HAMBURG, N.Y. (WIVB) – Voters across Western New York are deciding the fates of school boards and budgets, including a contentious vote in Hamburg.
A change in the school board could affect the future of one member who’s accused of inappropriate conduct. Voters are hoping fresh faces will bring some civility to the district.
Kevin Meegan said, “The board needs to get back to the board business, civility on the board, the issues that are so important to the education of the children in the district.”
Voters are filling two open seats on the Hamburg Central School Board and making several budget decisions.
Dan Chiacchia said, “We want board members that are going to make reasonable business decisions that don’t have agendas and that’s what we are all trying to do here.”
The board has been caught up in an internal battle over the future of one of their own. At the end of April, the board voted to bring official misconduct charges against Catherine Schrauth Forcucci for what some members consider inappropriate behavior.
“They need to stop this in fighting and whatever and get down to the issues that are really important,” said one voter.
Forcucci is contesting the vote to charge her. If there’s another vote, new members could make a big difference in the outcome.
But the drama doesn’t end there. Vandals have been targeting district superintendent Richard Jetter. All five candidates for the open seats are standing by him.
All the controversy doesn’t seem to be impacting voter turnout. The clerk’s office said by late Tuesday afternoon, it was only slightly higher than in elections past.
But many believe there’s a lot more at stake in this election.
“I think people are really taking a hard look at the candidates this year and really want to make the right decision because I think a lot of people realized that they made the wrong decision the last couple of years,” said one voter.
Polls are open at the Hamburg High School gym until 9 p.m.