It has been exactly one week since the New York State Education Commissioner removed Carl Paladino from the Park District seat of the Buffalo School Board.
The board has a little more than 20 days left to find his replacement and already there are two candidates coming forward.
Austin Harig has yet to officially apply for the position but says he will. Kevin Lafferty has applied.
Both applicants have run for this seat before. Harig ran in 2016 against Paladino and lost. Being a recent Hutchinson Tech graduate he believes he has fresh view of the city's school system
“That perspective is what I would like to bring to the board, the perspective that someone who has simply been through the system, knows what it does,” said Harig.
Kevin Lafferty ran for the seat in 2004 and lost. Now, with a family he wants to improve the district for his daughter.
“The pledge that I made back in 2004 that I'm doing it for my child and now that she's there and in the district I feel it's a responsibility to follow up on that,” said Lafferty.
They both want to better engage students and their families.
“I want to make them want to go to school. I want to make them feel it's worthwhile and will help them have a successful future,” said Harig of students in the district.
“Making a bargain with district parents that we are going to do all we can to guarantee a pathway to increased success at the academic level and within our schools, in exchange for our parents being onboard,” said Lafferty.
The school board does not need to select either applicant. If that is the case, Mayor Byron Brown would appoint a board member.
Carl Paladino says he will be appealing his removal, soon.