BLOOMFIELD, NJ – Amid controversy among several parents, educators, and some board members, the Bloomfield Board of Education voted 4-1 to pass a resolution to move the school board election from November to April.
The vote was held during a special, last-minute, public meeting held Friday evening, Aug. 9 at the School Administration Building. The change is effective for the current school year.
Present at the meeting were Superintendent Sal Goncalves, and voting members Jill Fischman (president), Shane Berger, Thomas Heaney, Benjamin Morse, Ellen Rogers and Ralph Walker.
Berger, Heaney. Morse and Walker voted in the affirmative. Rogers voted no. Fischman abstained.
Board members whose seats were set to expire in November 2019 will see their terms extended to April 2020. Members whose seats were to expire in April 2020 will also have their term extended.
The President of the Bloomfield Education Association, Matthew Giordano, and several parents and residents spoke up against the change during the public comment portion of the meeting prior to the vote.
Changing the election date from November to April will cost Bloomfield taxpayers approximately $50,000 to $60,000.
Notice of the special meeting was posted on the board website and via local media outlets this past Monday, August 5 – the minimum amount of notice required by the state to host a public meeting.
The vote needed to take place at least 85 days prior to the originally scheduled November 2019 election date in order to take action for the proposed April move.
In 2013, a vote was held to move the school board election from April to November. A move that had to keep the election in November for at least four years. With that threshold met, the board voted 4-1, with one abstention, to push back the election to the spring.
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The next Bloomfield Board of Education Public Meeting takes place on Tuesday, August 20 at the School Administration Building beginning with a closed executive session at 6:30 pm followed by the open public meeting at 7:30 pm.