Fulcomer Says Minutes Incorrect, Asks For Amendment

Berkeley Board of Ed members approve the minutes as is, no tape recording of meeting available


Berkeley Board of Education Vice-President James Fulcomer recently refused to approve the minutes of the May 24 meeting because he said they don't accurately reflect what occurred.

"I don't believe the minutes should be false," he said during the Aug. 16 board meeting. "I think they should be true."

Fulcomer said back in May the board had not actually voted to hire the district's transportation coordinator, but only to close the debate on the matter.

He asked for a correction to the minutes at the Aug. 16 meeting, but did not get it.

"Why are your words the truth and the minutes not the truth?" Board President Steven Pellecchia said.

Fulcomer asked that the word "considered" be substituted for "voted on" the hiring.

He said board member Noreiko Kowalewski had moved the debate be closed, and was seconded by board member Louis Tuminaro. The vote to hire Mary Fitzpatrick was never taken, Fulcomer said.

Fulcomer also asked that his wife Cathy's comments - made during the public portion of the May 24 meeting - be added to the minutes.

Cathy Fulcomer - a former longtime teacher and Union Township Education Association representative - said during the May 24 meeting that the board had never voted on the transportation supervisor position, only closed the debate.

"Where's the recording of the meeting?" Fulcomer said. "The only vote taken was a vote to cease debate. We never voted on the main motion - the approval of the transportation appointment."

"It's very important that the minutes reflect the truth," he added. "To vote for untruthful minutes is like signing a false affadavit."

The board voted 6 to 2 against Fulcomer's amendment to the minutes at the Aug. 16 meeting. Fulcomer and board member Salvatore Ferlise voted yes.  Board member Gerard Reuter - who was sworn in that night - abstained.

Fulcomer - who held a variety of offices in Union County, including freeholder before moving to Berkeley 12 years ago - said it was the first time in his years of public service he had ever voted no on approval of minutes.

"I have never voted no on minutes," he said. "These minutes are false and incorrect."

There is no recording of the May 24 board meeting, Administrator/Board Secretary Laura J. Venter said after the August 16 meeting.

Someone was filling in that night and "she just didn't press the right button," Venter said.



Lauren Zawada August 22, 2012 at 03:57 PM
Mr. Ted Palfrey, Thank you for taking the time to be concerned about the candidates running for the Berkeley Board of Education in November. Just to answer a few of your questions, I have attended numerous board meetings; I sit exactly in the same spot each meeting in the second row with my husband. I am a non-political candidate; please feel free to check my background. As an educator and a 20 year Berkeley resident, I am interested in running to support the children to ensure they receive the best educational opportunity possible. I would be happy to sit down in person and discuss any questions you may have in regards to my candidacy and educational background for the upcoming election. Thank you again for your interest. Sincerely, Lauren Ciccone-Zawada
George August 22, 2012 at 08:32 PM
Why not have a series of debates so these candidatescan bring their views to the public. This way the voters can see if they add value to the board or are a buch of Clowns getting out of the bus at a circus (no offense to clowns ).
voice of reason August 23, 2012 at 12:28 PM
Thank you to the canidates for posting on the patch you never see any posts from the sitting board members on here.
George August 23, 2012 at 10:51 PM
To the candidates posting ....show some guts challenge your opponents to a debate.
Only I Know September 01, 2012 at 12:52 AM
Get your facts straight before you comment. First of all there is NO bus drivers union. It is all inclusive and Duggan is President.


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