Marlboro school board members tap Branch to fill open seat

MARLBORO – Patricia Branch has been appointed to serve a one-year term on the Marlboro K-8 School District Board of Education. She will serve for the remainder of 2019.

The vacancy on the board occurred when Anisha Gizersky resigned in November.

The final year (2020) of a three-year term Gizersky won in November 2017 will be on the ballot in the November school election. Branch or any other qualified resident will have the opportunity to run for election to serve the final year of the term.

On Jan. 15, board members interviewed seven residents who filed applications seeking to be appointed to the vacant seat. The candidates were Angelo Del Giudice, Nimish Doshi, Sarah Harris-Kreisler, Michael Pico, Amanda Roy, Jennifer Weksler and Branch.

No vote was held that evening because only six of eight board members were present. A minimum of five votes was needed to appoint a candidate. Board members said the vote would be held on Jan. 22.

On Jan. 22, board members initially met in executive (closed) session to discuss the candidates. When the board members returned to public session, board Vice President Randy Heller nominated Branch for the open seat.

On a roll call vote, Heller, Vlad Goldfarb, Stephen Shifrinson, Susan Shrem and board President Robyn Wolfe voted “yes.” Board members Kathleen Amster, Robert Daniel and Dara Enny voted “no.”

In commenting on his vote, Daniel told Branch, who was sitting in the audience, it was not a vote against her.

Daniel, who said he did not vote for Harris-Kreisler in the November school election, noted that Harris-Kreisler finished fourth in the election (the top three vote-getters were elected to the board) and that the board was now selecting a fourth person for appointment to the vacant seat.

Amster and Enny did not comment on their “no” votes. None of the five board members who voted “yes” on Branch’s nomination offered a comment prior to or after voting.

Board members said Branch will be sworn in to begin serving the one-year term following the completion of a background check. Branch could not immediately be reached for comment.

In 2017, Branch ran for a four-year term on the Marlboro Township Council on a Republican slate with John Dwyer and Derek DeLuca. The Republicans were unsuccessful in their bid to unseat incumbent Democrats.