Citizens Nominating Committee will not interview school board candidates for second year due to Covid-19

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The administrative offices of the Pelham Union Free School District are in a wing of the high school.

For the second year, the Pelham Citizens Nominating Committee will not interview board of education candidates due to Covid-19 complications.

“Given the challenge running an appropriate process during the pandemic, the CNC will not participate in vetting board of education candidates for the 2020-21 cycle,” wrote Gregory Breskin on behalf of the CNC. “We look forward to reinvigorating the CNC and resuming our traditional role with the 2021-2022 cycle.”

But for the breaks caused by Covid, the CNC has functioned in Pelham since 1954. It is independent of the Pelham Union Free School Board and is composed of approximately 14 residents who are are volunteers.

“The mission of the CNC is to recruit, seek and nominate eligible candidates who are qualified to serve on the Pelham school board,” according to the Town of Pelham website. “A CNC nomination is not the equivalence of an endorsement. It is a determination that the candidate meets the qualifications for candidacy.”

In normal years, residents can run for the board without interviewing with the CNC and without its endorsement.

Dr. Michael Owen-Michaane, a physician, has declared his candidacy for the board of education.

There are two three-year trustee positions open on the ballot this year. They are currently held by Eileen Miller and Jessica Young. Neither has announced their reelection plans. As of now, the annual district budget vote and school board election will be held May 18 in person from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. in the Pelham Middle School gymnasium.

Last year, the all-mail-in balloting concluded on June 16 due to the pandemic. The budget was approved and voters re-elected Jessica DeDomenico and Sue Childs. The winners, who ran unopposed, announced their candidacies together on the day petitions to get on the ballot were due. The CNC, which usually starts recruiting for candidates in February, made no announcement of its plans to sit out the 2020 election until contacted by the Pelham  Examiner.