June 12, 2012
DR. FELIX ROQUE, INDIVIDUALLY AND AS MAYOR OF THE TOWN OF WEST NEW YORK, HUDSON COUNTY, PETITIONER-RESPONDENT,
JANET PASSANTE AND ALEXANDER LOCATELLI, RESPONDENTS-APPELLANTS.
On appeal from the Commissioner of Education, Docket No. 186-7/11.
NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION
Argued: May 31, 2012
Before Judges Cuff and St. John.
Appellants Janet Passante and Alexander Locatelli appeal from a final decision of the Commissioner of Education that ordered their removal as board members of the West New York Board of Education (Board). Both were appointed to the Board by the out-going mayor on May 13, 2011. The mayor appointed Passante to a full five-year term effective May 15, 2011; he appointed Locatelli to the unexpired term of a member who had resigned. At the time of appointment to the unexpired term, Locatelli was a member of the Board with a term due to expire on May 15, 2011. Respondent, Dr. Felix Roque, assumed the office of mayor on May 17, 2011.
The Commissioner held that N.J.S.A. 18A:12-7 to -8 governed appointments to the Board by a mayor and that members of the Board could be appointed only between April 1 and April 15 with their term of office commencing on May 16. He also held that Locatelli was not eligible for appointment to an unexpired term while serving as a Board member. Accordingly, the Commissioner held that the Passante and Locatelli appointments were void ab initio, and he ordered their removal as Board members.
We affirm substantially for the reasons expressed by the Commissioner in his September 19, 2011 Decision. Affirmed.
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