Kim Cronin and Jill Weber will hit the ground running on May 4 when the Board of Education meets for its reorganizational meeting.
Cronin said that in the first hours after her election to the board, she has been contacted by numerous residents who want to discuss a concern they have about the schools. "It's already been an interesting day," Cronin said. "It's an amazing first day."
For incumbents Lata Kenney and Rich Connors of the township and borough, respectively, another term on the board means they can continue their work on various committees.
"We've got some big issues we've got to tackle," Connors said. "We have our work cut out for us."
Connors was elected as a write-in candidate for his first term on the Board of Education and was elected to a second term on Wednesday, April 27. He has served as liaison to Chatham Borough and to the Chatham Athletic Boosters. He said he was "excited and humbled" at the voters' support in the latest election.
Among his top priorities for his next term, Connors said, are helping the new interim superintendent assimilated to Chatham and ensuring that the growing student enrollment in the district is addressed. "We'll be coming to grips with the impact of enrollment and alleviating the strain on the school buildings," he said.
Connors' concern extends beyond the proposed expansion of the parking lot at Chatham High School, which was debated by both students and parents in the weeks leading up to the school elections. "We need to figure out where are we going to go in terms of facilities," he said.
Cronin said she hopes to involve members of the public in her duties on the board. "People are very smart in this town, and they have a lot of different areas of expertise. So if we're doing something that fits into your expertise, I want to hear from you," she said.
Cronin's first time sitting on the board will be at the May 4 meeting. She said she looks forward to bringing the concerns of residents before the board. "It's not a Kim Cronin agenda, it's about what the community wants and what is best for them. My job is as a representative for the community," she said.
Lata Kenney was formerly the sole female on the board, which seats nine members. Borough representative Jonathan Chatinover stepped down and Jill Weber has been elected to his seat, while Cronin will take the place of incumbent Alan Routh.
Chatham Township released updated voting results Thursday, which include 52 mail-in ballots. Of 7,383 registered voters in Chatham Township, 1,300 total votes were cast (not all ballots had votes for both the budget and board members). The total voter turnout in Chatham Township was 17.6 percent, according to Township Clerk Gregory LaConte.
No ballots were mailed in for Chatham Borough. Of 5,737 registered voters, 1,186, or 20.67 percent, came to vote.
Together, voter turnout in the Chathams averaged 19.135 percent. With the adjusted numbers, the budget passed with 66.62 percent of the vote.
The updated voting results are below.Chatham Township General Fund Budget Question Machines Mail-In Total Percentage Yes 802 46 848 65.84% No 434 6 440 34.16% Total 1,236 52 1,288 100% Members of the Board of Education Kim Cronin 561 16 577 N/A Alan Routh 413 35 448 N/A Lata Kenney 815 41 856 N/A Chatham Borough General Fund Budget Question
Machines Mail-In Total Percentage Yes 796 0 796 67.4% No 385 0 385 32.8% Total 1,181 0 1,181 100% Members of the Board of Education Jill Weber 633 0 633 35.3% Richard Connors 526 0 526 29.34% Jeffrey Truppo 445 0 445 24.82% Albert Bozzo 177 0 177 9.87% Write-In 12 0 12 0.67% Total 1,793 0 1,793 100%