Lawmakers want school board elections moved to November

May 11, 2016

The Common Council is again pushing Albany to move the school board elections to November instead of May. The spring date has been blamed for a voter turnout that averages around ten percent.

Council Member Joseph Golombek is a long-time proponent of moving school board elections to November.
Credit Mike Desmond/wbfo news

Councilmember Joe Golombek has been trying to change the voting date for years but it never goes anywhere because of concerns that would make the school board vote political.

Councilmember Richard Fontana addressed what he sees as a contradiction.

"This with the school board doesn't make sense.  And, people might make the argument or may: It's not political. It's not this. Guess what? In November, our elections aren't political, either. We're done. If we don't win the primary, we're not there in November," Fontana said. 

"We might make some type of last ditch attempt to win in November. Some times it works. Some times it doesn't. But, our elections in the City of Buffalo aren't that political. It's the primary."

Rochester and Syracuse are allowed to hold their school board elections in November. Both Fontana and Golombek says taxpayers should support the change since holding the May election costs county taxpayers a quarter of a million dollars, which could be saved by a shift to November.