Reader says that we have an incumbent running for the Ridgewood Board of Education whose claims cannot be verified. Mr. Mahmood has ignored or sidestepped questions from the residents—- which is opposite his claims of transparency. He needs to answer the questions with substantiation, because this role is too important.
Reader Abadi asked – Did he vote in any elections in Ridgewood before getting appointed to the board?
Did he attend any board meetings except two, to advocate for religious holiday, before getting appointed on the board?
Mr. Mahmood responded, “I am pretty new in town but have volunteered/served with other non-profits and with my local Travell school before joining the Board as well.”
In other words, he means he never voted in a local election and records show that he was not even a registered voter in town up until 10 days before his appointment to the board. He showed up for only two meetings before his appointment and that was to ask for a religious holiday.
Mr. Mahmood was not even in attendance at the meeting when he was appointed. Essentially, he was completely uninvolved until he was appointed.
Another reader pointed out that Mr. Mahmood claims that he took strong action and asked for a second opinion for Orchard remediation. However, a second opinion contract to LAN Associates was awarded in August, when he was not even on the Board. He has yet to offer proof of his claim that he was the one who pushed for a second opinion, which again, would have been remarkable since he was not on the Board.
The upcoming Board of Election will determine whether the $95 million referendum is pursued, have oversight over the Orchard soil remediation, while always serving the community of 5,792 students. We need a Board member who is fully transparent and accountable, and we should assess the qualifications and depth of commitment of anybody who wants to serve on the Board.