It's on. It's off.
The Berkeley Board of Education has cancelled a special meeting to discuss the superintendent search to replace Joseph H. Vicari, who is leaving at the end of the school year.
The May 2 meeting was slated to begin at 6:30 pm. at the Berkeley Township Elementary School. But the district website says today the meeting has been cancelled.
The agenda for the now-cancelled meeting listed "superintendent search and replacement" as the first item. It also stated that formal action could be taken.
The superintendent position in Berkeley has been mired in controversey since 2008, when a previous board declined to renew Vicari's contract. Vicari called the vote "illegal" and said it was engineered by the then-Democratic majority on the school board.
The board then tapped Arlene J. Lippincott to serve as Vicari's replacement when his contract ran out in 2009. She served for nearly two years, until the board brought Vicari back in April 2011.
Vicari said he would serve a year in the position at a reduced salary of $18,500. But he has lashed out at what he called board politics, and said he would not stay any longer without the full support of the board.
School board members voted unanimously at the April 19 board meeting to hire an outside consultant to begin the search for a new superintendent. They approved a $6,500 contract with Leadership Advantage, a firm run by Richard Marasco, who briefly served as Berkeley schools superintendent in the past.
Vicari said at the April 19 meeting that he had spoken with Central Regional schools Superintendent Triantafillos Parlapanides earlier that day. Vicari said that Parlapanides was not interested in assuming superintendent duties for both districts.
But Parlapanides said on April 20 he was very much interested in taking over Berkeley as well and wanted to apply for the position. He denied telling Vicari he wasn't interested and said he wouldn't ask for additional money for Berkeley duties.
Board President Steven M. Pellecchia said Friday he didn't think Parlapanides was "qualified" to serve as Berkeley superintendent and went on to call Central Regional a "failing" district.
Parlapanides received his doctorate in executive education from Seton Hall University. He also has a masters degree in administration from Georgian Court University and a bachelors degree in history from Villanova University.
The next regular board meeting starts at 6:30 p.m. on May 24 at the Berkeley Township Elementary School at 10 Emory Avenue in Bayville.