Buffalo school board election 2016 update
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Buffalo school board election 2016 update

April 3, 2016
The list of Buffalo School Board hopeful candidates circulating nomination petitions increased to 16, while other hopefuls may surface after the April 5th deadline when the petitions have to be filed with the Erie County Board of Elections.

In the Park District, "Carl Country" where the incumbent Carl Paladino reigns, already garnering the endorsements of Assemblyman Michael Kearns-D, 142nd Assembly District, former Park District school board members Lou Petrucci and James W. Comerford, the opponent is 18-year-old Austin Harig, a graduate from Hutch Tech High School.

Austin assembled a grassroots cadre of volunteers knocking on doors, attempting to oust the incumbent from his seat in the Park District, making the race the most interesting of all the districts, particularly if he gets on the ballot in "Carl's Country."

Austin writes in his campaign platform, "The Buffalo school system needs to be cleaned up. And we need someone who knows and has been through this system to help do it, because the people at the top just aren't listening. I'm an entrepreneur who started my own small business and went to Hutch Tech High School right here in Buffalo. I will be that person who helps clean up this system."

This is by far the most intriguing race ever in school board history because there are many competing interests battling it out in a race, depending on the winners, may change the course of events in the district from its leadership to how policies are formulated and implemented in the school district.

And the election is happening amid a scandal arising from the past Joint School Reconstruction Board investigation, spurring a lawsuit board members Carl Paladino and Larry Quinn initiated against LP Ciminelli already costing the district over $30,000, in an attempt to retrieve millions allegedly the contractor inappropriately siphoned.

While one hopeful started a GoFundMe political campaign account on FaceBook on Wednesday, attempting to raise $1,500.

Hopefuls next have to submit their "General Objections - Within three (3) days of filing petition ... Specific Objections - Within six (6) days of filing general objections..."

Other house keeping political chores for hopefuls filing their financial forms timely if more than $500 spent on the campaign budget by April 4, 28, and May 23.

Incumbents and prospective school board candidates for six district seats 2016:

Central District:
Dwayne Kelly,
Bryon McIntyre,
Paulette Woods,
Joe Mascia

East District:
Theresa A. Harris-Tigg, Incumbent
Patricia A. Elliott,
Colleen Russell

Ferry District:
Sharon Belton-Cottman, Incumbent
Desmond Nalls,
Desiree J. Radford

North District:
Jason M. McCarthy, incumbent
Hope R. Jay

Park District:
Carl Paladino, Incumbent
Austin Harig

West District:
James M. Sampson, Incumbent
Jennifer L. Mecozzi
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