Bayonne BOE declines to renew McGeehan’s contract for a second time

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The Bayonne Board of Education declined to renew the contract of Superintendent of Schools Patricia McGeehan for a second time at a special meeting last night.

In making a late plea that appeared to be sincere, McGeehan asked the board “to grant me another contract. I truly believe that my work as leader of the Bayonne School district is not over.”

“I always say to all the students at graduation, and I said this for 16 years: find a job that you love and you will never work a day in your life. And that’s what I do here.”

There were also more than 20 speakers who pleaded with the board to renew McGeehan’s contract, including two former board presidents, while former board President John J. Rodriques provided statement on the record since he could not be there in person.

Former Trustee and President Phyllis Garelick told that board, “you ain’t getting nothing better” when it comes to finding a qualified personnel.

Former President William Lawson told the board that McGeehan is a “legend” asked the not to penalize the superintendent nor the students because they have their own agendas.

During deliberation, it was only Trustee Theodore Garelick who voted to renew the contract.

“She is still on the top of her game. And I really don’t understand why we have until December 31 to work out some sort of contract agreement with Dr. McGeehan. And in addition to that, we have a November election where there’s going to be four members of this board that may or may not still be here.”

“Why are we short changing the potential candidates that are running for the board of education to get involved in this decision?”

Last month, the vote on the matter was 5-0(4) against renewing McGeehan’s contract, with Trustees Mary Jane Desmond, Ava Finnerty, Theodore Garelick and Vice President Denis Wilbeck abstaining due to conflicts of interest.

A second vote was required because of the Doctrine of Necessity, otherwise there would have been an insufficient number of votes due to conflict of interests.

The Doctrine of Necessity allows the entire governing body to vote on a particular issue.

The vote was 7-1 against the renewal of McGeehan’s contract. which is set to expire June 30, 2017. Board Vice President Denis Wilbeck was absent.

Trustee Barry Kushnir, who did not disclose last month that his uncle’s spouse is a school principal, voted against the renewal.

Shortly after the vote, Lawson told Bayonne BOE President Joseph Broderick “You’re a disgrace!” and referred to the rest of the trustees as his “minions.”

“At least you could have explained your decision!,” he exclaimed as he was being heckled by the crowd with remarks such as “sit down!” and “screw you!”