Written by Joe Scotchie Thursday, 28 May 2009 09:48
The most intense Board of Education race since the embezzlement scandal has ended, with a challenger, Adam Haber, being elected to the BOE.
In the May 19 election, Haber was the leading vote getter, the choice of 1,391 Roslyn School District residents. Two incumbents were also re-elected. BOE President Dani Kline received 1,370 votes, while David Seinfeld came in third with 1,308. Another incumbent, Ron Smith, had 1,180 votes.
The BOE race was the only vote that contained any surprises. Both the 2009-2010 budget, along with Proposition 3 and the Bryant Library budget, all were approved by similar, comfortable margins.
The $94,751,350 budget passed by a 1,608-641 vote. The Bryant Library budget was approved by a 1,558-655 margin. Proposition 3, which entailed a transfer of $938,000 from the Capital Reserve Fund for new capital projects passed by a 1,614-554 total. For the latter vote, district officials emphasized that the transfer would take place with no tax increases.
“I believe the vote shows a very strong level of support for how the Board and Administration are balancing educational needs with both short-term and long-term fiscal realities,” said Dr. John A. Richman, superintendent of the Roslyn Public Schools. “We have tried very hard to maintain an excellent program in the face of continuing budget challenges, and it is certainly gratifying to see that those efforts are being recognized by our community.”
During his campaign, Adam Haber stressed his economic expertise, both in Roslyn and on Wall Street, noting his work with the Oversight Committee for the East Hills Park and on the Budget Advisory Committee (BAC) in the school district. He also touted his experience on Wall Street as a commodities trader, plus his work in commercial real estate and as a restaurateur.
“I’m ecstatic to win. I hope to serve the community very well,” Haber told The Roslyn News. “What I learned while campaigning is that the community wants closure on the teachers contract and the parents overwhelmingly want Spanish back in the elementary school curriculum.”
While running for her successful re-election bid, Dani Kline touted her support for “educational innovation and creativity” such as an elementary literacy program, the Hilltop Academy, and expanded business and foreign language offerings in the secondary schools.
Ms. Kline also supported the approved school budget and noted that the BOE had improved the infrastructure of the school district, plus the refinancing of the 1994 and 2000 construction bonds, which she said saved the Roslyn community over $1 million.
“Looking ahead to the next three years I plan to focus on maintaining our stable financial framework while continuing to support innovation and creativity in our classrooms,” Ms. Kline also said on the campaign trail. “I will continue to support and explore cost-effective ways to bring advancements to our students as we were able to do this year through our technology partnership with BOCES and our Energy Performance Contract.”
During his own re-election campaign, David Seinfeld also supported the 2009-2010 budget. He, too, noted the improvements to the school’s infrastructure.
“I am proud to say that the Roslyn schools have progressed programmatically, the district’s buildings have beautifully been restored, and our students have reached great heights over the three years in which the cumulative budget to budget percent increases are the second lowest in our district’s fine history,” Seinfeld remarked.