the staff of the Ridgewood blog
Ridgewood NJ, Saurabh Dani the Admin of It Takes a Ridgewood Village pointed out some odd discrepancies between how the Village Council conducts business and how the Board of Education conducts business . In a post Dani said:
“Our village council has work session discussions and then at the next meeting they have vote. Many school boards follow similar structure but they don’t always meet in public for work sessions but still keep minutes – they call it “caucus meeting” where agenda and minutes are published, e.g. Jersey City, Rahway etc.
Our school board follows “committee” structure – where they don’t keep minutes of committee meetings and each committee has 2 board members. The committees put items for vote on consent agenda and the entire board votes at a public meeting on consent agenda items. No public discussion and they trust other committees. The law prohibits them to vote in these committees and closed sessions, so they vote at public meeting, but almost all the prep is done behind closed doors with NO MINUTES of the meetings.
Even if this is all legal, is it ethical? Also not sure if one specific scenario is legal – in this case our board president and vice present are on finance committee. The board president is also on another organization’s board, which is being given a contract on “consent agenda” at Monday evening’s meeting. When we asked, the board vice president responded that the president recused herself from the finance committee discussion on this topic, so he was the only one who forwarded the contract for full board’s consent agenda. In this case can one board member committee complete the quorum?”