Joanne Mancuso, who was elected to the Parsippany Board of Education Nov. 6, will not be taking the oath of office in January, according to a letter she sent to the district.
Interim Business Administrator Mark Resnick announced Mancuso’s decision during the board’s Thursday night meeting. Resnick did not say whether Mancuso listed any reasons for her decision.
Mancuso, who had previously served on the board, was one of three candidates—along with James Carifi and Dr. Frank Calabria, the current board president —to win seats on the board. Those three beat out Alison Cogan, Anthony DeIntinis and Frank Neglia, current board vice president.
Mancuso had previously said . Mancuso has no relation to Board Member Anthony Mancuso.
Former board member and frequent meeting attendee Robert Crawford said he was stunned to hear Mancuso had turned down the seat.
“Many of us went to the polls a short month ago and cast our votes believing it meant something,” Crawford said.
Crawford explained to the rest of the public, and board attorney Katherine Gilfillan agreed, that the traditional policy for filling a vacancy is that the public is advised of the opening and interested candidates submit their resumes. The board then interviews the candidates and selects the next member by majority vote.
Gilfillan clarified that this is the policy traditionally followed after a member has served on the board. In this instance, Mancuso has not been sworn in as a member. Therefore, not all of the policy facets directly apply to this situation.
Calabria said the first step is for the board to get through the swear-ins and reorganization processes during its Jan. 3 meeting. Then, he said, the board will try to stick to the policy for filling the vacancy, if Gilfillan agrees with the decision.
Cogan, who has lost in the past two school board elections, was present at the meeting and said she is interested in filling the vacant seat.
“I have attended over 54 meetings over the past few years,” Cogan said. “And I continue to want to serve on this board.”