Pleasantville school board

The Pleasantville Board of Education meets Tuesday at the high school cafeteria. The board is finally whole after filling a seat Tuesday that was vacated by the death of a sitting member in February. Aug. 21, 2018

PLEASANTVILLE — The Board of Education is full for the first time all year as the board swore in a replacement member this week for a seat vacant since February. But that might not last long.

Hannah Erickson was sworn to the board Tuesday in a meeting attended by all but one member, James Buford. Erickson replaces Ethel Seymore, who died earlier this year.

The board has not had all nine members in more than a year.

But if Erickson, 28, wins a three-year seat in the November school election, in which she has filed to run, she would give up her unexpired term, creating a new vacancy to be filled by appointment.

In addition, Erickson’s late appointment to the board creates another election situation.

Erickson was approved by the board to fill Seymore’s vacant seat in June, but her appointment was held up due to a residency check conducted by the county superintendent’s office, according to board attorney James Carroll.

Because of the delay, Erickson’s term will expire in December 2019. If she had been appointed at the first July meeting as scheduled, her term would have expired December 2018 and the remaining year of her seat would have been up for re-election in November, per state statute.

Carroll said that leaves three, three-year seats up for re-election in November, despite there only being two full terms and one unexpired term reported to the Atlantic County Clerk’s Office prior to the July 30 candidate filing deadline.

When contacted by a Press reporter about the discrepancy, Deputy County Clerk Michael Sommers said those seats are reported by the district.

The New Jersey Department of Education subsequently confirmed there would be three, three-year terms for re-election in November, as did Carroll. Carroll said the candidates who filed petitions before the election deadline would all be considered for the three open seats, but this could not be immediately confirmed with the Atlantic Ccounty Clerk’s Office.

Other candidates for the three open seats are Cassandra Clements, John Eason, Richard Norris and Sharnell Morgan.

The candidates who filed for the one-year unexpired term are Jerome Page and Robin Whitlock. Norris, Morgan and Page are all former school board members.

Neither Buford nor sitting board members Lawrence “Tony” Davenport or Elysa Sanchez filed petitions seeking re-election.

Davenport is seeking a seat on City Council this fall, and Sanchez said Tuesday she felt she could better serve the community from the other side of the microphone.

Contact: 609-272-7251 Twitter @clairelowe

Staff Writer

I began covering South Jersey in 2008 after graduating from Rowan University with a degree in journalism. I joined The Press in 2015. In 2013, I was awarded a NJPA award for feature writing as a reporter for The Current of Hamilton Township.

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