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The race for the Orchard Park School Board is a little like a game of musical chairs.

There are five candidates for four positions. After the May 17 election, one candidate will have to go home without a seat.

Given the upheavals in the school district over the past year, the question is whether that person will be the real winner.

The candidates are:

Richard Young, the only incumbent. A pastor at Orchard Park Presbyterian Church since 2002, Young was appointed to the board in March to fill one of two seats created when James Crean and Mike Dillon resigned. He's 42.

Maria Lehman, the former Erie County Public Works commissioner. Lehman, 44, resigned in March and has taken a job as a vice president for URS, overseeing the engineering company's nongovernmental work in the Northeast.

Steven Korn, a credit specialist. Korn, 52, works for Experian, a national credit checking company.

Donald Sniezak, a computer specialist. Sniezak, 48, is the director of technology for DayOne, a division of He and Lehman are next-door neighbors.

Phillip Marron, former principal of Cardinal O'Hara High School. Marron, 53, is finishing his doctoral thesis in school administration.

Since there are unfinished terms to be filled, the top vote-getter will take office May 18 and then serve a three-year term starting in July.

The second- and third-highest vote-getters will receive three-year terms. The fourth finisher will take office May 18 and will then complete Dillon's term through 2007.

Whoever finishes fifth doesn't have to worry about dealing with the fallout from controversies that have led to Superintendent Paul J. Grekalski being relieved of his duties and the resignations of Crean and Dillon.

It's unclear at this point where the candidates line up on Orchard Park's divide between the taxpayer groups and more administration/teachers union-friendly groups.

That's likely to become more clear during a candidate's night at 7 p.m. May 2 in Eggert Elementary School.


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