It seemed like a parent/ teacher night yesterday instead of "Candidate Night" at the South Brunswick Board of Education office, as only one candidate was present to take questions from the community.

The date had been set by “South Brunswick Cares About Schools" (Facebook group) way ahead of time.

It was rescheduled to a later date to be fair to candidates in view of holidays. Yet none of the candidates except for Joyce Mehta showed up, although a couple of current board members had some valid reasons. 

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It was very disappointing yesterday to see that there was only one candidate for “Candidate Night” at this event where parents were allowed to ask questions in person and through Facebook Live.

There were around 30 attendees in the room and another 40-50 online.

Overall, a very successful event with lot of questions from parents present there and through Facebook.

This was particularly significant for new candidates as parents have little knowledge about them and their agenda to contest for the BOE seat.

The names of some new candidates are not familiar in South Brunswick parent/teacher community as their contribution to our schools is almost next to none as they have never been seen to attend school related issues or have spoken their views at the BOE meetings .

We need good leaders on the board which means good communication, responsibility, commitment, accountability, transparency, knowledge of education issues and enough confidence to answer any questions from teachers or parents.

It is unheard of in other districts that candidates fail to show up for a candidate night.

It was a complete embarrassment yesterday to know  that out of seven contestants only one, Joyce Mehta, showed up. 

The parents are familiar with the incumbents and their contributions over the years at South Brunswick, but for the other three new candidates, it was an opportunity to reach out to the community and take questions from parents / teachers/ guardians during yesterday’s meeting.

Instead, we were told that they had their “own priorities” and were not able to make it .

The meeting was attended by several parents, teachers and viewed by many more via Facebook - all of who made themselves available as the future of our children is high priority and of utmost importance.

If these new candidates did not find time or were not able to reschedule their priorities for two hours to attend this “important occasion” announced a month back - it is on us – parents and members of the community to ask if they will be able to make time to understand and represent our issues concerning our children at the South Brunswick BOE in future.

As of now, it is disappointing to know that we know nothing about the three new candidates other than what was written on papers handed to us at the meeting last night. Of course, not much can be really learned from that.

Let us as a community of parents and teachers at South Brunswick make an informed decision regarding our choice of candidates for the forth coming BOE election.

We are the stake holders, we need our representation at BOE and it is our children's future that matter the most to us.

Let us think deeply based on the above and vote on this election day on Nov. 7 and choose the right candidate that our SB community deserves.

God bless all.