SOUTH ORANGE, NJ – Board of Education candidate Marian Cutler has decided to re-enter the race for one of the three open board seats, which will be decided on Election Day, Tuesday, Nov. 5. Cutler, whose name will appear on the ballot, had put campaigning on hold to focus on finding new employment after being laid off from her job.
“After filing for a spot on the ballot in June, my intention was to put my campaign together over the summer,” Cutler said. Those plans were derailed by the layoff and Cutler spent July, August and September in search of a new job. That search paid off and she reports that she “has found a fantastic job,” in her field of corporate communications.
It was at the recent Board of Education forum held at Columbia High School, which discussed the capital plan and a proposal for building a new swimming pool at CHS that her resolve to run for the BOE was renewed.
“I could not get my head around spending $8 million for a new pool, when the school district is facing an $18 million budget shortfall,” Cutler said. “I would call that shortfall an abyss, and spending millions on something that should be considered a ‘want’ for the district, versus a ‘need’ is not a good decision.”
She points out that the engineering firm hired by the Board has identified more than $90 million of repairs and renovations that will be needed in the coming years at district schools, and said that while a new pool would be great to have, it is not a necessity.
Cutler has four children in district schools, ranging from kindergarten to 10th grade. She has lived in the district for 13 years and has been an active volunteer in the schools and regular attendee and contributor at BOE meetings.
“I am not an educator by trade,” she said. “But I ask the tough questions. I want data to drive our decisions. What concerns me is how closed the current BOE is. I want to bring more open and honest communications. We must pop the bubble the Board exists in.”