Neptune City Plans to Hire New Chief School Administrator

By PETE WALTON

The Neptune City Board of Education is expected to hire a new chief school administrator at its March 19 meeting.

Board President Anthony Susino also told the Borough Council at its meeting earlier this week that the school board planned to introduce a balanced budget for the next fiscal year.

The new school chief would replace interim administrator Ralph P. Ferrie, who was named to the temporary post after former chief school administrator Debra Mercora resigned just five months after getting a new five-year contract.

Mercora stepped down without explanation in a letter to the board last April.

“Upon my appointment, the Board of Education charged me [with] certain expectations which I believe after eight years of hard work filled with joy and passion are fulfilled and have made the Neptune City School District the best education that no money can buy,” Mercora said in the letter.

Mercora’s tenure became controversial as enrollment at the district’s Woodrow Wilson Elementary School slowed and teachers grew increasingly uncomfortable with Mercora’s management style.

In borough business at this week’s meeting, the council voted unanimously to approve a no-bid contract with a Kansas firm to redesign and maintain the borough web site.

CivicPlus will be paid $14,100 over three years to develop and maintain the site.

Borough Administrator Chris Cherbini said the new site should be ready in three or four months. The administrator said the new site will be paid for with funds which have already been budgeted.

Cherbini said he plans to play an active role in the development of the site.

Councilman Brian Sullivan announced that Monmouth County has agreed to help with trees at First Responders Park on West Sylvania Avenue. He said the county’s assistance will hold down the borough’s costs to improve the site.

Councilman Glen Kocsis said that a fundraiser for Neptune City’s fire cadet program will be held on Mon., March 30 at Bruno’s Pizza and Subs, 165 W. Sylvania Ave. A portion of the proceeds from all purchases that day will benefit the cadets.

Kocsis said that interest in the cadet program is so strong that the fundraiser is needed to help provide safety equipment and training for all the participants. Twelve cadets are currently enrolled.

The council approved a resolution supporting establishment of the new headquarters for the U.S. Army’s Fourth Corps at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst.

As part of an operational command post in Europe, the Army is considering the activation of a headquarters based in the continental U.S.

Joint Base MDL is one of 31 possible locations for the new headquarters.

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