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Buffalo School Board Elections Today

Polls are open from 6 am to 9 am Tuesday for the possibly most contentious- and certainly most high priced- school board elections ever seen in the city of Buffalo.

There are 13 candidates on the ballot for Buffalo School Board Tuesday, in an election that will certainly decide the fate of School Superintendent Pamela Brown, and might determine the broader direction of the board for years to come.

FIND YOUR POLLING PLACE HERE  | Hear from the candidates

 Erie County elections Commissioner Dennis Ward tells WBEN that this election is unprecendented for a school board contest, in terms of "  not only the money being spent , but the media interest, and the grassroots efforts, "

Ward says turnout could run from the usual 7 percent to perhaps as much as 15 percent in some districts. Traditionally south Buffalo and the Delaware city council district has higher turnout in regular and school board elections.

On The Issues:
Ballot Line
with a click to thier website if any
Facing  District
& Endorsements
3A Sergio Rodriguez Parental Involvement Fire Now  
4A Gizelle Stokes Did not respond Keep Citizens' Action/NYSUT, Grassroots
5A Stephen Buccilli Lack of transparency Keep,Evaluate  
6A Barbara Nevergold District Finances & Deficit Keep Buffalo Teachers Federation, Citizen Action/NYSUT
7A Larry Quinn Change Fire Now Buffalo Niagara Partnership, Carl Paladino
8A Wendy Mistretta Lack of Long Term Vision Fire Now District Parent Coordinating Council
9A Stephon Wright Poor communication Keep, Evaluate  
10A Patti Bowers Pierce Leadership on Failing Schools Fire Now Buffalo Niagara Partnership, Carl Paladino
11A John Licata The inability to graduate a majority of the students in 4 years Fire Now Buffalo Teachers Federation, Citizen Action
12A Ralph Hernandez Board Dysfunction Keep Buffalo Teachers Federation, Citizen Action
13A Bernie Tolbert Poor/ineffective governance Fire Now  
14A Adrian Fitzgerald Harris Academic Achievement Fire Now  
15A Samuel Davis Disconnect between students & teachers Keep, Evaluate Grassroots, Citizen Action

Where Do The Candidates Stand On:
The District's Challenges, Graduation Rates,  Truancy & Parental Involvement, What Should and Shouldn't Be in a Teacher's Contract,  Finances & Superintendent Pamela Brown?
Exclusive WBEN Audio
From HARDLINE, the WBEN Politics Program
(Sunday 10a-12n)
with WBEN's Dave Debo
and a discussion with Artvoice's Geoff Kelly
On The WBEN Liveline : Hear Erie Co. Elections Comm. Dennis Ward

Would Vote To Fire Supt. Brown:
Would Keep
Supt. Brown

at least for now
Sergio Rodriguez, Larry Quinn,Wendy Mistretta, Patti Bowers Pierce, John Licata, Bernie Tolbert, Adrian Fitzgerald Harris Gizelle Stokes, Stephen Buccilli, Barbara Nevergold, Stephon Wright, Ralph Hernandez, Samuel Davis  
Do you think Tuesday's Buffalo school board vote is a referendum on Superintendent Pamela Brown?
( 92% )
( 8% )
Buffalo's Early News
In Studio In-Depth:
Hear John & Susan with Republican Political Analyst Carl Calabrese

Pt 1 | Pt. 2 | Pt. 3 | Pt. 4
On The WBEN Liveline With
BTF Pres. Phil Rumore
Board Member Carl Paladino

Seven of the 13 candidates would vote to terminate Brown who under the current board is one vote away from being fired. Six other candidates say that they would, for now at least, keep Brown on the job.

But the range of issues being raised in the race are wide- including the role of charter schools, the efficiency of the board overall, and the basic finances of the district.

The ballot includes two former candidates for Buffalo Mayor (Bernie Tolbert & Sergio Rodriguez)  two incumbents hoping to stay on the board ( Barbara Nevergold & John Licata) , and four  candidates who have run for the board before and lost (Wendy Mistretta, Ralph Hernandez, Gizelle Stokes  & Adrian Harris).

It includes two candidates recruited and supported by dissident board member Carl Paladino as part of his reform efforts (Larry Quinn & Patti Bowers Pierce), but also features student activist Stephon Wright, and Attorney Samuel Davis who are far less outspoken about changes.

To some degree the candidates can be divided into two camps:  Those who with the support of business leaders and renegade board member Carl Paladino will vote for broad changes, and those who with backing from labor and other political groups are resisting charter schools, supporting Brown and looking more broadly at the community problems the district has inherited.   

But the labels don't entirely define the candidates either.   A Few Examples:
  •  Board president Barbara Nevergold is the only candidate in interviews with WBEN to concentrate on the district's deficit.
  •  Samuel Davis, a pro-teacher candidate outside the  Paladino camp has suggested that welfare and food stamps of parents who don't get thier children to school should be threatened.
  • Incumbent John Licata -who carries the endorsement of the Buffalo Teachers Federation- is one of those that would join the vote to fire Brown.

Following the German airline crash and all that's been reported about it, how are you feeling about flying?
  I'm more nervous but will still be flying.
  It was an isolated incident and won't stop me from flying.
  Very frightening and I won't fly anytime soon.
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