Board of education fails to transfer funds

| 09 Aug 2012 | 10:28

    By Patricia Keller

    — West Milford’s board of education was unable to approve funds transfers at last month's meeting. That's because board President David Richards and Trustees Donna Richards and Greg Bailey were absent from the meeting and Trustee Jim Foody’s sole no vote on both of the transfers left the board one short of the six votes needed to approve each of the resolutions.
    A two-thirds majority of the nine-member board is needed to approve funds transfers.
    Foody said he wouldn't approve the transfers because specific item lists of the transfers should be included in the agenda for public view prior to the board's vote.
    David Richards told the Messenger the district has a very detailed agenda - more detailed than most - and listing the items for the transfers is not necessary.
    "Our lawyers, past and present, have said we do more than most districts," said Richards. "We follow the law."
    And, he added, trustees can go and look at any bill electronically ahead of time. In addition, information packets are received days before the meetings and any questions can be answered beforehand.
    What this means is that some vendors did not get paid, Richards said. But they will be paid next time when the board members are back, he added. Bailey was on vacation and he and Donna Richards had a family matter, causing them to miss the July 24 meeting.
    The board was able to approve salaries with a simple majority since the positions were previously approved by the board, according to board attorney Marc Zitomer. Foody voted no. They approved the following unaffiliated personnel salaries for the 2012-2013 school year, retroactive to July 1, 2012:
    Barbara Francisco - business administrator/board secretary - $150,858
    Howard Heller - director of Special Services - $153,628.00 (Longevity) $2,000
    John Hummer - network systems engineer - $104,898
    Priscilla Laski - dispatcher – pupil transportation $47,667
    David Storer - Information Management support technician $68,098
    Stuart Schwerner - athletic trainer $69,225
    Philip Ward Dispatcher - pupil transportation - $34,185