BEACHWOOD-If you’re a Toms River resident and haven’t attended a school board meeting or wrote letters to your state representatives, according to one Toms River Regional School Board member, you’re part of the problem.
The Toms River School Board representative of this tiny outer lying borough once again lashed at the community at-large in Toms River for what he claims is an apathetic reaction to pending legislation that could cut $3.3 million from the district school budget next year.
This time, Leonard took to his Facebook page, which is usually filled with raucous insults about fellow board members, the media and those who don’t agree with him.
Today, he mocked those who don’t attend school board meetings.
“Apparently, if you go by the ‘Apathy’ Park Press comments section, the entire tax paying district ‘works’ every 3rd Wednesday at 7:30 PM!” Leonard quipped about low attendance at school board meetings. “And they are soooo[sp] ‘over worked’ that they can’t find 2 minutes to call Trenton or email a Legislator, but can find unlimited time to comment on Social Media (without all the facts) about the budget crisis.”
Leonard doubled down on his attack against the community, calling them “willfully ignorant” and “bystanders”.
He was also upset over the public’s non-attendance at a daytime press conference last week, held at 1:30 pm in the afternoon, when most are working. Leonard, a Republican, is a public employee, employed by Ocean County, was able to attend the conference.
It wasn’t Leonard’s first confrontational situation since taking his seat on the nine member board. This year, Leonard has been confrontational with non-Republican school board members after the board voted against hiring a Leonard election campaign donor for a lucrative auditing contract earlier this spring. Leonard said on many occasions he will work to elect more of his fellow Republicans to seats on the board this year in an effort to remove the “Clean Slate Team” which seized power from the Ritacco era board, returning power back to the Republican political power base in town.
Leonard’s view of the public was not shared by fellow Republican Freeholder Joseph Vicari who instead placed blame where it was deserved, with New Jersey Democratic controlled legislature and senate.
Vicari took a swing at the funding proposal’s backer, Steven Sweeney.
“It is hard to believe that Mr. Sweeney and Mr. Prieto have already forgotten about the devastation caused by Superstorm Sandy in October 2012 and that Ocean County is still reeling financially from its blow,” Vicari said.
Leonard, continued his rant.
“I’ll be damned if I’m not going to call these folks [the public] out,” he posted on Facebook.