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BOARD OF EDUCATION OF THE CITY OF PLAINFIELD

IN UNION COUNTY, NEW JERSEY

MINUTES of a SPECIAL Meeting of the Board of


Education Held on Tuesday, July 31, 2007

A SPECIAL Meeting of the Board of Education of the City of Plainfield was held this day in the Clinton School
cafetorium. Notice had been provided to Board members and to the Courier-News, Star Ledger, Public Library,
City Clerk, Comcast Cable Co., Plainfield Police Department, and posted in all Plainfield Public schools. The
meeting was called to order at 6:14 p.m. by Mr. Michael J. Donow, Interim Board Secretary, and the following
action took place:

I. PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE
II. WELCOME
III. STATEMENT OF COMPLIANCE

Consistent with the Open Public meetings Act (Ch. 23l Laws of l975), the advance notice required therein has been
provided to the Courier News on Wednesday, July 25, 2007 for advertisement on Saturday, July 28, 2007; and also
provided to the Plainfield Public Schools, the Plainfield City Clerk, Police Department, Star Ledger, Public Library and
Comcast Cable for posting.

IV. ROLL CALL


PRESENT ALSO PRESENT
Ms. Patricia I. Barksdale, President Mr. Peter E. Carter, Interim Superintendent
Ms. Bridget Rivers, Vice President Mr. Michael J. Donow
Mr. Rasheed Abdul-Haqq Mr. Walter Rusak
Mrs. Wilma G. Campbell Mr. Raymond Hamlin
Mr. Martin P. Cox Mr. Ronald Hunt
Mr. Christian Estevez
Lisa C. Logan-Leach @ 7:55 p.m.
Ms. Vickey Sheppard

Mr. Agurs Linward Cathcart, Jr., absent

The following resolution was moved by Mr. Cox, seconded by Ms. Sheppard, and unanimously approved by the Board:
RESOLUTION

WHEREAS, the Open Public Meetings Act, N.J.S.A.10:4-11, permits the Board of Education to meet in closed
session to discuss certain matters, now therefore be it

RESOLVED, the Board of Education adjourns to closed session to discuss:

Prospective or current employees unless all who could be adversely affected requested an open session;

and be it

FURTHER RESOLVED, the minutes of this closed session be made public when the need for confidentiality no
longer exists.

The Board of Education adjourned into its executive session at 6:14 p.m.
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The Special Meeting open to the public resumed at 7:55 p.m.

V. REPORT OF THE HUMAN RESOURCES COMMITTEE

Ms. Rivers moved Items A, B, and C, seconded by Mr. Cox. The motion carried, on a roll-call vote, with
eight members in favor and none opposed.

A. Termination of Employee

The Interim Superintendent of Schools recommends, and I so move, adoption of the following:

RESOLUTION

RESOLVED, that Dr. Soundaram Ramaswami be terminated from employment at the Plainfield Public
schools, effective July 18, 2007, for reason of lack of New Jersey certification (endorsement), pursuant to
New Jersey Statute and Code. The employee was hired in the titled position of Supervisor of Evaluation,
Assessment and Research, and be it

FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Chief School Administrator was informed of this employee’s lack of
certification by the Union County Superintendent of Schools on July 17, 2007, and thus directed to relieve
said employee of (her) duties, and be it

FINALLY RESOLVED, New Jersey Administrative Code 6A:9-5.1 (a) / (c) gives a school district no
choice with respect to what action must be taken in a case where certification is lacking.

B. Salary Guide – Placement Adjustment

The Interim Superintendent of Schools recommends, and I so move, adoption of the following:

RESOLUTION

RESOLVED, that Evelyn Motley be reappointed as Director of Early Childhood Education at the properly
adjusted step, namely, Guide F, Step 6 - $113,230, plus $2,000 (MA+32 credits), a total of $115,230.00 for
the 2007-2008 school year, thereby placing the employee on the correct step now and henceforth. The
employee foregoes any and all claims to past residual payroll compensation, which may or may not be due.

C. Transfers

The Interim Superintendent of Schools recommends, and I so move, adoption of the following:

RESOLUTION

RESOLVED, the Board approve the transfer of Alan Johnson from split Vice-Principal for Cedarbrook and
Emerson Schools to Vice-Principal, Emerson “Swing” School; and to transfer Gwynetta Joe from Vice-
Principal for Washington Community School to Vice-Principal, Jefferson “Swing” school in order to
enhance the education of the children who attend these schools.
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VI. DISCUSSION – SUPERINTENDENT’S SEARCH

The President reviewed a possible time line for the Superintendent Search. She noted that the Board had already
heard a presentation and discussion with New Jersey School Boards Association, and that two other consultant
firms have been brought up.

The President asked that members forward questions to her and to the Interim Board Secretary that they would
like to be in a uniform interview sheet as members call upon the references for the firms.

The next meeting will be on August 7th and she requested that all members have their “reference checks” done
by that meeting.

The Board discussed the proposed process and what follow up will occur after the interviews and presentations
scheduled for the August 7th meeting.

VII. DISCUSSION – STRUCTURE OF AGENDAS

The President reviewed a memo disseminated in October 2006 concerning a process for members bringing new
business items to Work and Study meetings, so that the process allowed for orderly meetings, with proper time
for the administration to prepare for the discussions. The process included the time frame for members to ask
questions on agenda items in order to get responses from the administration prior to the meeting. Members
reviewed the current procedure, with a majority indicating the desire to continue the current procedures with a
complete review by the Policy Committee for review by the full Board.

Mrs. Campbell moved, seconded by Ms. Sheppard and unanimously approved by the Board, to adjourn the meeting
at 8:32 p.m.

Recorded by:

Michael J. Donow, Interim Board Secretary


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EXECUTIVE SESSION
NOT FOR PUBLIC
DISTRIBUTION
@ 6:14 p.m.

Present Also Present


Ms. Barksdale Mr. Carter
Ms. Rivers Mr. Donow
Mr. Abdul-Haqq Mr. Rusak
Mrs. Campbell Mr. Hamlin
Mr. Cox Mr. Hunt
Mr. Estevez
Ms. Sheppard

Mr. Cathcart, absent


Mrs. Logan-Leach, absent

Discussion

The Superintendent provided an overview of the two staff members requesting time to speak to the Board in
Executive Session concerning possible action at the public meeting.

Ms. Leola Bellazzin reviewed a hand-out giving an overview of the past year in the position of Supervisor of
Guidance. Also present on behalf of Ms. Bellazzin were Mr. Lommerin and Mrs. Johnson-Tucker of PASA.
Mrs. Johnson-Tucker added to the presentation citing some of this staff member’s work with the schools, and
requested that the Board allow Ms. Bellazzin to continue in the position of Supervisor of Guidance Services for
the 2007-08 school year.

Board members discussed the status and clarification on the position that Ms. Bellazzin will be transferred into,
now that she has had the opportunity to address the Board.

Board members requested clarification about the need for certification for the position of Supervisor of Testing,
based on the “current” job description and the district’s statement on a copy of what appears to be a page from
the annual Certificated Staff Report.

Dr. Ramaswami was represented by Mr. Oxfeld Cohen, Esq., in addition to Mr. Lommerin and Mrs. Johnson-
Tucker on behalf of PASA. Mr. Cohen indicated that Dr. Ramaswami was told she did not require certification
for her position, and has performed as such both in Plainfield and previously in Newark for 10 years. He added
that she should be reinstated and given back pay for time lost, and that she should be awarded tenure. The
PASA representatives stated that Dr. Ramaswami was denied the right to representation prior to her suspension,
and requested that the Board consider her job performance as the primary issue.

The Board was given clarification by Board Counsel in response to the legal claim made, as well as potential
issues raised in the presentation on behalf of Dr. Ramaswami. Board Counsel read the complete citation of the
code referred to in the Superintendent’s recommendation, as well as the definition of the position in the statute.
Mrs. Barksdale reminded the Board members of a similar situation a year ago with certification problems.
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The Superintendent reviewed the three resolutions being recommended for action at the Special meeting to
follow the Executive Session.

The Superintendent presented his recommendation concerning the appointment of an Interim Principal at the
High School, while the district seeks a permanent appointment to the position. The Board members discussed
the negative manner that the individual being recommended has presented to the staff and the public in the past;
the previous representation that the Interim Assistant Superintendent would be able to oversee the running of
the high school while a permanent candidate is sought, as well as the potential that the individual has to grow
and the support he has from staff members.

It was moved, seconded and unanimously approved by the Board, to adjourn executive session.

Recorded by:

Michael J. Donow, Interim Board Secretary


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