A blog about living in Aberdeen, New Jersey.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

She's Gone and It's Our Loss

Jan Rubino's suspension from the Matawan-Aberdeen Board of Education on ethics charges is in the news again because her opportunity to challenge the 15 November verdict has passed. The judge's decision therefore goes into effect immediately. This leaves Ms Rubino's position empty through the end of her term in April 2011. She has said she will not seek re-election.

The initial complaint against Ms Rubino claimed she had sent some re-election campaign emails to district employees, an ethics violation. She supposedly admitted that her personal mailing list likely included a few friends who worked in the district, but she couldn't confirm one way or the other because she'd deleted the correspondence. Joey Warren got the ball rolling on eventual charges against Ms Rubino via a blog article he posted less than a month before the official ethics complaint was filed. Mr Warren claimed to be entering the "political fray" of the school board because of this and other "machinations" by Ms Rubino and her ilk. It was time to take sides.

It's unclear whether Mr Warren's entree into local school board politics was manifested in his lodging this complaint, but I suppose so. He surely envisioned Ms Rubino's censure for ethics violations would come and go, justice would prevail and they could blithely continue to joust over various and sundry minutia of school administration. Surprised by the recent verdict, Mr Warren complained of the "unjust punishment" meted out against Ms Rubino when the judge chose a six-month suspension instead of his carefully considered and less impacting censure. But it is what it is. As Mick Jagger famously said, " You don't always get what you want."

Now that Ms Rubino has been put through the wringer for two years and then hung out to dry, are we any better off? I'd say no. She has been one of the biggest advocates for our schools since my college-age daughter was in elementary school, always putting hard work and social skill together to make our schools a better place. I certainly feel we've lost more than we've gained in this vain effort at justice. Ms Rubino had plenty to contribute to our district in years to come, but now she's gone. I hope she finds an alternate way to serve the community. If not, it's our loss.


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