Incumbent Anne Capeci and newcomer Bob Johnson were elected to Port Chester's Board of Education Tuesday, according to unofficial results.
Capeci, an 18-year veteran of the school board, won her seventh three-year term by earning the most votes in Tuesday's election, which also saw voters pass the school district's $80 million budget.
Johnson, a science teacher in Stamford who lives in Port Chester and has a child in the district, will serve his first three-year term. He said he's glad to have the campaign behind him, and eager to join the board in addressing problems within the district.
"It was tough," Johnson said. "I'm a relative unknown, but I had a lot of support from family and friends."
Capeci and Johnson edged out Dominic Bencivenga, a 12-year veteran of the Board of Education who lost his seat in 2007.
All three campaigned on budgetl issues and problems like overcrowding as Port Chester – like many other school districts – dealt with a steep drop in state aid and an especially lean budget year.
Capeci said she's eager to get back to work. Now that the school budget has been passed, Capeci said, board members can turn their attention to other pressing issues within the district.
"The budget passed with very few teacher cuts and layoffs, and for the coming year we'll look at overcrowding and address that," she said.
Although emotions ran high during several public meetings on the school budget, and the Board of Education made the controversial decision to hire an interim superintendent at a six-month salary of $120,000 earlier this year, the debate has been civil and genuine for the most part, school board President Jim Taylor said.
"I'm very proud of the village," Taylor said, "that we've been able to go through this budget process without the name-calling and divisiveness that a lot of other districts have had to deal with."
Vote totals, according to unofficial results:
- Capeci, 964
- Johnson, 795
- Bencivenga, 659
Updated 9:47 p.m.: This story now includes reaction from Bob Johnson.
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