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Hackensack Board of Education President Lara Rodriguez

Hackensack BOE president running with two newcomers

By Nikita Biryukov, March 20 2019 4:34 pm

Hackensack Board of Education President Lara Rodriguez will make her run for re-election alongside two first-time candidates, Michael Scott James-Vickery and Ira Goodman.

“We don’t agree on everything but we do agree on the most important issues,” Rodriguez said. “We know that our schools are in need of major physical and technology upgrades. We know that our children deserve better and we are committed to working together to meet their needs in a manner that has the least impact on taxpayers.”

The three are running on the “Smart Schools Team” slate.

The slate is named for after Hackensack Smart Schools Inc., an advocacy group that in January defeated a $170 million school bond referendum it was created to oppose.

Deputy Mayor Kathleen Canestrino has backed the slate, and Hackensack’s remaining councilmembers are expected to do the same.

“Councilwoman Stephanie Von Rudenborg and I have met with Lara numerous times over the past year and have formed a very good working relationship,” Canestrino said. “We share a lot of the same goals and ideas and we are all pragmatic people who understand that city and school officials must work together to get things done without unnecessary expenditures and within budget guidelines.”

Rodriguez is the daughter of the late State Sen. Byron Baer (D-Englewood), who represented Bergen County in the Legislature from 1972 to 2004.  She is currently the clerk of the Bergen County Board of Freeholders.

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