BOE Elects New President, Seeks Candidates To Fill Vacancy
The Fort Lee Board of Education will fill the vacancy left by the former board president’s recent resignation through an application process, with letters and resumes due by Aug. 25. A one-year term will also be added to the November ballot.
With the recent resignation of now former school board president Arthur Levine, the Fort Lee Board of Education has an immediate vacancy to fill, and in November there will also be one additional seat up for election.
The school board also has a new president after their regular business meeting Monday, Yusang Park, who will serve until the annual reorganization meeting in January 2013.
Levine resigned from the board on Aug. 7, leaving an unexpired, three-year term that would have ended in November 2013.
The school board is therefore seeking candidates to fill the open seat until the reorganization meeting in January. Interested candidates are asked to submit a resume and a letter of intent by Aug. 25.
Candidates for temporary board membership must meet the following qualifications, according to school officials:
- Be at least 18 years old
- Be able to read and write
- Have been a Fort Lee resident for at least one year
- Not be disqualified as a voter pursuant to N.J.S.A. 19:4-1
- Be a registered voter in the district
- Be willing to submit to a criminal background check within 30 days of appointment and declare in his or her oath of office that he or she has not been convicted of a crime that would prohibit board service
Resumes and letters of intent can be faxed to 201-585-7997, emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org or mailed to Cheryl Balletto, Board Secretary, 2175 Lemoine Ave., 6th Floor, Fort Lee, NJ 07024.
Balletto couldn’t say for sure when the open seat will be filled, but with the next two BOE meetings scheduled for Aug. 27 and Sept. 10, she did say the 10th is “a pretty good possibility,” although she noted that the board actually has 60 days fill the vacancy.
“I will be giving the board members a copy of every single person who submitted a letter of interest and resume [on Aug. 27],” Balletto said. “The board will then review those, and it would be up to them to then select maybe three people to interview, or if they want to interview everyone, that’s up to them.”
She said the interviews could be conducted in private or public session, a decision that is also up to the board, and then the person the board selects will be voted on in a public session.
But the departure of Levine, who would have served one more year, also affects the November school board election.
“The first piece that is controlled also by the board is filling the vacancy from whenever they put someone in the position up through the reorganization meeting in January,” Balletto said. “The second piece, which is done through the election process, is filling Art Levine’s one-year term because there was one year left.”
She added, “We originally were going to have three seats, three-year terms [on the November ballot]. Now we’re going to have three seats, three-year terms and one seat, one-year term.”
Those wishing to file to run for the one-year term have to do so separately, according to Balletto.
“They have to file a petition with the Bergen County Election Clerk in Hackensack by Sept. 7,” she said.
At Monday’s regular business meeting, the board voted 5-2 to elect Park as president of the board through the reorganization in January.
Park has been on the Fort Lee BOE for more than five years, serving as board vice president for the 2009-2010 school year. He has chaired the Curriculum, Policy and Technology committees and has also served on the Negotiation and Buildings and Grounds committees.
Park earned the designation of Certified Board Member from the New Jersey School Board Association’s Board Member Academy, a program recognizing “advanced levels of training among school board members,” according to school officials.
“[Park’s] years of experience and dedication will enable the district to continue on the path of positive improvements that put students first,” officials said in a statement released Thursday.