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Five Candidates Vying for Two Open School Board Seats

Leading up to the Aug. 16 filing deadline, both incumbents and three challengers have pulled petitions to serve on the Dearborn School Board.

With one week left before the filing deadline to run for the Dearborn Public Schools Board of Education, five candidates have pulled paperwork to run for two available seats.

As of Monday, Trustees Mary Petlichkoff and Joseph Guido, both of whom are ending four-year terms on the seven-member board, have pulled petitions to collect 40-100 valid signatures needed to get on the Nov. 8 ballot.

Joining the two incumbents are Roxanne McDonald, who is seeking the seat for a third time, Steve Dobkowski, who was once a charter commissioner in the city, and Adam Salam Adamski, a candidate formerly known as Mario Fundarski, said district spokesman Dave Mustonen.

Dearborn Election Clerk Cynthia Galea said there’s still a lot of time for other candidates enter the race.

"No one has filed yet, but it’s not uncommon for them to do so closer to the deadline,” she said Friday.

Dearborn Public Schools Board of Education trustees serve four-year terms. Trustees come up for election each year; with two terms expiring for three years in row, and then one. The board also serves as the elected body at Henry Ford Community College.

Guido, an architect who was elected in 1993 for a six-year term on the board, was re-elected in 1999, 2003 and 2007. He said he absolutely intends to file the required number of signatures.

“I think we have a number of challenges ahead of us, and we have a productive board, all of whom have been on (the board) for a while,” he said.

Petlichkoff, a community activist, was elected to the board in 2007, and said she also plans on defending her seat.

“After four years I see a lot of unfinished business that I would like to follow up on and secure for the district,” she said. “Programs and policies that we’ve initiated need to be monitored to make sure we get the best results possible, and I have the background to make sure that happens.”

Petlichkoff was a charter commissioner and is a City Beautiful commissioner. She is also the president of the Dearborn Federation of Neighborhood Associations.

McDonald would be a newcomer to the board if elected, but she’s a familiar face around the schools. McDonald is currently the vice president of the Dearborn Parent-Teacher Association, and this will be her third candidacy for a board seat.

"I came very close to winning seat last year, and this year, I think I can win,” said McDonald.

In 2009, McDonald came in third place for two open seats, behind Pamela Anderson and Hussein Berry, and in 2010, she was defeated by School Board president James Schoolmaster by a margin of only 21 votes for one open seat.

Dobkowski was on the city’s charter commission, but was removed because he owed taxes to the city–a circumstance that prevented his from holding public office by the city charter.

Additionally, Dobkowski has previously run for seats on the Michigan House of Representatives and the Dearborn City Council.

Salam Adamski is the fifth person to pull petitions, but said on Friday that he planned to run as a write-in candidate, due to the fact that he could not prove residency within the Dearborn Public Schools district.

He previously caused a stir when he displayed a flag featuring the Star of David and swastikas on the exterior of his residence to protest against Israel. He has previously run for several other offices in the area, including Wayne County Executive, under the name Fundarski.

Efforts to reach Dobkowski were unsuccessful.

There still could be more candidates, however. Candidates have until 4 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 16, to file their petitions–or pay a $100 filing fee–at the Dearborn City Clerk’s office to appear on the ballot.

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