UTICA – Two Utica residents have announced their candidacies for the Utica City School District Board of Education.
Anthony LaPolla and Joseph Hobika Jr. have each announced they’ll be seeking one of the three positions up for election.
LaPolla, a 2008 graduate of the Utica City School District and a 2012 graduate of Utica College, announced last week that he will be running for a position on the Board of Education. He currently works as the Recruitment and Logistics Manager for Adjusters International and as the office manager at The Scala & Roefaro Funeral Home.
“I am entering the race for school board because this school district is about to be tested unlike ever before,” LaPolla said in a news release. “And if we are going to make the grade, well then, we need to sharpen our pencils and get to work, and that is what I pledge to accomplish.”
LaPolla – who is not related to current Board of Education vice president Louis LaPolla – unveiled a three-point plan that focuses on fighting federal tax cuts, demanding a fair share from Albany and working in a bipartisan way with state elected officials, and ensuring students have local access to educational programming and extracurricular activities.
“If we enact this three-point plan, we will have something to show for it, and taxpayers will have saved a whole bunch of money in the process,” LaPolla said.
Hobika is a 1978 graduate of Utica Free Academy and a lifelong resident of Utica. He’s a graduate of Hamilton College and Syracuse University College of Law, and he works as a local attorney. Hobika unveiled a four-point plan Tuesday that focuses on safety and security, school district funding, fiscal planning and student achievement.
“This is my home and I truly care about the direction of our schools,” Hobika said in a news release. “All of my family members are products of Utica’s public schools and my daughter, Geena Jo is currently a teacher in the district.”
Hobika formerly served in positions such as the City of Utica’s Empire Zone Coordinator, General Counsel to the Utica Industrial Development Agency and Executive Director of the Utica Brownfield Revitalization Corporation.
“We have amazing teachers who aren’t given the resources they need, diverse students who are eager to learn and a market that is demanding so much more of our graduates,” Hobika said. “I know I can make a positive difference for these teachers and students, and as a direct result, make our community a better place to live.”
Three positions on the Board of Education are up for election on May 15. Two of the positions are currently held by Donald Dawes and Michael Paul, whose five-year terms expire this year, and the third position was previously held by Michael Galimo, who resigned from the position.
The two candidates who receive the most votes in the election will fill the two five-year term positions, and the candidate who receives the third-highest number of votes will serve the remainder of Galimo’s term, which expires in 2021.
Petitions must be turned in by April 25 to be eligible to run for the Utica City School District Board of Education.