CNC gives nod to Garrido-Carmody and Reen as school board candidates; DeDomenico, Childs won’t seek reelection

From left, Sue Bratone Childs and Jessica DeDomenico.

From left, Sue Bratone Childs and Jessica DeDomenico.

The Pelham Citizens Nominating Committee (CNC) announced Connie Garrido-Carmody and Tade Reen met the panel’s criteria to run for the board of education.

Garrido-Carmody and Reen have not yet officially declared for the election on May 16, when two seats with three-terms will be on the ballot along with the district’s budget. Incumbent Trustees Jessica DeDomenico and Sue Bratone Childs, who both have served terms as president and vice president of the board, told the Pelham Examiner that they will not be seeking reelection.

Other candidates might still emerge, as the deadline for aspirants to submit a “School Board Candidate Nominating Petition” is April 17 at 5 p.m., even if the CNC has finished its work. The signatures of 47 voters are required. The only person who can legally nominate a candidate for school trustee is the candidate themself by filing a completed petition. Going through the CNC process is not required to run.

The CNC, a nonpartisan, independent, 12-member committee that meets behind closed doors with potential office seekers, interviewed candidates who submitted applications to it by March 17.

The committee said in an announcement sent Friday it interviews and assesses the candidates who sign up for its process “to ensure that each candidate demonstrates a commitment to public education, an ability to work well with others, knowledge of current local community issues as they affect the Pelham educational system and an understanding of the board of education guidelines outlined by the New York State School Boards Association.”

The CNC, founded in 1954, did not operate during 2020 and 2021 because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

If no additional candidates come forward before the April 17 deadline, Reen and Garrido-Carmody would be the presumptive trustees elect. That would mark a stark contrast to last year’s balloting, when six candidates sought three seats and the sometimes contentious campaign included the use of charged, culture-war language favored by both the left and the right in texts and online posts.

Reen was defeated in November 2021 when he ran as a Republican for the Pelham Town Board.