Brick Township’s Board of Education, still down one member, rejected a $174,991 contract for James Edwards, the district’s business administrator in a 3-3 tie vote.
The contract would have given Edwards, who is tenured in his position, a $3,431 raise for the 2015-16 school year. Edwards’ salary for the 2014-15 school year was $171,560.
Board President Sharon Cantillo and board member Karyn Cusanelli voted ‘no’ on the contract, while board member Susan Suter abstained from voting. Board members Frank Pannucci, Jr., Michael Conti and John Barton voted in favor of the contract. Because a tie vote does not carry, the motion to approve the contract failed.
Because Edwards is tenured in the position under state law, his salary cannot be reduced. Until a new contract is approved by the board, the terms of the previous contract – which ended June 30 – apply.
The proposed $174,991 pact was questioned by several members of the public, including Vic Fanelli, a frequent critic of the school district’s spending.
“He’ll be making $9 less than the governor,” Fanelli said, who also took the opportunity to tell board members that Edwards would earn more under the contract than a United States senator.
In addition to the salary, Edwards would have been paid an additional $4,250 for waiving his district health, prescription and vision benefits under the contract, he indicated at the meeting. The contract also included 27 paid vacation days and 12 sick days.