February 18, 2002

greenspun.com : LUSENET : Diversity coalitions : One Thread

Discussions relevent to the week of February 18, 2002.

-- Anonymous, February 18, 2002


At our last meeting, which was well attended and a great success, we discussed having an SOS Special Ed seminar with Kathy Hochman and Barbara Boyce invited to speak about the role of Special Ed in education. We had thought that the HS would be a good place to have this seminar.

But in giving it further thought, I think it may be better to have it at a town venue so as to get better publicity for SOS. If we have it in the school, can you imagine the criticism? Any ideas??

As to the Simpson's...I think the line was something like, "they have 216 elements in their periodic table and we only have 16 due to budget cuts. And those are only lanthanides ".

-- Anonymous, February 18, 2002

Diversity Club:

Began in about October with four founding members (Ava Eisenson, Max Weiss, Ariel Morales, and me). Mr. Calinda (Global History teacher) volunteered to be our adviser. For the first parts of the year, we've been trying to get the word out that we exist. We held a "luncheon" in the guidance hallway of the school with different ethnic foods and a sign-up sheet. Proved to be quite effective. Our membership probably has about 15 students now, and for Black History Month, we've been showing different movies (Do the Right Thing, Guess Who's Coming to Dinner, etc.) and holding discussions on them. To be honest, I haven't been attending as much since play rehearsal started. So it goes.

If I wanted to get a bunch of "Focus on Education" buttons (I'm thinking of distributing them in SAC), where would I do that?

If we're quoting The Simpsons, I like the one where all of the teachers go on strike.

Bart: Basically Krabappel said you'd give the teachers everything they want. Skinner: She did? Bart: Yeah. She said you'd fold faster than Superman on laundry day.

-- Anonymous, February 18, 2002

I like the idea of using a public hall, like the Olive Hall or the West hurley Fire Hall...I also think we should consider a second event closer to the budget vote, with Hal and Chuck talking about the budget, priorities and management. This could be in Woodstock and could be a great information event.

I have submitted the identical letter that appeared in the today's Freeman to the Wood Times and Ulster County Townsman...and will continue to refine the bad board behaviors piece...

I also was thinking about what Neil said about the "What if there were no Joe Doan" idea...and it oxccured to me that the candidates could be strengthen by just that as a campiagn. Make him irrelevant in all SOS and candidate literature...Let others do it...even Jim's letter no longer need to mention him. Tobe

-- Anonymous, February 18, 2002

free not in bondage, noble , illustrious, glad.Webster's Collegiate. So Big Brother wherever you are can Tobe and Tom and I talk about Poley on here or ya want us to go to Doansdeeds?I'd feel reassured if we started getting some writing down on major issue responses so all could add comment edit etc.Everybody get their own little specialty on here and we can start talking about it.Keep me out of trouble.

-- Anonymous, February 18, 2002

I would suggest that we discuss it (Poley) here. When we come to a conclusive statement on Poley, we can post it on Doan's Deed's. Makes it easier to look up in the future.

-- Anonymous, February 18, 2002

Rachel - The buttons are from the Onteora Teacher Association. Ask one the involved teachers like Webb, George DeFina or Bill Melvin.

-- Anonymous, February 18, 2002

It is Poly who paved Phoenicia parking lot? Just mentioning...the parking lot is a lake! there is a problem of drainage in a large section. When you get out of your car ya need a canoe. It was I who pushed for the sidewalk that winds around side of building to back playground to be paved. At time I had Joshua in wheel chair navigating walk way...it serves all the kids of course. I whined a lot and it finially got done...don't know who was responsible. Just an example, though, of how so called professionals come in and the end result is not professional. What did the district ask of Poly? Did they do as told? or are they inept?

Did someone question Doan's being a registered engineer? Joe Michaels is certain he is registered in state of New York...best to be certain.

-- Anonymous, February 19, 2002

I have a conflict with holding an SOS meeting on the ninth of March as discussed at the previous meeting. This was to be the meeting with candidate interviews. I have no problem not attending that particlar meeting if someone else would organize and schedule the candidate interviews. Any takers?

-- Anonymous, February 19, 2002


If it works for you, let's schedule that meeting for 3/16. The extra week doesn't really mattter, but I think it's important for you to be there.

Curry, the stealth veep

ps Is 3/16 the Ides of March? What is the Ides of March anyhow?

-- Anonymous, February 19, 2002

The Ides is the 15th of ANY month. Just FYI

-- Anonymous, February 19, 2002

I trust this remark is not something that gives us insight into your potential governing style as a trustee, Neil? ;)

-- Anonymous, February 19, 2002

Well...here's a change and an alert...Joe Doan is registered now to practice as a professional engineer.

This is a change from the last NY State Ed Dept posting that i looked at on 01/04/02that shows him as being not registered...Curiously enough his registratuion now ends 01/05/05... It's always good to re-check! Thanks to Melissa for raising it again. If you want to look yourself, here's where to go http://www.nysed.gov/coms/op001/opscr2?profcd=16&plicno=049518 Copy and paste that line into your browser and it ashould take you there.

So, the question is ...why the sudden change???

And why did he use the title for so many years when he was not registered.

-- Anonymous, February 19, 2002

Oops, I meant JD's registration lasts until the end of 01/05. tobe

-- Anonymous, February 19, 2002

The registration period is three years, so it just happened, on 1/5/02 !!! Tobe, when he finally comes up with his softball field plans, with his fresh new stamp on them, let's check all the dates carefully: The plans have to be dated before the construction, right? And his registration just began in January......

And just what is the story of why he was unregistered for so long? The answer may be buried under the toxic waste dumps of Lodi, NJ.

-- Anonymous, February 19, 2002

or it may be simply, he was not practicing and didn't want to spend the $$$ to register..now that he needed to do a deposition in the Poley case and probably the field plans, he needed to get back on board...could be that simple! T.

-- Anonymous, February 19, 2002

I'm OK for the 16th of March. Is everyone OK with that being the next SOS meeting???

-- Anonymous, February 19, 2002

16th is Ok here...does that mean the candidates debate (!) would be on the 23rd? I am not available on the 31st. tobe

-- Anonymous, February 19, 2002

Melissa who's Joe Michaels? Doesn't surprise me that Joe D. has a fresh new stamp. Dumb is not his problem.M., also wondering if there is any new news about a Phoenicia response to JD..fourth grade test scores etc.? March 16 sos . OK. Here's everything I know about Poley .Let's everybody drag in what they know and than we'll get Thom on. The Poley Paving contract was (?) part of the most recent bond issue ?year? and represented only part of a multi year project. (details?) Phoenicia Elem. school parking lot (what else)High School?I think Poley became part of Joe's repetoire when the architect Monterose(required to oversee all aspects of the district's project) was being called to task.Joe was dragging in whatever he could to attack Monterose and Poley got picked up.Somewhere along the way Thom got brought in and he and Joe did these core samples where Joe got his material to attack Poley with. Inadequate thickness of blacktop ( or the like)now puddles. My impression is we owed Poley some final payment of maybe 17000 and this was being held up by JD.At this same time we were hearing about the "double and triple payments" and I believe at least one of them went to Monterose..maybe two. Fact is he was a jerk who did a bad job for the district, that of course complicates things.I would like to clearly understand the double and triple payment story of Joe's as his campaign will no doubt be strewn with references to these heroics.At this point I know the district has spent quite alot of money in legal fees to deal with this and will soon be coming to some settlement. Will we have spent more money fighting Poley (and Monterose ) than having paid them off originally? How much? Essentially , if we didn't pay more, we don't get to complain right?Indeed it has taken up alot of precious time and one would like to think that would be enough but oh well.It seems clear that the Eratt fiasco has wasted more blatant money but I'm not sure. Any takers?

-- Anonymous, February 19, 2002

we have to get the numbers right or joe will chew them up and spit them out god bless him

-- Anonymous, February 19, 2002

Joe Michaels is a Shandaken friend...we go way back. Joe works as an engineer at the NY Power Authority. Doan has been trying to get Joe involved on a few projects and Joe knows better. He always refuses. He saw Doan's seal on something...don't know when or what.

-- Anonymous, February 19, 2002

Last year we interviewed on the 24th of March and selected candidates by the 26th. Let's have the interview process at the March 16th meeting and vote that day with a few days grace for absent members. So the decision will be made by say the 18th of March. Let me know waht you all think. Thanks.

-- Anonymous, February 20, 2002

Let's interview candidates on the 16th. Jim, is the list of questions from last year on this bb anywhere? I'd like us all to review the questions and decide what revisions we want. We should be able to do this on the bb....

-- Anonymous, February 20, 2002

Ah...I believe it is on the list of topics on the first page after the password sign in. Simply scroll down and click. We can continue the discussion there if that's fine with everyone.

-- Anonymous, February 20, 2002

well .guess I got a bit carried away with the above . I'll get the info and try to fill you in ..OK on the 16 Jim, have any other candidates come forward ? Has anyone spoken to Goodman lately?I"m only curious ..sentiment in the first sos certainly did not indicate any support.I've heard nothing else about Laurel Herdman.Neil seems a great candidate..what will this "interview" be like?

-- Anonymous, February 20, 2002

I'm curious who else is running other than Neil and Kathy? If they are the only 2 candidates is the interviewing a moot point? I finally got to speak to teacher at Phoenicia about statistic gathering. she didn't get very far...but is very interested in a meeting with Gayle C. concerning middle school issues. If I may, I would like to call Gayle and set up a meeting. I would frame it as questions concerning middle school, transition from 6th grade and Phoenicia statistics. what do you think? I'm curious, for example, how many Phoenicia kids are in the Indie Works 10th grade Alternative Program. My son feels there is only a few kids...the majority from other schools. Also, there are many parents who question the Humanities Program in 7th & 8th grade. Give me feed back please.

-- Anonymous, February 21, 2002

The candidates at this point are Kathy, Neil, Marino and Michael plus we are waiting to hear of any others.

As to a meeting of the MS and Phoenicia parents. It can be done one of two ways, either the school sets it up or we sponser it outside the school. Sponsoring outside the school may seem odd and partisan.

Maybe it is best if done within the parameters of the school. Any other ideas?

-- Anonymous, February 21, 2002

These are the questions from last year. I'm taking the liberty of placing them here because it's easier to access. Happily, questions 2 is moot, but I think we can use the rest of the questions as is..... With the experience of last year behind us, I think the interview process is important and necessary, and should be as inclusive and open minded as possible. Those who are not chosen certainly can still remain involved, and there's always next year.......

Question List for Candidate Interviews:

We used Eric's excellent candidate questions process, known as EECQ!! to cull down the questions to eight, which I'll list in no particular order:

1 What do you think are the three greatest concerns facing Onteora, and how do you think the BOE should begin to address them?

2 What are your thoughts regarding having a non-voting student representative sit on the Onteora BOE?

3 Many stucdents are apathetic and disengaged, as a Trustee of the BOE, what would you do to better engage students in learning?

4 As a Trustee of the BOE, what would you do to involve parents in their students' education?

5 Given the current stressors on American families, and the resulting lack of time and energy that many parents have for their children, some say that schools need to contribute to students social/ emotional development in addition to academics. What do you think the school's responsibilities should include in the future and how would you envision implementing these ideas?

6 What research do you do on educational topics, and what was the last thing that you found out that you consider applicable to the Onteora School District?

7 A school budget reflects the values and direction a community places on education. What is the role of a board member in the school budget process?

8 Does Special Ed have a negative or positive impact on the Onteora district? What role does a board memeber play in the Special Education needs of the district?

-- zorro (crinzler@netstep.net), March 14, 2001.

-- Anonymous, February 21, 2002

A little birdie has told me that so far Neil, Kathy and Jim Sofranko (!) have picked up nominating petitions.

Gayle C. has indicated she is always interested in talking directly with parents, so I think Melissa would do well to contact her directly for a one-on-one...

The tenth grade population in the Indie program is probably something that Gayle doesn't know much about...since it's in the high school.

Too bad the Phoenicia teachers haven't followed through on statistics. The word seesm to be that the great and good hand-holding that goes on in Phoenicia, and that helps the students in greatest need, becomes a "problem" in 7th grade, only because many students are not ready to be independent learners and are surprised at how much they (and their parents) need to do to keep up with the curricular demands.

I am still curious to know what percentage of 7th graders are in the "fail" column because of gym or other non academic issues...hope there's a way to spring those stats for all to see. Then if you subtract the ones failing beacuse of attendance or not failing academic subjects, what does that do to the 41% failure rate...bet it drops way down.

I believe the middle school staff and elementary school principals are well aware of where problems exist and are working diligently to meet these isssues, it just doesn't make headlines like "41% Failing!"

here's an important article about the ability of school staff to talk about budgets. probably means we cannot host a superintendent's talk on the budget.

This is from the latest NYSSBA web site at www.nyssba.org Tobe

No more green light on budget coffees (02/11/02) Court teaches a tough lesson on procedure

Superintendents and other school officials are back on notice that they risk violating state law if they attend private meetings with community groups to disseminate information concerning a school district’s budget.

Due to a legal technicality, a state appellate court has issued a ruling that effectively reinstates a prior decision of the commissioner of education that ordered Wayne Gersen, superintendent of the Wappingers school district in Dutchess County, to cease his “coffee meetings” with private groups to discuss factual information about an upcoming budget vote. The groups included parent-teacher organizations, a senior citizens organization and Rotary clubs.

Although the commissioner did not find that the superintendent had engaged in any prohibited conduct, the commissioner nevertheless determined that school districts must “avoid the appearance of impropriety” and ordered the district’s superintendent to refrain from meeting in private with any groups to discuss budget matters. The commissioner cited a landmark state Court of Appeals ruling that held that school districts may not expend taxpayer funds to promote the budget or urge voters to cast their ballots in a particular manner (see story).

Attorneys for the district brought an appeal of the commissioner’s decision to the Albany County Supreme Court. NYSSBA filed a friend-of-the-court brief and supported the district in oral argument before that court. Although the district won the case, the victory has now been reversed amid questions about whether the school board ever voted to authorize the action.

In Gersen and Board of Education of Wappingers Central School District v. Mills and Goldin, the Supreme Court determined that the commissioner’s ruling arbitrarily impeded the district’s ability to keep its constituents informed about the school budget and other ballot propositions. The commissioner did not appeal his loss. But the taxpayer who had originally brought the action did.

The Appellate Division of the state Supreme Court, Third Department reversed the lower court’s decision and reinstated the commissioner’s previous ruling.

The Third Department’s reversal was not based on any judgment regarding whether the district violated the law by permitting its superintendent to hold private meetings with outside groups. Rather, the reversal was based upon lack of proof that the school board had voted to appeal its loss before the commissioner to the lower court.

The Third Department recognized that the school board did ratify after the fact the superintendent’s actions of commencing legal proceedings on behalf of the school district. The key issue to the court was that by the time the board acted, the statute of limitations for bringing the action had expired.

The court acknowledged that prior decisions have allowed school boards to fix procedural defects in court filings by ratifying prior actions. However, in each of those cases the statute of limitations for bringing such action had not expired.

The Third Department’s decision reminds school boards of the importance of taking formal action to commence each level of legal proceedings and the pitfalls of failing to do so prior to the expiration of the statute of limitations for bringing such actions.

In addition, it serves to revitalize the commissioner’s prior pronouncement that school districts must avoid the appearance of impropriety and not permit superintendents to meet in private with any groups to discuss budget matters.

Implementation of this decision may prove most challenging for school districts that have historically attempted to provide as much information to their community members as they have been requested to provide

Here's the related story...sorry for the formatting issues... Thou shalt not exhort the voters! (02/11/02) Commissioner provides guidance on ballot propositions

With the school budget vote and annual board election only a few months away, school officials must remember: Thou Shalt Not Exhort Voters to Vote in a Particular Way!

This commandment was written in the legal equivalent of stone by New York State’s highest court, the Court of Appeals, in 1986. In Phillips v. Maurer, the court ruled that a school district’s duty to provide factual information to the voters about the school budget and other ballot propositions does not include the right to encourage a particular outcome.

As individuals, school board members and administrators have First Amendment rights to express themselves on matters of public concern. But it is improper for school officials to spend public money or use district equipment such as a postage meter to advocate passage of the district’s budget or a proposition. The court made it clear that while school districts may encourage district residents to exercise their right to vote, districts cannot spend taxpayers’ money to tell them how to vote.

Prior to the court’s ruling, it was understood that boards of education naturally support the budget and other ballot propositions that they ask the voters to approve. Boards of education overtly solicited the voters’ support, with the blessing of the commissioner of education.

Today school boards and school administrators must walk a tightrope when publicizing their budgets and ballot initiatives. Every year, numerous citizens file legal challenges that accuse school districts of running afoul of Phillips v. Maurer. Even discussing the proposed budget over coffee with private groups can generate an appearance of impropriety (see story page 1).

The commissioner of education, who has exclusive jurisdiction over school elections disputes, has repeatedly ruled that the court’s directive goes beyond prohibiting school districts from patently encouraging voters to vote “yes.” Even subtle promotional activities violate the spirit of the court’s ruling, according to numerous decisions by the commissioner.

Often legal challenges involve the role and activities of third parties such as parent-teacher associations (PTAs). The commissioner has ruled that districts may not use outside groups as fronts for promotional activities. It is impermissible for a school board to allow a third party to use school facilities or resources to do what the board itself cannot.

But what forms of activities by third parties are permissible before elections, budget votes and referendums? Three recent commissioner’s decisions summarized below involve practices that the commissioner does not find objectionable.

PTA may distribute Q&A results at school

In Appeal of Boni, a complaint was lodged with the commissioner alleging that a school district allowed the PTA to send “partisan” materials home with students. It was undisputed that the PTA distributed on school grounds copies of a five-page flyer consisting of copies of the biographies of each of the candidates running for the board of education, as well as their verbatim responses to the following survey questions asked by the PTA:

1.Do you support the proposed school budget? Are there any changes you would make? 2.What is your view of the most important role of public schools? 3.What do you see as your number one priority for the upcoming school year? 4.How do you view the current situation at the middle school and what do you see as the solution? 5.How do you feel you can contribute to the school board?

The complainant alleged that the phrasing of the survey questions, especially question four, amounted to impermissible partisan advocacy in support of a position advocated by the board of education. The commissioner disagreed, writing: “The questions are broad and open-ended, and each candidate’s response was distributed without editing, censoring or alteration. I find that the questions served to educate and inform the public about the candidate’s positions and qualifications, and do not advocate a particular position.”

Two lessons emerge from this case:

Boards of education can allow school district facilities and channels of communication to be used to distribute board candidates’ biographies, provided that every candidate has the opportunity to include his or her biography in the material disseminated. If the PTA designs an objective, non-partisan survey – as in this case – the board of education can allow the PTA to use the public schools to distribute both the questions and answers.

If done within the strictures set forth by the commissioner, such questionnaires could be an effective method of generating dialogue on the important issues facing school districts and fleshing out the various candidates’ positions on the issues.

Outside groups may videotape school facilities

In Appeal of Huber, et al., the commissioner ruled that there was nothing wrong with a school district allowing various factions within the community to videotape the condition of school facilities. The commissioner found that the condition of the facilities was relevant to a proposed bond referendum, which asked the voters to approve renovations to the facilities. Moreover, the record indicated that the district had granted equal access to its facilities for all groups wishing to videotape them in anticipation of the referendum.

“Because the sufficiency and condition of the district’s facilities were obviously relevant to voters’ decision whether to support the proposition, I find [the board of education] acted reasonably by allowing all organizations access to videotape its facilities,” wrote the commissioner.

The decision should be of interest to any school district in which the condition of school facilities is germane to the proposition before the voters. Videotape may be a useful way to present objective information to the voters, and a policy of equal access avoids any appearance of favoritism.

Different community members or groups may reach different conclusions about the condition of the same facilities. One faction might use a videotape to argue that the district can “make do” with what it has through minor repairs. Another group might use the same videotape – or a different one – to argue that the condition of the facilities warrants wholesale renovations or new construction. This appears to be a democratic way of disseminating information to the community.

District employee may help students register to vote

In Appeal of Hoefer, a district resident filed a complaint with the commissioner alleging, among other things, that it was improper for a district teacher to participate in registering high school seniors to vote in school district elections.

The commissioner dismissed the complaint, writing: “There is nothing inherently wrong with registering a student to vote provided the student is not directed to vote a certain way. The record is devoid of any facts concerning the circumstances surrounding the registration. Therefore, I have no basis to conclude that the voter registration was improper.”

-- Anonymous, February 21, 2002

A note on "failing" statistics in seventh grade, given my daughter's experience in 7th last year. She almost failed a number of subjects, not because she was doing badly in class (her class grades were generally quite good, and her participation in class and her exams were good), but because she has a real and serious organization problem and her zeroes for missing homework subtantially brought down her grade.

Any statistical analysis that doesn't look into that aspect, to make sure whether particular students are getting grades consistent with their actual academic achivements (vs. their homework handed in achivements) may be missing the point entirely, and masking some deficiencies in the communications process.

Do we know if there is a well-used communications channel between the Middle School and the sixth grade teachers and elementary administrators, that is working to monitor the transition process and constantly improve it? The increase in paperwork and sheer amount of stuff to deal with was hard for me as well as for Alison, and there is that dynamic of the young teen's need for independence that is also coming into play for many kids. "You're treating me like a CHILD!" "Then act like a responsible teenager and do your homework without my bugging you!"

-- Anonymous, February 21, 2002

Carol, would you like to come with me to talk to Gayle? I think your daughters experience is not uncommon. some kids realize the demand in first quarter and snap to it. Lots of kids don't. Certainly lots of parents don't.

The analegy of middle school was told to me once as follows:

Picture a giant swimming pool representing Middle School. All new 7th graders are standing on edge and jump in (some are pushed). Some float right from the start and swim, some tread and kick trying to keep their heads above water, some sink just below the service and either make it or sink, some sink right to the bottom from first moment.

Do you think a life preserver, some arm floaties, a boat might help? Many Middle Schools have Organizational/Time Management 101 Classes, first quarter.

Gayle is very approachable and believes in the Middle School Philosphy as a separate entity. She was hired to implement this philosphy and may feel unhappy about that process being held up! Look at Bennett's problems...does she see a separate physical Middle School building in the near future? I don't think so. I ramble. I'm calling her tomorrow morning to find out what's comfortable for her.

-- Anonymous, February 21, 2002

Gayle Kavanaugh would love to see a new Middle School, but seeing that this would cost $30 million or more, is realistic about continuing to share the Onteora building with the High School. That is, if the proposed renovation/addition ever takes place.

The Middle School she'd like includes the 6th grade. This is really the middle school norm, based on sound and up to date educational philosophy. The change, in the long run, is extremely desirable but in the short run is a disaster.

What the Middle School needs first is a real identity.... and a community-wide understanding of just what a middle school is and does. Before this happens, the 6th grade surely will stay where it is, and the much needed reno/addition probably won't take place. This info comes with the work I've doing on the MS/HS Design Project, which, though in a lull right now, is ongoing.......

-- Anonymous, February 22, 2002

the interesting thing about your excerpts from the commisioners decisions is this ..altho BOE's MAY allow video taping of school buildings , events et al, I do not believe they are REQUIRED to allow. What's your take on that Tobe? Is it open meetings law that addresses this too?I'm so glad to see Meg has an item on about the report and individual board member requests. I read the agenda and presume Shaw will be present for this ?Getting Shaw to have a public opinion about the issue of board members acting as individuals and directing employee activity should be a great opportunity to hear lawyerspeak. Any warning on what Joe's HAZMAT item is? Re: the Woodstck X article.. when the bored voted to authorize an expenditure under " ordinary contingent expenses " for the softball field, it is no longer a capital project and does not require SED plans,etc. What about that anybody?

-- Anonymous, February 22, 2002

Just checking in....I have, indeed picked up an application. I was gratified that my first two signatures were Wendy and Terry in the office after they ceremoniausly presented me with the petition.

I was wondering if I am allowed to get people to sign the petition at the board meeting. Although it doesnt seem like there should be, is there any kind of rule against this? Is it inappropriate? Appreciate the input.

-- Anonymous, February 22, 2002

I also forgot to ask......anyone interested in helping me get signatures?

-- Anonymous, February 22, 2002

Neil: long standing "tradition" of candidates getting signatures at board meeting breaks... Also at ball games... We need to IMMEDIATELY focus on fund raising...Meg and I will start the bank off...To whom do we make our check? JIM? SOS? We need a chie3f fundraiser---this was overlooked at the last meeting, and it is a critical function...anyone????

We'll need money to order signs, to help get publicity for the fund-raiser at Boiceville Inn, etc. etc. Maureen, where did you read about Doan's weasel plan to avoid SED requirements because the softball field expenses was made a contingent expense? Was it Townsman or Phoenica Times...nothing like this in the Wood Times...nice picture of JD, eh? Go Beth...this picture actually is a very accurate look at what he looked like during a large percentage of the last meeting...especially when the public was defending Robin's program.

-- Anonymous, February 22, 2002

About taping...it's pretty clear that boards can restrict taping if it's obtrusive...at the same time, it's clear that Shaw should recognize my having established myself for nearly three years with no complaints...therefore the board would have a very hard time convincing a judge I was suddenly obtrusive...that's one reason I early on moved up to the front of the room and also shoot from behind the board ...to establish my "territory' and freedom of movement. Tobe I guess it's fair toi say that no one has been intimiadted by the camera being there. Plenty of vigorous opinions made despite the presence of a cmarea or audio recorders.

-- Anonymous, February 22, 2002

i must admit total confusion. i probably missed something. the softball field was built by who? how were the contracts to do the work awarded? did jd get money out of the work? i guess this all was discussed at a meeting i missed but can someone take the time to fill me in. thanks

oh yes our house is available for the 16th if needed.

-- Anonymous, February 22, 2002

I can't imagine that they would prohibit you from videotaping the BOE meetings. Let's hope they do, that would be just another nail in the coffin, sort of speak. We will get so much more mileage from that effort than all our public broadcasts of all the meetings combined. No insult intended to all those who work hard on that effort as it is extrememly helpful. Only that Doan and Co. will hurt themselves tremendously over this if that is their intent. I have been steadfast in my opinion that we needn't do or say much, Doan and Co. always find the most unique way to publicly insert their foot right squarely into their mouth.

-- Anonymous, February 22, 2002

Unless they are complete fools, they won't go after me...in David Shaw's written response to Marino's question about the policy banning flashes, Shaw even says I am not a distraction, so although it MAY have been ther plan to harass me, I don't think they dare.

The softball field was offered by Doan at a very low-ball $10,000 including free engineering. Actually, when it first came up, he casually mentioned it and said it would be few thousand dollars, then when it was formalized it was $10,000 until Chuck Snyder said let's play it safe and go to $15,000...Doan said free engineering would be part of it...Then they came back for another $10,000 after Doan said DiGiovanni insisted on more fencing... A few quetsions occur...why did Doan low ball the original estimate? Did he have experience as an engineer in building softball fields for $10,000? Anyone standing on the propsed site would have seen that right handed hitters will hit a lot of foul balls directly down onto the soccer field. So, of course a large fence would be needed...why didn't our engineer know this when he made the "plans?" "Plans, we don't need no stinkin' plans." In my humble opinion, this was all a low-ball estimate, knowing it couldn't be done for this little, with the plan to then come back for the remainder and claim victory and a plank in his campaign. As my mother said, "If it looks too good to be true, it probably is too good to be true." The board was suckered by Doan's "too good to be true" con-game.

So, all you builders and engineers out there ...how about getting some realistic estimates on what softball fields generally cost, and see if it is anywhere near Doan's original estimate...I think, as usual, he was only revealing a partial truth to get what he wanted.


-- Anonymous, February 22, 2002

Are people allowed to sign more than one candidate petition? Bring it where ever you to, Neil. The picture of Doan is so revealing. I would love a body language expert to give their evaluation of him. He does look like that at every board meeting.

I spoke to faculty at Phoenicia. they want a separate meeting with Gayle C. to discuss transition issues. My agenda is political. So, anyone want to join me? I want to write a letter addressing Phoenicia issue...nobody else is. The timing is important as well.

I saw Valarie in Boiceville...she's been sick and is out of touch with all of us. She wants to get back in the swing. Didn't she do fundraising last year? Anyway, Jim, give her a jingle...she's having trouble getting onto bbs...probably password change.

-- Anonymous, February 23, 2002

DBA papers are filed in Kingston and a copy delivered to the bank. Jim and Val must go this week to open the account and we will be writing checks to S>O>S> or Support Onteora Schools.Either way.Get that Jim ? Tobe. I believe the minutes of the last board meeting reflect that change to ordinary contingent expense..and thus avoids sed demands. Melissa , about phoenicia..it would be useful to have a copy of both Frank's report and the small presentation he did for the board meeting following. I am going to call and ask for it, I asked once in person when I went to talk with him the day after the UCT article, and he avoided it. I'm willing to put him on the spot. It makes sense to use the original numbers when looking at a reasoned (HA) response.

-- Anonymous, February 23, 2002

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