RANDOLPH, NJ - After a contested election season, Randolph Township chose Al Matos, Susan DeVito and Sheldon Epstein to serve three-year terms on the Board of Education.
Board Secretary Gerald Eckert swore in the three board members at Tuesday evening’s meeting. Board Member Tammy Mackay nominated Al Matos for president, and Epstein nominated Ron Conti.
Board member Anne Standridge abstained from voting on both nominations, stating she was “disappointed with what went on as far as the election this year."
“I also want to thank [Christine Aulenbach] for her year as Vice President,” Standridge said. “I thought she offered a lot between that and being Education Chair."
Standridge also commented on Matos’ year end President's Report and goals. “As much as that was your president's report, I think it came across as those were board goals, and they were really your goals, and not board goals. So my hope for the future is that you state that this is your opinion, and that we work together on board goals."
“I think in the past, Mr. Braverman was called out for something similar to that, so I think it’s something to be very much aware of,” Standridge concluded.
At the following meeting on Jan. 17, Matos responded to these comments. “I usually use my words pretty carefully. Looking back, they were ‘my wishes’ not board goals. If they were board goals, I would state so.”
“The situation is distinguishable from the Mr. Braverman issue,” explained board counsel Marc Zitomer. “Mr. Braverman… stated publicly information that we did not believe was entirely accurate. We cautioned Mr. Braverman, that while he was free to express his opinion,… it’s really important that the statement is accurate.”
In that situation, Braverman corrected the record and resolved the confusion.
“In looking at this statement, I do not believe that Matos crossed any legal or ethical boundaries,” Zitomer stated at the Jan. 17 meeting.
During the President’s Report for the reorganizational meeting, Matos shared more on this personal vision for the Randolph School District.
“Last year I articulated some personal goals that I wanted to achieve,” Matos began. “My vision… was that we continue to provide the Randolph student with the excellent educational experience that distinguishes them from others as they move on to college and workplace in this post-industrial age of our nation."
“We are moving in the right direction, but we can’t stay still,” Matos said.
His second goal relates to the fiduciary duty to “balance the needs of our taxpayers, staff and students.”
“This is not a club; this is not a non-profit organization,” he explained. “This is a state organization, and we are all state officials empowered by state legislators to represent the town of Randolph in Board of Education matters."
His last goal included hiring a full-time Superintendent, which he believes has helped improve the relationship between staff and parents this year.
“This group of board members is highly exceptional,” Matos concluded. “We have individuals here from all different backgrounds, and they bring a piece of the solution to the table."