Tonawanda News — With less than a month to go before a April 30 deadline for those who may run for the North Tonawanda Board of Education, district administrators are attempting to drum up awareness among residents for what appears to be lackluster interest in two open seats.
John Tylec, the district’s director of personnel, said no one has submitted the 100 signed petitions necessary to run for a seat on the board, a predicament that may be related to the increasingly difficult budget scenarios brought on by cuts in state aid as well as the initiation of mandated tax cap. The district is facing a $2 million budget shortage as it awaits the final word on a possible increase in state aid.
Two seats will open on the North Tonawanda Board of Education. The first would fill the void left by Donna Braun, who left the school board in September, several months short of the completion of her three-year term, for a successful run at the North Tonawanda City Council’s Second Ward.
Because the board choose not to fill Braun’s remaining term a successful candidate would begin their own three-year tenure May 21, the day after the election, and end June 30, 2017.
A second seat currently held by board member Frank DiBernardo would begin July 1 and also last three years. Tylec said DiBernardo has not officially expressed whether he would seek another term. The former board president could not be reached for comment on Wednesday.
Tylec said there may already be interested parties who have already begun the process of collecting the 100 signatures needed for a run at the school board. Yet with the weeks winding down to the deadline he said the district is trying to cover all the bases.
The relative lack of interest is a far cry from past elections when seats were in high demand, he said.
“There seemed to be a lot more people interested in begin a candidate 15 years ago than there is now,” Tylec said.
Any individual interested in becoming a candidate for the Board of Education must obtain and file petitions 5 p.m. on April 30. Petitions and instructions are available at the Administration Building, 175 Humphrey Street. The only requirement is that they reside in the district.