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Brown, Smith Resign From School Board

Nothing more than 'personal choices,' board president says

Two members of the Manasquan Board of Education, citing differing reasons, resigned from their posts this week. 

Trisha Brown and Jim Smith submitted their letters of resignation — read publicly by school officials at Tuesday's School Board meeting — which contained differing explanations for stepping down. 

Brown said in her letter that she had too many "family and personal commitments" to fulfill the requirements of her position, while Smith's letter cited "philosophical, educational and financial differences" with the board at-large. 

Board President Michelle LaSala said after both letters were read that the former member's decisions were "personal choices" and "should not be interpreted as anything more.

"I'd like thank Mr. Smith and Mrs. Brown for handling their choice to resign with dignity, and I wish them nothing but the best," LaSala said. "I want to make it perfectly clear to the public that these resignations were personal choices of Mr. Smith and Mrs. Brown and they should not be interpreted as anything more."

Smith and Brown, who both often butted heads with majority opinions, were the only two board members to vote against next school year's budget. 

"After a great deal of soul searching I regrettably submit my resignation as a member of the Manasquan Board of Education," said Smith's letter, read by LaSala. "Recent philosophical, educational and financial differences led me to the conclusion that I cannot accomplish the goals I set out to attain.

"Only time will tell if my goals were right or wrong, but until that is determined, I thank the administration, students and residents for the opportunity to serve the Manasquan Board of Education," Smith's letter said. 

LaSala suggested that the resignations were not a reflection of any dysfunction between current board members. 

"I am very pleased with how well this board is functioning and I thank my colleagues for further moving in the right direction," LaSala said. 

Brown said in her letter that she was making room for someone with more time to devote to the position. 

"My family and personal commitments have become too great for me to be able to fulfill the requirements of my position on the board and I feel that it is in the best interest of the taxpayers for me to make room for someone with the time and energy to devote to this volunteer position," Brown's letter said.

paulie May 31, 2012 at 03:58 PM
Ms. LaSala: You can attempt to spin this anyway you want. The truth of the matter is these 2 fine people could no longer serve on a board that has a spend, spend, spend mentality. Yeah let me guess, it is all for the children - Please
My3sons May 31, 2012 at 07:35 PM
There's NO defending what these two did. None.
placekicker June 01, 2012 at 03:58 AM
Paulie every now and then you make an astute comment and even compliment others for doing so (including myself). This time, you did not. "2 fine people?" Far from it. You forget what happened when we voted down a budget? They pounded our Council to make zero cuts. “Manasquan showed what Squan pride is all about,” board President Trish Brown said Tuesday night. “The voice of the people was truly heard … I can’t thank you enough.” THEN - they had almost $2MILLION left over. Please, they never looked out for taxpayers.
Tony K June 01, 2012 at 02:16 PM
I think Mrs. Lasala did absolutely the right and proper thing; she reported the resignations as they were received, reading the actual letters. That is not "spin." Now, had she read the letters and then really told what happened, that would be something requiring damage control.

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