Candidates Vie for Open Unatego BOE Seats as District Readies for Otego Closure

By Allison Collins


UNATEGO -– At its April 19 meeting, the Otego-based ad hoc Constituents Protesting Excessive School Taxes (CPEST)/Against Closing Community Elementary School Structures (ACCESS) presented the three candidates endorsed by the group for election onto the Unatego Board of Education.

There are currently three open seats and five candidates running, plus one current board member seeking re-election as a write-in candidate. Voting will take place on Tuesday, May 16 between 12 and 9 p.m. at the Unatego Middle/High School.

According to a statement published by CPEST/ACCESS organizers, “This year there are three seats open on the Unatego School District Board of Education and, this year, there are three well qualified candidates.” Cindy O’Hara, Byron McMichael and David Clapper, all of Otego, are the group’s three endorsees.

O’Hara, a resident of Otego for over 30 years, said at the April 19 session, “My strongest point will be my financial background.” Here O’Hara underscored her experience with running departments, getting bids and her overall fiscal knowledge. Citing growing concern over the district’s financial health and its recent decision to close and presumably sell the Otego Elementary building as dual catalysts for her campaign, O’Hara added, “I have grandchildren in the district and now I have the time.” O’Hara’s three grown children are graduates of Unatego.

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