Six enter candidacy for BOE seats

Terms of Bladek, Favichia and Turner to expire in December

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By Jennifer Jean Miller

— Six Sparta residents have filed their petitions with the Sussex County Clerk’s Office to run for three seats that will be up for election on Tuesday, Nov. 4.

The candidate’s terms are up at the end of December.

Board Members Richard Bladek, Frank Favichia and Scott Turner, all have terms that will expire.

Those who filed petitions by the deadline, which were due the last Monday of July, included Bladek, Kylen C. Anderson, Michael Aloi, Melva Cummings, Carey Anne Gluck-Bomensatt and Douglas McKernan, according to the Sussex County Clerk's Office.

Each candidate was required to complete a “Nominating Petition for Annual School Election.” To be in the running, each candidate needed a minimum of ten signatures on the petition.

Favichia could not be reached for comment.

Turner said he is not running again because the position is very time consuming.

Turner served on the board and four committees.

“My son has graduated,” he said. “I will probably still help with the football team. I enjoy working with the kids.”

Turner commended superintendent Dennis Tobin and his administrative staff. He said Tobin was a great coach in his coaching days at Sparta, and implements the same type of direction in working with his staff.

“You have a tremendous administrative staff,” Turner said.

The board has its own dynamic that changes every few years, as new members are elected, Turner said.

“I’d like to say the board worked very well, though we’re dysfunctional,” he said. “Some have agendas.”

Turner cautioned voters.

“Pay attention to who you vote for, and what they’re interested in," he said. "People don’t always pay attention.”

Of the six people running in the upcoming election, two have personal agendas, according to Turner.

"I won’t tell you who, I won’t tell you why. It’s sometimes a popularity contest. It shouldn’t be. It should be who does the best job,” Turner said.

Candidates were mandated to take an Oath of Allegiance. On top of the affidavit that the signatures must be legitimate, the Oath of Allegiance denotes that the candidate consents to their candidacy, and that they will uphold both the New Jersey and United States Constitutions.

Candidates must be United States citizens and at least 18 years old. They must be a resident of the municipality for at least one year prior, and a registered voter in the district. Candidates also cannot be involved in any contract against the board, and must undergo a criminal background check that the New Jersey Department of Education conducts.

Among the requirements expected for board members from the New Jersey School Board Association are overseeing the district’s budget and approving its curriculum, evaluating the district’s superintendent, adopting policies, and acting as a liaison between the public and the district.

Each candidate can access a candidate kit from the NJSBA, which highlights the role of members of the school board, as well as the ethics requirements each school board official must follow.

In last year’s election, Kelly Anne McEvoy, McKernan, Brenda Beebe, Dorothy LaBeau, James Todd Muth and Keith M. Smith were all candidates for seats vacated by McKernan, Maureen Myle, and Kevin Pollison.

In the election, McKernan was the only one from the group of three who decided to run again.

McEvoy led the group with 2,926 votes, Beebe with 2,628 votes, and Muth, with 2,492 votes.

Muth unseated McKernan by 66 votes.

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