will begin the new school year without one of its student and facility monitors, after the board of education voted down a contract for the position.
The position to be renewed was for three hours per school day for $35 per hour for John Notte, who was the facilities monitor last year at Central.
Needing a full majority vote to pass the measure, the board voted 4-2 in favor of, but needed five approvals for it to go forward. Board members Cristen Forrester, John Meyer, and Tom Richar were all absent from the meeting.
Chester representative Marcia Asdal asked if the position was put out for advertisement prior to the vote, and contended that the hourly pay may be too high.
“The job’s never been open to the public,” Asdal said. “And I think it should be. There are probably plenty of people out there who would be interested in this job.”
Asdal and Mendham Township board representative Jamie Button both voted against the measure.
“Well we’re going to have a safety issue then,” board president James Johnston said. His sentiments were echoed by Washington Township board representative Joseph Galayda.
“What are we going to do, let (students) wreak havoc?” Galayda said. “Who’s going to be there when kids are trying to leave for lunch or help with traffic at the end of the day?”
Superintendent Mackey Pendergrast said that student safety is a priority, and the district would work hard to make arrangements.
“Student safety in our district is paramount,” Pendergrast said. “It’s more important than any test score. We’ll work as hard as we can to problem solve.”
The board won’t meet again until Sept. 10, the fourth day of the new school year.
It was not immediately known what the district was planning to do fix the problem for the start of the school year.