In December, Orange Live reported on a “Disturbance in the Force” at the Orange Board of Education Meeting, describing the events as “embarrassing” when former vice chairman Keith Marquis took over the public session portion of the meeting and called for a new vote for board officers which, in the absence of Chairman Jeanne Consiglio ultimately led to him being elected as Chairman.
He claimed the November officers’ vote was held illegally, and insisted that his procedure for the new election was legal, yet, in spite of protests from other board members asking for the vote to be tabled until the January meeting, Marquis, as chairman, said no, and stressed that no legal advice was necessary. He instructed Supt. Lynn McMullin not to pursue legal advice on the matter.
What Orange Live readers have said is that all of this sounded hinky. If the November board election was illegal then why not seek legal advice to see if Marquis’ claim was true? If the December election was Legal, but not accepted by the entire board and surrounded by so many questions, then why not seek legal advice? Unless the new chairman is afraid his actions will be reversed.
When she returned from vacation in December, Jeanne Consiglio formally resigned from the board, which she had dedicated many years to and, as chairman, had turned around so it was a “kinder, more civil board” than it had been in a long time.
On Monday night, Jan. 14, board member Susan Falvey, who had been quite vocal during the December meeting, resigned her seat as well.
Board members Falvey, Jody Dietch (Who had been elected vice chairman in November – but lost the officers’ seat in the questionable December election) and Amy Criscuolo each read letters to the board regarding the election situation.
Here is Amy Criscuolo’s letter so the community can see for themselves how this board member feels.
I suggest you watch the meeting on OGAT when it airs. The letters were presented within the first 10 minutes of the meeting.
Over the past 3 years that I have served as a board member on the Orange Board of Education, I can honestly say that as board members we have successfully been able to agree to disagree on certain subjects without division among members or our party affiliations.
However I would be lying if I said that what occurred at the December 3rd OBOE meeting has not damaged the relationships of the board members and caused the resignation of a devoted board member, Jeanne Consiglio.
Upon leaving the December OBOE meeting I was bewildered and disturbed by the actions, demeanors and outcome of the meeting. How could the newly elected officers of the previous month be ousted from their positions, when there is clear precedent to allow the OBOE officer elections to be held on another day other than the one stated in the bylaws. Furthermore there was ample notice of the meeting date and there were no objections at the time of the November meeting. The vote was held, the results announced and again there was no objection at the time of the vote, therefore the votes were official at the November meeting and could not be challenged, especially at a subsequent meeting.
At the December meeting, when Keith called a Point of Order stating the November elections were improper, I would be remiss if I said I knew exactly what Point of Order meant. I contacted several local parliamentarians and Dr. Leonard Young, Executive Director and Parliamentarian of the National Association of Parliamentarians and he directed me to the Robert’s Rules of Order Manual which explains that a Point of Order has to be raised promptly at the time the breech occurs. So now I question was there abuse of parliamentary law to steal the offices of those that were legally elected?
Based on the definition of when a Point of Order is to be used, the way that Keith called the Point of Order last month was out of order and therefore shadows doubt on the validity of the outcome of the December elections. At the December 3rd OBOE meeting I asked for a legal opinion and was denied. On December 11th, Jeanne, Jody, Sue and myself emailed Keith requesting that the board seek legal opinion on the legalities of the November and December meetings and again our request was denied. At this point, I can’t help but be concerned about the legal makeup of the OBOE officers.
I am AGAIN requesting for the third time a legal opinion for clarification of the legalities of the November and December OBOE meetings and in addition I am requesting an opinion from a Robert’s Rules of Order Parliamentarian to clarify Keith’s use of a Point of Order at the December 3rd 2012 OBOE meeting.
Keith as Chair, I am respectfully asking you to end the controversy and extend the courtesy to the members that are requesting opinions so we can move forward and work as a united board and achieve what we are here to do, serve our children and our community.
OBOE Board Member