After newly elected Board of Education members, Gaetane Francis and Lauren Rabin, were sworn in by Town Clerk Carmella Budkins, Jennifer Dayton nominated Laura Erickson (D) for chair. The term is one year. Then Peter Bernstein nominated Barbara O’Neill (R). The members each marked their ballots and passed them in.
Debbie Appelbaum said the BOE is required to hold their own election for chair, vice chair and secretary within 30 days of a municipal election.
Mr. Bernstein read aloud the ballots. Votes followed party lines, with the exception of Peter Sherr (R) who voted for Laura Erickson, making the vote 3 for Mrs. O’Neill, and 5 for Mrs. Erickson.
- Gaetane Francis (D) voted for Laura Erickson
- Debbie Appelbaum (D) voted for Laura Erickson
- Peter Bernstein (R) voted for Barbara O’Neill
- Jannifer Dayton (D) voted for Laura Erickson
- Barbara O’Neill (R) voted for Barbara O’Neill
- Lauren Rabin (R) voted for Barbara O’Neill
- Laura Erickson (D) voted for Laura Erickson
- Peter Sherr (R) voted for Laura Erickson
Peter Sherr abstained from the next vote, which was for vice chair. Everyone else voted for Barbara O’Neill and she was declared winner. She was congratulated by Mrs. Erickson.
Mrs. Appelbaum was voted for another term as secretary by all members, except for Peter Sherr who abstained.
Following a brief round of applause the new chair swapped seats with her predecessor and conducted the meeting.
The demoting of Mrs. O’Neill from chair to vice chair was a surprise, and Mrs. O’Neill hardly spoke a word during the meeting that followed the vote, but her ouster as chair followed a less than stellar showing during the municipal election earlier this month.
Longtime PTA volunteer, Lauren Rabin garnered more votes than O’Neill, and unseated incumbent Peter von Braun in the process. While O’Neill kept a spot on the board she was not the top vote-getter.
The final tally on November 3 was:
- Rabin: 6377
- O’Neill 6074
- von Braun 5898
On the Democrat side of the ballot, incumbent Jennifer Dayton held onto her seat with 4107 votes, but newcomer Dr. Gaetane Francis garnered significantly more votes, with a total of 4668.
- Frances 4668
- Dayton 4107
- Lopez 3677