Campaign News

March 3rd:  "Real Results" Promises Transparent, Comprehensive Search Process.

Now that Frank Romano has withdrawn his application for superintendent, the school board has a second chance to hire a new leader for our district—and a chance to do it right this time.  The "Real Results" team for the April 20 school board vote—Elizabeth Markevitch, Perry Lin, Kathleen Tucker and John Forsman—vows to push for a careful, transparent and comprehensive search if elected.

Markevitch, Lin, Tucker and Forsman would all bring practical, hands-on business and management experience to the board.  Here is their plan to handle the search process if elected:
 
“1) HIRE A FIRM THAT SPECIALIZES IN SUPERINTENDENT SEARCHES.  Often the best candidates are not looking for new jobs, especially in this economy.  It is a search firm's mandate to ferret out and persuade highly qualified individuals to consider switching jobs.  The top school districts in the state use search firms and we must do the same.

“2) MAKE SURE THERE ARE AT LEAST 10 CANDIDATES WORTH INTERVIEWING.  Competition is healthy.  It gives the board a sense of the talent level available and leads to better decision-making.  In Hoboken's case, the last search was so superficial that naturally the results turned out poorly.

“3) CHECK REFERENCES DILIGENTLY.  The ‘Real Results’ team will thoroughly vet the finalists.  We've hired and evaluated people so we know how to do this.  We know that candidates will undoubtedly have glowing recommendations from colleagues and peers, but we also know to look for the red flags.  We know how to read resumes with a skeptical eye.  Skeletons should not be coming out of the closet after the person is hired.

“4) BE SMART IN THE NEGOTIATIONS.  Once the finalists are picked, the board must decide on the salary range and benefits it is willing to offer before the negotiations begin, and not just react to a candidate's demands.  It might make sense to begin negotiating packages with all of the finalists before the final selection, giving the board more leverage and a fallback if the first choice drops out.  We need to maintain the upper hand at all times during negotiations.

“5) CONDUCT A FAIR AND OPEN PROCESS.  ‘Real Results’ will demand a fully transparent process. Before the last board meeting, Kids First announced that hiring the superintendent would not be on the agenda, and then it was rammed through late that evening without notice and after much of the audience had left.  ‘Real Results’ will not treat the public like that.”

The "Real Results" team will draw upon its wealth of real world, private sector experience, and make sure that our next superintendent search is conducted in a competent, professional manner.  Elizabeth Markevitch is the founder and president of a firm that recruits staff to fill technical positions.  She is exactly the kind of person Hoboken needs on the school board when it conducts a new search after the election.  She and her running mates—Lin, Tucker and Forsman—are determined to find a top-notch superintendent that will take our schools to the next level and provide each student with the opportunity to reach his or her full potential.