Less Choices: School Committee Candidate Woes Continue with Two Incumbents Missing Signature Deadline

Two School Committee members have missed the deadline to turn in signatures and will not be on the ballot this November, highlighting the ongoing woeful situation that routinely has emerged on the Committee every election season.

Incumbent members Ana Hernandez (District 6) and Charles Klauder (District 7) did not assemble enough qualified signatures by the cutoff date this past week, meaning they will not be on the November ballot.

It is a frustrating situation that has happened numerous times with the Committee, especially since the U.S. Justice Department ordered the Schools to reorganize the Committee into districts about 10 years ago.

Klauder was actually appointed in 2012 after the last election cycle due to the fact that the actual winner in District 7 – a write-in candidate – decided she didn’t want to actually serve.

Neither Hernandez nor Klauder could be reached in time for comment, but others in local political circles indicated that Hernandez would likely run a sticker campaign.

City Manager Jay Ash said that, once again, if there is no write-in candidate that is a winner in either district, he will begin hearings with the City Council to appoint interested applicants.

In light of the widespread disinterest, Ash has in the past flirted with the idea of moving to an appointed committee, or perhaps a hybrid Committee of appointed members and elected members. The current news will likely revive that discussion amongst Ash, the Schools and the City Council.

The ludicrousness of the situation was especially highlighted several years ago when current License Commission member Jim Dwyer won a district seat on the Committee with one vote – a vote that he cast for himself.

There are no contested races on the School Committee for any of the district seats in this election cycle.

There is one contest on the Committee, though, for the one at-large seat.

That contest will feature incumbent Angel Meza versus newcomer Shawn O’Regan.

Those qualifying for the ballot are as follows:

• Rosemarie Carlisle, District 1

• Jeanette Velez, District 2

• Carlos J. Rodriguez, District 3

• Lucia Colon, District 4

• Lisa Lineweaver, District 5

• District 6, no candidate filed

• District 7, no candidate filed

• Edward Ells, District 8

• Shawn O’Regan, at-Large

• Angel Meza, at-Large

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