Jersey City Board of Education Trustee Luis “Lipe” Fernandez has become the third school board member to step down in the past seven months, based on a resignation letter he wrote last week.
“I have learned so much through the past 26 months of service but I am unable to continue to serve in the capacity of Jersey City School Board member, and I have decided that what is best for my family and myself is to resign effective immediately,” Fernandez wrote in a February 22nd letter.
Fernandez, a pastor, continues that he will continue to serve the Jersey City community in any capacity that he is needed in.
In January 2018, days before the board’s annual reorganization meeting, a parent and political gadfly appeared to file an ethics complaint against Fernandez, but she said shortly before last November’s election that she had withdrawn that complaint (in the midst of filing a new one against a different trustee).
Back in July, citing ailing health, Trustee Angel Valentin left the board and was replaced by former Trustee Gerald Lyons, who came up short in the school board election held the previous November.
Then earlier this month, Gina Verdibello, who had previously unsuccessfully run for a BOE seat four times, was appointed to replace Amy DeGise, who is the chair of the Hudson County Democratic Organization.
DeGise announced about three weeks prior that she would be leaving the volunteer post to focus on building the local Democratic party.
The Jersey City BOE has 60 days to appoint Fernandez’s replacement and the selection is typically made after interest parties speak during the public portion of a board meeting.