MILLBURN, NJ – Voters will head to the polls on Tuesday to decide who will be elected to serve on the Millburn Board of Education.
Three seats on the board are open and four candidates are running, including newcomers Elliot Cahn, Dr. Rupali Wadhwa and Raymond Wong, and incumbent board member Dr. Eric Siegel.
Cahn, who has been an educator for 21 years, teaches fifth grade at South Mountain School in South Orange. He was manager of the Millburn pool for 10 years and has two children who attend South Mountain School in Millburn.
“I believe the board of education is a natural fit for me,” Cahn said. “I can bring fresh ideas and innovative programs to the district. Since the board of education decided to pass along the cost of busing to the parents, the budget surplus continues to grow. The busing fee is in addition to the high property taxes we already pay.”
Wadhwa, who moved with her family to Short Hills six years ago, has two children, a three-year-old and a second-grader who attends Deerfield School. As a runner, she compared her campaign for the school board to training for a marathon.
“You have to have a plan, and you have to plan in small increments until you get to your goal,” she said. As an orthodontist with practices in Morristown and South Orange, as well as experience in a higher education setting, Wadhwa said she believes in fiscal responsibility.
Siegel said the board needs leadership that understands the challenging economic times Millburn, like other communities, is facing.
“I have always been able to find the middle ground,” he said. “I was unanimously elected as vice president of the board. I am fully vested in Millburn.” He is a dermatologist with a practice in Millburn, and has children who attend Hartshorn Elementary, the middle school and the high school.
Wong said he is seeking a seat on the board for three reasons.
“I have a proven track record of service to the nation, I have diverse experience, and I’m a resident of Millburn,” he said, adding that he is the son of immigrants who came to America with very little money but dreams of a better life. A product of the New Jersey public school system, he attended West Point and went on to serve as an officer in the United States Army. He was a Fortune 500 executive so he knows “how to do more with less.” He’s also an adjunct professor at NJIT. He said he and his wife chose Millburn because of its excellent school system.
The candidates debated the school district’s hot button issues during a forum sponsored by the Short Hills Association on Oct. 18.