Write-ins will take Port Jefferson BOE seats

Write-ins will take Port Jefferson BOE seats

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Vincent Ruggiero file photo

Two of the three community members who will be elected to the Port Jefferson school board on May 19 will be write-in candidates.

Paperwork that board hopefuls had to fill out in order to run for one of the three available seats next month was due on Monday, but only incumbent Vincent Ruggiero submitted a petition, according to District Clerk Janice Baisley. Board member Mark Doyle and Vice President Jim Laffey did not hand in paperwork to run for re-election, and no one from the community at large threw his or her hat in the ring for a three-year term on the school board.

Port Jefferson school district officials got advice from counsel, Baisley said, and “the next step is write-in candidates.”

According to Baisley, instructions on how to vote for a candidate who is not on the ballot will be posted in the voting booth on the day of the election. Pens will be provided at the booths.

Lone official candidate Ruggiero did not return a call seeking comment. He has served three years on the school board.

The teacher, 48, has lived in the district for eight years and has children in the district. When he first ran for the school board in 2012, he said his teaching experience would help Port Jefferson school district navigate difficult issues such as the Common Core Learning Standards. He also said he wanted to help the district find other sources of funding to ease the burden on taxpayers.

Doyle, who has served six years, said in an interview on Tuesday that he is not running for re-election because he has a new job that comes with more responsibility and traveling.

“I couldn’t guarantee 100 percent commitment to the board,” he said.

To the people who succeed him, he advised “it’s important for board members to have a broad perspective about the entire … community and not just bring their own personal points of view to the table.”

Laffey didn’t return a call for comment.

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