Student\u2019s best interest remains #1 priority Disagreements among the Board of Education are no strange occurrence, according to board member Kathlene Yolish, but with two new members joining them following the election, she says she is looking forward to settling those differences and the board\u2019s progression. \u201cThe most important thing is the children and them getting the best education as possible,\u201d said Yolish. \u201cThings were said and done, now I think it\u2019s important that we sit down and mend the relationship of the board moving forward.\u201d The republicans ran a total of 8 candidates in this term\u2019s election for the Board of Education, which ultimately resulted in some candidates expressing their dislikes of views of other members through their campaigns. Both John Boyko and Francino Quinn ran for election this year, but were not selected to the Board of Education. As a part of their campaign they passed out a flier with information regarding current board members\u2019 actions. \u201cCode Orange\u201d is what the flier read that was being distributed with voting information for candidates Boyko, Quinn, Yolish, and Dr. Ritter. The bright orange piece of paper was intended to make the public aware of Chairman Mark Holden\u2019s stance on tax increases within the city, more high paid positions in the Central Office, and \u201cfoolish spending on unnecessary expenditures.\u201d Boyko, Quinn, and Dr. Ritter were unavailable for immediate comment on the Code Orange flier, but Yolish explained why even though she wasn\u2019t directly responsible for it, she does support its message. \u201cI just can\u2019t spend money on things that won\u2019t better the kids\u2019 education,\u201d said Yolish. \u201cWhen we meet we will see how we go about fixing things. Everything on that flier can be proven.\u201d Holden released a response to the \u201cdirty politics\u201d on his Facebook page. \u201cWhile I've kept to the high road and hadn't attacked any of my opponents in the election, Jay Francino-Quinn and John Boyko have decided to attack me, Win Oppel and Tom Minotti, all fellow Republicans, with a "CODE ORANGE" flyer that's being hand delivered in Shelton. Some are in a plastic bag with fliers for Kathy Yolish, Dr. Darlissa Ritter and John Boyko. Others have a "sample ballot" that only names Dr. Ritter, Kathy Yolish, John Boyko and Jay Francino Quinn,\u201d Holden\u2019s Facebook status reads. \u00a0\u201cNear as I can tell they're mostly going to Republicans. It's apparently a desperate act by desperate people. Their attack selectively presents information to make us look like people who want to raise your taxes and hire additional staff at high salaries in Central Office. I have NEVER said a tax increase would be beneficial.\u201d Holden added that since the ending of the election he too would like to move forward. He said the messages on the flyer are distorted and information taken out of context. Yolish added she doesn\u2019t expect all of the board\u2019s disagreements or difference in opinion to change through one meeting, nor does she want them to. \u201cI believe that if the board just agrees on everything then we aren\u2019t really taking the time to think,\u201d said Yolish. \u201cThe main thing we need to agree on is making sure the education system and student\u2019s futures are headed in a positive direction.\u201d Board members were expecting at least one change on the board because former member, Timothy Walsh didn\u2019t run for reelection, but after the votes were tallied two new members earned their seats. Republican Dr. Ritter and Democratic David Gioiello Jr. are the newest members on the board. Democrats who won in this term may have received fewer votes than some of the unsuccessful Republicans, but they were elected by a provision that guaranteed them a minority party representation on the board. Yolish said she believes both new members will offer a fresh perspective to the board that could be useful. \u201cDarlisa has over 40 years as a teacher so she understands what is best for the students,\u201d said Yolish. The city\u2019s voter turnout improved from 36.4% in 2013 to 41.1% in this year\u2019s election. Speculation around what caused the increase is never ending. Mayor Mark Lauretti said he believes he knows what led more people to vote this year compared to the last election. \u201cThe people didn\u2019t want to lose what they have,\u201d said Lauretti. \u201cWe haven\u2019t raised taxes in 5 years, in fact we lowered them one year. Not many other places in the state can say that.\u201d Lauretti also said disagreements among Boards of Education are normal and often occur when people take politics personal. \u201cDisagreements like this always happen among the Board of Education, not only in Shelton, but across the state of Connecticut,\u201d said Lauretti. \u201cA lot of people who sit on these boards are not qualified and don\u2019t understand education, but that doesn\u2019t make them bad people. The moment someone doesn\u2019t get what they want they take it personal and go tit-for-tat. That\u2019s politics. It\u2019s unfortunate how that can cloud the equation.\u201d According to outgoing Superintendent Freeman Burr, Holden, and Yolish the board plans to have a conversation following the swearing in ceremony for all new and reelected candidates later on this month. \u201cWe elected a real strong team. Some great candidates won and some great candidates lost,\u201d said Holden. \u201cI have no desire to say anything bad about the members on the board.\u201d More updates on this story to come.