Toms River Patch to each of the eight candidates running for the school board of Toms River Regional Schools. Seven responded to the questionnaire, where we sent each candidate identical questions on who they are, why they are running and what issues matter most to them and what they’d hope to accomplish if elected.
Here is the candidate profile of Ben Giovine:
1. Please give us a brief bio:
Ben Giovine, 27, Hedge Street. I work as a free-lance consultant to various non-profits. I help them with grant applications and with outreach to local
elected officials. It is important to build the bridge between government services and the services provided by the private non-profit sector.
2. Please briefly explain what professional and civic/volunteer experience you have. Feel free to include job experience, awards, or schooling.
As a proud product of the Toms River School system, I attended college at American University in Washington, DC. Upon graduation, I worked as a policy researcher and writer for Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW), which is a non-profit aimed at protecting our tax dollars and reducing our taxes... After serving two years with CAGW, I relocated back to Toms River where I began a career working with Congressman John Adler as the director of his governmental field office in Ocean County. Working for Congressman Adler, a critic of our national debt and one of the few bipartisan lawmakers in Congress, taught me the importance of fiscal responsibility and working with individuals of different backgrounds to get the job done for local families.
3. What are your key concerns about the school district?
Reigning in waste, fraud and abuse is a key concern. Seniors and middle class families should not have their hard-earned tax dollars go into the pockets of board appointed attorneys, consultants and accountants. The same people who failed us under the Ritacco Era still have their jobs today. We need to hold these people accountable and ensure our tax dollars end up where they belong – in the classroom and not the board room.
4. What issues do you hope to address?
My slate, which includes Alex Paviliv and Loreen Torrone, pledge to take politics out of our school. We want to see new hires and promotions based on ability instead ofpolitical favors. We will put the interest of the taxpayers and kids above the interests of the politically-connected. We promise that Ritacco’s team of lawyers, accountants and “consultants” will not be reappointed. Our school district can do better in terms of disclosure and affordability, and I intend to do both.
5. What do you think should be done to resolve those issues?
We need to ensure the board is accountable to the community and respond to the concerns of the community and teachers alike. We will save taxpayer money by making certain our tax dollars are spent on text books and in the classroom rather than exorbitant fees by some connected law firm. For too long, we had a board which was accountable to the superintendent instead of what it should be—a superintendent that is accountable to the people of Toms River.
6. What motivated you to run this year?
I am proud of Toms River and our public schools. The public education system in Toms River afforded me many opportunities in my life. I was
discouraged to read in the papers of the waste and abuse that gave our district a black eye. The reputation the system holds is that of nepotism and
favoritism. Our community should be proud of our schools and those who work for it should be proud as well. We do not need the same old politics to
ruin our district’s good name or reach further into our pockets.
7. How do you plan to serve the board and the residents of Toms River Regional School District in a meaningful way?
I will bring trust, accountability and leadership to the current board. The residents of Toms River deserve a board of education that matches the high
standards of our school district. I will work with other board members to ensure we work within the community and bring sunlight as to how the board
conducts its business and offer our students a quality and affordable education.
8. Anything to add:
I would ask any voter in Toms River to support Alex Pavliv, Loreen Torrone and myself and bring 3-6-8 the “Clean Slate” into office to serve the
residents of Toms River.
Here are the links to the other candidate profiles: