There were snickers of laughter from the crowd and frustration among board members as they passed little pieces of green paper around the room a total of 56 times. They were trying to vote on a vice chair but came up with nearly the same vote each time.
Four for Keith Sutton and three for John Tedesco but not enough for the majority vote.
Board Chair Ron Margiotta could only vote to break a tie, which he eventually was able to do. He voted Tedesco as the new vice chair. He and his predecessor Debra Goldman shared a hug while parents in the audience heckled.
The board began its regular meeting about two hour late because of the vote. Members voted to adopt the budget for 2011-2012 and debated how to fulfill the new legislative requirement for adding five school days to the calendar. Members hope to add ten minutes to each school day instead.
"I don't have a problem with the ten minutes per day, but I'd like to make a motion that we take these ten minutes and they go at the end of the day and keep the schedule like it is because the high school starting time is at 7:20 in the morning," board member Deborah Prickett said.
"I just don't think academically, adding an extra five minutes or ten minutes here and there has the same impact as five additional days of learning," Tedesco countered.
The board says adding those days would cost $500,000 for transportation and approved adding ten minutes to the bell.
Margiotta announced his plans to run for re-election as board chair. He says he "knows his work is far from over." His seat is one of five that is up for grabs in the October election. Margiotta is the only Republican board member who is up for re-election.
The school assignment plans were discussed briefly earlier in the day. Superintendent Tony Tata says he will like suggest a combination of the Blue and Green plans based on feedback he's received from parents.