LETTER: Experienced Bennett & Mazzocchi Can Hit the Ground Running

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The South Orange-Maplewood Board of Education election takes place on Tuesday, November 7, 2023. Three of nine seats are up for election. Three candidates filed to run by the July deadline and appear on the ballot: Shayna Sackett-Gable, Liz Callahan and Will Meyer. Two candidates, Jeff Bennett and Anthony Mazzocchi, announced a write-in campaign on October 7. Village Green is posting letters of support for all candidates: Deadline for submission was October 31 at 5 p.m. Read our guidelines here. Read all our election coverage here.


Dear Village Green,

I am writing to share my support of Jeffrey Bennett and Anthony Mazzocchi for Board of Education. As seasoned board members with deep understanding of the many issues SOMA schools and parents are facing, Jeff and Tony can hit the ground running. 

A Maplewood resident for the past 12 years, with a fifth grader at Delia Bolden, I have known Jeff and his family since our children were in daycare. He is truly a policy wonk, and will talk your ear off about the issues he holds dear—and our schools, local families, and equity are at the top of his list. His passion for data, and getting to the “why” things aren’t working are exactly what we need at this moment. As those affected by the bussing crisis can attest, not only will Jeff surface the issues, he will help empower families to get the help they need.  

I followed Tony during his previous years on the board. His thoughtful responses to questions about the implementation of the Fergus recommendations, the Intentional Integration Initiative, and supervision of the Long-Range Facilities Plan, along with his years of experience as an educator, parent, and District Fine Arts Supervisor give him valuable perspective of the issues at hand.

Our towns deserve candidates with knowledge of the issues, how the system works, and the drive to get things done.

I encourage you to write in Jeffrey Bennett and Anthony Mazzocchi for Board of Education on Election Day.

Elizabeth Kaytes
Maplewood, NJ


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