Putnam County Board of Education Elections Set for May 18; Curzio Looks to Return to Carmel

Putnam County Board of Education ElectionsVoters in Putnam County school districts will be deciding on annual budgets and board of education races when they head to the polls on May 18.

In the Mahopac Central School District, six candidates are running for three available seats, all of which carry a three-year term.

Incumbent trustees Lucy Massafra and David Furfaro are looking to remain on the seven-member board. Also on the ballot are Joaquim Mota, Jr., Michael Martin, Roger Duran and Allison Mueller.

In neighboring Carmel, five candidates will be battling it out for three seats.

Board President Michael Yorio and Trustee Jason Paraskeva are running for reelection, but Trustee Richard Kreps is not.

Newcomers include Melissa Orser and Tamara Harrison, with former Trustee John Curzio hoping to earn enough support to represent the Carmel Board of Education once again. Curzio, who was a one-term board member, lost his seat in 2019 after seeking a second term. 

Curzio was the subject of much controversy and infighting the board experienced as the district attempted to put forth an $85 million bond package that would have resulted in numerous updates to the grounds and the construction of a new bus garage in Kent. The proposition was later approved after a third vote and Curzio’s ouster, but prior to that, the board attempted to remove him with claims he violated state education laws during contentious meetings where the bond was discussed. 

It was later determined following a disciplinary hearing that Curzio’s actions did not warrant his removal from the board. 

Five candidates filed petitions to fill four available seats on the Garrison Board of Education. Three of the seats are for three-year terms, while one is for a single year to complete the term of former Trustee Jill Lake, who resigned. The fourth-place finisher will earn the one-year term.

Three incumbents, Courtney McCarthy, David Gelber and Madeline Julian, are seeking reelection. Also on the ballot are Kent Schacht and Ned Rauch.

In the Haldane School District, three candidates are vying for two seats.

Trustee John Hedlund is the lone incumbent in the race as Margaret Parr is bowing out. Mark Daisley and Mary (Maggie) Valentine are the other two hopefuls.

In Putnam Valley, longtime Trustee Guy Cohen is calling it quits. There are only two candidates on the ballot for two open seats, Trustee Barbara Parmly and Helen Horvitz.

Meanwhile, in Brewster, four seats are up for grabs, but only three candidates submitted the necessary signatures to be on the ballot.

Board President Sonia Mesika and Trustee Jason Whitehead are not seeking reelection. Trustees Dehisy Jimenez-Vazquez and Erik Grutzner will be returning, as will newcomer Cynthia (MacGregor) Fox. The other open seat will be filled by the board at a later date.