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:
with a click to thier website if any
|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
HEAR THE CANDIDATES
with WBEN's Dave Debo
and a discussion with Artvoice's Geoff Kelly
SEE THE BALLOT LINES and MORE ON EACH CANDIDATE ABOVE
On The WBEN Liveline : Hear Erie Co. Elections Comm. Dennis Ward
|Would Vote To Fire 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|
|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
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.