McMenamin Wins Tiebreaker for LBI School Board Seat

Runoff Election Decides Surf City Stalemate
Jan 23, 2018
Photo by: Ryan Morrill

Two hundred thirty-three ballots were cast on Tuesday, Jan. 23, for a runoff election to decide Surf City representation on the Long Beach Island Board of Education. After both the polling place and mail-in ballots were tallied, John McMenamin had earned 54 percent of the vote, 126 votes, to 107 for incumbent Allyn Kain.

At the end of the Nov. 7 general election night, McMenamin was ahead by one vote over Kain, 190 to 189. However, when the Ocean County Board of Elections met to certify the results the following week, it reviewed all provisional ballots and concluded the race actually ended in a tie, at 192 votes per candidate.

Due to the tie, the board of elections performed a recheck of the voting machines as well as a recount of mail-in and provisional ballots, which produced the same result, necessitating the special election held Tuesday.

Kain and McMenamin hold disparate views on consolidation of the district’s two buildings. Kain has long supported closing the older LBI Grade School in Ship Bottom and expanding the Ethel A. Jacobsen School, while McMenamin wants to see both schools remain open. Kain also supports the Choice program, while McMenamin does not. Choice allows nonresident parents to request participating districts to accept their child as a student. The Long Beach Island district is one of several in Ocean County to receive Choice students from other locales.

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

School board members are elected to serve terms of three years. —J.K.-H.

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