Incumbent, two newcomers to fill school board seats in Old Bridge; creation of energy aggregation program on the horizon

The Middlesex County Clerk’s Office has finalized election results.

There was a contested election for seats on the school board in Old Bridge and a public question to create an energy aggregation program during the general election Nov. 8.

Old Bridge Board of Education – Three, three-year terms

Candidate Jennifer D’Antuono received 6,194 votes, Candidate Marjorie L. Jodrey received 4,549 votes, and Board incumbent Salvatore Giordano received 4,471 votes in their winning bids for the three, three-year terms available in the general election.

Board incumbent Elena Francisco received 4,376 votes, former Board member Richard J. Dunn has received 3,133 votes, former Board member Salvatore J. DiPrima received 3,019 votes, Candidate Lance J. Hilfman received 2,763 votes, Candidate Lynn Berghahn received 2,358 votes, Candidate Raya Arbiol received 2,365 votes, Candidate Matthew DeFranco received 1,857 votes, Candidate Cornelius Akubueze received 1,031 votes and Candidate Robert Davis received 727 votes in their losing bids for the seats.

There were 141 write-in votes cast.

Giordano will begin his second term in January 2023 and D’Antuono and Jodrey will begin their first terms.

Prior to the election, Giordano, D’Antuono, and Jodrey shared what they would like to work in if reelected, elected, respectively.

D’Antuono: I would like to concentrate on giving our staff and students the support they need to succeed. Those that the BOE are responsible for need proper tools and lessons to excel in today’s climate. There have been various incidents that I have seen where either learning opportunities have been missed, mental health has not been addressed, or the tools used are not as up to date as they should be.

Although there is always a process and policy in place to acquire some of these items, it seems like we have plenty of missed opportunities that could be addressed with a few conversations. I would be interested in speaking with the staff and students, with other BOE members, look at the resources we have access to and see what holes we can fill. I think although the big picture has to be taken care of, I think sometimes the small details can be missed, and those small details can mean a lot to the individuals involved.

Giordano: I would most like to continue to concentrate on limiting the amount of capital projects being done in the school district. With the continued reduction in state aid, we have to make sure that we are spending tax money wisely and not being extravagant with our expenditures.

Jodrey: As families, educators, and as a community, we invest in things that matter to us and nothing matters more than the academic and social-emotional well-being of our kids.

Public Question – Creation of Energy Aggregation Program

There were 8,746 “yes” votes and there were 6,011 “no” votes.

The public question was the outcome of a citizen-led proposal for a new community energy aggregation program that would create an option for 100% regionally sourced renewables.

The township’s ordinance will be amended for the creation of a new program that allows a municipality to purchase energy at discounted bulk rates, and to set guidelines about the sources of electricity used by township residents.

It also calls for the program to reach the goal of delivering 100% clean, renewable electricity by the year 2030. The programs have higher standards for renewable energy content than what the state currently requires.

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