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East District School Board members falls short of needed signatures

One member of the Buffalo School Board appears to be out of a job weeks before the May 7 election gets under way.

The Erie County Board of Elections found East District member Rosalyn L. Taylor fell 80 signatures short of the 500 needed to qualify for the ballot. Taylor, who turned in 1,386 signatures, was appointed to replace Vivian O. Evans in January 2011.

“The petition was rejected today by the Board of Elections. We reviewed it line by line, and determined she had an invalid number of signatures,” said Ralph Mohr, one of the two county election commissioners.

Mohr said the primary problem was that too many signatures were obtained from people who lived outside the district.

Taylor said she will decide quickly whether to mount a legal challenge in State Supreme Court.

“I was shocked that I didn’t have enough signatures,” Taylor said. “I’m meeting with my campaign manager, and we’re going to decide what to do next. It’s a hard decision as to what to do on this late date.”

Taylor blamed inexperience.

“Sometimes you work hard, but you don’t work smart,” she said.

Challenges also will be heard Monday against West District member Ralph R. Hernandez, who delivered 1,084 signatures, and Central District challenger Joseph Mascia, who brought in 745 signatures. Mohr said they will complete the process by Thursday.

In addition, general objections have been filed against Ferry District Member Sharon Belton-Cottman, who is running unopposed; Central District Member Mary Ruth Kapsiak; and Central District challenger Bryon McIntyre.

Specific objections, which had to be postmarked by Thursday, are required to trigger a petition review. Mohr said he expected they would be received by Monday.