May 25, 2022

Republican Mario Gioco and Democrat Ann Monaghan Elected to Chester Region 4 School Board Vacancies

CHESTER— Voters at a town meeting Tuesday elected two new members of the Region 4 Board of Education, with Republican Mario Gioco and Democrat Ann Monaghan picked to fill vacant seats through the November 2013 town election.

The vacancies were created by the resignations of two Republican members, Richard Strauss, who had served as the board’s treasurer, resigned in October. Pamela Christman, the board’s vice-chairwoman, resigned effective Dec. 6.

Three candidates were nominated for the first vacancy, a six-year term that expires in November 2013. Nominated were Gioco, the longtime chairman of the zoning board of appeals who is also chairman of the Chester Republican Town Committee, Monaghan, a lawyer with three children attending Region 4 schools, and Michael Hotkowski, a graduate of Valley Regional High School. Hotkowski had been an unsuccessful candidate for the regional school board on the Chester Common Ground Party line in the Nov. 8 election, losing to incumbent Democrat Elaine Fitzgibbons. Fitzgibbons is the town’s third representative on the nine member regional school board that also includes three members each from Deep River and Essex.

Gioco won the seat on a paper ballot vote with 28 votes to 18 votes for Monaghan and eight votes for Hotkowski. The second vacancy was for a six-year term ending in November 2015, but town attorney and meeting moderator John Bennet announced the seat would also be on the town’s November 2013 election ballot for the final two years of the term.

Monaghan was nominated again, along with James Gordon, a former member of the Chester Board of Education who was nominated by Glen Reyer, a founder of the Chester Common Ground Party. Monaghan was elected on a voice vote, with a handful of votes for Gordon.

Gioco and Monaghan were sworn in to office by Town Clerk Debra Calamari immediately after the town meeting. Their first regular meeting is Jan. 5, when the board is scheduled to elect a chairman and other officers for 2012-2013.