I am writing in response to the article “Montclair schools open full-time this fall. This group will help shape how," published May 17 on MontclairLocal.news. I am deeply confused by Mayor Sean Spiller’s intent behind this task force on the return to full-time in-person instruction, particularly because he did not clearly define goals for this group.

Isn’t governing the school administration and ensuring the district’s plans are in line with our students’ needs the job of the Board of Education, whom the mayor appoints? Why does he need to handpick another group to inform this process? How exactly does he expect an additional special interest group in town to effectively improve the decision-making process for our schools?

At best, this feels misguided; at worst, this feels like a diversion. Rather than creating an ill-defined task force, what the mayor should be doing is figuring out ways to raise the $60 million-plus that we need to renovate the district. And, if he genuinely wants to help amplify the community voice regarding Montclair schools, then I recommend he host welcoming and open community forums built around specific topics that we need to work together to solve. There are many of them!

Julie Clemens


Montclair Local's Opinion section is an open forum for civil discussion in which we invite readers to discuss town matters, articles published in Montclair, or previously published letters. Views expressed and published in this section are solely those of the writers, and do not represent the views of Montclair Local.

Letters to the editor: To submit a letter to the editor, email letters@montclairlocal.news, or mail "Letters to the Editor," 309 Orange Road, Montclair, NJ, 07042 (email is preferred). Submissions must include the name, address and phone number of the writer for verification. Only the writer's name and town of residence will be published. Montclair Local does not publish anonymous opinion pieces.

Letters must be no more than 500 words in length, and must be received by 5 p.m. Monday to be eligible for potential publication in that week's Thursday print issue. Letters may be edited by Montclair Local for grammar and style. While our goal is to publish most letters we receive, Montclair Local reserves the right to decline publication of a letter for any reason, including but not limited to concerns about unproven or defamatory statements, inappropriate language, topic matter far afield of the particular interests of Montclair residents, or available space.

Town Square: Montclair Local also accepts longer-form opinion essays from residents aiming to generate discussion on topics specific to the community, under our "Town
Square" banner. "Town Square" essays should be no more than 750 words in length, and topics should be submitted to letters@montclairlocal.news at least seven days prior to publication.