Friday, 14 May 2010 00:00At the Meet the Candidates night in Roslyn, many issues were discussed, including curriculum, safety, the budget, capital expenditures, closed campus and weighting of grades. Four candidates were campaigning for two seats on the Roslyn School Board.
It became obvious early on that Stanley Stern, an incumbent member of the Board, is a knowledgeable candidate who understands the needs of the community and the issues in education. I hope that the community remembers that Stern was elected six years ago, just as the scandal was being exposed. He was made president within three months. This was probably the most important decision made by the Board at that time. He has helped guide the district out of the worst scandal in school history.
Stanley Stern is running for a third time. It is no surprise that in each of his previous elections he received the most votes. He has been a school principal for 40 years and a successful businessman, as well. His two children, now married, and his five grandchildren have all been in the Roslyn schools (three grandchildren still attend.) Mr. Stern has held steady to the understanding of the financial burdens put upon our residents (those suffering in these difficult financial times, senior citizens, people on or near the poverty level, etc.) Stern has demonstrated, time after time, that he has the ability to weigh the concerns of all residents while providing outstanding education to their children.
After the candidates had spoken, the audience was allowed to ask questions. That is when the doom squad tried to attack the incumbents. They complained about the budget and about transparency. The squad’s reputation for long-winded views of gloom and doom soon became very evident. Never a word was uttered that Roslyn Schools are among the best on Long Island, that our tax levy increase is the second lowest in Nassau County, that the Board has put away reserves for future years if funding gets cut, that the Board has recovered more than $6,000,000 of stolen funds and, finally, that $1,000,000 has been returned to the community from reserve funds to lower our taxes. This same doom squad has complained, once again, of a lack of transparency. Just come to the Board meetings. Look at the website. Call the school district. All information is readily available. Any and all business is done in front of the public at regularly scheduled meetings.
I left the meeting with new understanding of this upcoming election. Stern has the most knowledge and the most experience. Kim Hunter is proud of the accomplishments of the board since her election three years ago. Dr. Valauri is inexperienced, but he respects the good work done by the RSB and recognizes the transparency they have provided, especially on the website.
I have been a resident of Roslyn for 25 years. Our great school district is one of the reasons real estate values are holding up better than in most other areas. I believe that the RSB deserves a great deal of credit for producing a budget that is devoid of fat and still serves the needs of our children.
I have known Stanley Stern for more than 10 years. He has participated in bringing the schools back to their former excellence. I strongly recommend that you vote for him on May 18.