Home School News Brick School Board Rejects $174K Contract for Business Administrator

Brick School Board Rejects $174K Contract for Business Administrator

James Edwards (File Photo)
James Edwards (File Photo)

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.

  • BillyBrick

    Kudos Ms. Cantillo and Mrs. Cusanelli for having the courage to do what is right for the taxpayers and students of Brick. Now we know who the “political puppets” are, or at least the cowards.

    • ttstorm69

      why don’t you ask why Ms. Cantillo made up a position for her friend in transportation and put a price tag on it for 50,000 +? and now she’s mad cause her friend was not renewed because it was a made up postition and civil service was made aware of. so cudos nothing she needs to go!!!!!!! and so does cusanelli.

      • lynelle batzel

        Let’s clarify a few things,.I worked for the district many years before I met Mrs. Cantillo. It was NOT her, or her idea to promote me. The promotion came from Mr. Sangiovanni.
        It was Mr. Sangiovanni who chose me to change the climate in the office upstairs. Mr. Sangiovanni not only wanted me to be out of the dispatcher position, but rather in a managerial position. He also wanted Lynn (the other current dispatcher) to be out as well. He was working on making that change before he left.
        This came about after the TWU brought me up on charges for writing up an employee. Why you must bring Mrs. Cantillo and Mrs. Cusanelli into this, baffles me. I was appointed with a unanimous vote by the Board when I was promoted. Why are you NOT condemning the entire board? I am writing this information under my own name to clear the record, not as a coward who does not use their own name.

      • grammy

        You were not brought up on charges by the TWU but by a fellow union member while you were still a member of the TWU. And no charges were founded. Were you not overheard discussing what to put in you “new” job description? Did you have a meeting with the former super in a diner in Tom’s River to discuss the director to try to get him out. Did you not make more money than the other dispatchers? If you were so good how come there were so many mix ups. Favoritism doesn’t belong in the school district. It left transportation a long time ago. Till certain board members got elected and started micro managing the school district.

      • Doug Nardiello

        Ever since politics enter the transportation department. The moral of the office the school bus drivers went down hill. As a lot of all time drivers can attest to and would agree with me, it was an enjoyable work environment and it was all about the children of the district, not about political gain, or appointment. Same on Joe Sangiovanni and the school board to allow this to happen.

      • jo jo ormaz

        “That’s called ~ Alimony, she’s doing “Quite well as we hear!” and look, a few of her friends are running: Lois Turner – Walter F. Campbell – Lawrence K. Reid – Just to name a few.. ? “Between Brick and Point Pleasant”

  • Joseph Woolston Brick

    People are barely hanging on in Brick, there are so many homes for sale in my area alone that people either can’t sell their homes because of the competition or have to sell at a drastically reduce price to get out. The taxes in Brick have become overbearing, while the town has become overcrowded, the result? People are fleeing Brick! Less people living in Brick means less kids going to the schools. With all the people leaving, it leaves us who are staying to foot more of the bill and we can’t, simply and basically we are tapped out. Offering these salaries that equal a big city up in North Jersey is ridiculous here in Brick. Why do we pay a person NOT to take benefits? That too is ridiculous, you don’t take them, that’s it and thank you for not doing so, why should we reward them for not doing so? Another practice that has to stop. I still would like to see a law where people who serve on the school board can not seek public office until five years after their service with the board is over, that would keep the stepping stone wannabes out of our school system.

    • anniesez

      When Larry Reid and Walter Campbell made those feelings known the administrators and the TWU voted them out of office. Larry Reid and Walter Campbell were keeping taxes down and making sure the money was spent on the needs of students. When politics take over, taxes go up and good people get voted out.

    • ttstorm69

      i also want to know why Clades needed to get a raise for stepping in as super intendent, plus brick was still paying uzenski, 177,000.00 while he was out on suspension, for stealing money. that everyone knows he was doing, and you’re not gonna tell me no one knew about it espcially Edwards, he’s the money guy.

  • scottsman

    Mr. Edwards is in the right company with the Gov. of NJ. Nothing else needs to be said.

  • jo jo ormaz

    $171,560.oo +++++++ This is what the people from Both Green Briar 1+2 are sick and tired of!! It’s always, always someone who’s:
    A) making a lot of money [ teachers, high degreed, family , friend ] or
    B) Retired living off a pension and a retirement system [ X teachers etc. ]
    who are making the decisions for the public; the WORKING Class and Retired people who live on a Fixed income – when it comes to Raising our taxes!
    The people are being TAXED out of this town! while others make great salaries don’t care or worry until they move out to the “Palm Cost…..”
    Don’t believe me, pick any teacher or retired person living off a pension who’s either running for BOE, Currently on BOE or working in the schools and go to [ data universe . com ] and look at their salaries ? and ask yourself; how much do you make..? what are you living off of..???
    Most important- This is not a personal attack against Edwards, He has a strong background, great personality, Good man. He’s entitled to an earning and a living. no Bashing him!, it’s a job and the BOE elected to grant those salaries [ contract agreements ] when he first came on board, say wonder was on the BOE at that time that voted for it?
    It’s those contracts that the BOE keep voting on year after year and suddenly during a election year; they suddenly decided to vote against it? interesting?

  • Glenn

    Really $670/work day!!!

    • jo jo ormaz

      The average person in Ocean County who’s struggling , Single , Married, Children earns $14.00 – 16.00 an hour ? That’s what you get when you elect delusional people to run a school system or a town as councilman. not everyone got an opportunity for education. Sometimes there are set backs as life happens; that can happen to anyone? Show me Strength and dedication if someone who can stand on their own!! That’s who we vote for as BOE or Councilman!

  • Chief Wahoo

    The bigger story is 27 paid vacation days. And 12 sick days. That’s 39 days x $650 = $25,000 this over paid PUBLIC taker is getting paid by the broke taxpayers who continue to be foreclosed on, gets in exchange for ZERO work. Plus why $4000 for no health benefits. That can only mean one thing. There must be another public taking piggie in the family !!!


    • BillyBrick

      Chief, check out Acadia bond counsel that works for Brick municipality. His wife is an employee. BINGO. That’s why you are a Chief, not an Indian.

  • SoWhat?

    Don’t worry, the Lakewood people are buying up Brick’s for sale buildings, especially the cheap ones. I saw them in Laurel Brook , across from the proposed apartment complex/hotel on rt 88 jack martin bld. They are in Birchwood park, Maple Leaf, Cedarbridge and they are buying condos by the bunches. Sell out the first time they ask, you will be ahead of the crowd.

    • jo jo ormaz

      the planning board accepted the “Private Marriott hotel and all those lovely apartment buildings”. .. after 5-8 years when the hotel becomes run down by neglect, Marriot will pull it’s name off and you’ll have “The Universal Hotel” – in it’s place ran by a private company, Ask the Planning Board Members – who’s in with Tryko Partners. Before you know it, they would have redeveloped from lanes mill all the way down to Brick Diner -Rt 70 +88. But don’t worry, those people on the planning board today will be long gone for tomorrow with out a ounce of guilt or remorse.. They have an escape plan – you don’t, unless you sell today- cave into bankruptcy or foreclosure.
      This is the last stand that Brick has, unless we elect or write in the right people into office to try to stop this!!
      after this election – if it fails, time to sell and move out or turn your home into a section 8 just to pay the mortgage.

  • Geoff Dubrowsky

    If you listen in on board meetings or ever had the opportunity to have to deal with Mr. Edwards you would realize why he makes what he does! I have had many dealings with him and although I was not always happy with the answer It was always the correct answer and always by the rule of law. This district needs him, to keep them out of even deeper problems. I never admit to not being the smartest person in the room but do realize Im not when I have dealt with him. The long term board members who are voting down his contract must still think they can run a school district while disrespecting the law!

  • Doug Nardiello

    Good evening everyone. Allow me to introduce myself. My name is Doug Nardiello and I was born and raised in this town with me and my two brother going through the school system. Brick has always been a political town and it always was who you knew in the town to get anything done, or move up in to a position with in the town. I think that big changes need to take place in this town. As far as the Brick Board of Education, me being a former employee of the transportation department, with my wife being employed there as assistant transportation manager. She was wrongfully terminated by these board members at the June 25, 2015 board meeting, as she is a civil service employee and the District is a civil service district. She was then reinstated July 1, 2015, only to be voted out on July 23, 2015 meeting.They had no right to do what they did to her. She has outstanding annual reviews for over 13 years. She was the back bone of the department, as management came and went she was always there getting the job done for each and every manager that was in charge of the department. Now after being wrongfully terminated twice in two months they are refusing to pay her for services worked, so here is what my option is; everyone of the board members should be a shamed of themselves to allow this to happen with out investigation and facts in place, so down with all of them and let’s vote them all and a get some new blood in there. So good luck with our children getting in to school safely, on time and ready to learn. A lot of you parents know my wife and she was always been there to assist you with any problem that you may of1 had with your child’s transportation.