Person picked to fill Davis’ seat on Montclair school board will serve until January 2023
By TALIA WIENER
Whoever is selected to fill the Montclair Board of Education seat left open by Alfred Davis’s death will serve until January of 2023, board President Latifah Jannah said Monday night.
The board plans to choose a candidate by Feb. 5 at the latest, Jannah said at a board meeting Monday night.
The expected length of service for a new board member had previously been uncertain because of the timing of Davis’ death and the transition Montclair finds itself undertaking — moving from a “Type I” to a “Type II” school district system. Voters in November agreed to do away with the Type I system, replacing mayoral appointment of school board members with elections, and expanding the body from seven to nine members.
Charlene Peterson, Essex County representative for the New Jersey School Boards Association, had told Montclair Local earlier this month it was uncertain how long a newly appointed member in Davis’ seat would serve. State law calls for such a member to serve until the next election, but the board was also required to put someone in place within 65 days (or the decision would then go to the Essex County superintendent of schools) — which means before the March special election. It wasn’t certain if that person would then serve until March, or until the after a regularly scheduled November election, she said.
But Jannah said the newly selected member’s service would continue to the end of Davis’ term.
Davis’ term, along with Jannah’s and board vice president Priscilla Church’s, would have expired in May 2022 under the Type I system. Those terms will be extended to meet an adjusted cycle for the Type II system, with elections in November and new terms beginning in January 2023. From there on out, three members will be elected each November as well, for terms beginning the following January.
Any interested individual must submit a letter of interest and a resume to the board by Jan. 5, according to the board’s resolution. Candidates will be interviewed Jan. 12 during a public special meeting of the board and Jan. 19 during a regularly scheduled public board meeting.
Candidates must be at least 18 years old, be able to read and write, be a resident of Montclair for at least one year preceding the date of appointment, be registered to vote, satisfy a criminal history background check, have no direct or indirect interest in any contract with or claim against the board and not be the mayor or a township councilor.
Community members who want to run for the Montclair Board of Election during the March election will need to have their petitions — with at least 10 signatures, one of which can be their own — submitted by Jan. 17 at 4 p.m. The only individual so far to publicly announce a run is Noah Gale, a 2018 graduate of Montclair High School. He aims to be the youngest person ever to serve on the board, and the first college student on the board.
This story has been updated to more clearly indicate what year the term for the board seat formerly held by Alfred Davis Jr. ends.