Former Board of Education President wins Council Seat
Voters chose change for the Council and have selected Angela Ahbez-Anderson over the incumbent and mayor’s running mate, Jesse Kendle. Anderson has a strong lead with 1501 votes over Kendle’s 1315. Moor was not able to carry Kendle, who is down close to 400 votes from his running mate’s total.
Anderson is known for her service on the Board of Education, including five terms as President, and for her long-term mentoring programs which aim to increase self-esteem in girls. A wife, mom, and foster mom, she easily spoke to the day-to-day struggles many Asbury Park families face.
Not pulling any punches, she wrote, “No more new tax breaks to waterfront developers while homeowners and renters are stuck paying the bill for our schools and municipal services.” She also promised to tackle the need to “modernize and upgrade the City’s sewage treatment plant on the Boardwalk to make it more resilient to the next superstorm, reduce sewage costs, and eliminate the foul waste smell by Asbury Tower,” a sore spot for Seniors in the Towers.
Anderson offered the most public policy proposals during this election for Council, both in writing and in person, championing economic development, complete streets, union labor, historic preservation, and the environment.
Board of Education Race Extremely Close -Newcomers Penna and Rogers Win Seats
Asbury Park School Board Winners
10 years plus veteran to the school board Barbara Lesinski was the highest vote getter with 1427. She ran again to address the challenge of “ensuring that our students receive a thorough and efficient education while addressing the significant yearly reductions in state aid,” and, “to finish what I started.”
Michael Penna received 1389 votes. This is Penna’s first time running for the Board of Education. However, in 2020, he ran unsuccessfully for Freeholder in Monmouth County on the Democratic ticket. Penna, Ph.D., is an educator serving at-risk and special needs students. Penna vows to include music and art programs for students.
Tracy Rogers beat out incumbent Dominic Latorracca in his first successful bid for election.
Rogers did very well in the debates. He thrives on attending to emergent and relevant issues with the school board. Issues that he feels are the most important to tackle are: “Loss of state funding, collaboration between the administration and the union in a more positive manner, and the unmet need to create an environment where students and staff want to come into a warm and inviting atmosphere and address the reasons why our school district is losing staff and students by the droves” (1326). Unfortunately for Rogers, although he defeated incumbent Dominic Latorracca, his running mates were unable to join him.
Latorracca amassed 1302 votes, former school board member Remond Palmer garnered 1247 votes and Victor Carre received 1176 in his first time bid for a seat.