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Letter: Parrino, The Wrong Choice For Mineola Board Of Education

As a school board member, it was my intent to remain on the sidelines of this year’s campaign. However, early on, inaccurate comments and assertions by Mrs. Irene Parrino needed to be clarified. Indeed, when she claimed to be the only board member with children in the district I corrected her, there are currently three board members with children in the district. She chose to ignore this and sat on the stage at Meet the Candidates Night and again stated she is the only candidate with children in our schools. The first time it is an innocent mistake; once corrected, her insistence to repeat this is a conscious effort to deceive the voters.


Simply having children does not qualify one to sit in this position. Having young children in school is more than a challenge for a working mother like her and it has shown. It shows by her lack of preparation prior to meetings, her failure to review the hundreds of pages of information made available to her a week prior, often waiting until just hours before the meeting to ask about the content. This can and has led to confusion about the matters under consideration—for example her belief that the 26 buses we utilize for after-school activities were in fact buses which showed up late for school during the day. Had she taken the time to review the material she would have known what the term “late bus” referred to.


Her taking credit for any part of the administrator’s contract is ridiculous, so much so that she didn’t ever comment on the terms, she missed the meeting where it was approved by the board and never contacted any board member about her absence over the course of late January and the entire month of February. Simply put, she went AWOL.


She spoke of the many concerns expressed to her by parents, yet she has never made the board aware of any. I hope for the sake of those parents they understand their concerns fell on deaf ears. We cannot fix the things we are not aware of. It was her duty to relay these concerns, if any, to the board and she failed to do so.


Her suggestion that we are only concerned about saving money is telling. She seems outraged that this district has taken a fiscally responsible approach to education and in doing so saved money and improved programs. She need only look at Manhasset to see the results of reckless decision-making by a board unwilling to plan and save for the future. As the old saying goes, “lead, follow or get out of the way.” She has not stepped up to lead and only followed John McGrath. It’s time to get out of the way, Irene.


The views above are my own and do not represent those of any other group, board or association.


Artie Barnett


Mineola resident