BY C.B. MILLER
Housing Commissioner Joe Mascia is considering a run for the Central District seat on Buffalo’s Board of Education. Dwayne Kelly, an activist who once circulated a letter in support of Carl Paladino under the pen name “Herman,” has already announced his candidacy for the seat and Paladino is planning to actively support him.
If elected, Mascia would refuse to join either faction of the Board.
“He is not aligned with the teachers unions or the charter school groups,” explains one supporter. “He is a totally independent voice in support of high quality public education in every neighborhood.”
Mascia is actively running for reelection to the Board of Commissioners of the Buffalo Municipal Housing Authority, a public advocacy position that carries only a $2,000 annual stipend. He is likely to win reelection and has been endorsed by top tenant-elected figures within the authority. The question of whether or not a sitting housing commissioner can run for that office and another simultaneously has already been settled. Two years ago, Mascia was taken to court after filing petitions to run for State Assembly. The court ruled in his favor.
Kelly is expected to receive financial support from Students First, a Washington, DC based charter school group led by the controversial former DC Schools Chancellor Michelle Rhee. He was recruited to run by Paladino earlier this year.