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HEY BOARD MEMBERS – IF YOURE AFRAID TO DO WHAT’S RIGHT, IT’S YOU THAT SHOULD STEP DOWN, NOT GOOD PEOPLE LIKE KATIE WHO WAS ALL ALONE TRYING TO DO THE RIGHT THING FOR US TAXPAYERS.
MANALAPAN — Marlboro’s representative on the Freehold Regional High School District Board of Education has resigned after serving for less than a year, saying the politics of some members and a too-powerful team of administrators were getting in the way of good decision-making.
Katie Goon, who was elected to a three-year term in April, read a prepared statement Monday night at the board meeting at Manalapan High School. Her resignation was immediate.
“In the past six months, I have been extremely perturbed by the issues and events that have transpired,” Goon said, referring to the controversy that began in July over five district employees’ receiving district money for obtaining bogus doctoral degrees.
Goon said she holds “sincere hope” that her successor will rise above the politics of the district.
Board President Patricia Horvath did not return calls requesting comment. (Gee I wonder why)
“I’m disappointed,” board member Joan Leimbach said in a telephone interview. “I thought she made a great contribution to the board. It will be a loss.”
Goon’s former seat holds the most voting power of any on the board. The Marlboro representative’s vote counts as 1.6 votes out of nine in the district’s system. In the seat’s vacancy, the board can cast only 7.4 total votes because it uses a weighted voting system.
After previous resignations, the board has announced a vacancy and accepted applications for the seat before appointing a temporary representative. The unexpired two-year term will be filled after the April election.
In August, Goon had asked for the resignation or removal of Superintendent H. James Wasser should he retain the title of “Dr.” or refuse to repay the district tuition and salary paid for his doctorate from a so-called diploma mill, Breyer State University.Wasser was ordered by state officials to relinquish his title. He cooperated. He stopped receiving higher pay when he dropped his title in September, yet he did not repay tuition payments or salary increases that the district had already paid. Wasser remains superintendent.
During a telephone interview Tuesday, Goon said other board members have feared for themselves and their family members in making decisions for the district. She declined to elaborate.
During a telephone interview, Goon said her voice was not enough to overcome the will of the administration.
As further disservice to district taxpayers, Goon said, two board members for whom a family member works in the district are excluded from representing their municipality on issues of employee contracts.
“There is a lot of power in the administration, and I don’t think the board members stand up to it,” she said.
At Monday’s meeting, Marlboro residents continued to criticize Wasser over the degree and chide the board for inaction.
Goon read her statement at the end of a 2‚1/2-hour meeting. She signed the statement, and the board accepted her resignation.