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More candidates vie for seats on Hillsborough County School Board

TAMPA — Two more candidates have joined the crowded race for seats on the Hillsborough County School Board.

Tampa resident Todd Benjamin Fink, 34, said he filed for the District 6 countywide seat held by April Griffin in part because of the uncertainty surrounding tenure reform in Florida and the district's $100 million Gates grant.

"I would say generally I'm hearing more rumbles of discontent," he said. "I want to look at not only the track record but the ability of the folks who are on the current board."

As chief executive of ChronoSolutions Technology Consulting, Fink said, he has developed a record of helping government and private-sector clients operate more efficiently. But as a parent of young children, he wants to make sure teachers get what they need, too.

"Both my parents are retired schoolteachers," Fink said. "I watched both of them go from being pretty on fire about education to being burnt out, year after year."

He joins four other candidates — Scott David Barrish, Terry Kemple, John T. Mattox and Mitchell Smithey — in challenging Griffin in the Aug. 24 primary leading to the Nov. 4 general election.

In the District 4 race in eastern Hillsborough, Kirk Edward Faryniasz of Riverview has filed papers to unseat incumbent Jennifer Faliero.

He will be joined by challengers Richard Bartels and Stacy R. White.

A retired Air Force officer, Faryniasz said the board needs a "fresh set of eyes" to scrutinize spending and the Gates grant.

"I definitely am fiscally conservative, both personally and in the way I operate, and I think that's one thing that's different from my opponent," he said, referring to Faliero.

Faryniasz, 53, failed in a 2008 primary bid to unseat state Rep. Ron Reagan, R-Bradenton. He got onto that ballot by knocking on doors and collecting 1,300 signatures, and said School Board members should try to be just as accessible to voters.

"Unless it's an election year, we rarely see them," he said.

Tom Marshall can be reached at tmarshall@sptimes.com or (813) 226-3400.

More candidates vie for seats on Hillsborough County School Board 03/30/10 [Last modified: Tuesday, March 30, 2010 10:46pm]
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