With no quorum for the August 27th special meeting, the Board Of Education (BOE) could not conduct official business Thursday night. Only four board members – Alexander Balaban, James Damm, Troy Gerten, and Christopher Miller – were in attendance, one short of a quorum. Legally required to conduct a meeting where decisions are made, a quorum is a majority of the board or, in this case, five members to be present. Those absent were Rodric Bowman, Scott Bruckenstein, Loren Harms, Scott Nelson, and Jeof Vita. With more people in the audience than board members, the meeting was called after almost 40 minutes waiting unsuccessfully for a quorum.
The special meeting, which adhered to the Open Public Meetings Act (OPMA) that required 48-notice of a not regularly scheduled meeting, was called in order to accept the resignation of Kristen Martinez as a Sherman School teacher and the hiring of Karen Kane for that position. The effective date for both was September 1st, which is a week before both the start of the 2015-16 school year and the next BOE meeting.
In a proactive measure, the BOE passed a resolution at the July 21, 2015 meeting that authorized the School Superintendent – Pedro Garrido – to offer contracts in the absence of board meetings during the months of July and August to candidates in order to fill vacant positions for the start of school in September.
This covers the hiring of Ms. Kane for $54,916 but the accepting of Ms. Martinez’s resignation will be carried and formally accepted at the September 8th meeting.
Currently, the Board policy on voting (Policy 9325.4) requires that official action at a regular monthly or specially called meeting may only be taken when a quorum is present. The policy could be amended to include that at a special meeting, a member could participate by phone or other video conferencing means such as Skype or GoToMeeting.
The next scheduled BOE meeting is Tuesday night, September 8th, at the Roselle Park High School Library Media Center.