Deadline for North Fork school board candidates a week away

BETH YOUNG FILE PHOTO | Mattituck school board candidates at a forum last May.

School board incumbents and prospective challengers don’t have much time to decide whether to add their names to the May 15 ballot; the deadline for filing the required petitions is Monday, April 16, just 10 days away.

In Mattituck-Cutchogue, seats currently held by Douglas Cooper, Laura Jens-Smith and Jeffrey Smith are in play.

Mr. Smith said last fall that he did not want to pursue another term.

“Definitely not,” he reiterated this week. “Sixteen years is enough.”

Mr. Smith said he will still serve on the board of Eastern Suffolk BOCES.

Ms. Jens-Smith, who was elected last year to fill the final year of the term of Debra Cahill, who resigned in 2010, does plan to run again.

“It has been my pleasure to serve on the Mattituck Board of Education this year,” she said. “I hope to continue my work on the BOE to support our district in providing the best education possible for our students.”

Mr. Cooper could not be reached for comment.

Greenport school board member Dan Creedon and vice-president Lisa Murray are in the final weeks of their first terms.

Ms. Murray said she has decided not to run for re-election. She declined to comment further.

Southold school board members John Crean and board president Paulette Ofrias are also up for re-election. Both said they’ll seek new terms.

Mr. Crean said at a March 23 board meeting that he hopes he has some competition in next month’s race.

“I think uncontested elections are un-American,” he said. “I hope there’s a lively discussion.”

In Orient, two Oysterponds district school board seats are up for grabs. Citing the addition of a new grandchild, Trustee Linda Goldsmith, who has served for 22 years, said Monday she hadn’t decided whether to run again.

Trustee Krista de Kerillis, who has been on the board since 2009, said she plans to run again.

New Suffolk School Board member Brigitte Gibbons’ term expires this year and she has not yet told school administrators if she plans to run again, said Superintendent Bob Feger. He said he expects to hear from Ms. Gibbons within the week.

Petitions can be picked up at the district clerk’s office in each school district and are due back by 5 p.m. on April 16.

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