Lakewood: Six Candidates Vie For School Board Seats


lakewood-school-special-ed-3Lakewood, NJ –┬áPolls open at noon today as six candidates compete for three seats on the township Board of Education – the only Ocean County school district holding an April election.

More so, voters will be asked to approve a $70.8 million tax levy for the $100 million 2012-13 school budget, an increase of less than 1 percent over last year’s spending plan. Polls close at 9 p.m.

The township school officials opted not to move their vote to November, which will cost the district about $30,000 to hold the election. The costs would have been waived if the election was in November.

Three incumbents are being challenged by three candidates for their seats on the nine-member board.

The candidates are: Irene Miccio, 81, of Williams Street; Meir Grunhut, 55, Cabinfield Circle; Jonathan Silver, 41, Twin Oaks Drive; Meir Singer, 29, of Governors Road; Lee Mund, 66, Bennington Lane, and Joel Schwartz, 38, Circle Place.

None of the candidates have children who attend public schools.

Incumbent Irene Miccio hopes to continue her board service, which began in 1978. Miccio is a widow and is the mother of six children. She has a daughter who is a teacher in the district.

“I would like the see the board and administration work together,” she said. “Not one side against another side. If we work togther we may be able to bring up the test scores and the graduation numbers and so that the kids are learning and passing.”

Miccio said she aligns herself with her colleague, incumbent Meir Grunhut.

Miccio and Grunhut voted to keep the election in April, despite the extra expense.

Silver, an incumbent whose children attend private schools, is seeking a second term and voted to move the election to November. The children should be free of the special interests that control and influence the school board to the detriment of the children, he said.

Silver said he wants a respectable graduation rate, a reduction of school truancy and to see the district overcome it struggles with language barriers.

“Financial resources are not always directed to the right places,” Silver said. “We have plenty of financial resources. It is how we use them.”

Schwartz is a father with children in private school and a township resident for 14 years. He is a member of the township Zoning Board and is seeking a seat on the school board.

Schwartz said he aligns himself with Silver. He has not attended the board meetings but watches them online.

As a zoning board member, “I know how a board is supposed to act,” Schwartz said. “The board president needs to run the meeting.”

Lee Mund is also a member of the Zoning Board.

“We cannot afford these massive increases in taxes with no results in their improvement in education,” he said.

Mund has lived in Lakewood for more than six years, has a master’s degree in business administration and served on the Mount Olive school board for 18 years.

{The Asbury Park Press/ Newscenter}