SULLIVAN WEST VOTERS at a special election voted in Angela Daley, left, and Mary Sheutzow, right, as the newest members of the Board of Education.
SW Voters Make Board Seat Choices
By Dan Hust
SULLIVAN COUNTY October 5, 2007 Voter apathy exists far less in the Sullivan West Central School District than other districts in Sullivan County.
It might be because the 200-square-mile district is so large, though fairly sparsely settled. It might be because it’s faced far more than its share of deep difficulties. It might be because residents are so passionate and at times, so divided about the future direction of the school.
Then again, it might just be that people in the more densely settled Jeffersonville area were once again highly motivated to get to the polls.
Whatever the reason, more than 1,300 people took time out of their busy days on Tuesday to make their wishes known regarding who should fill the two vacancies on the school board.
And by a large margin, they chose Kenoza Lake resident Mary Scheutzow, a former longtime Liberty educator and administrator, and Narrowsburg resident Angela Daley, already a two-time Sullivan West board member.
Scheutzow’s 896 votes handily beat Narrowsburg resident Geoffrey Gangel’s 457, while Daley’s 844 surpassed fellow Narrowsburg resident Tom Prendergast’s 490, according to the unofficial results released Tuesday evening. (Candidates had to run for specific seats.)
Interestingly, Prendergast earned more votes in the Narrowsburg election district (defined by the boundaries of the old Narrowsburg Central school district) than Daley 198-174 while Gangel’s 182 votes could not surmount Scheutzow’s 195.
In the Delaware Valley election district, Daley garnered 228 votes compared to Prendergast’s 189, and Scheutzow claimed 235 votes as opposed to Gangel’s 188.
As usual, the Jeffersonville-Youngsville election district featured the largest and most lopsided voter turnout, with Scheutzow earning 466 votes and Gangel 87, while Daley received 442 votes and Prendergast 103.
The number of voters was down about 500 from May’s elections that put three new faces on the board, but the timing was unusual because of the way the sitting board had to handle the resignations of board members Arthur Norden and Jennifer Mann earlier this year.
While the board had the option to appoint new members, preliminary discussions indicated an unproductive stalemate would ensue regarding who should sit in those empty seats.
So the board decided to let the public pick, setting the election for September 18. But that turned out to be Primary Day in New York State, so they pushed the date back to October 2.
Last night, Daley and Scheutzow were scheduled to attend the board meeting at the high school in Lake Huntington, where they would be sworn in for terms that last only until June, when both Norden and Mann’s terms would have expired.
In May of 2008, both will have to run again if they want to retain their seats for the full three-year term.