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Residents should question merit increases

Typing Letter to the Editor for the Opinion page.

It pained me to read the details of the new five-year contract for the Manalapan-Englishtown Regional School District superintendent of schools, John Marciante Jr. It wasn’t so much the $165,000 (salary) to run from 2016-21 that the Board of Education awarded him, but it was the addition of the merit increases that were included in that package.

In 2012, several concerned citizens in the Freehold Regional High School District, including myself, fought long and hard when these same proposals were included in the new superintendent’s contract … Our point was that this provision was inserted by the state to allow school boards to circumvent the (superintendent’s) salary cap proposed by Gov. Chris Christie as a result of abusive raises, at taxpayer expense, by fawning school boards.

Our objection and what should be the same objection by the residents of Manalapan and Englishtown is that the “quantitative” and “qualitative” criteria are chosen by both the board and the superintendent and are not subject to oversight by the public, and frankly, are nothing more than what Mr. Marciante is already being well paid for.

Whatever brilliant and creative ideas they come up with to enhance the district’s performance goals should be the reason he was given a five-year $165,000 contract in the first place. I hope the public stands up to this outrage at Manalapan-Englishtown board meetings the way we did four years ago at the FRHSD meetings.

Leon Sirulnick

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