WESTFIELD, NJ — In a contentious national election year — and with 10 candidates vying for three school board seats — an online forum held among those candidates was notably civil.

Nine of the 10 candidates running for the Westfield Board of Education on Thursday discussed their views on anti-bullying efforts, improving school district fields and communicating with the public, along with their qualifications for office — among other topics.

Wendy H. Rogers, Deborah Feldman-Kahn and David Sexton are running on a slate under the slogan “Bright Futures.” Leila Morrelli, Paul Monusky and Sahar Aziz are running on a slate under the slogan “Preparing Tomorrow’s Leaders.”

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Eldy Pavon, incumbent Kent Diamond, along with newcomers Priti Dave and Sonal Patel are also running for the school board.

Patel could not be at the forum due to her participation in an educational conference, she said in a statement read by the moderator.

Josephine Ferrigno Stack, vice president of the Westfield Parent Teacher Council, which organized the forum moderated by the League of Women Voters, noted the significant online turnout.Of the 297 people who registered in advance for the event, 145 people logged in to watch it live, Ferrigno Stack said.

The school board seats are nonpartisan, unpaid positions with candidates running for three-year terms.

The story continues below the full video of the forum.

BOE Candidates Forum from Blue Devil Television on Vimeo.

With voters already mailing in ballots, the candidates had previously answered questions in profiles shared by TAPinto Westfield.

View each of the candidates’ responses at the links below:


Ballots have been mailed out to Westfield, according to the Union County Clerk’s Office.

The county has outlined the following voting methods are available until the polls close at 8 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 3.

Send your ballot to the Union County Board of Elections by U.S. Postal Service (postage is prepaid).

Drop off your ballot in any Union County Board of Elections secure ballot drop-off box, located in all 21 municipalities. Any Union County voter can use any drop-off box in Union County, regardless of their residence. The boxes are available on a 24/7 basis until 8 p.m. Nov. 3. In Westfield, a drop-box is located at The Fraser Building, 300 North Avenue East. Click here for a list of the ballot drop-off spots across Union County.

Hand deliver your ballot to the Union County Board of Elections or County Clerk’s offices. These offices will be open for ballot delivery until 8 p.m. on Nov. 3. Hand delivery requires voters to present New Jersey identification and sign a register.

Designate a ballot bearer to deposit it in a drop-off box, or hand deliver it to the Board of Elections or County Clerk’s offices (instructions are printed on the ballot).

Walk your ballot into a polling place. On Election Day voters can bring their vote-by-mail ballot to their designated polling place. Click here for a list of polling places in Union County.

Fill out a paper ballot at a polling place on Election Day. Voters who come to their polling place without a vote-by-mail ballot will be provided with a provisional paper ballot to use. Handicapped-accessible voting machines are available only for voters with disabilities.

For more on early voting methods, including the locations of offices and ballot drop-off boxes, visit the “Early Voting” page on the County Clerk’s elections website, UnionCountyVotes.com

To track the status of your vote-by-mail ballot, use the New Jersey Division of Elections Ballot Tracker tool.

Click here for an instructional video from the Union County Clerk on how to use a vote-by-mail ballot.

Email Matt Kadosh at mkadosh@tapinto.net | Twitter: @MattKadosh

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