Recently, a letter that school board candidate Veronica Mehno wrote to WW-P officials was posted online for public perusal. Her letter’s religiously and ethnically offensive tirade against certain school board members was laid bare for all to see. In Mehno’s response to the posting, she played the victim and lashed out at the individual who made her comments public. In reality, she has first-hand knowledge that private correspondence becomes part of the public record when sent to a public official. After all, during the 2016-17 school year alone, Mehno made a whopping 52 Open Records (OPRA) requests to obtain access to public records, including the email correspondence between specific district parents and school leadership. By law, WW-P was required to hand over the email exchanges she demanded to see.
I was the target of one of Mehno’s public record fishing expeditions, and in an effort to deter her from twisting and publishing my letters, my husband (against my protests) requested Mehno’s correspondence with district leaders covering the same 18-month time period. She retaliated by demanding my correspondence with all school personnel, including the teachers of my three children.
Why did Ms. Mehno, a woman I have never met, take such an invasive interest in me and my family? I can only surmise she was trying to scare me into silence because I have openly disagreed with her attacks against the administration and school board. Or perhaps she was hoping to find a “smoking gun” to support the spurious conspiracy theory she had publicly disseminated, involving both me and my children (a fabrication Mehno’s running mate, Helen Ming, echoed in a letter to the editor). After somehow discovering my maiden name and my previous place of residence, Ms. Mehno claimed that Dr. Aderhold and I went to the same school [a lie], and suggested that the superintendent, as a personal favor to me, used school funds to build a robotics lab for my children’s exclusive use. (Pure fiction, and for the record, my husband and I coach my son’s robotics team out of our home. The lab serves hundreds of other people’s children.)
Mehno claims she wants to reduce school spending, yet her ballooning appetite for public records has cost the school district a significant sum of money. While only 15 OPRA requests were submitted to WW-P from 2004 to 2014, since the fall of 2015 (roughly the time Ms. Mehno, Ms. Ming, and their cohorts started openly battling the school district), WW-P has fielded a staggering 213 requests. Last school year alone, OPRA requests cost the district $31,605 in attorney’s fees to process the documents—Mehno initiated almost half of those requests.
I find it objectionable that Ms. Mehno wastes our tax dollars on OPRA requests targeting parents and school officials who disagree with her. I find it disturbing and juvenile that she has spread falsehoods about a district parent and her children. These tactics are not befitting a candidate who, if elected, would be privy to confidential information regarding district employees and other sensitive matters. On November 7, I appeal to voters to take a stand against the questionable methods Veronica Mehno uses for political gain.
— Catherine Foley, West Windsor