Five vie for four seats on PT School Board

Published Oct 23, 2013 at 6:10 am (Updated Oct 22, 2013 at 3:56 pm)

In Peters Township, five candidates are running for four available seats on the school board. Two of the incumbents, Lori Cuervo and Cindy Golembiewski, lost their bid for re-election in the May primary.

During races for school boards, candidates are permitted to file as Republicans and Democrats. All of the candidates did with the exception of newcomer Jamison Hardy. He filed as a Republican only and was nominated by his party in the May primary.

Incumbent board member David Hvizdos, a Republican, cross filed on the Republican and Democratic tickets. While Hvizdos lost on the Republican side, he was nominated on the Democratic ticket.

Vying for the four available seats are incumbent Sue Smith, who won on both tickets, incumbent Hvizdos, nominated by the Democrats, Hardy, nominated by the Republicans, and newcomers Lisa Anderson and Rebecca Bowman, who won on both tickets.

In an interview by the Washington County League of Women Voters, each of the candidates was asked what strengths they would bring to the school board, if elected.

Smith, an incumbent, said her background was her strength. She has taught for six years and possesses a master in business administration. Smith said the most important issues was the ability to become fiscally responsible and her top priority is education.

Anderson, a newcomer and an attorney, has been involved in the PTA for the past 12 years. Her main concern is to provide an excellent education for all students, including her two school-age children. Admitting she has no strong concerns that prompted her to run, Anderson said she would like to make a difference in the district.

Incumbent Hvizdos, also an attorney, has served on the board for nine years. He feels there is a priority involving finances, including the unknown of pension contributions. He said the school board’s main role is to establish policy, hire a superintendent and to adopt a yearly budget, which he said, has increased during his tenure on the board.

Her unusual skill sets is what Bowman said is her main strength. She has served in various capacities in heavy construction, human resources and as an attorney dealing with various issues including contracts. Bowman waited to run for the board until her children graduated from the district. She said she felt having children in the district was a conflict of interest for a board member.

Hardy said he felt his educational background was a strength he would bring to the board, including his doctorate in business. He said he feels the board meetings are inefficient for the public and he would like to see additional meetings each month where the public could discuss long-term goals with the board.

To view the LWV interviews, visit www.youtube.com/user/LWVofwashingtonco. Each interview is about 10 minutes long.

PT Council race

Five of the seven members of Peters Township Council are running unopposed for five available seats. All are Republicans and are incumbents.

Running are Gary J. Stiegel Jr., Frank Arcuri, David Ball, James Berquist and Monica Merrell. Only Merrell faced opposition in the primary.

Because of the unexpected death of Councilman Robert Atkison in July, council appointed Michael McCaig to fill the vacancy until January. Atkison’s term expires in January of 2016.

According to Michael Silvestri, township manager, McCaig was appointed too late to have his name appear on the Nov. 5 ballot, and that each political party is permitted to nominate a candidate to fill the remaining two years of Atkison’s term.

Only the Republicans submitted the name of Meghan Jones Rolla and her name will appear on the ballot for the two-year at-large term. Washington County Director of Elections Larry Spahr said no name was submitted by the Democrats. Jones Rolla ran unsuccessfully in a prior primary election.

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