Thursday, June 07, 2012


With the annual Village Election a scant eight days away, we turn our attention to last month's Westhampton Beach School District Election, in which budgets passed and one former School Board member beat another for the seat left open by the retirement of Beecher Halsey.

The shocking headline on 27East this week reads:

Westhampton Beach Board Of Education Investigates Allegations of Illegal Electioneering

The gist of the report is that former School Board member Aram Terchunian, who lost his bid for a third five-year term to newcomer George Kast a year ago, is charging that members of the Westhampton Beach Teachers Association violated state law by illegally electioneering during last month's School District election.

Specifically named by Terchunian was teachers union President Jim Duca whose name was at the bottom of fliers endorsing School Board candidate Joyce Donneson, telling The Southampton Press' Erin McKinley:

"This is an established breach of state law, state regulation and school policy. Whoever is responsible for that breach needs to be disciplined based on the protocols the board has in place."


There are several of ironies here:

  • Even with the questionable support of the teachers' union1, Donneson lost the election, 422-352, to Gordon Werner, so Terchunian isn't trying to upset the results.

    So what's up? Is he trying to beat up the Union, or just get his name in the news?
  • Someone's memory [cough cough, Aram] is short... as recently as 2008, then School Board member Clint Greenbaum's electioneering E-mails to as many as 408 District residents was questioned by OtBB.

    After he'd pulled the same stunt the previous year, when asked if Greenbaum would have had access to District records containing the E-dresses of students' parents, District Superintendent Lynn Schwartz issued a terse response:
    "In response to your question, no board member has access to school district records."

Four and five years ago, the School Board, including member Aram Terchunian, remained silent on the issue.

When it comes to the "old boys" on that Board, apparently there's different sauces for the goose and the gander.

  1. It was only in the past few years that the Board started moving away from calling itself "Westhampton Beach Union Free School District."


1. Seeker said...

Apparently nothing much has changed with the old boys network – just ask Mardy DiPirro!

...and to an extent Joanna Ferraro-Levy, and of course, Joyce Donneson!

2. Tugboat Bertha said...

Remember the days when The Moniebogue Press had a columnist who wrote regularly about the old boys' network at the school board? Even though that was so long ago, things haven't changed much.


3. Crabby said...

At least Jim Duca signs his name to his correspondence.

And thank you for revisiting the parents of students E-mail access that was alleged for electioneering purposes and Lord knows what else by School Board Member Clint Greenbaum.

Add to the list the School Board and District's manipulation of the vote by holding "school events" attended by parents the very same night of the budget votes.

As you've said, "Mr. Pot, meet Mr. Kettle."

Just more examples where people cough discreetly and look away.

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