After taking part in an election forum in October as one of the four candidates running for three available positions on the Bernards Township Board of Education, John Groot, said he has decided he will no longer compete for one of those seats.
Groot's decision leaves three other candidates who are seeking election to the three, three-year seats on the school board, including incumbents Michael Byrne and Elaine Kusel, and also newcomer Christopher Viereck.
It is too late for Groot's name to be removed from the ballot that will include a line-up of school board candidates in next Tuesday's general election. But he confirmed on Thursday he no longer is running.
Groot said that after participating in the candidate's forum, he felt that the current board members, Michael Byrne and Elaine Kusel, are "better prepared." He said he thought he would require more training to get up to speed with the rest of the board.
As for Viereck, Groot noted that he feels comfortable the newcomer "has his heart in it" to serve. Groot said he believes it helps that Viereck has children in the school system, while he does not.
If he did receive enough votes to gain election, Groot said he would serve. But he said it is not his intention to get elected.
He said he had informed the county Board of Elections and also had written to the Board of Education stating his decision.
The Bernards Township Board of Education candidates, including the two incumbents and two challengers, took part in the forum, and introduced themselves, as well as providing a wrap-up comment and answering questions submitted by the audience. The seats up for re-election constitute a third of the nine-member school board for Bernards Township's K-12 school district.
Groot said at the forum that during his business career he had been involved heavily in education because he was disatisfied with the way products were being presented, and he developed training to improve those presentations.