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Multiple Candidates Drop Out of Toms River School Board Race

Two incumbents face three challengers

A race of nine candidates vying for two spots has shrunk to five candidates for Toms River Regional's November election for school board.

There are now three residents challenging two school board incumbents. 

Two seats representing Toms River are up for grabs. Incumbents Gus Kakavas of Smokerise Lane and Jack Reuther of Arizona Avenue are seeking re-election for the three year terms. They are each seeking a second term, having been elected in 2009. Reuther is the current vice-president of the school board.

Kakavas and Reuther now face three challengers:

  • Charlotte Ford Spillane of North Bay Avenue,
  • Ginny Rhine of Grand Avenue,
  • Joseph Torrone — the spouse of current board member Loreen Torrone, of Stone Hedge Drive.

Originally nine candidates filed to run for the two spots. The deadline to submit a petition to run was June 5.

But Ocean County Clerk Scot Colabella said four candidates — Lisa P. Neumann, Sergio Fossa, Daniel K. Simmons and Brian Geoghegan — have withdrawn before the September deadline. No reason was given.

"Numerous School Board candidates have withdrawn since the June petition filing date.  Five School Board Candidates will appear on the Nov 6th ballot.  Under State Law I was mandated to present copy for the Official Ballot to the printer on September 17th, and to begin mailing Mail-In Ballots by September 22nd.  As such, our office removed any school board candidates name from the ballot if a letter was received from the candidate requesting to withdraw their name in accordance with our statutory deadlines," Colabella said.

This would be the first year for a November school board election for Toms River Regional. All Ocean County School Districts, with the exception of Lakewood, opted to move their School Board elections from April to November as a result of a bill signed into law by Governor Christie in January, which then Toms River Regional voted to move the election locally.

Candidates will be listed in a separate section of the November ballot, as school board elections are nonpartisan.

Additionally, voters in South Toms River will vote for their representative on the school board. 

Incumbent Jamie Ann Jubert of Lakeview Drive is seeking re-election. Challenging her is Gidalty "Gigi" Esparza of Red Maple Court.

Jubert has served on the school board since 1995 and previously served as a vice-president to the nine-member school board, which represents Toms River, South Toms River, Pine Beach and Beachwood.

With three seats up for grabs, this year's election could hold the fate of the majority of the Toms River Regional school board. Last year, three candidates running as a "Clean Slate" team campaigned as reformers in the wake of the scandal of former Superintendent Mike Ritacco. The three new board members have voted throughout the year in opposition of some school board agenda items, but do not hold the majority of the board.

Pavlivdogs October 11, 2012 at 12:27 PM
"Clean Slate" team of Torrone & Rhine are still supporting dirty politics. Paviliv, Benny, and Bobble Head Loreen Torrone think they are gonna pull one over on us but they're time is done and they didn't even get to the gate yet.
Torrones goin down Friday October 11, 2012 at 12:33 PM
Torrone & Rhine are goin down Friday night. Paviliv will be leaving with his tail between his legs. Hey Ben better bring a lot of tissues for Loreen and Ginny, I can hear them crying already.
JD October 11, 2012 at 01:10 PM
Ken... You are spot on again.... Honors is not difficult... College Prep is a joke.... General Studies must be a snoozer class.... Ed, NY, PA, CT, MD all have 3.0 minimum GPA to get certificate. To quote a former education commissioner who raised the standard in NJ from 2.5 to 2.75 (had a hard time increasing to 3.0).... GPA has to do with subject knowledge... if you don't know the subject.. you can't teach it very well!!!
The members of the Toms River Board of Education will hold a Special Board Meeting on Friday, October 12, 2012 at High School North, 1245 Old Freehold Road, Toms River. The meeting will begin at 6:00 p.m. regarding Potential litigation to enjoin the 'Clean Slate Team' from using the Toms River Regional School District email system for political purposes. Action may be taken. The full agenda will be published on the district’s website @ trschools.com
JD October 11, 2012 at 01:18 PM
Tammi Millar lied.... There is NO Policy for BOE or any candidate to send emails to TRRS employees.... See link... http://trschools.com/technology/policy_staff.asp The policy is that current employees of TRRS cannot send out email blasts!!! Shame on you Roselli.... You are another Ritacco...
TRWatch October 11, 2012 at 02:52 PM
Save your breath, there will be no action taken Friday night. And, it looks like Millar and Roselli lied to the APP. I'm not surprised, they learned from the most corrupt public figure in New Jersey's history.
JD October 11, 2012 at 03:30 PM
4 people cannot vote on this due to Conflict... Kakavas, Jubert, Ruether, Torrone cannot vote... and without 5 votes.... it doesn't go through. NJSA 18A:12-24(4b).. I have the Ethics complaint ready to be filed on Monday should they vote...
Get a job JD October 11, 2012 at 03:52 PM
Torrone is conflicted? Go figure!
TR Teacher October 11, 2012 at 04:11 PM
Everyone is so concentrated on this being a battle between the Rhine-Torrone party vs the incumbant Kakavas-Ruether party. Does anyone know anything about the other candidate, Spillane?
JD October 11, 2012 at 04:19 PM
Former TR teacher and vice principal.... about 82 years old.. http://www.trschools.com/trhof/inductee.asp?ID=150
joe jones October 11, 2012 at 10:57 PM
JD or is it Joe DeSantis. I am NOT Frank ROselli, but I am a grauate of OCC. How dare you insinuate that an OCC graduate is not fit to be a teacher. Understand you are unemployed. WHat good did your degree do you. Loser!
Ken October 11, 2012 at 11:09 PM
Wow the choices are terrible this year. Don't care for the incumbents and the ones running don't sound to great either. Does anyone know about the one running against Jubert, no one can be as bad as her.
JD October 11, 2012 at 11:35 PM
Joe Jones (aka Frank Roselli) You have bad info...
Patrick Magnolia October 12, 2012 at 12:29 AM
We gotta get rid of these guys that let Ritacco get away for years with what the judge called the "worst case of corruption I've seen"
Seriously? October 12, 2012 at 12:33 AM
Yep, it's silly season again. The morons employed by the school district (and I mean MORONS) blanketing this site with dozens of pseudonyms (most by the same person or at best a few people), all slamming the candidates running against the incumbents. If all of you spent more time educating the kids than getting involved with politics, maybe this school district would get above the mid-range in state-wide school rankings. But, even though Mikey is in the slammer, it's still the same-old, same-old, Maybe after the elections the indictments will start up again..... I am so glad my kids are done here.
Seriously? October 12, 2012 at 12:41 AM
But an OCC graduate IS unfit to be a teacher. In case you haven't realized, OCC is a two year community college. In this state, you need a four year degree to become a teacher. But then again, in Toms River, getting a four year degree ranks second to who you are related to or which one of your relatives either slept with or paid off Mike. Believe me when I tell you that there are a LOT of young teachers who have no business being in a classroom except that their parents worked for the school district. They fail the kids every time they pick up a piece of blackboard chalk. But what do people like you care? As long as the corruption continues and you get a piece of the pie, nothing matters.
Ken October 12, 2012 at 12:44 AM
@ Seriously? you are so right in what you said
Robert Woodridge October 12, 2012 at 12:53 AM
Seems like voting for Torrone and Rhine is the way to go
the phantom October 12, 2012 at 12:55 AM
Everybody's dirty! But I'd rather have some new dirty crooks on the school board then those two clowns that are running for reelection! Don't be stupid people and vote the incumbents out!!!
JD October 12, 2012 at 12:56 AM
Seriously... They hired a kid who can't spell CAT even if you spot him the A and the T... 2.64 GPA... but hey.. his father is a teacher... They hired a 45 year old... her work experience... 8 years as bank teller, 12 years not working, 5 years as TGIFridays hostess... below 3.0 GPA.. but hey... she was Beachwood PTA and Gearity was a reference... I can go on and on... and Frank Roselli is aware I know the facts.... you just can't make this stuff up... the hiring practices are sooooo bad... that is why the schools have gone downhill the last 10 years... combination of poor teachers and bad leaders.
the phantom October 12, 2012 at 12:59 AM
I've never seen a bunch of bigger morons than on the patch. How can you people honestly defend the BOE incumbents?? Just blows my mind.
Pavlivdogs October 12, 2012 at 02:57 AM
Stupid people vote for stupid people. Tr citiZens r smart they have caught on to Torrone & Rhine. JD needs to get help from unemployement to make some bucks. Torrone & Rhine r done. Sorry JD the unemployment line sucks but ur back on it with the rest of the morons. See u @ the mtg Friday I ll be close by laughing.
Tired of the status quo October 12, 2012 at 01:00 PM
I am trying to do MY OWN research. I understand that all campaigns need money for signs, fliers and other materials to get their messages out to the public. But, when the public hears that there is a fundraiser for the incumbents that is being supported by the administration of the school district that these people are already representing and have been for many years and with the "black cloud" that has been cast over this district makes EVERYONE alittle suspicious. Personally I feel the right thing that this board should have done (and I exclude the three that were elected after Ritacco was arrested and, the only reason why I am doing this is because the crimes were committed before they were on the board) after the FBI and IRS raids and the arrest of Michael Ritacco was that each and everyone of them RESIGN!!! This also includes the Super, Asst. Supers. The State should have come in and run the district until there was a REAL search for a new Super and Asst. Supers, have a special election for the BOE and start a new. The only way that we are going to have a REAL FRESH START is to RID THE BOARD AND ADMINISTRATION of ANY AND ALL CONNECTION TO RITACCO!!! Fundraisers whether it be for incumbents or challengers should be OPEN to ALL not just a chose FEW!!! This way we can move forward and be transparent and really mean it!! AND NOT JUST PAY LIP SERVICE TO THOSE WORDS!! It is imperative that we make a change not only for the taxpayers but for the entire district!!!
Fedup October 12, 2012 at 01:11 PM
Ritacco steals millions of dollars, the 2 million the Feds went after is just a drop in the bucket, and these clowns running the school system want you to believe they were doing a good job. I agree, they should resign, all of them. They are a mockery to anyone with half a brain.
Ken October 12, 2012 at 11:31 PM
Tired.....Well said and I agree 100%. Unfortunatley it will never happen since they are all a bunch of crooks.
Project Bluebeam October 15, 2012 at 12:53 PM
JD, this issue isn't the recipients of the e-mails. It's the computers the e-mails originated from. If they were sent from a TR Schools computer when the person who sent them was supposed to be working, that's illegal.
JD October 15, 2012 at 01:03 PM
Project Bluebeam... You are clueless.... It was an email blast.... the email did not originate from TRschool server.. and since when was it illegal to send email blasts while you are working... smh...
m mccauley October 16, 2012 at 05:11 PM
I can not believe these members have the audacity to be running again, as everyone knows all of the original board members were friends of MIKE. If the Toms River voters vote them in it just shows the whole town is corrupt.
Ken G October 17, 2012 at 03:23 AM
Is this a serious comment or a sarcastic one? If it's serious then you are shoving your views down the throats of others. I find it ironic that everyone is claiming nepotism in schools and then Mr.Torrone runs and it's ok. I understand we want to get rid of the Ritacco 6, but if you dont ask questions, then your gonna get the same thing. Another corrupt school board.
joe jones October 21, 2012 at 06:25 PM
If they were all a bunch of crooks they would all be in jail. Check our tax rate compared to other districts our size. The board and cental administration are doing their job.

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