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General Objections to Buffalo School Board Candidates

ballot-box

I went down to the Erie County board of elections today and bought $1.75 worth of public documents.

Click here and you can have the same information for free. You’ll learn that of the nine candidates running for the three at-large board seats, only the three incumbents—Catherine Collins, Chris Jacobs, and Florence Johnson—have not had objections filed regarding their nominating petitions.

Who filed the objections to the challengers’ paperwork? Herbert Bellamy Jr., Elaine Mootry, and Cassandra Cosby. Bellamy objects to the petitions submitted by Patricia E. Devis and Frank Yellen. Mootry objects to the petitions submitted by Rebekah A Williams and John B. Licata. Cosby objects to the petitions submitted by Rosalind J. Hampton and Bryon McIntyre.

Interestingly, all the paperwork was notarized by Glenn S Aronow, all on the same day: April 13.  Coincidence?

I could only find a phone number for Mootry, and when I called, someone told me she wasn’t home and didn’t know when she would be back. While trying to find contact information for Aronow, I came across his facebook page.

Granted, he’s just the Niagara county notary who witnessed the petitions, but isn’t it interesting that, according to his facebook page, he’s a fan of another facebook page called Chris Jacobs—Supporters for Buffalo Public School Board, and also a fan of the facebook page called Catherine Collins, Chris Jacobs & Florence Johnson for Buffalo School Board.

Petitioners have until Monday, April 20 to list reasons why they are petitioning the paperwork of every single candidate who is not an incumbent. And since these clarifications are valid if they are postmarked by April 20, we won’t know until the middle of next week what, if anything, they were suspicious of regarding the challengers’ petitions. By then, the actual election will be less than two weeks away.

The Buffalo School Board has fiscal oversight to the tune of over $1.5 billion yearly.

We’ll be following up in the coming weeks to let the less than 5% of registered voters who typically turn up for Buffalo school board elections get a feel for the challengers. In the meantime, here’s just one little reminder of the kind of leadership our current at-large school board representatives have given us.

Join us as we take a little walk down memory lane in the coming weeks, revisiting more of the work Collins, Jacobs, and Johnson have done “for the children.”

And remember, with this big a field and so few voters, anything can happen once educated citizens pull the curtain on the voting booth. They might even decide it’s time for a change.


  • Why is it that no one ever questions the school board directly? We as a people have the right to know what they are doing. Executive sessions and all these odd coincidencs that happen need to be explained. There is more corruption on the School Board than in any other area of City Hall! Its sad that the group of people who are “Putting Children and Families First to Ensure a Higher Academic Achievement for All” forget about the real reason that they are there. TO CARE ABOUT THE STUDENTS!

  • Peter A Reese

    The obvious question is how much did Chris Jacobs pay grass roots for their support? Amazing how Grass Roots has become the new voice of the entrenched status quo.

  • Chet Morton

    Glenn Aronow is the former Republican Niagara County Legislator who was also on the GOP payroll of the State Senate and who has worked for the past 2 years as director of government relations of the Buffalo Niagara Partnership.

    Are we to infer GOP or BNP meddling or positioning in the school board races?

    Interesting that Aronow is working on behalf of candidates seen as supportive of the current Board majority and against challengers.

  • james

    Let’s not forget the $7 MILLION that was rubber stamped by Collins, Cahill, Evans (she substains), Kapsiak and FloJo, this is the dead lock that must be broken by ONE vote if Jacobs retains his seat. Jacobs has turned to the other side but not publicly yet. The first call to business will be Williams resignation papers.

  • Donald
  • Great story. Can we have term limits on some of these characters? Status-Throw (up).