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Tuesday, May 3, 2016

(Board of Ed) Mayor Mapp swears in new Board of Ed members

Plainfield Education Association President Eric Jones (l)
shares a moment with Mayor Adrian O. Mapp after the meeting.

Plainfield's newly elected Board of Ed members were sworn in by Mayor Adrian O. Mapp Tuesday evening at the reorganization meeting in the PHS Auditorium.

One by one, Mapp swore in Lynn Anderson, Dorien Hurtt and Carmencita Pile as a crowd of family, friends and supporters looked on and applauded loudly. Among those in the audience were teachers' union president Eric Jones, the president of the Administrators and Supervisors union and a representative of NJEA, the state union.

After newly sworn members were seated, the Secretary conducted the election of the Board President. Emily Morgan and David Rutherford were nominated. Smith proceeded to a roll call for Morgan, the first nominated, with the following tally: Anderson, Hurtt, Jeffers, Morgan and Pile with the motion; Bellamy, Campbell, Rutherford and Wyatt against.

After a moment's confusion, Smith declared Morgan the new Board President.

Board President Morgan delivered brief remarks welcoming the new board members, and pledging to work together with the other members and the District's administration to advance its educational goals. Stressing the need for unity, she echoed Mayor Mapp's mantra -- One Plainfield, One Future.

Superintendent Anna Belin Pyles spoke briefly, welcoming the new members and pledging to work together with the Board and its new President, Mrs. Morgan.

During the Privilege of the Floor, Mayor Mapp and Council President Cory Storch (himself a former Board member) congratulated the new members and pledged to help the City and the District to become better partners in the community.

Storch pointedly suggested the PHS Auditorium was not the best venue for encouraging a feeling of community, a sentiment that was echoed later in remarks by Mr. Hurtt and Ms. Pile.

At President Morgan's request, two items were tabled -- Committee assignments (for which she requested members email her their preferences by Friday) and the schedule of meeting dates and locations. The vote to table was unanimous.

Except for the Code of Ethics, all other resolutions were adopted in a single consent resolution.

President Morgan requested that the members read aloud together the Code of Ethics, which the group did, after which the meeting was adjourned.

Several oversights tended to underscore Board Secretary Smith's unfamiliarity with the routines: There were not enough chairs on the stage at first to accommodate all the new members; no Bible was on hand for the swearing-in (thankfully, Ms. Pile's family had brought one along); Smith took seconds on the nominations, though Robert's Rules and the evening's agenda both pointed out seconds were not needed. Lastly, there was the inexplicable hesitation over declaring Morgan the winner immediately, despite her clearly having the majority of votes.

I suspect some changes in the conduct of the meetings will be made immediately.

The next meeting of the Plainfield Board of Ed is a Work/Study session on Tuesday, May 10, at 8:00 PM in the PHS Conference Room.

  -- Dan Damon [follow]

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