Three candidates still undecided on run for re-election to school board

Enterprise file photo by Elizabeth Floyd Mair

Allan Simpson, at left, told The Enterprise on Tuesday that he will not be running in May for re-election. He was appointed by the board to fill a post that had opened due to another member’s resignation, even though he had been the lowest vote-getter in an election six months earlier. At right is board member Timothy Horan, a retired teacher.

GUILDERLAND — Four seats are at play in May elections for Guilderland’s board of education, and all but one of the members in those seats say they have not yet decided whether they will run for re-election.

Allan Simpson, who was appointed in November, says he will not run. “It’s time for someone else to do it. I have done it for the last 8 years. Time to move on to other things,” he told The Enterprise Tuesday.

Simpson initially served on the board from May 2010 through June 2017.

Still undecided are board President Christine Hayes, Vice President Seema Rivera, and Catherine Barber.

The top three vote-getters in the May 15 election will serve three-year terms, starting on July 1. The candidate who comes in fourth will serve a two-year term that will start on May 16.

The board has nine members and the posts are unpaid.

Simpson, who is the director of accounting operations at the New York State Insurance Fund, was appointed by the board after then-Vice President Christopher McManus resigned about six months after he was elected, citing increased work responsibilities.

The appointment provoked ire among some residents, who said that economic planner Sean Maguire —  the candidate who won the most votes among those who did not win a seat in the five-way race for three posts in May — should have been appointed, rather than Simpson.

Simpson had received the lowest number of votes of any of the five candidates running for three seats in May 2017.

At the time, several board members told The Enterprise that they selected Simpson because budget season was fast approaching, and he was experienced at crafting a budget.

Last year, the board interviewed in public all six candidates who applied to fill out McManus’s term: Maguire, Benjamin Goes, Pamela McCall, Eli Newell, and Heather Wendling.

District clerk Linda Livingston said on Wednesday that, so far, four people have picked up informational packets: Goes, Maguire, Rivera, and Hayes.

Barber is an attorney in private practice, specializing in appeals, as well as a violinist; she is married to the town’s supervisor, Peter Barber.

Hayes is an attorney at Albany Medical Center.

Rivera has a doctorate in curriculum and instruction from the University at Albany and is currently an assistant professor at Clarkson University’s Capital Region campus.

A candidate for the board must be at least 18 years old, a qualified voter, and a district resident for at least one year prior to the date of the election.

District residents wishing to run can pick up a packet from the district offices. They must collect at least 53 signatures — 2 percent of the number of residents who voted in the last election — on a petition that is due back to the district clerk by Monday, April 16 at 5 p.m.

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