Assemblymember Ellen Jaffee (D-Suffern) announced that she is proposing legislation in response to community concerns that would waive a requirement under current state law and allow East Ramapo School Board member, Sabrina Charles-Pierre, to serve the full two-year term she was elected to. Current state law requires that the oath of office for elected public officials, in this case a school board member, must be taken or filed within 30 days after the term of office begins. Routinely, oaths of office are executed and filed before or at the commencement of a term. However, on occasion there are incidents where public officials do not execute and file the document within the required time period, triggering a vacancy or in this case, a truncated term in the position to which they were elected.
Ms. Charles-Pierre was elected to fill the unexpired term of her seat through June 30, 2018
According to East Ramapo School Board President, Yehuda Weismandl, the failure to administer the oath to Ms. Charles-Pierre within 30 days of the vote was an administrative oversight. This failure in effect created the truncated term and invalidated the May 17th election results. The Board then appointed Ms. Charles-Pierre to serve a one-year term.
“I was extremely disappointed to learn about this recent turn of events and what the Board President himself described as an “administrative failure,” disenfranchising the voters of East Ramapo. My proposed bill would correct the District’s administrative error and allow Ms. Charles-Pierre to serve in such capacity and for the full term to which she was elected upon the taking and filing of oaths of office provided such oaths are taken and filed within 30 calendar days after the effective date of this legislation,” said Assemblymember
The legislation is modeled after a bill introduced by Assemblymember Steve Otis (D- Rye) and signed into law by the Governor in July of this year.
Assemblymember Jaffee said, “I look forward to introducing this legislation when preliminary filing occurs in December.”