Candidates seek to outline qualifications, goals at NAACP forum

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Rome Chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People candidate’s forum. An article outlining candidates for county and city offices will be published in tomorrow’s edition.

The the Rome Chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People held a forum Monday night for candidates seeking school board, city and county offices at Zion Episcopal Church, 140 W. Liberty St.

Here are synopses of the candidates for the Rome City Shool District Board of Education.

The polls in this year’s school district election are open today until 8 p.m. For a list of polling places, go online to www.romesentinel.com.

Larry Posselt is a board incumbent who is in his first full term. He is President of LCS Janitorial Service and Supply, and has an associate’s degree in accounting from Utica School of Commerce. He is divorced, with one child who is a student in the school district.

Posselt said the school district has “hit the wall” in its budgeting, and that “spending the fund balance in balancing the budget ... is absurd.”

“The biggest thing that I think in Rome needs to change ... is the reputation of the district,” Posselt said. “Finance is my forte, that’s why you’re going to want me on the board quite frankly, because I understand private cost accounting.”

Tanya Davis is a licensed Real Estate Salesperson with Coldwell Banker Faith Properties. She has an associate’s degree from SUNY Morrisville. She is divorced, with three children including two who are students in the school district.

Davis said she is “very active in the community” and has been “engaged in the district since 2004.” She said she will seek to get parents and the community “engaged” rather than only “involved” with Rome schools.

“We have a terrible reputation in this community ...” Davis said of the district. “There’s a very us and them mentality that needs to go away. It can’t be the schools versus the city, it can’t be the parents versus the teachers, it can’t be the teachers versus the support staff or administration. We all need to get on the same page ...”

With respect to the budget, Davis said the district needs to “stop this cycle of putting fires out” and “make Rome the school district of choice.”

Felicia James-Williams is a Program Administrator for Central New York OPWDD (Office for People With Developmental Disabilities).

She has a bachelor’s degree in social science from the College of New Rochelle. She is married, with a child who is a student in the Rome school district.

James-Williams said the district needs to “make educating all students a high priority” and that “schools are a backbone for our community.”

“Our children, they’re our future, and I think we need to help them to achieve. We want the children to stay here in Rome, for them to get their education and come back, we want them to come back.”

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