Paterson school board votes against contract with South Jersey leader Norcross’ firm | Paterson Times Paterson Times

Paterson school board votes against contract with South Jersey leader Norcross’ firm

By Jayed Rahman
Published: June 6, 2016


The city’s school board voted against renewing a $200,000 insurance brokerage services contract with a Marlton-based company owned by South Jersey Democratic Party leader George E. Norcross on Wednesday night.

School board members did not publicly cite reasons for voting against renewing the district’s contract with Conner Strong & Buckelew. The company was awarded a contract to be the broker of record for employee’s health benefits at the district last June.

Board member Errol Kerr said he voted against the renewal to urge the district to obtain quotes from other companies.

“This company has some political connections at the state level,” said Kerr on Thursday. “It was presented just last night. I didn’t get enough information.”

Norcross, the South Jersey power broker, serves as executive chairman at the brokerage firm.

“The broker was already there, I don’t know why they voted it down,” said board member Kenneth Simmons, who was the sole vote in favor of the contract, on Friday.

It’s not clear whether the district intends to obtain quotes from other insurance brokerages.

Spokeswoman for the state-operated school district Terry Corallo did not respond to a message on Friday afternoon as to whether the superintendent intends to override the board’s vote on the contract.

Conner Strong & Buckelew recently worked on the district’s switch from Express Script to Benecard for teachers’ prescription benefits, according to school officials.

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