Gerald Perese Jr.

I was born and raised in northeast Philadelphia where I attended Catholic elementary school and then public high school. I earned an accelerated Master’s degree in Electrical Engineering with a focus on Electric Power from Drexel University. After graduating, I immediately entered into the utility industry, working in electrical grid planning and modernization, new customer connections, developer and public relations, reliability improvement, project management, plant maintenance and operational efficiency.

I have learned many skills that I am humbly offering to improve the finances and fiscal responsibility of the lower merion school district. On the topic of responsibility, did you get your tax refund from LMSD? If it weren’t for a private citizen in the township filing a lawsuit, no one ever would have received those refunds. My experience managing maintenance of existing assets while advising prudent capital expenditures to maximize return to investors (you, the taxpayer!) will immensely help improve our school district and our community.

As an engineer, I thoroughly understand systems; this includes building systems, educational systems, transportation systems, and financial systems. As school board director, I would leverage that understanding to reduce costs and subsequent taxes by reviewing contracts for restructuring or competitive bid opportunities, consolidating and modifying services where possible, and, finally, reducing litigation costs, by any means necessary.  There is nothing more equitable than minimizing or eliminating tax increases for all lower merion citizens.

Another thing I hope to provide is balance. The only checks and balances we have in local township politics is the two-party system. There is no three-branch system here, but there is a nine-member board for a reason. When it is occupied exclusively by one party, groupthink is inevitable. I would use my position to provide transparency, first and foremost, and I would also contribute diversity of thought. My engineering background has trained me to analyze data, so I would be able to look more objectively at third party studies or external references cited for policy changes, often approved unanimously.

Finally, I’d like to try to bring some fun back to the schools. Fear caused by the pandemic and recent parent pushback have resulted in so many restrictions. Class trips aren’t as frequent as they used to be for our children, parents are hardly welcome in schools, and holiday traditions, like the Halloween parade, are cancelled. Rather than buckling to the war on fun, my wife and a handful of other concerned mothers stepped up and organized the first ever trunk-or-treat here in Lower Merion, and I was so proud of their positive approach. I am inspired by them, so I plan to use the same positive approach when I’m elected to the school board.



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