SOMERVILLE, NJ – Somerset County election officials have completed counting the remaining mail in and provisional ballots from last week’s general election and school board election, with Melissa Sadin, Dan Carlson and Daniel Puntillo elected to represent taxpayers on the Somerville Board of Education.
Officials completed tabulating the mail-ins and provisionals early Tuesday night, according to Somerset County Clerk Steve Peter.
Puntillo , who was seeking reelection, was running fourth when the polls closed at 8 p.m. on Election Day, Nov. 6, with 811 votes, behind the former school board president, Norman Chin, who had been defeated in the 2017 election. Chin had been the third top vote-getter, with 838 votes.
However, with the addition of the mail-in and provisional votes, Puntillo jumped ahead with 1,006 votes (14.54 percent), with Chin showing 991 votes (14.32 percent).
Sadin and Carlson had been the clear front-runners when balloting closed on Election Day, with the mail-in and provisional votes just adding to their totals.
The Election night totals for the top two vote-getters were 1,490 for Sadin and 945 for Carlson.
The final vote totals for Sadin are 1,737 (25.1 percent) and 1,047 for Carlson (15.13 percent).
There were three other candidates in the race for three seats – John Prudente, 773 votes (11.17 percent); William Kimmick, 720 votes (10.4 percent) and Roger A. Vroom III, 620 votes (8.96 percent).
There were 27 write-in votes. A total of 6,921 votes were cast in the school board election.
Puntillo has the school board’s chief negotiator in contract talks with the Somerville Education Association, whose members have been working under provisions of a contract that expired in 2017. Negotiations on a contract to replace the old one have stalled over the issue of teachers’ contributions to their benefits plan. The SEA also represents school support staff.
An impartial fact-finder from the state Education Department will convene a fact-finding session at Board of Education offices on Dec. 4. He will listen to both sides’ arguments and submit a non-binding written report to both sides with recommendations 30 days later, according to Schools Superintendent Dr. Tim Teehan.