And then there were three.
Citing personal considerations, incumbent School Board candidate Jeffrey Strumpf has dropped out of his race for re-election. His announcement means that the three remaining candidates are running unopposed for the board’s.
Speaking with Patch, Strumpf emphasized that his decision was not a reaction to board decisions or a reflection of personality conflicts with other board members. He said that while he did not agree with all of the board’s actions during his tenure, he felt no personal enmity towards the board or the school administration.
“Primarily, it’s a timing perspective,” Strumpf said. “Trying to balance work with family and other things is a growing concern.”
In a letter sent on Friday, March 11, Strumpf notified Springfield’s Superintendent of Schools Mike Davino and Board Secretary Matt Clarke that he would not be running.
“I am the sort of person that gives 100 percent to everything I commit to and in an effort to maintain the balance in my life between work and family, something had to give,” Strumpf wrote.
Strumpf, a Marketing Manager at Stryker Orthopaedics, was first elected to the school board in 2008. In the letter, he said the three years he has served on the board have been a “growing experience” for him. He praised the board’s achievements in his tenure, which he attributed to the collective result of everyone involved in the process.
“While I have come to respect these occasional differences of opinions in the boardroom, I recognize that all decisions that are ultimately reached will not always be popular with everyone involved or impacted,” Strumpf said in the letter.
In conversation, Strumpf noted that some of his votes have been controversial. Notably, he was the sole holdout against recommending adjusting in order to raise his salary earlier this year.
“It had nothing to do with his performance,” Strumpf said of that vote. “I was looking at it from an economic perspective.”
Strumpf was the chairman of the Buildings and Grounds Committee as well as the alternate liaison to the Township Committee. He said he planned to continue to play a visible role in the town despite stepping down from the board.
Strumpf’s departure from the race means that the three remaining candidates, Steve Wolcott, Steve Friedman and Scott Samansky, are running unopposed for the three open seats on the board.
The Community Conference of Springfield Schools’ Parent Groups will hold a candidates night on April 14; details will follow.