GREAT BEND To win election to the Carthage Board of Education this May, Kent D. Burto had to defeat two other candidates for the seat, incumbent Brian K. Serota and Michael Hancock. But the others elected to the board this term, Anne M. Rohr and Joseph A. Colangelo, did not have anyone running against them.
Now the board is considering whether the way candidates are elected should be changed. During the school boards meeting Monday, Superintendent Peter J. Turner suggested that instead of having candidates vie for a specific seat, the highest vote-getters at large win the open seats.
I think its fair because youre running for the Board of Education because its your desire, not because youre against someone, he said.
Mr. Turner said this voting process worked at Northeastern Clinton Central School District where he was formerly a superintendent.
Board President Barbara A. Lofink said candidates claimed specific seats, because each seat represented an area in the district. Board member Mary Louise Hunt was worried some areas would not be represented if the election process changed.
I do like the idea of the vote being at large, she said. Im just concerned about everyone being from a certain area. Its a concern. Remember, the orphan child is Black River. Everything is in Carthage.
For the election process to change, it would have to be added to the ballot during budget votes in May. It would not become effective until the following year after the voters approved of it, which means it would not count for the election next May for Mrs. Lofinks and Lori D. Millers seats.
Mrs. Lofink said the board will revisit the topic again in February or March.Mrs. Hunt said a poll or questionnaire can be sent to the districts constituents when the school year starts to see if there is community support for the idea.