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Two New Candidates for Briarcliff School Board

BRIARCLIFF MANOR, N.Y. – With both Guy Rotondo and Eric Bashford not seeking re-election, newcomers Dina Brantman and Michael Haberman will vie for the two open spots on the Briarcliff Board of Education .

Residents will have a chance to vote for the school board candidates on May 15 – the same day residents will vote on the district’s proposed $47.65 million budget. The Briarcliff Manor Union Free School District ’s Board of Education agreed on the budget proposal Monday night . Rotondo, who currently is the president of the Board of Education, announced Monday that he would not seek re-election. He cited satisfaction with the declining budget as a primary reason.

“It was a difficult decision and one I wrestled with for several weeks,” Rotondo said Monday. “When I joined the board, I had a three-year vision for right-sizing our district’s budget and our property taxes while preserving our high quality educational programs. I very much believe we have achieved these goals, in fact much more than I could have imagined.”

Rotondo said he was leaving the district in a better position than when he arrived a few years ago.

“We were in a bit of a budget crisis,” Rotondo said, later giving credit to the board, the community, and the faculty and staff for turning that crisis around. “For me the most rewarding thing about the last three years is even though we cut taxes, we were able to reshape our spending to help students. We are the envy of the county in terms of teacher ratios and spending on education.”

Board member Bashford could not be reached for comment, but district officials confirmed Tuesday that Bashford did not file petitions to be an eligible candidate this year.

Brantman, who helped co-chair the district’s Ad Hoc Facilities Committee in proposing a $10 million bond that is also set to go to a district vote, said having nine years of volunteering with the district will make her a strong candidate.

“I’ve dedicated nine years to the school district working with that committee and eight years as a member of the Briarcliff Manor Education Foundation,” Brantman said. “So I definitely thought I had a good understanding of our community. I have a nice skill set training as an attorney. I just felt that I could be of value to our school district and it was time to get more involved.”

Brantman said she has three children in the Briarcliff schools and carries with her several years of experience as an attorney. She is a graduate of the University of Notre Dame Law School.

Haberman could not immediately be reached for comment, but he has invited residents to view his website .

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