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Apr 8, 2015 9:56 AMPublication: The Southampton Press

Three Seats Open On Westhampton Beach School Board

Apr 8, 2015 10:25 AM

The Westhampton Beach Board of Education will have three seats up for election come May 19 instead of the typical one or two.

The terms for School Board President Suzanne Mensch and board member Bryan Dean both expire on May 19. Additionally, board member Joyce Donneson, who was appointed to the board to replace the late Gordon Werner in November, must run to keep her seat. Because Mr. Werner, who died of a heart attack on October 23 of last year, was in the middle of his five-year term, his replacement, Ms. Donneson, must be voted in during the next election to remain on the board.

The top vote-getters will take the open seats on the seven-member board—but, in this case, the top two vote-getters will serve full five-year terms, while the candidate with the third-most votes will finish out the remainder of Mr. Werner’s term, which runs until May 2017.

Conceivably, Ms. Donneson could win a five-year term, and another incumbent could end up with the abbreviated term and face reelection again in two years.

Ms. Donneson served on the School Board from 2001 to 2008, when she was unseated by now-fellow board member Halsey Stevens. Ms. Donneson, a Quiogue resident, ran again in 2012 but lost to Mr. Werner.

Petitions are not due until April 20, but Ms. Donneson and Ms. Mensch have both declared their intentions to seek reelection. Mr. Dean, however, said he plans to leave the board after serving for 18 years.

“I started on the board when my daughter was in kindergarten, and I’ll be able to hand my youngest son his diploma in May,” said Mr. Dean, a former part-time Westhampton Beach Police officer and the brother of former Village Police Chief Ray Dean. “I’ve been honored to be able to do it all these years, and it’s been a great run.”

Westhampton Beach resident Stacy Rubio will run to replace Mr. Dean on May 19. Ms. Rubio, who owns and operates Rubio Premier Motors on Montauk Highway in Westhampton with her husband, Rob Rubio, has been volunteering her time with the district for a decade, starting out with the Elementary School PTA, moving on to the Middle School PTO, and now holding positions with the district’s Guidance Advisory Council. She also is the parent liaison for the Inquiry Team, in which she has aided the district’s transition to Common Core standards.

“I just figure that’s the next step for me,” Ms. Rubio said of her decision to run. “I have enough knowledge of the district and I think I could be an asset to the board.

Ms. Rubio said her professional background is in human resources and collective bargaining. “For both Rob and me, everything comes down to our kids and our community,” she wrote in a text message. “We are fortunate to live in such a great place.”

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Hope both Stacy and Rob win their elections
By EastEnd68 (888), Westhampton on Apr 9, 15 7:33 PM
Thank you to Bryan for his years of dedicated service.
By EastEnd68 (888), Westhampton on Apr 9, 15 7:35 PM
Considering the fact that the petitions are not due until April 20th, I expect that you will give "equal time" to the other candidates that intend to run. This premature piece smacks of bias.
By zappy (65), east quogue on Apr 10, 15 3:46 PM
"Bias???" Where's this bias" you lnfer

Is 27East supposed to wait until any other candidates announce or file their petitions? Seems to me they reported a newsworthy item in a timely fashion, and if they hadn't t I'll bet you would have been the first to cry "SUPPRESSION!"

Are you just cranky this week a full-time crank?
By Frank Wheeler (1825), Northampton on Apr 13, 15 4:31 PM
Responsible reporting would have entailed waiting until the deadline for submission, April 20th, to ensure that all candidates had the time to file before putting that information out to the public. Cranky? Hardly. Just tired of this paper putting out misinformation and not fact checking. It happens far too often.
By zappy (65), east quogue on Apr 14, 15 12:27 PM
I too abhor misinformation, but where in this instance did 27East misinform its readers?

Your "solution" to a problem of your own invention, is at best unrealistic and contrary to all journalistic practices -- especially in this age of digital information.

So, now that your charges of "bias" and "misinformation" have been discredited, what next, Ms. Z?
By Frank Wheeler (1825), Northampton on Apr 14, 15 5:32 PM