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|Board Member, Clifton School Board, At-large|
|Years in position||5|
|Elections and appointments|
|Last election||November 5, 2013|
|First elected||April 20, 2010|
|Next general||November, 2016|
|High school||Clifton High School|
Passenti resides in Clifton, New Jersey. Passenti graduated from Clifton High School and studied Criminal Justice at Kean College before he joined the Clifton Police Department as a police officer. He has served on the city's police force since 1997 and he currently holds the rank of police sergeant.
- See also: Clifton Public Schools elections (2013)
|Clifton Public Schools, At-large General Election, 3-year term, 2013|
|Nonpartisan||Gary Passenti Incumbent||27.8%||6,032|
|Nonpartisan||Wayne Demikoff Incumbent||22.2%||4,806|
|Nonpartisan||Laura De Benedetto||22%||4,775|
|Source: Passaic County, New Jersey, "Summary Report," November 15, 2013|
Passenti reported no contributions or expenditures to the New Jersey Election Law Enforcement Commission.
Passenti did not receive any official endorsements for his campaign.
|Clifton Public Schools, At-large General Election, 3-year term, 2010|
|Nonpartisan||Kim Renta Incumbent||23.1%||2,674|
|Source: Tony Gicas, The Record, "2010 School Elections: Clifton," April 20, 2010|
What was at stake?
There were three seats on the school board up for election on November 5, 2013. Incumbents Gary Passenti and Wayne Demikoff filed for re-election and competed with challengers Laura De Benedetto and Rosemary Pino in the at-large race. Fellow incumbent Mary Kowal did not file for re-election.
Transportation policy debate
A district policy requiring students who live within two and a half miles of their school building not to ride the bus has received criticism from local parents. District administration instituted the busing policy as a cost-saving measure, which was recently upheld by the school board due to budgetary concerns. Local grandmother and student guardian Barbara Tate has denounced the policy as poor prioritization, arguing, "Children's welfare should come before anything on their budget, and if it costs them money then they will have to work it in." Incumbent Wayne Demikoff defended the policy, but fellow incumbent Gary Passenti stated that board members need to review additional financial data before making a final decision on whether or not to maintain it. Both Laura De Benedetto and Rosemary Pino expressed sympathy for students and parents affected by the policy, with Pino suggesting that alternative funding through methods such as subscription busing could be a feasible solution.
About the district
- See also: Clifton Public Schools, New Jersey
Passaic County underperformed in comparison to the rest of New Jersey in terms of its median rates of average household income, poverty rate and higher education achievement in 2011. The median household income in Passaic County was $56,299 compared to $71,180 for the state of New Jersey. The poverty rate in Passaic County was 15.3% compared to 9.4% for the entire state. The US Census also found that 25.4% of Passaic County residents aged 25 years and older attained a Bachelor's degree compared to 35.0% in New Jersey.
Note: The United States Census Bureau considers "Hispanic or Latino" to be a place of origin, not a race. Therefore, the Census allows citizens to report both their race and that they are from a "Hispanic or Latino" place of origin simultaneously. As a result, the percentages in each column of the racial demographics table will exceed 100 percent. Each column will add up to 100 percent after removing the "Hispanic or Latino" place of origin percentages, although rounding by the Census Bureau may make the total one or two tenths off from being exactly 100 percent.
This section displays the most recent stories in a Google news search for the term "Gary + Passenti + Clifton + Public + School"
- All stories may not be relevant to this page due to the nature of the search engine.
- Terence McGinley, Clifton Journal, "Four vie for three Clifton school board seats," October 25, 2013
- New Jersey Election Law Enforcement Commission, "Standard Search," accessed December 20, 2013
- Terence McGinley, Clifton Journal, "Clifton parents ask District to review school transportation policy," September 27, 2013
- United States Census Bureau, "Passaic County, New Jersey," accessed October 27, 2013
- State of New Jersey Department of State, "Statewide Voter Registration Summary," accessed October 27, 2013
- United States Census Bureau, "Frequently Asked Questions," accessed April 21, 2014