Elected or Appointed? Panel on Monday to Discuss How Montclair Should Choose BOE Members

Glenfield School

Montclair’s Fourth Ward Councilor David Cummings invites members of the community to a panel discussion on the upcoming election referendum question to decide whether Montclair Board of Education members should be elected or appointed. The event will be held Monday, October 25, from 7:00 to 8:30 p.m., in the Glenfield Middle School auditorium, 25 Maple Avenue.

Members of the public can attend in person or virtually. Those who attend in person will be required to wear a facemask and social distancing protocols will be in place.

To watch the panel discussion live stream, go to the Montclair TV34 YouTube channel.

Questions may be emailed in advance to Council David Cummings: dcummings@montclairnjusa.org

Below is the list of panelists:

  • Dan Gill – Glenfield Middle School teacher and 50-year educator in the Montclair Public School system.
  • Johanna Wright – South Orange-Maplewood Board of Education member who will speak to her experience working on an elected board.
  • Robert Benecke –Township Financial Consultant who has worked with Type I and Type II Districts.
  • Erik D’Amato – school district parent and member of Vote Montclair, the group that successfully petitioned to bring the referendum forward.

The discussion will be led by Rev. Craig Dunn, Executive Director of Montclair Neighborhood Development Corporation.

Rev. Dunn will provide an opening statement to introduce the participants. He will then open the discussion with questions to the panelists. Following the first set of questions for each panelist, Rev. Dunn will open questions to members of the audience.

“I have tried to make my community meetings cover subjects that primarily focus on the Fourth Ward,” said Councilor Cummings. “This issue involves the entire town. The panelists chosen were selected because each brings a different perspective and collectively they will be able to provide answers to the many questions residents may have before making a decision,” he said.

“It is especially important to me that Mr. Benecke participates. He understands the financial impact of elected and appointed boards,” said Councilor Cummings. “ As the Township’s Financial Consultant, I have had the opportunity to work with him on the Finance Committee and his knowledge of municipal finance is unmatched. He will be able to provide what I think is a critical understanding of the two positions, and their potential impact on taxpayers and the Township’s finances.”

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