Bob Kamnikar has withdrawn his Amherst school board reelection bid, throwing his support behind another candidate.
Elected in 2013 in a tightly contested race, Kamnikar said he now faces time constraints due to his day job as a construction project manager running four work sites with limited manpower.
“I don’t want to miss meetings. I don’t feel it’s right if people vote for me and expect me to be there, and I’m not there,” he said.
His departure leaves four candidates seeking three open seats: incumbents Teresa Gilles and Ronald Yacobozzi, former board member Valerie Neidert, and newcomer Markos Athineos.
Kamnikar is endorsing Athineos, an Amherst alumnus, saying, “If you liked what I did on (the board of education), you’ll get that from him.”
He said they share the same beliefs and values, want to hear both sides of every story before making a decision, and “will not shy away from uncharted topics.”
Scheduled at 4:30 p.m., school board meeting times played a role in his late decision not to seek reelection. The scheduling makes it difficult for working professionals and parents to attend, said Kamnikar, who during his term argued for later meetings.
In the past four years, Kamnikar said he’s encountered resistance to some of his stances on Amherst school issues. He’s tried to be humble, non-argumentative, and stick to what he believes — and feels bad about bowing out.
“I’m going to miss it,” he said. “I tried to really stand up for what was right and ask questions, and my goal was always to learn.”
The fall election will be held Nov. 7. The Amherst ballot includes not only school board but city council races, two state issues, and three Lorain County issues.
Jason Hawk can be reached at 440-988-2801 or @EditorHawk on Twitter.
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