Tuesday, November 6, 2012
A compendium of information on the six candidates who are running for three three-year terms on the Fair Lawn Board of Education this November.
Tuesday, November 6, 2012
When Fair Lawn residents go to the polls on Nov. 6, they'll have six candidates —three incumbents, three challengers — to choose from for the Board of Education. Of those six, three will be elected to three-year terms. This page is the clearing house where you can find relevant information about the candidates as well as their policy stances drawn from information gleaned in interviews, a League of Women Voters-developed survey and the candidates debate. Note: LWV Survey responses were provided by the candidates A transcript from the candidates debate is available, click here. For the updated list of polling places in Fair Lawn, click here. Candidate Profile: Banta Banks on Experience, Track Record in Board of Ed Race Elementary school …
Saturday, October 27, 2012
The Fair Lawn Board of Education candidates debate, which involved six candidates running for three open seats, was held Thursday, Oct. 25
The League of Women Voters and the PTA Council of Fair Lawn sponsored a Candidates Forum for the Fair Lawn Board of Education on Thursday, Oct. 25. All six of the candidates vying for three three-year terms participated in the forum, which was well attended by residents. The incumbents running for re-election are Eugene Banta, Ron Barbarulo and Josh Gillenson. The challengers are Vladimir Itkin, Jeffrey Klein and Mark Spindel. During the candidates forum, audience members directed questions at candidates, who were then given 90 seconds to respond. Following the question and answer portion, each candidate was given five minutes to make a closing statement. Below is a transcript of the event, taken while it was occurring. It's not a verbatim…
Thursday, October 25, 2012
First-time Fair Lawn Board of Education candidate Vladimir Itkin wants to ensure students are provided a rigorous mathematics curriculum.
This is the second in a series of profiles about each of the six Fair Lawn Board of Education candidates. Vladimir Itkin never paid much attention to elections growing up in his native Moscow. The process just wasn’t very interesting, he said. “In Russia, either there was no choice — there was only one choice — or later on there was a choice between a bad guy and a very bad guy,” said Itkin, who left Russia for the United States in 1994 to attend graduate school at Ohio State University. “Here in the U.S., there is a real choice.” Today, Itkin is not only interested in the upcoming election, he’s one of the six candidates vying for three Fair Lawn Board of Education seats. Itkin, who has two young daughters, began attending board meetings …
Tuesday, October 23, 2012
Ron Barbarulo, a master plumber with a passion for coaching youth sports, is running for re-election to the Fair Lawn Board of Education.
This is the first in a series of profiles about each of the six Fair Lawn Board of Education candidates. Three educators with advanced degrees, a financial risk expert and a lawyer comprise this year’s stable of Board of Education candidates. And then there’s Ron Barbarulo, the master plumber with an assertive, tell-it-like-it-is approach. Barbarulo, who went straight to trade school after graduating from Paramus Catholic in 1981, believes his unique background has brought a breath of fresh air to the board during his three-year tenure. “I don’t think you need a board made up of all educators,” said Barbarulo, after a recent board meeting. “I think you need a variety of people on the board to help because it takes a variety of items to run…
Monday, October 22, 2012
Challenger Jeff Klein said he wants to see more transparency and fewer excuses from the board of education.
Compared to the municipal governing body, Fair Lawn’s board of education has traditionally flown under the radar. Despite the fact that school taxes account for a majority of the residential tax burden, board of education candidates rarely campaign, elections are only sometimes contested and voters generally skip the polls. This year, one school board candidate is hoping to change that. “The foundation of your country’s future, your community’s future lies in the hands of the people who are sitting in those meetings, yet it doesn’t get any attention,” said Jeff Klein, a first-time challenger for a seat on the board. “I hope to change that. To grab some attention from people, and at the very least, I hope that people are engaging in …
Saturday, October 20, 2012
Eugene Banta has seen an entire generation of students matriculate through the Fair Lawn public school system under his watch.
With 20-plus years on the Board of Education, Eugene Banta is Fair Lawn’s longest actively serving elected official. While quick to acknowledge that his lengthy tenure makes him an easy target for critics of the board, Banta’s not ready to walk away any time soon. “I know I’ve been here 20 years and people say, ‘Well it’s time for you to go.’ And If I was in congress, maybe I would agree with them. But I do this for free,” he said. “I’m doing it simply because I want to do what’s right for the kids.” Banta, an attorney with offices in Corona, Queens, views his two decades on the board as a major benefit, not a liability. “After 20 years of being on all the different committees, after reading how many thousands of pages of documents that …
Wednesday, October 17, 2012
Josh Gillenson, a board member since 2000, believes he brings a valuable combination of experience and openness to new ideas.
Josh Gillenson’s been a board member for over a decade, but he says his views are still evolving. “I very much consider myself to be somebody who is amenable to change and has changed.,” said Gillenson, who recently became a school bus driver after working in a wide range of education and social service-oriented jobs over the course of his career. “I’ve come to look at my own development as still being a work in progress and me as still being on a learning curve.” In recent years, as state money has gotten tight and budget cuts have become necessary, Gillenson said he’s made decisions that he never fathomed he’d be able to support when he was first elected, like cutting the special education program’s extended school year by one-third or …
Thursday, September 27, 2012
Retired principal Mark Spindel believes the board of education needs some fresh blood and out-of-the-box thinking.
Challenger Mark Spindel is loath to criticize the schools board’s stewardship of the district; he just feels its members could use an infusion of fresh ideas. Ideas that Spindel believes, as a retired educator with extensive experience crafting school budgets, negotiating contracts and developing curriculum, he has both the knowledge and the insight to ably introduce and implement. If elected, the N. Plaza Road resident, who retired in 2010 after 40 years as a public school teacher and administrator, hopes to boost parental involvement in the education process, increase academic rigor and make the board’s actions more transparent to the public. “It’s time for a change,” Spindel said during his closing statement at the candidate debate …
Thursday, June 7, 2012
Residents Mark Spindel, Vladimir Itkin and Jeffrey Klein have filed to challenge Board of Education incumbents Eugene Banta, Ron Barbarulo and Joshua Gillenson in this November's BoE election.
Fair Lawn Board of Education members who, despite initial reservations, voted to move school board elections from April to November this year will be in for a challenge at the polls. Unlike last year, when Susan Gioia, John Mancinelli and Elyss Frenkel won uncontested three-year terms, all three of this year's incumbents will be at risk of losing their seat. Residents Mark Spindel, Jeffrey Klein and Vladimir Itkin will challenge the seats of incumbents Eugene Banta, Ron Barbarulo and Joshua Gillenson, according to filings released by the county clerk's office on Thursday. Two of the challengers have backgrounds in education and all have attended numerous board meetings over the past year. Spindel is a recently retired Passaic City …