School board president steps down

Inga Koeppe named new board president


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  • Photo by Patricia Keller Inga Koeppe was elected the school board's new president on Tuesday night. Dave Richards stepped down as president and will be leaving the board at the end of May, along withhis wife and fellow trustee Donna Richards.



West Milford Board of Education President Dave Richards announced Tuesday night that he and his wife, Donna, both board of education trustees, will be leaving the board and moving to Bergen County at the end of May. Richards stepped down from his position as president of the board, he said, to allow for a smoother transition.

The board later elected Inga Koeppe its new president.

Delaying the vote
With the president’s position on the board vacant, Vice President Wayne Gottlieb took over temporarily as acting president. Gottlieb suggested the board wait to vote on a new president until after the business items on the agenda were complete, since he had an issue he needed to discuss with the board attorney prior to the vote, which he said may affect the vote. The board instead waited until the public portion of the meeting was complete since many members of the public had signed up to speak.

A new board president
Upon the completion of the public’s comments and after a five minute recess requested by Gottlieb to consult with the board attorney, the board had its executive session to discuss his concerns regarding the vote to fill the vacant president position.

When they returned, both Koeppe and Gottlieb were nominated for president, with Koeppe getting the nod. Trustees Kevin Babbitt, Greg Bailey, Matt Conlon, Koeppe, Donna Richards and Dave Richards voted for her, while Gottlieb, Debbie O'Brien and Marilyn Schultz voted for Gottlieb.

What's next?
The school board members will interview interested members of the public for the two positions, then choose two to be appointed to the seats being vacated by the Richards for the remainder of the year.

The two appointed trustees will have until the application deadline in June to petition to be put on the ballot for the November election in order to serve out the remaining two years of the term.

In addition, three trustee terms are expiring at the end of the year and will also be on the November ballot, for a total of five trustee positions on the ballot. The two vacant seats will be for two years; the terms that are expiring will be for three years.

Anyone interested in applying for the two spots that will be vacated at the end of May should call the district's Business Administrator Barbara Francisco at 973-697-1700 ext. 5051.

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