N.J.-S.P. School Board Vacancy Causes Confusion for School and Town Officials

The process of replacing a member of the North Judson-San Pierre School Board has led to confusion for both the board and the North Judson Town Council. The school board decided Tuesday to put off choosing a replacement for Mike Sharkozy until applicants can be re-interviewed in public.

Sharkozy represented the Town of North Judson on the appointed school board. While it’s generally up to the North Judson Town Council to pick the town’s representative, in this case, it’s actually the school board’s responsibility. Clerk-Treasurer Alicia Collins says three attorneys looked into the issue. In the end, it was determined that while the town council makes an appointment every four years, filling vacancies at other times is up to the school board.

However, the school board did invite the town council to help with the process, and two council members took part. Collins said they ranked the five applicants and gave those results to the school board for consideration.

Then, an apparent miscommunication between school and town officials caused Town Council President Wendy Hoppe to announce Monday the appointment had been delayed because of a breach of confidentiality. But the following day, the school board said the actual problem was a violation of Open Door Law, since the applicants’ interviews did not take place in a public meeting.

Council members have decided not to take part in re-interviewing the applicants. Collins says they feel they’ve already made their recommendation, and it’s now up to the school board to move forward.