Ten candidates are running for four seats on the board. They are four current incumbents, two independents, and a slate called "Kids First."
The board seats are unpaid.
The election, which typically draws a smaller turnout than the mayoral or council elections, has its share of political implications.
Members of the board have the power to shape education policy, direct the allocation of millions of taxpayer dollars, and even affect the city's political climate.
Out of the nine seats on the board, four seats are up for election: three three-year seats and one one-year unexpired seat.
For the three three-year terms, board veterans Theresa Burns, current Board President James Farina, and Wanda Santana-Alicea will try to hold on to their seats against independents Nicholas Burke and Felicia Rubino-Drasheff, as well as against "reform" slate members Carrie Gilliard (who has served on the board before), Rose Marie Markle, and William Tobias.
Two candidates are running for the one-year term: current trustee Magdalena Porrata and first-time candidate Tricia Snyder. Snyder is part of the "Kids First" slate.
(For more information on the candidates, read last week's candidate profile article in print or at www.hobokenreporter.com)
No city slate
For the first time in his six years in office, Mayor David Roberts has not come out in support of any one slate of candidates for the school board. He did, however, say that he supported City Clerk James Farina's candidacy, after a physical fight allegedly broke out in City Hall between the two over a political matter.
At a press event to make light of the situation, the "old friends" donned boxing gloves for a photo op, and Roberts said that he supported Farina's candidacy.
No other candidates have received Roberts' endorsement.
Though the mayor has not weighed in on the election, the current members of the board have.
Trustee and Hoboken Police Captain Anthony Romano is backing incumbents Farina, Burns, Porrata and Santana-Alicea, serving as campaign manager for their "Committed to Hoboken's Children" platform.
Board Member and Hoboken Director of Human Services Carmelo Garcia has said he will endorse independent candidate Rubino-Drasheff. Last month, Garcia announced he would endorse Rubino-Drasheff and would not endorse Trustee Burns as a result of the fallout over ethics charges she brought against him in 2005.
Trustee Minutillo is sponsoring the reformers' slate of Kids First 2007, which consists of Snyder, Gilliard, Markle and Tobias. Minutillo ran on that slate and won in 2006.
One of the board's primary responsibilities is to administer the district's budget, as suggested by the superintendent of schools.
This year's budget totals $52.9 million, and was passed unanimously at the board's March 29 meeting.
Minutillo, who said she voted against last year's budget because not enough money was dedicated to the curriculum, said that this year, $2.6 million is being added to the area of instruction.
Additionally, District Business Administrator Brian Buckley informed the board at its March 20 meeting that this year's $34,700 tax levy will not cause a tax rate increase for Hoboken's residents. According to the numbers Buckley presented, the majority of the budget's revenues will come from taxes, and around $13 million will come from state aid.
If the budget is voted down on April 17, it will go before the City Council for changes and possible cuts.
Polling places and hours
Polls will be open from 2 p.m. to 9 p.m. on April 17. Voters' polling places are printed on the sample ballots that were mailed out to their homes.
If you have questions about your polling place, contact the City Clerk's office at (201) 420-2073.
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