Candidate Fields Light for Stafford, Southern Regional School Boards

Aug 08, 2018

Last week, the Office of the Ocean County Clerk released the list of school board candidates on the slate for the Nov. 6 election, and an interesting situation has developed with regard to the future of the Stafford Township School District Board of Education. A year after 10 candidates – two of whom, Patricia Formica and Gerald Simonelli, were elected alongside then-incumbent Deborah Lyons – vied for three open positions, only two individuals have filed petitions with the clerk’s office to be on the ballot to, again, fill three spots opening up at the end of the year.

The two candidates are Tammy Wagner of Kristine Avenue, and Kevin Lyons Jr. of Shore Avenue, whose father, Kevin C. Lyons Sr., has been on the Southern Regional Board of Education for many years. If Wagner and Lyons Jr. are elected, they will fill two of the positions being left behind by current board president Michael Hemenway, Tammy Nicolini and Beth Sicoli.

Of course, two candidates won’t fill three positions, and from there things could become interesting. The outcome will rely heavily on township voters as to which individual may find his or her way onto the school board, if that individual even wants to be on it.

Multiple scenarios exist on how filling that one open position can shake out. First, the seat will go to any candidate with the most write-in votes. If the write-in winner declines to take the open seat, the board would need to solicit applications from the public and appoint somebody to take the open seat – which also would occur should there be no write-ins.

As for the Southern school board, all four current members whose terms are expiring at the end of the year – Scott Waters, Steven Berkhesier, Keith Weidenhof, all representing Stafford Township, and R. Scott Zoladz, the Long Beach Island representative – have filed for re-election and will be running unopposed.

The deadline for filing an intent-for-candidacy petition with the clerk’s office was July 30. All newly elected or re-elected board members will take their positions the beginning of January, in accordance with each board’s reorganization process. —D.B.

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