T he Whitehall Central School district will hold a run-off election to determine the winner of the final Board of Education position.
The election will settle a tie between Mark Ives and current board member Joyce Corcoran, each of whom garnered 13 write-in votes during last Tuesday’s Board of Education elections.
Going into last week’s election, there were three open board seats. Two were five-year terms that will be vacated by Michael Putorti and Corcoran at the end of next month —Corcoran had previously decided not to seek reelection — and the third is the remaining four years of a term vacated by George Armstrong when he became town supervisor at the beginning of the year.
According to New York State law, a town supervisor cannot serve on a board of education.
James Brooks, who was the only candidate to emerge prior to the election, will receive one of the five-year terms. He received a total of 125 votes.
Samantha Kingsley, who led all write-in candidates with 25 votes, will receive the other five-year term.
The winner of next month’s special election would serve the remainder of Armstrong’s term.
James Watson, Whitehall Central School superintendent, said he met with both Ives and Corcoran last Thursday and each expressed interest in seeking the term.
He said they each had five days from last Thursday to withdraw their names from consideration.
The election will be held from 2 to 8 p.m. on Tuesday, June 19, inside the large group instruction room at Whitehall High School.
It’s estimated the election will cost the district approximately $1,500.
If Ives is declared the winner he would begin to serve immediately because he would be filling a vacated seat.
If Corcoran is declared the winner she would serve the remainder of her term through the end of June and would begin serving the remainder of the vacated term on July 1, the same time Brooks and Kingsley would take their seats on the board.
Lag in results
There were some who were critical of the district for waiting until last Thursday, approximately 36 hours from the time the last ballot was cast, to release the results.
But Watson said the district took its time to ensure they verified the results and spoke with the candidates to evaluate their interest in the positions.
The district also sought the advice of its legal counsel to determine how to proceed.
“We had to slow down to make sure procedurally, we did it the right way,” he said.
Watson said this is the first time during his tenure at Whitehall that he can recall an election ending in a tie among write-in candidates.
He said he was pleased that candidates for the open seats emerged.
All told there were 62 total votes divided among nine different candidates.
Also appearing on ballots were Bob Putorti Jr. with four votes, Andre Gordon with three votes, and Michael Putorti, Rick Juckett, Eric Sundutell, and an individual identified only as T. Scrime (presumably Anthony Scrime or possibly Anthony Scrimo), each of whom received a single vote.