Letter to Editor: Why BBP Board Should Be a 5-Member Body

Here are reasons for reducing the board's size.

Should the Bayport-Blue Point Board of Education have five members?

• Jericho Public Schools
• South Side Public Schools (Rockville Centre)
• Manhasset Public Schools
• Commack Public Schools

All of the above have five Board members. We all know their outstanding ratings. But if not, open this link: Five-member boards navigate great schools-no doubt.

Other reasons?

Cost: Travel and expenses were in the thousands for a school board association event in a recent June. If the board had five members, that figure would be about half. That means more money for our kids. Of course there are administrative costs, membership dues, meals, computer hardware, software and maintenance as well. There are costs associated with each board member. Of course we’ll realize a savings. It all adds up.

Logistics: With five, it’s easier to meet, chat & reach consensus. Couldn’t it be less work if discussions and meetings move along more efficiently?

Accountability: Each member can really make a difference and they are more
accountable. This could make more people want to run.

Formalities: The smaller the group, the more comfortable people are when they speak.

This is true for public meetings and the BOE's own meetings. Residents can get to know their reps better.

There’s interest in this issue-last time it appeared the voting roster doubled. That’s great.

If this all makes sense to you, vote yes. If not, don’t. Five trustees sure make sense in some of the best schools on LI. But let’s keep our eye on the 2,500 kids and the 12,000 folks who support them. That’s the real issue.

Yvonne Kleine May 16, 2012 at 04:53 AM
The Patch is an open forum for EVERYONE to state their views on whatever topics they wish. Judy is a great editor, and I know of very few people who could do her job as well as she does it. She prints the NEWS whether one likes it or not and gives all who wish to do so a place to express their many divergent and sometimes vehement, opinions. As for Mrs."Svengali" Palma, as far as I know, she has no "group" unless you count those who are sick of wasted tax dollars and appalled by school board members who refer to the residents of BBP as "uneducated dumb asses".. Adding to the disgrace, we are outshone by high schools in Georgia in the nation's top one hundred. As for this not being an open discussion, ridiculous! There are over 70 posts on this topic alone that are hardly homogenous in their content.
Proud Citizen May 16, 2012 at 05:01 AM
Dr. Kleine, Stacey's is not stating that she feels the patch is not a place where everyone can express their opinions or that the editor is only showing one-sided comments. Stacey is saying that only one side comments on the patch. Also, when did BOE members refer to residents as "uneducated dumb asses" and how do you know this?
Proud Citizen May 16, 2012 at 05:15 AM
I would just like to add that I've viewed that Nation's top one hundred and NY State's list . Although BBP didn't make the cut for being in the top 100 of either, we are exceeding the state average in both Math and ELA test scores. I'm proud of that. I know it is not what some want, which is perfection, but progress is always great.
dan pichney May 16, 2012 at 10:13 AM
Now that this election is over I told myself that I wouldn't comment any more, but I really feel compelled to address this comment as a person who wrote about the issue extensively. Some people say 'some of my best friends are teachers'. For me it is literally true, since virtually my entire social life is with my 3 teacher friends. I asked for feedback on what I wrote and they felt that it wasn't 'anti-teacher. What I did harp on repeatedly was that for a small district, our superintendent made more than the Suffolk County Exec and the Governor of NY State. Think about the relative levels of responsibility. I also took the board to task for giving raises during the Great Recession when other people in the community were losing jobs, businesses and homes. Other than that very significant exception, I personally have no problem with teacher salaries and I know the three winners feel the same way. They may want to hold teachers to cost of living increases in line with the rest of the national economy, but that is probably as bad as it gets. I know I wouldn't complain if it were my job. I think that the job now is for people like yourself and the former incumbents to keep the new people on there toes and hold them to a high standard of performance. Believe me, you aren't the only proud member of this community.
Gail Gomez May 16, 2012 at 11:57 AM
First let me congratulate you and wish you the best during your tenure. Second, I was one who chose to view the "live stream" of the Meet the Candidates Night. Your comment somewhat clarifies there was no streaming. It wasn't me. I'm not one for conspiracy theories. If you can find out the facts as to why we didn't receive a live stream, please make that information public.
Vito May 16, 2012 at 12:05 PM
I think to many, any comment other than "all is well keep doing what you are doing" is construed as teacher or school bashing. That isn't fair. Sure there will always be some perpetually squeaky wheels that never offer anything but complaints, but our schools are something we all pay for, and at one time or another all use and benefit from. We should all have strong opinions about how they run, how much they cost, how the dollars are being used, and whether they are succeeding or failing. I have spent considerable time with teachers and have found the honest ones share the public's concerns and dismay about many aspects of the education system and the education process. I hope our newly elected board members can find good solutions to difficult problems and that a good dialogue will be established between the schools and the community.
Proud Citizen May 16, 2012 at 02:37 PM
I could not agree with you more Vito. But I think it is fair to say that this year specifically, adults went from acting like people to animals. We're all in this for the children, but I feel that that initial drive has been lost. We all complain about cyber-bullying of our teens, but look at the posts above. We are no better. I truly hope we can all work together for the good of the schools.
Vito May 16, 2012 at 03:10 PM
Sadly I think that combative approach is a function of the examples we are constantly exposed to on TV and radio, where opposing views are deemed irrelevant and a product of ignorance instead of something worthy of consideration.
Michelle Rose May 16, 2012 at 03:12 PM
If we get back to the topic of his thread it is clear that the community has answered the proposition that Ms.Palma has offered here on the Patch. Hopefully in the future more equal sided conversations will be had here. Good luck to the three new board members and I look forward to all the changes they are going to make in the near future.
Yvonne Kleine May 16, 2012 at 03:33 PM
Proud Citizen: Stacey's post and I quote: "As always the Patch remains the place where Ms. Palma and her group voice there (sic) opinions and bully those who disagree." I'm really tired of those who seem to think that robust disagreement is "bullying". Rather, it seems that if you don't like what your opponent has to say, you call him a "bully". This devalues the term and is specious on it's face. This is a tactic often used to cow opposing posters into silence. Now you, yourself, whilst posing as a spreader of soothing balm and reason, descend to the depths of this very tactic by referring to posters as "animals". I send you to your own previous post , where out of one side of your mouth you bemoan the lack of civility here and from the other you call posters "jerks". This is poor form. A quick review of this entire thread reveals a free exchange of sometimes heated and passionate opinions. I see no bullying, but a lot of very nasty remarks about one particular person by name. To her credit, she has had the dignity and good sense not to respond to the dangled baitng. And as for the "dumb asses" remark, in the words of Mrs. Rose, " This is not a secret about town." The votes are in, the candidates have been chosen, the board remains at seven and the budget passed. Some won, some lost. That's politics. If you can't take the heat, cry "bullies".
Michelle Rose May 16, 2012 at 03:52 PM
I think ms Kleine you should re read the posts. I had nothing to do with any posts about "dumb asses" nor know what you are talking about. That was not my post
Michelle Rose May 16, 2012 at 03:58 PM
Ms. Kleine, you took one of my quotes and inserted it in to a totally different conversation and different poster. Let's be clear about this, I did not have anything to do with any comments made about "dumb asses" and it is very rude to tie my words in to another persons comments.
Yvonne Kleine May 16, 2012 at 05:08 PM
I'm sorry if you were offended. When you were positing concerning Mrs Palma, you sourced your remark as being common knowledge in the town. I used these same words to answer Proud Citizen's question in the same oblique way, meaning that the statement was common knowledge, not that it was your actual post.
stacey May 16, 2012 at 09:46 PM
Yvonne thanks, you only made my point more clear.
stacey May 16, 2012 at 09:54 PM
...on a side note you have tied my words, plus those of a few others together as one thought. I am not sure if this was your intention? I assume not. Thanks for the spell check! :)
Proud Citizen May 16, 2012 at 11:34 PM
Almost getting into a physical altercation at a board meeting because someone disagrees with you labels you as an animal in my book. And yes, if you're not nice to other people you're a jerk. This is not bullying, just addressing appropriate social conduct.
Yvonne Kleine May 17, 2012 at 05:29 AM
Consummatum est. Dominus vobiscum.
dan pichney May 17, 2012 at 10:20 AM
Et cum spiritu tuo.
Vito May 17, 2012 at 12:50 PM
Michelle Rose May 17, 2012 at 01:24 PM
I knew that the three of you would have the last words but I never suspected it would be in Latin! You guys are clever!
noelfeustel May 17, 2012 at 01:53 PM
How about vintage Brooklynese? "Fuhgeddaboutit!" or the prior to departure from the "borough of churches" Dodger's cry, "Wait 'till next year!".
stacey May 17, 2012 at 11:36 PM
I am just glad to see we are all up to date on the new responses! Ironic since they were introduced to unify the catholic religion around the globe. Maybe we can all do the same!
dan pichney May 17, 2012 at 11:43 PM
Deus tibi gratsia!
Eliza Kay May 24, 2012 at 07:48 PM
Well, heaven forbid you be lackluster, Rita....lol...Altho the issue is dead, I would suggest to you Catherine, that merely stating your opinion is all we really need to hear from you. Insinuating that Rita has an ulterior motive is ridiculous....as is your post.
Eliza Kay May 24, 2012 at 07:54 PM
Why does "too many cooks spoil the broth," and "safety in numbers," come to mind.
Eliza Kay May 24, 2012 at 07:58 PM
haha....did she hold a "clipboard" to your head or something? the pressure must have been excruciating.
Eliza Kay May 24, 2012 at 08:18 PM
Eliza Kay May 24, 2012 at 08:44 PM
good idea! Unfortunately, theyve been kicking this idea around since I was in high school...1974. Non-starter....unless you get someone like this lovely lady to grab the ball and run with it. Its never easy putting oneself out there....rita puts walk in her talk....convince her and it will see daylight.
Eliza Kay May 24, 2012 at 08:48 PM
Really Michele??? Do you think she is plotting against the residents of BBP? does she not have kids in the system? does she not pay property taxes? does she not own a business in town? Give me a break for even suggesting this?
DS May 25, 2012 at 11:34 AM
E Pluribus Unum?


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