwards. Lester Taylor promised to reduce taxes when he ran for mayor, but immediately raised them when he was elected and both Ted Green and Quilla Talmadge (current council for the 3rd ward) approved it then and approved every increase in taxes since that time.

I would have asked him what he meant by "Enhance Redevelopment" on his flyer. Redevelopment of what? Enhance it how? I'm not impressed that the President of the Board of Education does not know how to communicate better.

I would have asked him how he plans to "Create Employment Opportunities." The only way he can do that, since he does not run a business of his own, and is not running for the office of mayor, would be to approve the hiring of more public workers paid on my tax payer money. We already have more than 1,000 public workers employed in this city, whose main function is to vote Line A Democrats into office so they can continue to be employed for another term. Even as President of the Board of Education, he has no power to "create employment opportunities" in the school district.

On the reverse side of the flyer, he mentions "Increasing overall academic achievement." He has been a member of the board of education since 2012, and in all that time has done nothing to increase academic achievement in Reading, Writing, Math or Science. Suddenly, as 3rd Ward Councilman, he plans to finally do what he should have been doing for the past five years?
East Orange Student Academic Achievement Records for
2012-2013 ; 2013-2014 ; 2014-2015 ; 2015-2016

He also mentions "Decreasing Violence and Bullying". He has been a member of the board of education since 2012, and in all that time has done nothing to decrease the violence in the most violent schools in Essex County.

Let's Do The Math!
Comparing 2014-2015
with 2015-2016

Enrollment DOWN by: 331 Students
Violence UP by 7
Vandalism down by 1
Weapons down by 2
Substances down by 14
HIB UP by 9
TOTAL down by TWO!

Did we get rid of the
wrong students?

His flyer mentions "Securing funding to construct a new George Washington Carver School", but that would be in the fifth ward, not the third ward. He mentions nothing about making use of the three abandoned school buildings in the 3rd Ward, the former Washington Academy, the former Elmwood School, and the former VLD/ aka Cicely Tyson Middle School.

His flyer mentions "Securing funds to add more world language in all 22 schools". I don't see how that takes funds from tax payers to accomplish. As President of the Board of Education, he should have already accomplished that, if it was really important, but since most of the students in East Orange schools are having difficulty with the English language, I would think that would be a higher priority, and again it doesn't take funding, but just good educational decisions and teaching strategies.

Finally, he mentions that he is President of the Leneus Family Foundation, described as an organization geared towards creating opportunities for children in East Orange and Haiti. The Foundation has been in existence for a few years now, and so far seems to have done nothing except put on fashion shows and black tie dinners. Like the Lester Taylor III Foundation, it seems that it is more about increasing political opportunities of the Foundation's Founders and Families than in creating opportunities for the truly needy children of East Orange or Haiti. But judge for yourself based on the Foundation's Facebook Page.

The Latest School Reports are available HERE.

The above are opinions of Jim Gerrish.

04/23/17 Ted Green's "Silent Running" Campaign

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