Board Meetings to Start Earlier at Pinelands and LEH School Districts

By Rick Mellerup | Sep 04, 2019

Little Egg Harbor — The board of education meetings at both the Little Egg Harbor School District and the Pinelands Regional School District will start earlier come September.

The LEH BOE will move up the start of its public session from 6 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. as of Monday, Sept. 16.

The Pinelands BOE will meet in executive session at 5:30 p.m. and the public meeting will begin at 6 p.m. starting on Wednesday, Sept. 18. Previously the board’s executive session commenced at 6 p.m. and the public meeting didn’t kick off until 7.

Melissa McCooley, the superintendent of schools at both districts under a shared service agreement, started the time change conversation at the August meetings of both boards.

The Little Egg board’s executive session will still commence at 5 p.m.

“We don’t typically use the entire time (in executive session),” said McCooley at the Aug. 12 Little Egg board meeting. “If there were some reason why it went later we could always go back to executive after the meeting if need be.”

The board agreed to the change in seconds.

At the Pinelands meeting on Aug. 14 McCooley said the reason for the change there is because board meetings have often run late into the night.

“One of the things that I considered because of the input that I’ve had from other board members is (there’s) not quite enough time for discussion,” board President Susan Ernst said.

The board unanimously agreed to the earlier meeting time.

Some people in the audience were heard mumbling they would still be returning from their work commutes and that the move to start the meeting earlier was an effort to suppress public input.

“So we did say that if there is an issue once we started, that if we’re getting feedback from the public that they can’t make the meetings, that we can adjust accordingly,” said McCooley. “We also did say that we will do the board portion at the beginning and then all of the presentations (such as student of the month awards) a little bit later so students can get there.”  —R.M.


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