Letter to the Editor: Baker and Jones Are Intelligent and Hard Working

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On November 4th I encourage everyone to vote in the SOMSD Board of Education election for Elizabeth Baker and Maureen Jones. This is an important election as the incoming board will be appointing the next superintendent, as well as facing a looming budget deficit. Maureen and Elizabeth will bring their commitment, openness, experience and leadership to help the community address the issues associated with balancing needs and resources.

Both Elizabeth and Maureen have been actively involved in our school community. Their intelligence and willingness to work for a solution is evident in everything they do. They not only identify issues but work collaboratively to find solutions. Both candidates also have children currently attending our schools. They understand the difference between a “communication” issue and a systemic issue and will question and challenge “fixes” to make sure the root cause is addressed.

Over the next few years the members of the Board of Education will be faced with delivering a quality education to our students while dealing with the pending budget deficit (projected $2.9MM 2015/16 and $6MM 2016/17 – based on district projections in March 2014).

Maureen works everyday with students and families as a speech language pathologist and educator.

She understands the challenges faced by families advocating for their children, as well as teachers and administrators balancing resources. She can bring everyone to the table to find a solution. Elizabeth is an attorney and has experience with financial oversight, negotiations and general governance. Her open mindedness and thoughtful reflections engage parties to find solutions instead of staying stuck in their positions. These skills can be leveraged to help SOMSD solve the looming budget deficits.

I urge everyone to vote for Maureen Jones and Elizabeth Baker on November 4th.

Annemarie Maini

South Orange, NJ


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