Jan. 23 Election Will Decide Surf City Seat on LBI School Board

Jan 16, 2018

A runoff election will be held next Tuesday, Jan. 23, to decide Surf City representation on the Long Beach Island Board of Education. Surf City taxpayers can vote at borough hall between 6 a.m. and 8 p.m.

The Nov. 7 election, as well as a full vote recount, ended in a tie between candidates Allyn Kain and John McMenamin.

As Ocean County Clerk Scott Colabella explained, the LBI Board of Education’s attorney requested Jan. 23 as the date for the special election, and the request was granted by the Superior Court.

Kain and McMenamin’s views on consolidation of the district’s two buildings are in opposition; Kain supports closing the LBI Grade School and expanding the Ethel A. Jacobsen School, while McMenamin wants to see both schools remain open.

In September, Island voters were presented with a two-question, $18.4 million bond referendum that, if passed, would have funded an addition and renovations to the E.J. School. The proposal failed by a 2-to-1 margin, and the board has since been reassessing its path.

“I believe all school facilities should be completely refurbished and have a prepared, consistent and continuing maintenance plan, including buses,” said McMenamin. “I also believe we should reinstate the librarian position and reinstitute educational field trips.”

“I come from a family of educators, and Surf City students will be my first priority,” he added. “You the taxpayers are entitled to responsible fiscal decisions and transparency in expenditures and policy of the school district.”

Kain, a longtime local educator, noted, “I am proud of my tenure on the Long Beach Island Board of Education and would like to continue to work for the district and taxpayers of Surf City. It appears that the district is in turmoil, but I believe now that the divisive referendum vote has passed, the board will be able to work together to come up with the solution that is needed for the Island.

“We have a precious responsibility and opportunity to maintain a quality education in our district, and I pledge to perpetuate a forward movement.”

Kain also supports the Choice program, while McMenamin does not. —J.K.-H.

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