Glen Rock school board members can no longer involve themselves in matters dealing with the superintendent's employment if they have a relative employed by the district, following a new district "nepotism" policy signed into law.
The school board suspended its current policy to add the new "conflict of interest" bylaw into "Policy 2131" Monday night.
The "conflict of interest" bylaw will only impact one of the nine current school board members – Operations Committee head Carlo Cella. Cella's wife, Debbie, is an art instructor at Glen Rock High School. The eight-year board veteran voted in favor of the resolution, which was passed on first reading unanimously and written in accordance to changes recently made by the NJ Ethics Commission.
"School board members must avoid any conflict of interest when dealing with the chief school administrator," Policy 2131 reads. "Any board member who has an immediate relative – grandparent, parent, spouse or civil union partner, child, grandchild or sibling, whether by blood or marriage who is employed by the district – may not participate in the search, selection or vot for a new chief school administrator. Such board members are also prohibited from participating in or voting on evaluations, salary and renewals or non-renewals of a new contract."
Glen Rock is currently seeking a new superintendent following the sudden departure of David Verducci in the spring. School board president Rona McNabola said Cella immediately recused himself from all interviews and discussions with prospective candidates.
A new superintendent could be named as early as winter.
The revised policy also effectively bars any employees from holding a board seat up until they're six months removed from employment.
It further prohibits a member with a "conflict of interest" from participating in negotiations with teacher unions as well as casting a vote on contracts.
School board members also cannot hold office on the council simultaneously, according to the policy.