PLAINFIELD, NJ - An awards ceremony recognizing outstanding students in the Plainfield Public School district on Tuesday was followed by a rushed board of education business meeting that concluded with the selection of a candidate to fill an empty seat.
Public interviews with seven candidates had taken place on May 7.
During the business meeting's public comment section, Sam Cooper remarked on the board's lack of communication with those who participated in the interview process.
She was one of seven people vying for the open board seat, along with Graziela Lobato-Creekmur, Rebecca Perkins, Corey Pettus, Eric Andrews, Timothy Priano, and Keath Gerald.
"We haven't seen anything publicly, haven't heard anything privately, so that's a little disconcerting for people who are interested in wanting to moving us forward," Cooper said.
"I think it's in poor judgment and poor taste to not have at least sent something out, to give some type of schedule, some type of timing as to where you are looking to go in filling the position," Cooper continued. "I would have hoped that, if not myself, some of the other people who have been here consistently would have at least been given the privilege and courtesy of a phone call or text message."
Cooper added, "That speaks to what I was saying in my interview for the position, that there is a lack of transparency and lack of good communication, and that's something that trickles down from the top into the district."
Board President Richard Wyatt commented that there would be deliberations later in the meeting.
After administrative tasks were completed, John Campbell nominated Lobato-Creekmur for the seat.
See her interview at the May 7 meeting:
Vice President Cameron Cox seconded Campbell's nomination, and the vote for Lobato-Creekmur to fill the seat formerly held by Dorien Hurtt passed 5-3.
Terence Johnson, Campbell, Emily Morgan, Cox and Wyatt voted yes, while Carmencita Pile, Dr. Avania Richardson-Miller, and Lynn Anderson voted no.
The vote left some people in attendance stunned.
The meeting was abruptly adjourned after the vote was recorded.
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