BRICK-Rob Canfield, who is running for a seat on the Brick Township school board has called for the resignation of the sitting school board president in light of a scandal involving payments received from a Democratic Super PAC.
Stephanie Wohlrab, the President of the Board of Education was caught with her hands in the pay to play cookie jar, apparent in the details of a report published by Daniel Nee of the Brick Shorebeat, the township’s local online community news website.
“Yesterday, Daniel Nee of the Brick Shorebeat released an article stating that the current Board of Education President, Stephanie Wohlrab, is involved in a tangled web of political donations, contracts, and payments,” Canfield said. “The article alleges that Ms. Wohlrab, who runs the Super Pac America’s Urban Future, received $12,000 in consulting fees from the Super PAC, who’s largest contributor this year is Fairview Associates, the insurance broker for the district.”
Canfield said Wohlrab then voted to reward that brokerage with an $80,000 contract. The incident was uncovered as Brick school board Democrats wrestle with the Phil Murphy administration over recently announced school funding cuts districtwide.
Those funding cuts culminated with Wohlrab and the board cutting more supervisory and teaching positions above the 44 positions already cut earlier in the year.
“The future, frankly stated by district officials, appears bleak,” Nee wrote. “The positions being eliminated include a humanities and science supervisor, one high school teacher, two resource room teachers, one bilingual education teacher and two elementary school teachers.”
Canfield questioned the district’s leadership during the financial crisis.
“What does this say about the leadership on the Brick Board of Education? In this candidates opinion, it shows a lack of integrity,” he added. “A sitting Board President is accepting payment from a Super PAC who’s largest contributor this year happens to be the insurance firm that administers the benefits for the district.”
The Brick School Board has close ties with the Brick Democratic Club, which in turn has ties to the New Jersey Democratic organization, including Governor Phil Murphy, Senator Robert Menendez and Senator Cory Booker.
Wohlrab is a member of the Democrat backed “Clean Slate” team that lead a “Blue Wave” that swept across the Brick and Toms River Township school board over the past few election cycles.
“The question that must be asked here is just because it’s legal, does it make it right?” Canfield asked. “Something isn’t proper simply because it’s permissible, nor is it ethical just because it’s legal.”
Canfield said Wohlrab should be held accountable to the taxpayers of Brick Township.
“As the tax payers of Brick, we need to make certain our elected officials, on all levels, have our town’s interests in mind, not any special interests, when it comes to financing our schools,” he added. “Worse enough, Brick is contending with the disastrous fiscal decisions coming from Trenton in regards to school funding—now this.”
Canfield said, “It is time that we, the tax payers, tell Board of Education President Stephanie Wohlrab that her time is ending, and call for her resignation over this alleged scandal. Our town does not need this kind of leadership. Brick Schools need leadership with integrity without the entanglements.”