Tuesday, May 06, 2008

More on the Board Meeting

A reader points out it is important to note that when asked about Dr. Steve Gallon III's credentials, Interim Superintendent Garnell Bailey merely said, "No comment."

The hiring of Dr. Gallon was a super-secret process, meant to be that way. The public was not told who the five finalists were, the only clues being the names of their cities in a resolution authorizing travel of some board members to those cities. The three names winnowed out of the five were not made public. There was no question-and-answer session with the public for finalists. The first time the name of Dr. Gallon was uttered was at the meeting where he was hired.

This was intentional, to keep the process free of politics, no easy task in Plainfield.

The public did have its say at the beginning of the process, in terms of expressing what kind of school superintendent was desired for Plainfield. A profile gleaned from a broad-based survey and an open session with a search firm representative formed the basis for the search that initially yielded more than 30 candidates.

Once hired on Feb. 19, Gallon spoke that night and later made another public visit to a school event. Brandon Lausch did a big story on him, and anyone who knows how to Google can find out his life story. His title when hired was administrative director of school operations/alternative education in the Miami-Dade district.

As another reader points out, it is now a personnel matter and therefore not open to public discussion.

Don't forget that besides the board's oversight, Dr. Carmen Centuolo is now the executive superintendent for Union County and has both the power and responsibility to see that districts adhere to state rules. Dr. Gallon will have to answer to her as well as to the board and public. He will be here in eight weeks, so why not welcome him and give him a chance to perform? Every move he makes will be under layers of scrutiny, something he must be well aware of as he contemplates this new chapter of his life.

--Bernice Paglia


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am interested in getting more involved in the Plainfield Community and attend Board of Education Board meetings. However how do I know what is on the agenda when the Plainfield District's web-site is not up to date? The last agenda posted was April 29, 2008. I would like to see agendas at least a week or two before. I might not want to attend a board meeting on granting extra compensation for extra duties. However, I would want to get baby sitting to attend a meeting when the board is voting on eliminating our children's only early intervention reading program. The minutes are also not up dated. the last minutes posted are from March 25, 2008 more than a month ago. Shouldn't the minutes be posted a week after the meeting?

Thank you for keeping this blog going and providing us with current information.

6:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You can always contact the Board of Education directly. I also know that Wilma Campbell and Christian Estevez have emails and are responsive. They would love to know there is community involvement.

6:28 PM  

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