Easy vs. RIGHT

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We will never know what the results would have been, had Vinnie Tunnero and John Montillo told the truth and not falsely held Tunnero up as an agent of honesty, ethics and change on the Board of Education.

It is, however, likely that many of those who were fooled and did vote for the third place winner, Mr. Tunnero, were looking for a change of direction on the BOE. Is that change represented in the 4th place finisher (after Tunnero) in the November 6 election, former Board of Education member Stephen Vendola?

Vendola is the same old story of abusive nepotism. His immediate family works for the schools in a variety of positions. But worst of all, Vendola is a strong backer of BOE President “Chizzie” Vuono.

Commissioner Tommy DiMaggio (left), BOE President “Chizzie” Vuono (center) and former BOE member Stephen Vendola (right) campaign on Election Day outside the High School for Vuono’s 2017 re-election

The easy thing politically is for the Lyndhurst BOE in January to appoint Vendola to what would have been Tunnero’s seat, because Vendola got the most votes after Tunnero, who last night stepped down from the seat he won as a result of legal problems.

The right thing?

Well, that would be to appoint the best qualified candidate who also represents a voice for change for a new generation: Giovanni Gaccione.

In appointing Mr. Gaccione the Board of Education can signal to Lyndhurst Township that they have heard the people and understand they are legitimately angry after the Tunnero episode and want something better on the BOE.

Or, as usual, the BOE can ignore the people and do what amounts to a safe excuse to continue their business as usual: appoint the 4th place runner up Stephen Vendola.

This appointment will be the first big decision of a new Board of Education in 2019, which will be a Board of 8, absent one Vinnie Tunnero, whose seat makes the Board whole at 9 members.

Given the Tunnero debacle, this is not a minor choice.

Make the right choice in January, new and old Board Trustees.  Appoint a new Trustee who represents the change Mr. Tunnero was advertised to be. Appoint Giovanni Gaccione in January.

Let’s move on, and get Lyndhurst moving again.


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