Ballot Positioning Factor in BOE Outcome, Some Say
Frank Calabria, James Carifi and Joanne Mancuso—Nos. 1, 2 and 3 on the ballot—earn school board seats while Vice President Frank Neglia ousted.
One, two, three.
That's the explanation many are giving for the result of Tuesday's Board of Education election, which handed victory to Parsippany Police Capt. James Carifi, BOE President Frank Calabria and former school board member Joanne Mancuso.
The numbers are the order in which the three appeared on the ballot.
Calabria said it was clear to him that the positioning of the candidates played a part in the balloting. He said he felt uncomfortable celebrating his win when his ticketmates, BOE Vice President Frank Neglia and challenger Alison Cogan, had a different result.
Carifi's ticketmate, former Passaic police officer Anthony DeIntinis also went down in defeat.
Cogan, Neglia and DeIntinis were positioned at the bottom of the BOE ballot.
"It was all about ballot position for this particular BOE election," DeIntinis speculated. "Voters, as it appears, went 1, 2, 3 when voting, but it is what it is. My very best to my running mate James Carifi. He will bring accountability along with excitement to a very needed [school board]."
He sent his thanks to all who supported him and Carifi.
"I will continue to attend BOE meetings and enjoy my retirement and family," DeIntinis said.
Calabria congratulated his fellow winners, noting that he is familiar with Joanne Mancuso, who did not actively campaign for the seat.
"I served on the board with her," Calabria said. "She was a very good board member."
Board member and former President Anthony Mancuso, who is not related to Joanne, also attributed what he called a surprising result to ballot position.
"I feel bad for Frank Neglia," he said. "I want to thank him for the time and effort he's put into the board. I want to thank Alison Cogan for her efforts to be part of the board and to want to work for the students of Parsippany.
"At the same time, I'd like to congratulate Joanne Mancuso and James Carifi and welcome them. I look forward to working with them for the best interests of the students of Parsippany."
Councilman James Vigilante, soon to step down from the Parsippany Township Council, said he knows Joanne Mancuso well.
"I congratulate Joanne," he said. "She will be an independent, mindful thinker. She's going to vote for what's best for the kids. She did a good job before on the board and I think she'll do a good job again."
And the fact that Mancuso has not been seen or heard since filing to run turns out to have been planned.
"My campaign was no campaign," she said, pointing out she was following a strategy once employed by late BOE member Alan Gordon. "If people wanted to vote for me, they would vote for me."
Mancuso said after taking a trip to celebrate her 25th wedding anniversary, she plans to get up to speed on board issues and, after her January swearing-in, to get back to school business.