MARLBORO – Anisha Gizersky, Vlad Goldfarb and Susan Shrem have been elected to the Marlboro K-8 School District Board of Education.
The trio outpolled incumbents Debbie Mattos and Craig Marshall, and newcomers Eric Salant and Paul Fins. Mattos has served on the board since 2013 and Marshall joined the board in 2015.
Gizersky, Goldfarb and Shrem were the top vote-getters in a field of seven candidates on Nov. 7. They will begin serving their three-year terms on Jan. 2.
According to results posted by the Monmouth County Clerk’s Office, Gizersky received 3,099 votes, Shrem received 3,076 votes and Goldfarb received 2,962 votes to claim the school board seats.
Mattos, 2,815 votes, Marshall, 2,840 votes, Salant, 1,929 votes, and Fins, 1,357 votes, fell short in their Election Day bids.
The election results are unofficial until they are certified by the county.
Commenting on the outcome of the election, Gizersky said, “I would like to thank the Marlboro community for their votes and for entrusting me with this opportunity to impact the direction of the Board of Education.”
Goldfarb said, “Thank you to everyone who came out and voted. I am honored and humbled to have earned the support of so many residents of our amazing town and I look forward to getting to work with the other members of the board.”
Shrem could not be reached for comment.
Mattos, who has served as the board’s president for the past two years, said, “After many accomplishments such as (the implementation of) full-day kindergarten, restructuring all our district policies, moving forward with our technology initiatives, to name a few, it is time to pass the baton to others who have good intentions and a passion for our school district, our community and especially our children.
“Congratulations to Anisha Gizersky, Susie Shrem and Vlad Goldfarb for being elected to what I believe is the most important position of public service. It has been my pleasure and honor to give my tireless efforts for the betterment of our school district. … I will leave knowing the board will be fully equipped to move forward with the best plan, staff and administration in place.
“Thank you to the parents and Marlboro citizens who gave me this opportunity and have been a voice for our children because it does take a village. … It is of the utmost importance to remember that every decision that is made in the board room effects each of our 5,000-plus children and all those thereafter,” Mattos said.
Marshall said, “The results of the election are in and I congratulate the incumbents of the Township Council and all three newly elected members of the school board. I have consistently been an advocate of complying with the community voices I have heard over the past three years and it would be hypocritical of me to negate the outcome of this recent election. Marlboro has spoken and I can only thank everyone for the incredible experience I have had on the board.
“As many are aware, I have been the minority voice of transparency. I have been outspoken against some very controversial issues, including the seeking of a third referendum that lacked multiple independent assessments and was not part of a fiscally responsible short- and long-term maintenance plan. … Also the premature rescinding and renegotiating of the superintendent’s contract prematurely (three years early) that cost taxpayers approximately $26,000 per year more (not including additional pension and other benefit expenses).
“On a positive note, the board will now fall under new leadership that will hopefully listen more closely to the wishes of our community and act more like a true board and not merely an extension of the administration.
“While there is a great need, in my opinion, to gain back lost trust and confidence in the board, the remaining and newly elected members need to focus on the education of all students within the district, as well as seeking to evaluate possible cost-saving measures without sacrificing that focus.
“It is my hope that all future board elections and the board votes for new leadership will be conducted without the partisan influence in the form of paid campaigns and mayoral endorsements that has been injected over the past few years. I wish all the newly elected township and board members great success and the ability to implement the platform of campaign promises on which they were elected,” Marshall said.