Press-Republican

Opinion

May 15, 2014

Letters to the Editor: May 15, 2015

(Continued)

Here’s hoping next spring’s Ag Literacy Program, our 16th, will be equally embraced and supported.

Thanks again to all the generous people who made it all possible.

JANE GREGWARE

Chair, Promotion and Education Committee

Clinton County Farm Bureau

•••

Changes in Beekmantown

TO THE EDITOR: From 2010 to 2012, there was mayhem at Beekmantown Central School District.

The $10 million surplus evaporated, many programs and some sports were eliminated, the budget fiasco produced a failed budget and layoffs, all topped off by the principal swap.

Students’ programs were held hostage, and taxpayers were intentionally pitted against kids. Standing-room-only budget meetings were attended by frustrated residents.

Many offered suggestions and asked questions of then-board members. Responses were rare and frequently rude.

Residents suggested tightening up the class schedules and were told it was “unfeasible,” asked for a financial plan and were told it was “impossible,” suggested efficiency through the adoption of natural gas and more cost-effective bus runs. Those items fell on deaf ears. That board and former superintendent preferred status quo.

In 2012, district residents elected three new board members. In 2013, you added two more new Board members. The new board hired several new administrators and a new superintendent.

By 2014, “management by crisis” budgeting was history. Drama was replaced with collegial dialogue, where kids and taxpayers were placed ahead of special interests.

The 2014-15 budget boasts a tax levy increase of less than 1 percent.

Our new board and administrative team have put into place: five-year financial plan, new busing schedule with one less driver, return of student programs, more efficient class schedule, including AIS, and natural gas for the community seems to be on the horizon.

Much has been accomplished with approximately 60 less employees. The new board understands we must live within our means. Kudos and well done.

Dysfunction and chaos can easily return to our school so choose your new board members wisely.

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