ADVERTISEMENT

In another demonstration of leadership and putting students first, Ken-Ton School Superintendent Mark P. Mondanaro has done what few public officials have done. He was scheduled to receive a raise of 2.5 percent this year but voluntarily agreed to cut the raise to 0.8 percent, making his salary next school year $189,900.

While not chump change, it’s less than many other superintendents earn. And Mondanaro also agreed to pay an additional $1,234 toward his medical plan. That’s in addition to the 20 percent annual contribution he previously agreed to pay.

He earlier had frozen his salary, paid his own conference-related expenses and returned a scheduled raise. He did get an additional five days of noncumulative discretionary leave for the current school year, for a total of 18, but the guy still stands out as a role model among high-level school officials around here.

The first time New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg gets a delivery of takeout food in leaky cardboard containers he may regret his latest rampage, this time over plastic foam containers.

Bloomberg apparently wants to echo the famous order delivered by actress Joan Crawford in the 1981 biopic “Mommie Dearest”: “No more wire hangers, ever!” with “No more plastic foam containers, ever!”

Hizzoner has so far launched campaigns against everything from fatty foods to supersize sodas, and been criticized for the city’s growing “nanny state” rules. A ban on foam containers will probably renew that criticism, but such a ban would be good for the environment and could potentially save on recycling costs.

Strange bedfellows, indeed. Richard Nixon, a favorite target of Democrats and persona non grata among Republicans, was an adviser to President Bill Clinton and even congratulated the winner of the 1992 election for having conducted one of the best campaigns he had ever seen.

Not long before Nixon’s death in 1994, the former president quietly advised Clinton on matters regarding the post-Cold War world and even offered to serve as a conduit to then-Russian President Boris Yeltsin.

Memos and other newly declassified records showing Nixon’s behind-the-scenes advice are part of an exhibit at the Nixon Presidential Library, marking the centennial of his birth.

It’s not too much of a revelation, since Clinton has frequently mentioned his gratitude to Nixon for his advice on foreign affairs, but it’s still a timely reminder that, while Nixon was driven from office for very good reasons, he had talents that served the nation well. We are, all of us, more than the sum of our defects.