Five candidates for the Glen Cove Board of Education sat for questions from city residents at Robert M. Finley Middle School on Monday night at a special "Meet the Candidates" session moderated by City Court Judge Richard McCord.
Three seats are up for grabs in the election, which will take place May 15. Here are the candidates and what they had to say:
- David Huggins - The board's current vice president has sat for the past three years, though he noted his family's roots in the community stretch all the way back to 1890. Huggins said he has the advantage of being familiar with the district's issues and the mandates it is forced to comply with while the budget gets ever tighter. He said he looks at how every dollar is spent, and is invested in the things the board is currently working on.
"I hate unfinished business," he said.
- Gail Nedbor-Gross - An incumbent of four years, she also cited her previous activity on four different Parent Teacher Associations and a history of attendance at board meetings before she was elected a trustee. Nedbor-Gross said she has always made herself approachable to the public, and said she thought the board did a good job of keeping with the state's 2 percent tax levy cap this year.
"I think the tax cap was a good challenge for us," she said.
- Eric Bailey - The Glen Cove resident said his background as a lawyer would help him to do the research, listening, planning and preparation that would make him an asset to the board. He stressed the importance of educating all of Glen Cove's children and called for a more inclusive approach to educating those with special needs.
"Special needs kids want to feel that they are a part of the community," he said.
- Donna Brady - A mother of six and Glen Cove resident of 21 years, Brady said she has seen four of her children through the district from pre-kindergarten to high school graduation. She said her background in accounting services has made her familiar with budgets, and her experience with PTA's spanning the two decades she has lived in the city has kept her "on the pulse" of what is happening in the district. She stressed the importance of civil dialogue among board members.
"When I see conflict, strain, struggle or misunderstanding, everything in me wants to stand up and help people understand what the other person is saying," she said.
- Grace Slezak - A local businesswoman, Slezak said her background in business and international real estate has equipped her with the tools necessary to find solutions to problems the district faces. She cited her strong belief in the importance of education, and said she is eager to serve on a board that could use some fresh input.
"I've talked to many parents, and what I hear is that they want some new faces," she said.