Schenectady County

3 vie for 2 seats on Schalmont school board

Three people are seeking two open seats on the Schalmont Board of Education.

Three people are seeking two open seats on the Schalmont Board of Education.

Board President Kevin Thompson is seeking re-election to a third term. Thompson said previously he wants to run again to continue working to deliver fiscally resonsible budgets.

He serves as chief financial officer for Quandt Food Service Distributors Inc.

Incumbent Carl Strang is not running again after serving three terms.

Also seeking a seat is John DiCocco, a contract manager at General Electric, who ran unsuccessfully for a board seat in 2010. He could not be reached for comment on Thursday but last year campaigned on a theme of fiscal responsibility. He said taxes had increased substantially during the last eight years but the district’s enrollment has declined by 200 students. School officials must control the growth of spending, he said then.

He said he favored changing existing contracts to give the district more flexibility, including having the teachers work longer hours.

DiCocco is actively involved in Boy Scouts.

Michael Pasquarella, a clinical pharmacy manager with Ellis Medicine, said he began sitting on the Schalmont budget advisory committee this year and wanted to take the next step with his service. His top goal is to make sure the district is being fiscally responsible and preserving programs as best as possible.

“I think it’s time we started getting creative in how we do that as mandates and regulations permit,” he said. “You’ve just got to become more efficient.”

Pasquarella also has served as chairman of the Rotterdam Ethics Committee, a volunteer with Rotterdam Little League and member of the Our Lady Queen of Peace Festa Committee.

The election will be held May 17. Voting will take place from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. in the foyer of the Schalmont High School New Gym, 1 Sabre Drive.

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