New board of ed looks a lot like the old one

| 28 Sep 2011 | 02:48

    WEST MILFORD-Newcomers Tim Foley and Wayne Gottlieb, along with incumbent Barbara Harlin, were sworn to service at the board of education's reorganization meeting on Tuesday. The three were elected last month when they each ran unopposed. Gottlieb and Foley replace Ken Freedman and Christopher Rahey. Former Board President Midge Touw was the only member nominated for president and was reelected unanimously. Likewise, Barbara Harlin was the sole nominee for vice president, and she too got an all-yes vote. This marks Touw's fourteenth year on the board. She thanked the other members for their support and said, "I'm looking forward to an interesting and challenging year." This is the eighth year on the board for Harlin. "As it was from the beginning, my motivation has always been the children ... That's what we're here for." Gottlieb jumped in feet first while the board was adopting the 2005-2006 re-organization resolutions — which consists primarily of how-to policies — and requested a change in school election hours. Currently, the polls are open during school elections from 2 p.m. to 9 p.m. Gottlieb made a motion to change them to 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. Touw said that all the school districts in both Morris and Sussex Counties have the 2 to 9 hours and that Ringwood keeps their polls open an hour less, not opening them until 3. She also cited problems with manning the polls for such a long day, and the added expense. The motion was defeated 1 - 8. Despite the fact that public participation at board meetings is fairly sparse, Harlin requested a change in the way the board takes comments from residents. (Twice during every meeting, the floor is open for public comment — it was only the first of these periods she wanted to change) After a bit of discussion, the board voted to hear those people who wished to speak on items already on the agenda first. Any of the remaining 30 minutes would then be open to any issue. The board agreed, and also changed the time limit for any one speaker from five to six minutes. The voters passed the 2005-2006 budget in April, but turned down a separate question which was requesting roughly a quarter million dollars for odds and ends not included in the regular budget. Touw said that although the board has the right to bring the request for additional monies before the town board, she requested the district respect the voice of the public and come to an alternate solution