Something's rotten in Remsenburg

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Something's rotten in Remsenburg

Updated 11/26/2008 - 9:41 am

...starting with the strategy devised by the Remsenburg-Speonk Board of Education to assure that their grandiose $14.9 million school expansion budget vote is passed two weeks from now.

They've cooked this one to the extent that what initially seemed like a certain-to-fail-in-this-economy bonding project suddenly looks like a more winnable proposition.

  • The vote is set for mid-December when many eligible Remsenburg-Speonk School District voters won't be in resi­dence, and time is run­ning short for re­questing an absentee ballot.
  • There seems to have been a deliberate "information black-out" about the pro­ject and the actual costs of the expan­sion. Only in the past five days has there been any mention of the project on the District's Website... and there's still nothing about it1 on the site's home page.
  • (A less-costly project was raised last April, but then seemed to get parked on the back burner. At the July 14th School Board meeting, the subject of a "proposed build­ing expansion project" was broached in general terms, but it wasn't until the October 6th meeting that any meaningful in­formation was forthcoming.)

  • Friday, December 12 is a Parent-Teach­er Conference Day when no classes will be held, but parents of school children, the broad demographic most likely to vote to approve the $14.9 million bond, will be at the polling place.

Additionally, in one of the District areas most impacted by the property tax, the Village of West Hamp­ton{sic} Dunes, the residents appear to be be­ing kept uninformed (no mail delivery this time of year), and Mayor Gary Vegliante, in an effort to keep one of his new Trustees, Cather­ine Woolfson2, happy, hasn't been receptive to the brief made by the group opposed to the $14.9 million expansion.

(Chicago Mayors could learn from their Dune Road counterpart... voters tend to follow Mayor Vegliante's instruc­tions at the ballot box, as Village Justice candi­date Richard Agins, who was run­ning un­opposed last June, learned... he lost to a stealth write-in candidate more to Mayor Vegliante's liking.)

The reaction of the loyal Dunes residents when they start getting their property tax bills with wacking great increases, will be interesting to observe.

Whether the opposition forces can mount an effective campaign to defeat the proposed $14.9 million expansion and force the Board of Education to return next Spring with a scaled down proposal, remains to be seen. But the way the school district is approaching the current proposal, smells!

  1. What there is is a sophomoric PowerPoint presentation that's long on pro-expansion propaganda, and utterly devoid of cost impact figures.
  2. Mrs. Woolfson, who has a Special Needs student in the school, has been a very vocal supporter of the project.


1. Tugboat Bertha said...

Those who are running Remsenburg these days have absolute power to persuade. Isn't there a saying that absolute power corrupts absolutely?

That "saying" would have been Lord Acton's most referenced quotation, the original of which, circa 1887, was:
"Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men."
I don't think that anyone thinks any of the members of the Remsenburg-Speonk Board of Education are "bad." Arrogant, perhaps... intransigent, certainly, but not "bad."
– Dean

2. Seagirl said...

Never have I witnessed a more devisive presentation. This hastily presented appeal has put the voters in a "with us or against us" position where if you ask a question you clearly hate children and should suffer the consequences. The PTA has even involved the children by passing out VOTE YES for the BOND frisbees at its annual Ice Cream Social! This type of political wrangling should be kept out of the school district! The only good that came of it is my discovery of your Website!

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