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Board of Ed Gives, Receives

At their first meeting of the new school year, Port Washington Board of Education members took some flak from constituents over an earlier board meeting, held just as summer vacation was ending.

Some residents were disgruntled that the board’s Aug. 27 meeting took place at 7:30 in the morning, and in Superintendent Kathleen Mooney’s office, making it “difficult to attend,” as resident Herb Ratner pointed out.

On the agenda for that meeting? Salary increases for school administrative staff, which were not disclosed at the recent meeting. What was disclosed were “stipends” of $1,000 and up that were approved for certain secretaries and district clerks.

“You passed all types of salaried staff increases,” Ratner pointed out, while dodging public input on “the budget constraints we are facing.” The time simply meshed with board members’ vacations, said Karen Sloan, president.

Ratner and other residents who complained about the timing of the early morning session were told to submit a Freedom of Information Act request if they wanted the salary information.

The board was also criticized for the district not observing a moment of silence on Sept. 11, as it has done in past years. It was felt the solemness of the day warranted a formal remembrance.

Hiring a $30,000 food consultant when the district already has a food services vendor was another bone of contention. Resident were told that sales increase with a consultant and profit margin improves.

One highlight of the first Board of Education meeting of the new school year was a gift of books by Port resident and broadcaster Len Berman. Berman gifted Port schools with three of his recent books: The Greatest Moments in Sports, The 25 Greatest Baseball Players of All Time, and The Greatest Moments in Sports: Upsets and Underdogs.