By Robert Frank
Jennifer Maccarone sprinted to an early commanding lead and never looked back in the Sir Wilfrid Laurier School Board (SWLSB) election, Nov. 2.
The EducACTION slate that Maccarone led into the election also won big on Sunday, with Maccarone taking the powerful post as chair and sweeping six of the eight school commissioner posts in the poll, as well as seeing another EducACTION candidate, Dean Dugas, acclaimed to office in District 5.
Maccarone garnered two-thirds (66%) of the vote against 33% for her opponent Steve Bletas.
“We were expecting a win, but not a win quite this big,” smiled Maccarone.
Only one candidate on Bletas’ Students First ticket was elected: Ailsa Pehi narrowly beat out EducACTION with 45% of the vote against Elio Lattanzio’s 36% and Denis Konidis’ 18% in District 8 in central Laval.
All other Laval school districts will be represented by EducACTION commissioners.
“Our first priority will be to hit the ground running and work with our education partners as pertains to the tax rate,” Maccarone told The Suburban in an interview.
“Next we want to sit down with the government to ensure that we’re as self-sufficient as possible, because we’re in the midst of austerity measures and want to ensure that programs and services for our students remain unaffected,” she added. “We will also start to partner with other English and French school boards to develop a team approach toward common goals at the right tables.”
Incumbent commissioner Emilio Migliozzi won re-election in District 6 in northern Laval, winning 49% of the vote over Mike Pizzola (34%) and Grace Nesi (16%).
Vicki Kaliotzakis also took more than half the votes in District 7, winning 54% of the ballots cast in southwestern Laval over Students First’s Tracey Friedman (36%) and independent Sollie Glicksman (10%).
Likewise, Paolo Galati won handily in District 9, where 45% of voters cast their ballots for the Laval city councilor, against 40% for Nicolas BIanco and 14% for Nazario Facchino.
Three SWLSB candidates were elected and two acclaimed on the North Shore and in the Lanaudière and Laurentian regions.
Independent Peter MacLaurin won 60% of the votes in District 1 against George Benoit’s 40%.
Unopposed independent candidate Robert Dixon won District 2 by acclamation.
Guy Gagnon took District 3 with 63% of the vote over independent Jonathan Leggitt (21%) and Fred Baker (16%).
With almost 77% of the vote in District 4, Ann McMullon Panet-Raymond bested outgoing commissioner Steve Mitchell’s 23%.
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Newly elected SWLSB commissioners (left to right) Emilio Migliozzi, Ann McMullon Panet-Raymond, Guy Gagnon, Vicki Kaliotzakis, SWLSB chair Jennifer Maccarone and school commissoner as well as city councilor Paolo Galati.
(Photo © Robert Frank)