Clifton Board of Education Reorganization Meeting Brings Changes


Image/Barbara James

The most recent Clifton Board of Education meeting on Thursday, January 4th started with the swearing-in of the three newly elected board members - Joseph Canova, Joseph Siano, and Tanya Suarez. Mayor Ray Grabowski administered the oath to Canova and Siano, while the Board Attorney did the same for Suarez. All three repeated two oaths, including a general one that all candidates take, and a second one specific to school board members.

Accompanied by family members, the swearing-in process was brief as the Board set to vote on who would lead them as President and Vice-President for the next year. The roles are important as it is the BOE President who appoints commissioners to the appropriate committees, sets the board meeting agenda with guidance from the Superintendent, presides and guides over meetings, and serves as a liaison with various other groups in determining the direction of the school system.

The voting for President and Vice President was quickly determined - Mark Brunciak nominated Alan Paris for President and Lucy Danny for Vice-President; Joe Canova nominated Judy Bassford for President and then Vice-President. Paris won by a vote of 5-4 for President, and Lucy Danny won by the same margin. Brunciak, Danny, Mejia, Paris, and Santiago voted for Paris and Danny while Bassford, Canova, Siano, and Suarez cast their votes for Bassford. Paris immediately assumed his role sitting in the center after being handed the gavel and asked the new members to read the basics of the School Board Member Code of Ethics, which they all read solemnly. Each new member then thanked the voters, their loved ones, and the community. Suarez thanked her supporters for “trusting me with your children," while Siano spoke of “a momentous day and a deep sense of responsibility, pride and gratitude.” Canova added, “I’m excited for a second term and looking forward to the next three years.”

The meeting ended with congratulations and a warm welcome extended by school Superintendent Dr. Robertozzi. The Clifton Times will continue to report on all BOE appointments and actions to keep the community updated. 

The next meeting is on Thursday, January 19th at 5:30. The meeting will begin in Executive Session, followed by the public meeting. Meetings are held in the basement of the BOE building at 745 Clifton Avenue.

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