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Letter: Combine Purchasing, School Districts To Save Costs

In a letter in the Friday, Dec. 24 issue of The Roslyn News, “Setting the Records Straight,” Dr. Ranier W. Melucci writes about the hardships that will be created for local school districts by shifting the financial expense of paying county assessment errors from the county to local school districts. Additionally, Dr. Melucci seems displeased with Nassau County Executive Thomas P. Mangano’s recent “invitation for all Nassau County school districts to join the Long Island Purchasing Council (LIPC)…school districts have not joined this group and, in fact, most of our school districts have been advised by their own attorneys, because of questions of legality, that participation in the LIPC will subject the districts to significant restrictions that would be beneficial…The Nassau County superintendents and Boards of Education will continue to look for cost-saving measures, while continuing to provide our children with the education they need and deserve.”

That certainly is convenient: Practice public policy within the secret realm of attorney/client privilege. And the restrictions that Dr. Melucci says “would not be beneficial”: Not beneficial for whom?

Are we to believe that highly paid, big budget operators like the superintendent of schools, assistant superintendents, deputy superintendents, assistant deputy superintendents and the various school boards, school districts, commissions and committees that exist throughout Nassau County all have the “education of our children” as their primary mission; or are they really concerned with the independence of their own fiefdoms to grant their own contracts, buy as they wish from whoever they choose at whatever price, and enjoy the benefits of power and privilege that come with absolute independence? And while Dr. Melucci is contemplating the “legality” of combining purchasing to save money, school districts on Long Island continue to bleed taxpayer money.

I say yes, combine purchasing. And, while at it, combine districts. And for good measure, whittle away at the 90 percent of the typical school district budget that is payroll and benefits, by rooting our redundancy. The days of blank check spending are coming to an end, but blindsided administrators, managers, and school boards can’t see it.

Nurhan Hamarat