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Spindel, Banta and Klein Top Vote-Getters in Fair Lawn School Board Race

If the current numbers stand, two newcomers will join the Fair Lawn Board of Education next year.

One incumbent and two challengers received the most votes in a tight Fair Lawn Board of Education race with absentee ballots left to be counted, the municipal clerk's office confirmed late Tuesday night.

Twenty-year board veteran Eugene Banta (3,277 votes) and newcomers Jeff Klein (2,987 votes) and Mark Spindel (2,689 votes) have received the most votes, but incumbent Ron Barbarulo (2,602 votes) is just 87 votes off the pace, making the race too close to call.

In 2008, 973 absentee ballots and 83 provisional ballots were cast in Fair Lawn, but because of Superstorm Sandy, that number could be higher this time around.

Challenger Vladimir Itkin (2,224 votes) and incumbent Josh Gillenson (1,712 votes) finished fifth and sixth, respectively. 

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Stuart Pace November 07, 2012 at 01:30 PM
20 years on the BOE? Why? I think we need term limits. I like you very much Gene, but come on, 20 YEARS?
Mitt Rummey November 07, 2012 at 01:31 PM
Congratulations to all the board of education "winners", now make the taxpayer the winner for voting for you and CUT the Fair Lawn school budget which is choking taxpayers!
Eugene Banta November 07, 2012 at 02:24 PM
Stuart, why not? I don't get paid. I don't get benefits. I don't get a pension. I get nothing from this except a deep satisfaction of helping the community. I don't see the problem?
Mitt Rummey November 07, 2012 at 02:50 PM
Eugene, you of all people 20 years experience can obviously see the demise in Fair Lawn, the school tax is beyond what residents can provide, do your part and stop Fair Lawn's school taxes from crushing residents, school taxes in Fair Lawn are out of control!
LENNY November 07, 2012 at 03:16 PM
20 years and how many times have you said this is not going to work this will cost the taxpayers to much we do not need this cut it . how many times in 20 years did we move board of education offices at what cost how many schools did we close then re open at what cost what schools and annexs did we sell then spend money to add to our schools. $$$$$$$$ come from the taxpayers waste hurts our kids. THAT IS WHY NEW PEOPLE OUR GOOD HATS OFF TO OUR NEW MENBER WHO WAS LOOKING TO THE PEOPLE FOR WHAT THEY FEEL NEEDS CHAGE.
K. November 07, 2012 at 03:20 PM
Come on people, I can't believe the regular folks, Ron and Vlad did not win. Now I think we have all "educators" on the Board. Just F'ing great. I do like Gene though, i've seen him get irritated at the over the top demands of the NJEA. Keep it real Gene!
Stuart Pace November 07, 2012 at 03:22 PM
I just think it's too long for anyone. Not picking specifically on you. I like new ideas getting a chance.
Mitt Rummey November 07, 2012 at 03:33 PM
The people have spoken, now cut school taxes for the struggling Fair Lawn home owner, 90 million dollar budget belong in wealthy communities, Fair Lawn is barely middle class!
(0) November 07, 2012 at 03:34 PM
banta had the most votes by a pretty large amount, clearly the voters are content with the job he is doing. mr. banta- i thought barbarulo and itkin had some great ideas and you should try to incorporate them. schools do a dis-service to the kids who arent cut out for college, i know many alumni who now have jobs working on cars or trade jobs and they give credit to woodshop and automotave shop. it seems schools are just focusing on standardize test scores. when i entered the workforce it bothered me that i was not introduced to so many great careers in he trades when i was younger.
Mitt Rummey November 07, 2012 at 05:08 PM
Only in America, you can have a president, who has failed the country so miserably, get re-elected! This tells me something about America!
CINDY JO YUSKAITIS November 07, 2012 at 06:42 PM
Why is Gene there for 20 years? Passion, dedication, volunteering his valuable time to make a difference in the life of a child. Stuart, I am so disappointed in your post. I have been at my place of employment for 21 years, should I leave also? Gene is smart, articulate, compassionate and one of our lead negotiators. He is my mentor, my friend and has the back of every child entering the system until they leave. I never expected you to question a volunteer.
Eugene Banta November 07, 2012 at 06:49 PM
Lenny: I have spoken out many times about costs. We have cut some programs, etc., when they are not needed. But generally we try to maintain our schools, not strip them down. As for the Board offices, we moved them once since I have been on the board, from TJ to Edison, when TJ needed the rooms for classes. No school building has been closed down or sold in the 20 years that I have been on the board. Edison and TJ were closed as schools in the early 80s when the enrollment dipped. We reopened them when the enrollment went back up The Warren Point Annex building was sold long ago, probably around the same time.
Mitt Rummey November 07, 2012 at 07:00 PM
"I never expected you to question a volunteer", Stu isn't allowed to question now? How about everyone is subject to being questioned, especially with 90 million bucks at stake!
Stuart Pace November 07, 2012 at 07:05 PM
Sorry Cindy, I am not questioning anything about Gene in particular as a volunteer or his record as a BOE member, which I think is outstanding. I am of the opinion that anyone serving in an elected capacity should have term limits.
CINDY JO YUSKAITIS November 07, 2012 at 09:25 PM
Of course volunteers can be questioned. My point is I know Stuart comes from many years of volunteering in the school district. I was just surprised that he was making the statement he was---not that anyone who volunteers should not be approached or questioned.
CINDY JO YUSKAITIS November 07, 2012 at 09:27 PM
Not all of our board members are educators.
Stuart Pace November 07, 2012 at 09:39 PM
Cindy, even the Parents of Athletes organization has term limits.
Tony Dadika November 07, 2012 at 09:43 PM
Who would determine term limits? I am not sure. I am sure of one thing, Fair Lawn High need to get back to being a top 10 school in the state.
BellairBerdan November 07, 2012 at 10:37 PM
We move the Board elections because people are too lazy to come out twice to vote and once the People have spoken some still don't want to accept that vote. Sheesh
Michael Rosenberg November 07, 2012 at 10:57 PM
Stuart, Lenny and Mitt Rumney come and join us. Our meetings are open to the public. Gene has given 20 years of his life going to an average of at least one meeting sometimes more per week. Why has he done this, to be a politician? NO! As a stepping stone to higher office, NO!!! For a high salary and all of the benefits? NO! (there are no salary or benefits). You live in NJ. You live right outside NYC. We are in the middle when it comes to taxes and we pay the same taxes. Why does he do it and EVERY board member do it? Because we want the kids of Fair Lawn to have the most opportunities and get the best education. Congratulations to the two new board members. Most everything I heard them talk about has been talked about in my five years on the board. We would love to do it all but are limited by the cost and the legal realities of labor in NJ, fixed costs to run the schools, state and federal mandates, most unfunded, and space availability in our schools. Fair Lawn has changed and not only is their many more Special Ed students in Fair Lawn but also many different languages spoken in Fair Lawn. We educate every student and are proud of it. When compared to districts similar to ours,we beat them most of the time. Proof can be seen in our test scores and other measures. People have a lot to say but won't even post in their real names.This is my opinion and not the opinion of the Fair Lawn BOE. I'm Michael Rosenberg and I use my real name and I am responsible for this message.
Stuart Pace November 08, 2012 at 12:28 AM
you are all missing my point. It's not about Gene. I said I think he has done a great job. But 20 years for one person, I don't care who, to be making these decisions without a break is too long. In no way am I suggesting anything otherwise. I understand the emotions from Mike and Cindy. I do. But when I saw the top of the article 20 year board veteran................
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