BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ - Joy Young and Robert Cianciulli are the unofficial winners of two seats on the Board of Education (BOE). When the county first posted results on Nov. 3, Young and Cianciulli led in the five-candidate race. They maintained their lead throughout, following a robust campaign season.
Young and Cianciulli will fill the seats of Dr. Gerard Crisonino and Bill Casano, whose terms expire 12/31/2020.
Young, a first time candidate, led the polls with 3,642 votes. Seasoned candidate and former BOE member Cianciulli, with 3,106 votes, maintained a significant lead over Sai Bhargavi Akiri (2,285), Ramya Kasthuri (1,862) and Peter Chang (1,390).
Mail in Ballots were used in both the primary and general election this year due to the COVID-19 Pandemic. A record number of ballots were received, and a record number of votes were counted. As of Friday, Nov. 13, the county had finished counting the Vote by Mail ballots. There were still 234 ballots, consisting of provisional, hand counted and “cured” ballots, remaining to be counted.
The County will certify results on November 20, 2020.
"Being reelected to the Board is an incredible honor and responsibility and I promise to work my very hardest for all Berkeley Heights residents," said Cianciulli. "This year's race was particularly competitive, but I was fortunate to have had so many common experiences with another candidate that it felt like we had a common goal even though we were competing with each other. I look forward to working together with all School Board members, both old and new."
Young provided the following acceptance letter to TAPinto Berkeley Heights:
“Service is the rent we pay for the privilege of living on this earth.” Shirley Chisholm
Thank you to all who exercised their right to vote and have entrusted me to represent this community as a member of the Berkeley Heights Board of Education. I am excited to partner with each member of the Board to support enhanced communication, academic success for every student, and to continue to connect to all voices in our community. It is time to roll up my sleeves and serve Berkeley Heights in a new capacity and I am looking forward to the opportunity.
Although I am honored to have been elected to this role, the road traveled to this destination was not as I had expected. I hoped for friendly and respectful competition, not a campaign season shadowed by divisive behavior that potentially discourages members of our community from serving in public roles in the future. Over my 13 years in Berkeley Heights I have witnessed a community that has come together to support one another in times of celebration and in times of crisis. That is the town my family and I have come to call home. As we move forward, we must remember that we do better when we work together and that building bridges is more fruitful than destroying connections.
Congratulations to Robert Cianciulli for his return to the Board. Many thanks to Bill Cassano and Dr. Gerard Crisonino for your years of service to the Board.
My most heartfelt thank you goes to Ramya Kasthuri. Your partnership, friendship and unwavering support during the campaign meant so much to me. You exemplified poise under pressure and I appreciate you for that.
Thank you again Berkeley Heights! Stay safe and enjoy the upcoming holiday season.
Township Council Results
Unofficial results of the Township Council should be announced on Monday, Nov. 16, after provisional and hand counted ballots are tallied. At this time, as posted on UnionCountyVotes.com, Republican candidates, incumbent Jeanne Kingsley and first time candidate Jeff Varnerin, lead with 4,028 and 3,923 votes, respectively. Democratic candidates incumbent Susan Poage received 3,842 and first time candidate Bret Sayre received 3,661.
Stay tuned to TAPinto for further updates.
Visit UnionCountyVotes.com to see how Berkeley Heights voted in the General Election.