Board elects Bressi to third term

Township has only one governing body with equal gender representation


Staff Writer

UPPER FREEHOLD — Jeanette Bressi will continue to serve as head of the Upper Freehold Regional School District’s Board of Education.

This year will mark Bressi’s third term as president. She was the only nomination put forth for the office at the April 27 board meeting, as was Howard Kreiger for the office of vice president.

The board serves both Upper Freehold and Allentown schools. During the reorganization meeting, new Upper Freehold board members Joseph Stampe and Christopher Shaw were sworn in to office, as was Allentown board member Kathryn Wolden.

Incumbent Tia McLaughlin lost the April 19 Board of Education election, and board member Jennifer DeMauro declined to run for another term.

Because nearby Millstone Township does not have its own high school, its students attend Allentown High School. A member of Millstone’s Board of Education works as a liaison to the Upper Freehold Regional School District.

This year, the longtime Millstone representative on the board, Patricia Coffey, decided not to seek another term. Sami Qutub was chosen by the Millstone Board of Education to take Coffey’s place on the regional board.

When Qutub joined the board, one of the only governing bodies in Upper Freehold that had an equal gender representation became predominantly male, with a 7-to-3 ratio. Bressi is the only woman of the six Upper Freehold members. Wolden and Elizabeth Trent represent Allentown, along with Robert Cheff.

Currently, only the township’s Board of Health has an equal number of men and women.

Whereas Upper Freehold has never had a woman on its Township Committee, nearby Roosevelt, Allentown and Millstone now have at least one woman serving on their governing bodies. This year, all three candidates who filed to run for the one available committee seat in Upper Freehold are men.

On the township’s Planning Board, Chief Financial Officer Dianne Kelly is the lone woman among the 12 appointees. Two women, Karen Petersen and Jennifer Coffey, sit on the seven-member Environmental Advisory Committee. The township’s Zoning Board is also entirely male.