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Midland Park

Meet The BOE Candidates: Peter Triolo

03/26/2014 08:26PM ● By Rebecca K. Abma
Four candidates are vying for three seats on the Midland Park Board of Education in the April 23 election. Midland Park Press is giving each candidate the opportunity to speak in their own words.

School Board Trustee Peter Triolo is running for his first full term. He has served on the Board of Education for the past two years and has lived in Midland Park for the past 15 years. He and his wife, Jennifer, have two children in Highland School. In addition to the school board, Triolo is  involved in the Elementary Parent-Teacher Association, Cub Scouts, Midland Park Rec Sports and the recently formed Citizens Advisory Committee for Public Safety.

Why are you running for the Board of Education? If re-elected, what do you hope to achieve?

I am seeking re-election to complete the work that was started in my first partial term.  Through hard work the district's administration and the Board have been able to source partial state funding for the major building investment we need.  If we do not use these funds within a short window of time, they will be lost. 

What do you see as the major issues facing the district and the community?

Property values, recruiting new families, and recruiting new businesses to Midland Park are the major issues facing the district and the community. They are all linked together with investment in our schools.  People who are retiring and selling their homes (hopefully moving to warmer climes after this winter!) need young families who believe in Midland Park to purchase their homes.  As these citizens maximize their home values, businesses will be attracted to our Borough, increasing our ratables at the same time.

Also, in my opinion, the best way to attract another district to send their students to our schools is by investing in our buildings, using the money from the state to make this happen. 

What are your plans for addressing the facilities?

The Board should work on a new referendum that utilizes State aid and any outside funding or grants to make the necessary investments in our facilities, with the lowest tax impact on the community. Our buildings and facilities have been maintained for decades, and as we all know, you can only maintain for so long before you need to update and modernize.  State funding laws leave districts no other choice than to raise these major capital improvement funds by referendum. Look around at other towns in our area; we are not alone in this.

Why should I vote for you?

Any investment in our schools is an investment in our community as a whole.  I want Midland Park to thrive as a community, and the school district is a major part of what makes us a town.  For those who want to dismantle our schools, decide whether you also want to dismantle Midland Park?  For me they are intrinsically linked and when one prospers and grows, so does the other.

Is there anything else you would like to tell the voters about yourself?

I started to go to Board meetings for a year before I ran for an open term. I went to find out for myself how the Board works, what the state's role is, and what obstacles are facing Midland Park. I found that there are no easy answers, but I am glad to be part of the process in finding solutions. I encourage everyone to attend meetings, read the agendas, watch the webcasts, and get involved.   

The people on the Board are volunteers who believe in our district and our community.  We are non-political, and we intend to stay that way.  I want to secure investment in our schools, try and find a partner where we can receive students, raise our home values in the process, and then move on.  If you have a problem or don't understand something about the board or district, please come and ask.  Grandstanding and politicizing our schools and our kids’ future is completely wrong, and dangerous. 

Some people have questions about Common Core and PARCC. I have been to presentations on exactly how we are teaching math to my children, and was encouraged by the depth of knowledge of our team and their desire to help our students succeed.  By working together with our administration and teachers, we can continue to give our kids a great education, AND continue to preserve the unique benefits a local school system can provide.

Polls will be open on Wednesday, April 23 from 2 to 9pm. This is the final of four articles in our Meet The Candidates series. Candidate responses are posted in the order they are received.

The BOE Candidates Night will be held on Thursday, April 10, 2014 | 07:30PM - 09:30PM … Read More


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