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Oceanport Schools Biz Admin Stepping Down

Sharing the position with nearby districts is back on the table.

To share, or not to share: In Oceanport, that is the question.

With the resignation Thursday night of the district's business administrator, Norma Tursi, Oceanport

"This is a major vacancy and a major crossroads in our district," said Oceanport Superintendent Andrew Orefice at the Sept. 13 board of education workshop meeting.

He said the board had three options: maintain status quo and hire another administrator to take over the position solely for Oceanport; investigate participating in an established shared arrangement between West Long Branch, Monmouth Beach and Shore Regional school districts; partner with another district.

"Sharing is definitely an option," said Orefice. "I think it could work."

He said the board would create a committee to examine all of the options and meet with the full board to discuss its findings.

Board member William McVitty said that the committe format is what the district has used to develop shared service agreements for its transportation, curriculum and cafeteria management.

In the meantime, Orefice suggested the board hire an interim business administrator for the district following Tursi's Nov. 1 departure. She will serve as the business administrator for the Bogota school district in Bergen County.

"Obviously, there are pros and cons (of sharing)," said Orefice. He pointed out the potential cost savings as an obvious benefit, but wondered if losing "the intimacy of having someone right there in your district," would be worth the breakage.

The board recently approved a one-year contract for Tursi that called for a salary of $99,878.

Board member Kelly McGowan, who spearheaded exploring shared services options for the district in the past, expressed concern with sharing an administrator with three other districts. "That's four budgets, four presentations and working to educate all of those communities," she said, noting that if a regional model was in place, the position would be less onerous.

"I want to make sure Oceanport is taken care of," she said.

The Oceanport Board of Education's next meeting is Thursday, Sept. 20 in the Maple Place School Library.

Harry September 14, 2012 at 12:47 PM
I certainly hope that the taxpayers of Oceanport recognize that there are more than three options to consider for replacing the departing business administrator. We can do what many other schools have done and arrange to share all three administrators and the network technician. The two new principals would continue to provide their excellent style of leadership. The savings in salaries and benefits would go to the greater need for technology in both schools.

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