There were lots of teachers in blue shirts, explanations made by board members and comments from the public but in the end, there also was an approved agreement between the and the district's education association at the end of the Aug. 16 board meeting.
The board of education approved the tentative agreement, signed between negotiating parties for the board and teachers on May 7, by a vote of 6-3 on Thursday night. Members Madeline Badalty, Mark O'Neill and Joan Osgoodby voted against the agreement.
Before doing so, Badalty explained that her vote was not against the contract as much as it was intended to reflect her opposition to the negotiation process. "The way we, board members, conducted contract negotiations," she specified.
The three dissenting members had said publicly that they didn't feel the board's negotiating committee was forthcoming with details about the agreement and didn't feel they had enough information to made an informed vote.
"The committee did not do its job," said O'Neill.
The passage of the agreement, which came about two-and-a-half hours into the meeting, was met by thunderous applause from the approximately 75 people in the audience.
"Thank you, on behalf of the OEA, to those who voted 'yes' and who understand that it's about the children, and not the procedure," said Oceanport Education Association President Annamarie Ippolito.