• The Hammonton Gazette

Hammonton Board of Education makes change


During the January 5 reorganization meeting, Sam Mento III retained his position as board president. (THG/Dan Russoman. To purchase photos in The Gazette, call (609) 704-1940.)


The Hammonton Board of Education held its annual organization meeting on January 5. Hammonton Board of Education President Sam Mento III retained his position. Former Hammonton Board of Education Vice President Kelli Fallon was replaced by new vice president Michael Pullia.


Votes for each person were split. Mento won his seat by a vote of 6 to 4, with board members Thomas Attanasi, Linda Byrnes, Mento, Al Pangia, Pullia and Ray Scipione voting yes and Barbara Berenato, Fallon, John Lyons and Erica Polito voting no.


For board vice president, Mento nominated Pullia and Fallon was nominated by Polito for a second term. Pullia received seven votes while Fallon received three. Attanasi, Byrnes, Lyons, Pangia, Pullia, Scipione and Mento voted for Pullia, and Berenato, Fallon and Polito voted for Fallon.


It’s a new year, and in politics, new years bring changes with them. The Hammonton Board of Education is no exception. While it is unusual to see conflicting votes regarding the leadership of the board, it is also how the democratic process works. In some cases, there are clear divisions regarding a vote, but the vote is held and the result of the vote is accepted by the governing body.


We hope the board can move forward from its initial meeting of the year and continue to work on the many challenges facing the school district during the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and economic downturn. Ensuring the best education possible given the constraints, coupled with making sure the district is funded to the highest possible levels should be the top priorities of the board of education.


That means that political maneuvering needs to take a back seat to fixing the real problems. The Gazette looks forward to covering the Hammonton Board of Education and the Hammonton School District in the coming year.