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The pages of the PW News reveal that there is a market in Sands Point for $5 million homes, a market in Manorhaven for $1 million homes, a market on Port Boulevard for 10 kinds of olives in bulk and sushi by the pound. Within the boundaries of the school district, expensive cars park in the crowded lots of pricey restaurants. Parents take kids on upscale vacations to foreign places. Commuters eagerly snap up homes to be close to the very expensive ride on the LIRR. The town affords its own police force. Nothing about the Port Washington Peninsula is down-scale, except attitudes about the school budget and teachers' contract.

When will it become obvious to the voters that squeezing the school budget and demanding that teachers' salaries be frozen are not only inconsistent with the lifestyle of Port Washington, but also harmful to it?

Frank Russo can put forth all the questionable dollar figures and risible educational philosophy that he is capable of. The fact remains that the PWEA is Tax PAC all over again. Even anti-education Newsday was able to sniff that one out in its April 6 edition. The leadership of the PWEA failed to get itself elected to the school board. Why should taxpayers/voters attend the rump sessions of PWEA when they have ample opportunity to participate in legitimate school board meetings? Russo and company clamor incessantly for public approval, yet their stiff-necked demeanor rejects the elected authority of the school board and its appointed administration.

Wake up Port Washington! Rejecting the school budget and freezing the teachers out of a contract plays into the hands of those who despise the local lifestyle and, ultimately, would have you hand over your control of it to them. Why do you let a rotten situation fester?

Sure, we are all miffed that re-assessment has finally put a true value on Nassau County's real estate. But complaining that we have the highest tax rate compared to other US counties is like saying that a Cadillac costs more than a Chevy. Duh!

Vote for the school budget; insist on an immediate teacher contract settlement; protect your own interests.

Martin Hamburger


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