Berkeley School Board Has More Than Its Share Of Appointees

Dawn Parks' recent resignation means another vacancy on nine-member Berkeley Board of Education


Whether or not the Berkeley Board of Education will fill the vacancy created when Dawn M. Parks resigned from the board remains to be seen.

Business Administrator/Board Secretary Laura J. Venter left a message with her secretary Debbie Kulka today in response to a Berkeley Patch inquiry about the deadline for applications.

"She won't know anything until the board the next meeting, until the board decides what they want to do," Kulka said.

Parks submitted her resignation letter on May 25. Her term would have expired in 2013.

"I've had it," Parks said today. "There's no organization there, and nobody willing to work with anybody. It's a sad atmosphere."

Parks said in her letter she was leaving because of the "lack of professionalism of the members of the Berkeley Township School Board and the mismanagement of Berkeley Township taxpayers funds in reference to the hiring of an interim superintendent."

"I do not want my name associated in any way with this Board's discussion and their improper use of taxpayer funds," the letter states.

The Berkeley board already has three sitting members who were not elected, but appointed earlier this year.

The board exodus began back in November, when former members Thomas Grosse and John Bachionne were elected to the Township Council. They were sworn in on Jan. 1.

Shortly after that, former longtime board president James J. Byrnes announced he was resigning from the board. Byrnes was then appointed to the Township Council to fill out former Councilwoman Karen Davis' Ward 1 seat.

The Berkeley board then subsequently tapped John MacMoyle and Louis J. Tuminaro to fill two of the vacant seats. Tuminaro previously served one term on the board, from 2007 to 2010. But he lost bids for a second term in 2010 and 2011.

The third vacancy was filled shortly after by David Ytreboe. All three men must run again in the November school board elections, Venter has said.

The nine-member board now has five elected members - President Steven M. Pellechia, Vice-President James Fulcomer, Salvatore Ferlise, Noreiko Kowalewski, and Sophia Gringrich.

Fulcomer, Ferlise and Kowalewski's terms expire in 2014. Pellecchia and Gingrich's terms expire in 2013.

Fawkes May 30, 2012 at 10:01 PM
This is truly disgusting. The Republican Party is worse than the mob (especially in this area). Are there no knuckle-draggers they won't appoint just because they share the same political affiliation? This township is going down the toilet, and fast. And the cronyism has definitely worsened since Amato was elected mayor.
John M May 31, 2012 at 11:39 AM
Last I knew Tuminaro, who was appointed to the board after he lost his election, was a Democrat. I think the life lesson we're teaching our kids here is when things get tough, quit rather than stand up for what you believe.
voice of reason June 01, 2012 at 01:19 AM
If your refeing to Parks i think she quit in protest of which is alot diffarent than quiting but you can spin it any way you want i preferr to concentrate on the real issues and if anyone can give me a reason why pay a super rather than have one for free is good for taxpaxers please feel free
Fawkes June 01, 2012 at 03:15 AM
Tuminaro switched his party affiliation to Republican because he couldn't win as a Democrat any longer. Then when he couldn't win as a Republican, he stole a job by being appointed by his Republican cronies. Democracy apparently no longer exists in Berkeley.
Carlos Irwin June 01, 2012 at 12:36 PM
Why would anyone appoint this slob to anything? He can't win an election and has NO LOYALITY to anyone in his life!


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