SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ - This year, four candidates sought election to three, at-large seats on the South Plainfield Board of Education. As of press time, unofficial totals (minus absentee ballots) posted on the borough’s website indicate Sharon Miller (1,970) votes, John Farinella (1,863 votes) and Chere Glover (1,846 votes) as the candidates of choice; Pio Pennisi received 1,726 votes.
Sharon Miller, who appears to have garnered the most votes, is looking forward to working with Farinella and Glover and is thankful to the South Plainfield community for re-electing her to a third, consecutive term. “I am thankful for their continued trust in me to do what is best for our students, staff and community,” said Miller, adding that she will continue to be an advocate for South Plainfield’s children. “There is a lot of work to be done but we will be successful if we continue to move ahead in the right direction.”
John Farinella received the second most votes and will serve a second, consecutive term on the board. “I am thankful for the support of the voters,” said Farinella, adding, “I will do my best to make the right decisions to move the district forward in a positive and productive way.”
For newcomer Glover, her apparent triumph is somewhat bittersweet do to an issue that arose on Election Day. According to Glover, her family helped with last minute electioneering and, although they were observant of polling laws that mandates candidates not electioneer within 100-feet of a polling entrance, complaints were made that what was being done was against the law.
“New Jersey voting law states that electioneering, even up until the close of the polls, can still be conducted as long as the rules are followed,” she said. “We followed the rules and just because something is not common practice in South Plainfield, which I was not aware of, doesn’t mean it wasn’t proper or I wasn’t in my right.”
All negativity aside, Glover is excited about being elected and is looking forward to serving on the board. “I am pleased the voters feel my candidacy was worth their vote and apparently, more people than not, have the confidence I can do the right thing for our community,” said Glover. “I hope that as I go forward I can bring a different view, a fresh prospective; sometimes the old view is the only view and just because it’s been done that way doesn’t necessary mean its the only way.”
Pennisi, a retired superintendent of Dunellen Schools who served on the board of education in the past and hoped to garner a seat once again, does not have hard feelings and wishes nothing but the best of those elected. “It’s an election. Some people lose, some people win. I definitely wish them all well and want them to do well,” Pennisi said, adding that he is grateful to those who did cast a vote in his favor. “I thank everyone who supported me and appreciate the confidence they had in me and let them know I still plan to pay attention to what is going on. I live in this town, care about the schools, the children and the taxpayers.”
South Plainfield Board of Education terms are three years; candidates will be sworn in Jan. 1, 2015.