VIDEO: Sparsely Attended Board of Ed Debate a Polite Affair
Not many people attended the Woodbridge Board of Education debate that was lightly publicized.
The biggest thing about Monday's Board of Education debate was how few people showed up for it.
In a year that has seen the school district ripped apart with resignations, suspensions, and an omnipresent cheating scandal, the debate hosted by the Presidents' Council of Woodbridge Township had almost as few fireworks as it had audience members.
Three incumbents - Judy Leidner, Lawrence Miloscia, and Board Vice President Ezio Tamburello - are running for the three open seats, as are two newcomers, former district physical education teacher Peter Capitano, Sr. and political aide Daniel Harris.
The selection of a new school superintendent was as hot of an issue as it got. Woodbridge School Superintendent John Crowe will be leaving his post on December 1 because of the school cheating scandal that has rocked the district.
The BOE is currently conducting a search for a new leader for the district.
All the incumbents and candidates agreed the process for the superintendent selection has to be "open and transparent," as Harris put it.
"That will truly help our history," Harris said, calling opening up the search process as "hitting the reset button."
Leidner said she wanted "the process to be open, not only to the board, but to the entire public because they have a vested interest in the person who will be leading our district will be."
The board will be discussing the superintendent search at tonight's BOE meeting at Avenel Street School.
There are two slates of candidates running together: incumbents Leidner and Miloscia are one. Harris and Tamburello are running together, and both are endorsed and backed by the town's Democratic Party and Mayor John McCormac.
Capitano has become the odd man out. Capitano was supposed to be on the Democratic-endorsed ticket, but he was dropped when he sent out a letter, asking for support because he had gotten the party's OK to run this year. In 2011, Capitano was going to put his hat in the BOE ring, but he said in an interview that the Democrats would've imperiled his son's job as a carpenter in the school district.
This year, Capitano said, the Democrats gave him permission to run and reassured him they wouldn't eliminate his son's job.