The School District of the Chathams has a candidate kit for those interested in running for the Board of Education this April.
Three seats are up for election this year, one representing Chatham Borough and two representing Chatham Township. Matthew Gilfillan and John Nonnenmacher currently hold the two seats representing the township. Phil Franz holds the seat from the borough, the same seat which was vacated by Stephen Barna in September.
Those who wish to run for the Board of Education must meet the following requirements:
- Hold U.S. citizenship and live for at least one year in the school district
- Be registered to vote in the district before the Feb. 25 filing deadline
- Not hold municipal office or another elected office, and have no interest in any contract with or claim against the board.
Anyone who wishes to file can pick up a Board Election Kit from the district office between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. Monday through Friday, or can download one from the district website.
The kit includes a nominating petition which must be filed by the 4 p.m. deadline on Monday, Feb. 25. The petition requires 10 signatures of registered voters living in the district, and the verification section must be completed by one of the signatories.
A drawing for the order of names on the ballot will take place at 10 a.m. Wednesday, March 6.
School Elections in April
In February 2012, the Board of Education voted to keep school elections in April despite a state law that allowed school elections to take place in November at the same time as government elections.
The vote came after a public hearing in which many Chatham residents strongly objected to moving the elections to October.
"I have so little trust in what goes on in Trenton and how it affects us in the suburban districts," Cathy Kellstrom said. "I have this niggling feeling that they're trying to shove something under the carpet, that they're trying to hoodwink us in some way."
Michelle Clark of Education Counts said if state aid or the tax cap is reduced, moving school elections to November could have unforeseen consequences. Any school budget which exceeds the two percent tax cap must be approved by voters.
According to Peter Daquila, the business administrator for the district, April elections cost about $11,500.
Information for Voters
The voter registration deadline for school elections is Tuesday, March 26. Any resident who will be 18 by Election Day can register to vote.
School elections will be held Tuesday, April 16. Hours and polling places are yet to be announced.