Mt. Ephraim BOE Hires Special Counsel

A Resolution was read following an Executive Session at Monday’s Mt. Ephraim Board of Education (BOE) meeting that would appoint special counsel to represent board president, Joan Greenwood for the Ethics Complaint filed against her.

The Resolution, read aloud by board member, Pat Blaylock stated: “Upon the recommendation of the Superintendent that the Board of Education awards Parker, McCay law firm with a contract as special counsel, pursuant to N.J.S.A. 18A:18A-5(a)1, for legal services associated with the representation of Joan Greenwood in the matter of Noonan, et als vs. Greenwood. The Parker McCay law firm has been chosen based on their expertise and experience. The cost of legal services is not to exceed $10,000.”

Following the Executive Session, several board members made comments.

Carl Ingram said: “I hate to see it and this is taking away from the children when the finances could be spent elsewhere.”

Ingram also made a comment concerning his resignation from the board, but he did not offer his resignation during the regular meeting. He said: “I rescind my resignation.”

Nicholas Salamone said: “My actions are in the best interest of the district. Hopefully, my actions can help to correct the instability.”

Rocco Vespe called himself the “senior member of the board” and said “I’ve been on the board the longer than most and I share the concerns of instability. I am going to do everything I can to get the board back and stabilized because it’s what is best for the kids.”

Robbin Malinowki said simply that she is trying to remain positive.

Pat Blaylock stated: “It’s an embarrassment. When you run for the board, you don’t know fully what to expect, but you get into it for the kids. This is my community and my town. My motives are still the same and I will work on getting the board back on track.”

Earlier in the meeting during the public portion and prior to the reading of the Resolution, several parents addressed the BOE concerning “negativity” and “instability.”

One parent stated: “The Board doesn’t get along and doesn’t support the superintendent. The board office is a revolving door and the director of special services also resigned. What is being done to bring back stability to this district?”

Another parent said: “There is a lot of negativity about the board and the superintendent that is being spoken about in the community. This is a very small community and the kids will suffer.”

The BOE voted to accept the resignations of Interim Business Administrator, Valerie Carmody, and the Director of Special Services, Amy Francis. Francis recently accepted a position in the Gloucester City School District.

*Article originally appeared in the September 17, 2015 edition of the Gloucester City News.