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Mt. Ephraim News Recent News

Mt. Ephraim School Board Votes to Renew Superintendent’s Contract

*Article was updated on February 13, 2016 to include the Corrective Action Plan recommendations.

During a Special Meeting on February 4, the Mt. Ephraim Board of Education (BOE) approved a motion concerning the contract renewal for School Superintendent, Leslie Koller, subject to agreement on a contract that must be approved by the Executive County Superintendent.

See related article: Ethics Complaint Dismissed Against Mt. Ephraim School Board President.

Voting yes to renew Koller’s contract were board members Joan Greenwood, Lewis Greenwood, Sr., Carl Ingram, Robbin Malinowski, and Rocco Vespe.

Diane Vilardo voted no. Nicholas Salamone was absent. Mario Alibrando and Patricia Blaylock are conflicted and could not vote.

During the Special Meeting, the BOE also voted to approve business on its agenda. The approvals included recommendations for:

  • Phoenix Advisors as continuing disclosure agent and municipal advisor of record for bond finance.
  • The corrective action plan from the year end audit 2015 presented by Holman, Frenia & Allison, P.C. (The corrective action report has been requested and article will be updated to include this information when it is received.)
  • A contract with Comcast Business Service for ethernet network services under the statewide program with Middlesex Educational Services Commission.

When the Board reorganized, Patricia Blaylock was president and Carl Ingram was named vice president.

At its regular meeting on February 8 meeting, the BOE recognized student representatives from Mary Bray School and Raymond Kershaw School.

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Student Representatives from back left: Gabe Crothers, Jonathan Lapp, Olivia Malinowski, and Ryan Small. Front front left: Daniel Manning, Briana Cavallaro, Joseph Wolfe, and Ryan Wolfe. Not pictured: Jayson Beck-Gruff

The BOE voted to approve the February, 2016 bill list in the amount of $510,520.52, all field trips, the 2016-17 school calendar, and a Learning Through Gardening Proposal.

The next Board of Education meeting will take place on Monday, March 14, 2016 at 7:30 p.m. at the Mary Bray Media Center.

*Update: There were six corrective actions:

  1. The treasurer should reconcile their cash records with the reconciled bank statements of the Board Secretary.
  2. The district implements internal controls to ensure timely deposit of student funds.
  3. The district implements internal controls to ensure disbursements for student awards follows controls set forth by the district.
  4. The district implements internal controls to ensure student enrollment is reconciled to the final report.
  5. The district implements internal controls to ensure Capital Assets additions, deletions, and depreciation is recorded correctly in their system.
  6. The district implements standard operating systems.

 

Categories
Gloucester News Recent News

Gloucester City Teacher Arrested

Displayed with permission from CNB News.net

UPDATED:

by CNBNews Staff

(February 9, 2016…9PM)–When School Superintendent, Joe Rafferty, was asked after Tuesday night’s Board of Education meeting if he had a comment about the arrest, he responded: “No comment. We defer to the Gloucester City Police Department.”

During the meeting Light’s arrest was not mentioned by the Superintendent or by any board member and no one from the public spoke during the public portions of the meeting.

The board did go into Executive Session and when it reconvened, the board voted to allow two students to return to school. The board also voted to affirm the January and February HIBs. (Harassment, Intimidation, and Bullying) as presented.

By William E. Cleary | CNBNewsnet

GLOUCESTER CITY, NEW JERSEY (February 9, 2016)—The Gloucester City Public School District has been shocked once again by the news of another school employee being arrested on charges of sexual assault. 

In July, Robert A. Savage, of Stratford, a teacher’s aide employed by the Gloucester City Public School District was arrested by the Gloucester City Police for allegedly having sexual intercourse with a 13-year-old student. Savage was also the high school girls track coach at the time of the incident.

That crime allegedly occurred on or about September 1, 2002, in Gloucester City.

On February 9, Camden County Prosecutor Mary Eva Colalillo and Gloucester City Police Chief Brian Morrell reported that David H. Light, 33, a Gloucester City High School teacher has been charged in connection with a sexual relationship with a former student.

Light, 33, of Gloucester City, is charged with four counts each of second-degree sexual assault and fourth-degree criminal sexual contact.

It is alleged Light had a sexual relationship with the victim between May 2008 and December 2008. The alleged acts occurred when the victim was 17 years old and Light was her softball coach and a substitute teacher at Gloucester City High School.

Light was taken into custody on Friday. His bail was set at $200,000.

On Friday, Karen Cutler posted a comment on CNB about Savage. “Mr. Cleary, why hasn’t there been a follow up story as to whether Mr. Savage was found innocent or guilty by the legal system? It seems that if you publish the arrest then you should publish the verdict. My daughter was coached by Mr. Savage and he was a generous man. Helping individuals who really needed help. He was always an upstanding person.”

The prosecutor’s office said on Friday that the case against Savage was still pending.

We first heard about Light being arrested on Saturday. An anonymous CNB reader via email wrote, “Rumors floating around that another male coach from GHS (Gloucester High School) was arrested yesterday (Friday) for inappropriate activity with a female student. Hope it’s not true because of the history of this Gloucester family but people are talking and maybe you can get to the bottom of it.”

We were able to confirm the arrest that same day, however no one would go on the record. We contacted the prosecutor’s office on Monday. Andy McNeil, spokesman for the prosecutor, said a press release would be issued on Tuesday.

All persons charged with crimes are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

See more at: CNB News.net.

Categories
Mt. Ephraim News Recent News

Ethics Complaint Dismissed Against Mt. Ephraim School Board President

The School Ethics Commission dismissed the Complaint filed by Mt. Ephraim School Board Members, Deena Noonan, Nicholas Salamone, Jr., and Catherine Villardo against Joan Greenwood, who was Board President last year.

Noonan, Salamone, and Villardo filed an Ethics Complaint on August 24, 2015 alleging that Greenwood, as Board President, violated N.J.S.A. 18A:12-21, et seq., which is the School Ethics Act, and also specifically that Greenwood violated N.J.S.A. 18A:12-24.1(e), which is the Code of Ethics for School Board Members.

At issue was a statement that Greenwood made as president during the July 13, 2015 Board of Education concerning the renewal vote for the contract of school Superintendent, Leslie Koller, whose contract runs through June 30, 2016.

In September, the Board of Education (BOE) hired special counsel to represent Greenwood at a cost not to exceed $10,000.

At its December meeting, the Commission voted to dismiss the Complaint in its entirety for failure to state a claim for which relief can be granted. In its decision, the Commission determined that the Noonan, Salamone, and Villardo failed to meet their burden of alleging sufficient facts to state a claim under N.J.S.A. 18A:12-24.1(e).

In its decision, the Commission found, that:

  • Greenwood did nothing to compromise the Board or act beyond the scope of her authority.
  • Greenwood’s statement was benign, factual, and instructive.
  • Greenwood’s address to the public contained only the facts regarding the progress of the vote for Superintendent, and the status of the District, supported by publicly available NJASK scores of the district.

Additionally, the Commission did not find anything in Greenwood’s statement to support the allegation that she made a personal promise or took any private action that may have compromised the Board.

The decision rendered by the School Ethics Commission is a final decision of an administrative agency, appealable to the Superior Court, Appellate Division.

Categories
Bellmawr News Recent News

Brooklawn Petco To Open February 22

 

The new Petco store in Brooklawn, N.J. officially opens for business on Monday, February 22 and the store’s official Grand Opening will take place during the weekend of February 27-28.

There will be a ribbon cutting, give-aways, demos, pet adoptions, and samples during the Grand Opening Weekend.

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The details of Petco’s Grand Opening:

Saturday, February 27:

8:55 am ribbon cutting
FREE $10 gift cards to first 100 Pals Rewards customers
Pet adoptions
Vendor demos/samples

Sunday, February 28:

FREE tote bags for the first 50 Pals Rewards customers
Pet adoptions
Vendor demos/samples

Petco also announced that there will be a Wellness Center Weekend on March 5 and 6.

Saturday, March 5:

10:00 am – 5:00 pm  FREE Vaccinations for the first 50 Customers Each Day on Wellness Weekend.

Offer good for a complete vaccination package for a dog or cat, one pet per household, including Heartworm or 4DX Test.
Food Demos/samples
Meet the Groomer/Dog Trainer

Sunday, March 6:

10:00 am – 5:00 pm FREE Vaccinations for the first 50 Customers Each Day on Wellness Weekend.

Offer good for a complete vaccination package for a dog or cat, one pet per household, including Heartworm or 4DX Test.
Food Demos/samples
Meet the Groomer/Dog Trainer

For information about Petco careers, click here.

About Petco:

Petco is a leading pet specialty retailer that focuses on nurturing powerful relationships between people and pets. In 2015, Petco celebrated 50 years of service to pet parents. Petco provides products, services, advice, and experiences that keep pets physically fit, mentally alert, socially engaged, and emotionally happy. Guided by their vision for “Healthier Pets. Happier People. Better World”, Petco employs more than 25,000 partners and operates more than 1,400 locations across the U.S., Mexico and Puerto Rico, including more than 120 Unleashed by Petco locations; 10 Pooch Hotel destinations; prescription services, and pet supplies.

In August, 2015, 42 Freeway was the first to write about Petco opening a store in Brooklawn in addition to all of the renovations that are taking place at the Brooklawn Shopping Center.

Categories
Bellmawr Recent News

Bellmawr’s Josh Tregear is New Boro Administrator *Updated*

Article has been updated to include new information.

During its Reorganization meeting on January 4, Bellmawr Council voted 3-2 in favor of appointing former councilman, Josh Tregear, as the new Borough Administrator.

Prior to council voting on the appointment, Borough Clerk, Chuck Sauter, read a letter from Tregear resigning from his councilman position effective December 31, 2015.

Tregear’s letter read in part: “The time has come for me to pursue other opportunities and to spend more time with my family.”

Voting yes in favor of the position were Councilmen Paul Sandrock, David Spector, and Steve Hagerty. Voting no were Councilmen Jim D’Angelo and Steve Sauter.

No one from the public spoke during the public portion and none of the Councilmen made comments about their votes.

However, Mayor Frank Filipek said: “This job has been needed for ten years. I’ve been pushing for it for ten years and we finally can afford it because we have people retiring so it’s not going to cost the taxpayers one cent. We’re not raising taxes because we’re hiring and opening another job.”

At the October 22, 2015 council meeting, the ordinance creating the Borough Administrator position was first read and introduced.  At the November 23, 2015 council meeting, the ordinance was read a second time. There was a public hearing, and it was adopted on that date.

Bellmawr Borough advertised the position in the Legal Notices section of the November 25 edition of the Courier Post titled: “Job Opportunity, Position of Administrator, for the Borough of Bellmawr.”

Resumes were due by December 1 to Councilman Steven Hagerty, who is the Borough’s director of personnel.

Regarding the background for the position, four candidates interviewed for it, office secretary Victoria Sandrock confirmed via email in December: “Three interviewed on December 9. One interviewed on December 14.”

As for who did the interviewing, Sandrock wrote: “Kenneth Cheeseman, Administrator, Borough of Laurel Springs, John Greer, Administrator, Borough of Pine Hill, and Steven Hagerty, Councilman-Director of Personnel.”

As for the actual hiring of a candidate, Sandrock wrote that the names of possible candidates were discussed, “and no formal action will be taken until the Reorganization meeting on January 4, 2016.”

Additionally, a separate Resolution for the appointment will be on the agenda for the Reorganization meeting and Council will vote at that time, Sandrock wrote.

Tregear had spoken to Borough Solicitor Robert Messick concerning the proper legal steps he would have to take if Council selects him as the new Borough Administrator.

UPDATED ARTICLE:

New material includes excerpts of the legal bills from Robert Messick, the Borough Solicitor, in response to reporter’s OPRA Request. Portions from Messick’s September-December 2015 bills as they relate to the creation of the Borough Administrator position are as follows:

September 10:  Discuss proposed creation of Administrator’s position with Mayor as to other necessary changes it will produce.

October 6: Telephone call with Mayor regarding the Borough Administrator’s position and if J. Tregear is interested.

October 20: Telephone call with J. Tregear regarding mechanics of resigning as Council member; telephone call with Mayor regarding same.

October 21: Telephone call with J. Tregear regarding timing of resignation; telephone call with Clerk regarding his plan to have first reading on ordinance to create Borough Administrator position.

October 22: Telephone call with Clerk regarding J. Tregear resignation and timing on replacement and special election.

November 3: Discussion with J. Tregear regarding Borough Administrator duties.

November 18: Telephone call with J. Tregear regarding Borough Administrator position and steps he wants to take.

November 19: Two telephone calls with J. Tregear regarding Borough Administrator Ordinance and what his responsibilities and powers will be; brief meeting with Clerk regarding same issues; telephone call with S. Sauter regarding Borough Administrator and his opposition to same.

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Photograph of the advertisement that appeared as a Job Opportunity in the Legal Notices section of the November 25, 2015 Courier Post.