Press-Republican

Cheers & Jeers

May 12, 2014

Cheers and Jeers: May 12, 2014

JEERS to Plattsburgh City School District officials for opening themselves to criticism on the way ballot positions were chosen.

The district has a contentious School Board election coming up, due to two outspoken citizens filing petitions to run this year: Walter Chmura and Ken Baker, both of whom have questioned district spending.

Baker has been saying publicly for years that he thinks the election process in the City District is skewed because there is too little independent monitoring of ballot counts and other aspects of the vote.

So what do district officials do when it is time to choose ballot positions for the candidates this year? They do not, as they had for a number of years, contact all the candidates to tell them the date, time and place of the drawing of names.

The drawing was then held in the Duken administration building's reception room with only four people present: Superintendent Jake Short, District Clerk Dawn Stetz and employees Kathy Light and Jean Bruce.

Not a wise decision. It leaves the district open to criticism that the process was rigged, especially when the order on the ballot has the two School Board incumbents in the coveted first and second spots, followed by the challengers: first spot, Tracy Rotz; second, Fred Wachtmeister Jr.; third, Kenneth Baker; and fourth, Walter Peter Chmura.

Contacted by the Press-Republican for an explanation of the lack of candidate notification about specifically when the drawing would take place, Short sent this response:

"Consistent with Education Law; District Meetings, Section 2032(2)(b) board candidate names were drawn the day after petitions were due.

"All four candidates running for office this year have participated in one or more elections in the past and by virtue of their involvement have knowledge of the name drawing process.

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Cheers & Jeers
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    Cheers to John Bruno for offering tractor rides to Valehaven residents; Jeers to absentee dog owners whose charges bark all day.

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  • Cheers and Jeers: Aug. 11, 2014

    Cheers to the Clinton County Health Department for its showing in a national contest. Cheers to Larkin Realty for clearing a lot on the Old Base.

    August 11, 2014

  • Cheers and Jeers: Aug. 4, 2014

    CHEERS to area restaurants recognized by Wine Spectator; CHEERS to churches that make everyone feel welcome.

    August 4, 2014

  • Cheers and Jeers: July 28, 2014

    CHEERS to the Algonquin Chapter of Adirondack Mountain Club for sponsoring three field trips. JEERS to people who start noisy home-improvement projects early in the morning on the weekends.

    July 28, 2014

  • Cheers and Jeers: July 21, 2014

    CHEERS to Olivia Benjamin for capitalizing on a busy day in her community to do some service. JEERS to people who dump unwanted cats.

    July 21, 2014

  • Cheers and Jeers: July 14, 2014

    CHEERS to the downtown Plattsburgh businesses who painted their windows for the Mayor's Cup Festival; JEERS to organizations that don't remove their signs after their benefit events are held.

    July 14, 2014

  • Cheers and Jeers: July 7, 2014

    CHEERS to everyone who helped make this past Fourth of July memorable; JEERS to people who leave garbage in shopping carts.

    July 7, 2014

  • Cheers and Jeers: June 30, 2014

    CHEERS to savvy pedestrians and people who give away unwanted items; JEERS to inattentive drivers and to medical offices that play loud music.

    June 30, 2014

  • Cheers and Jeers: June 23, 2014

    CHEERS to Clinton County Attorney James Coffey for his detailed explanations before executive sessions. CHEERS to organizations that set specific times and dates for events but then alter them without warning.

    June 23, 2014

  • Cheers and Jeers: June 16, 2014

    JEERS to adults who smoke around children and to people who spit in public; JEERS to people who spit on the ground in public places.

    June 16, 2014