The Bloomfield Board of Education voted Tuesday evening to accept the resignation of Jason Bing, the Superintendent of Schools, and appointed Nicholas Dotoli, the current Director of Human Resources/Labor Relations and the Board’s General Counsel, to serve as Interim Superintendent of Schools until the appointment of a permanent Superintendent.
Mary Shaughnessy, President of the Board of Education, stated the decision for Bing to resign was mutual. Bing, who was appointed in January of 2011, had a five-year contract, which is being terminated early. Details of the settlement reached with Bing were not made public.
Dotoli announced that Sal Goncalves, Principal of Bloomfield Middle School, and John Pierce, Assistant Principal of Bloomfield High School, would be stepping in to direct the curriculum and fill in at the Central Office during the interim period. Mary Shaughnessy later stated they were doing this work in addition to their current duties, without an additional cost to the school system.
Dotoli stated that, although the Board had passed the $95.6 million school budget at their March 26 meeting, he has now been given greater access to the underlying numbers, and said, “It’s not done yet.” He said that he had not previously been privy to some of the “creative” assumptions that had been made in order to balance the budget, and said that some of these assumptions would not come to fruition. As a result, he said, there would be more cuts to the budget. He said he was not looking forward to making the decisions that will need to be made before the May 21st deadline, saying this will be “a very difficult year.”
Dotoli said he would recommend a final plan for the Board by May 21, and that he anticipated some “uncomfortable conversations” will need to take place.
In response to questions from the public about the hiring of a new superintendent, Dotoli said that he personally would not be a part of it, but that it will be a deliberate and transparent process. He added that once a search is opened for the position, each constituent group will be represented as part of an evaluation team.
Mary Shaugnessy said that the previous two processes to hire a superintendent had been “flawed,” as the public and staff were not included in the process.
Some members of the public expressed doubt that Bing had resigned voluntarily, and said he had been very responsive and had been working to unite the township.
Dotoli stated that although he and the Board must learn from the past, his priority was to move forward, and pledged transparency in the months to come.
He announced there will be a special meeting on Monday evening for the Board to discuss the budget. Closed session will begin at 6:30 and the public portion of the meeting at 7:30.