FAIR LAWN, NJ - Incumbent Board of Education trustee, and candidate for a third term, Jeffrey Klein officially resigned his Board of Education seat on the evening of the Nov. 6 election, with two months remaining in his term.
"I am not going to change my colors and be less loyal to teaching or ever stop working for our community," Klein said in an emailed statement. "I will never be afraid to take on anyone or anything that others fear. To be a great public servant, one must be ready to sacrifice, not only time, but perhaps one’s seat. I am happy for what I did and for my accomplishments and for the friends I made down the road.
"We all suffer setbacks and rest assure that I have strong character and see this as a time to regroup and plan the next chapter of my life," Klein said.
He has been accused of interfering in teachers' classroom functioning during his tenure as a board member in a year-old complaint to the NJ Department of Education Ethics Board, a charge he denies. There has been no determination regarding the accusations and hearings on the matter are scheduled to continue into December.
Wilkin Santana, the highest vote-getter in the election, will be sworn-in on Nov. 15 to serve the remainder of Klein's term, which ends on Dec. 31. Santana will then be sworn-in again in January with the other two board members, all for three-year terms.
Santana and the three other candidates ran for three open seats on the board. Santana received 4,124 votes, incumbent Mark Spindel received 3,865, incumbent Eugene Banta received 3,531--all in successful bids. Incumbent Klein received 2,898 votes in a losing effort for a third term. The vote tallies do not include absentee vote counts.