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Incumbent BBP Trustee To Seek New Term

Jane Burgess is seeking re-election for the Bayport-Blue Point School board.

Bayport resident Jane Burgess, an incumbent Bayport-Blue Point Board of Education trustee, will seek re-election this year in what is quickly becoming a hotly contested race.

"I am running cause I still love it," she told Patch in an email. "But also to help with the team making the transition to new superintendent and to keep the schools moving in a positive forward path to improvement."

Burgess joins fellow incumbent Andrea O'Neill who announced earlier this week she's aiming for another term as well.

The third seat up for grabs is the trustee seat of Kathleen Heinlein. Patch has not yet been able to reach Heinlein for comment on her election decision.

Four newcomers are vying for board seats as well this year. Stay tuned to Patch for profiles of candidates, budget overview and a look at two ballot referendums.

jane April 22, 2012 at 02:00 PM
I DO NOT get health insurance through the district. You seem to be disappointed I didnt know the state law that allows BOE members to use health insurance. But Why? there are 1000's a educational laws that change every all the time. That is why we retain lawyers who specialize in education law. I am aware I voted to cute $25,000 out of sports. our director explained that it will not effect the programs or safety at all. We had extra $ for transportation and assists that wasnt used. Please explain what you mean by open contract? I WILL NOT ALLOW my self to be insulted. I DO NOT LIE. I will tell you the truth. And if I am wrong i will take the steps to correct it. I do not know every part of the contract nor school law. That is another reason more people on the BOE is better. there ar more eyes looking and more feed back. Might be more time or work to get to a point but so be it. I for one would rather have 9 members again then 5. Because that is more of a cross section of the community. If I didnt think i couldd make the commitment to be on this BOE and do my best in making sure we continue to move forward and get to the goals that need to be met in order to make sure our children have the best educations and we continue to have value in our community. I would have passed the tourch to someone who will continue the course who can think about EVERYONE! the seniors, the children the business owners and the parents, staff and the entire community.
dan pichney April 22, 2012 at 09:54 PM
Or how about fewer, but smarter board members and greater transparency in board actions and deliberations so that the eyes of the entire community can provide feedback? Furthermore, were you and the other board members thinking about Everyone in the community when you gave generous raises and benefits during the worst recession since the Great Depression when many of the Everyones were losing their homes, jobs, and business and when entire families, particularly children were but under tremendous emotional distress? Perhaps during the past 5 years you and your husband's income when up or at least remained the same. Perhaps that is true of everyone you come into contact with. You and the other board members may have rationalizations and self righteous justifications for your actions .However, appearances count and giving raises and floating bond issues during a nationwide crisis appears to show a great deal of personal insensitivity and economic ignorance.
Donna April 22, 2012 at 11:41 PM
Judy, The board followed Annuziato"s recommendation. He said no health benefits, and they went right along with it. Jane, if you didn't know what you were entitled to, but the other board members did, then what other loop are you being left out of? March takes advantage of it. And Judy, maybe you should start a separate thread about the assistants and aides in our schools. It seems to have developed a life of its own.
jane April 23, 2012 at 12:42 AM
Whoa! first off, when we went into negoations with everyone. We were going for 0's across the board. So you might want to check your details. The aides and assist's do an extremely wonderful job. Everyone works hard. PLEASE stop acting as if I didn't or don't want them to have insurance. But at the time they and us let it go. DUE to the fact that we are all aware that times suck! AND Dan, I am not married. I do not have a mr.Wonderful who even pays child support so please do not give me the talk about how good I have it. I work 3 jobs and still contribtue to the community and I do not have to defend myself to you. But I will, the BONDs was an excel towards updating an old systems at NO COST to the tax payer. If we didnt know about it we wouldnt have put it for public vote. So yes , we saved money with great leaders. Maybe you havent experienced working under poor leadership, its expensive and frustrating. In some cases those "raises" were due to 1 person doing 2 jobs. But it seems no matter what I say or not you have your opinion and mind set. You seem to think you know all about what is going on in every direction. But I know for a fact that when you buy something at the dollar store you dont always get value just because its cheeper.
jane April 23, 2012 at 12:50 AM
How do you know Mr.March uses it? At every unit next negotiations everyone is welcome to ask for anything they want. And the teams will hammer it out. just like every contract. And some will be happy and some not. Its the nature of the beast. But its a process, like it or leave it, its how this broken system works.
Judy Mottl (Editor) April 23, 2012 at 01:18 AM
Hi Donna, what I can do is run a poll early this week on the question of whether aides and assistants should get health benefits and then everyone can use that comment section for a comment thread. What do you think?
Donna April 23, 2012 at 01:36 AM
I know that Mr. March uses it because he admitted he did when an assistant asked him if they could at least buy in under a group rate. Judy, I think that is a great idea, but I think you need to let people know exactly what the aides and assistants do to give the public a more informative picture of their job. It's not just babysitting. But unless you have a special needs child, that is what you might think. Why don't you interview some of them to gain a better understanding of a day in their life?
Sarah April 23, 2012 at 01:57 AM
Jane, People have a right to their opinions and everyone is not going to agree on everything,but people DON"T have the right to SPIT and be disrespectful. It's important for people to have their opinions heard. Sometimes at board meetings the community is encouraged to attend but before they voice their opinion they are met with stern warnings as if we were children. I will never forget the words of Mr. March at a board meeting last year,"If anyone is coming up here to get their pound of flesh, we will not have it" People should not be reprimanded before anyone even asks a question. If someone is inappropriate, disrespectful, or otherwise out of line then they and only they should be spoken to. Only the people not following the rules need the warning. I'm sure the community would back up the board in dealing with people who are out of line. I would like to feel more welcome at board meetings and not as as if I were fresh out of prison and need to be told how not to behave.
dan pichney April 23, 2012 at 02:13 AM
Jane, I called you Mrs. Burgess because I was addressing your public face and I wanted to show you some respect because I don't know you personally so as to use your first name. I didn't know, nor would I bring up your actual marital status because it is none of my business. I was just trying to make a hypothetical point. That said, yes my mind is made up. I think that you are in over your head and I believe that now we have people with more education and relevant experience that could do a better job on the board. I also believe that throwing money at a person or problem doesn't give you better results. Most if not all of the candidates for a superintendent position have a doctorate and approximately the same number of years of educational experience. The governor, I believe, stated that the base salary for a school district of our size should be $175,000. If I'm not mistaken, our country exec doesn't even make that much with a county population of over a million and a half people, and a budget of hundreds of millions of dollars. If you were to advertise nationally for the job, you may well be surprised by the number of qualified and competent people that would be quite happy with that salary and another 40 grand in benefits. Remember that recession I mentioned? It ain't over and several states with great educational systems have supers looking for a job. Think about it.
Michelle Rose April 23, 2012 at 04:59 PM
I read through this entire thread and I can not believe how vitriolic and nasty some of these comments are! This was supposed to be Jane's announcement that she was running for re-election not a slam book! There were some intelligent comments made but there were also many cruel, hurtful comments. Some were made by people that don't even know Jane! To insult someone's intelligence just shows one's own intelligence. Jane has given many, many years of her life to the BOE without any other reward other than her love for our children. I have yet to meet many people that work as hard as she does, holds as many jobs as she does, raise a family alone and yet still finds the time to devote to a very demanding, high stress position on the BOE. I would just like to say "Thanks Jane". Thank you for letting the public know that you are running again. Shame on all those that used this forum as a personal forum to attack and slander a giving, kind, person.
jane April 23, 2012 at 05:55 PM
My public face and private face are the same. maybe no make-up. You made an assumtion I or my" husband" had gotten raises or stayed the same. I wanted to let you know I am extremely aware of how hard times are. I am also aware that we need to go outside of our bubble of Long Island looking for talent. Maybe you should read the comments of what happened in other states after the tax caps. I am not against saving money. We are trying really hard to work within the limits we can. Most things that we HAVE to foot the bill for are mandated and redundant and repeated in other areas. Its annoying and frustrating. For instance we have to circulate fresh air into the buliding and then reheat it. REALLY? Sadly the powers that be are just starting to listen and understand. But they are gone before the changes can be made and the new ones blame the person before them. I will keep the course of doing my best to stay calm and keep moving forward. In the long run we have been ahead of the game and other schools see us and comment WOW. not only for what we have but for what we conintue to do and will still do. Ask around what other schools have, or may loose, where they stand. What their futures look like. This storm has been coming for a while now. We just saw it and prepared due to excellent leadership.
jane April 23, 2012 at 06:04 PM
Wow,@ Diane, it seems your anti teacher too. Why? because a teacher would understand more then say a student? I don't think its very fair to bash someone for wanting to get involed. You have a right to express your opinion. But I think you need to take a look at how far we have come. and what we have done in the last few years. LEAP, reading, math, etc. there is a whole presentation on the web site. The audit proved we were sooo far behind. we needed to step up and we have done just that. If you feel I am as you say CUT from the same cloth so be it. i am proud of how far we have come and what is being done in our schools. How hard EVERYONE is working and how excellent ALL our employees are. There is nothing I can say to you that you will not be angry about. I am sorry that your so frustrated with the system. Even if I dont get re-elected i hope you dont turn on the people you support one day because the cant make the changes you would like to see.
jane April 23, 2012 at 06:15 PM
Thank you Michelle! that was very kind!
dan pichney April 23, 2012 at 07:09 PM
With or without makeup, I feel more comfortable calling you Jane now. From what you said about yourself and what other people have said about you I respect that you are a hard working person and in your capacity as a board member you are doing what you think is best for the community. As a community volunteer in a number of roles myself, I admire that you have taken on this virtually thankless task when you have so many other committments. However, while I respect and admire you, I still strongly disagree with a number of critical decisions that you have been part of over the years. Providing adequate heat to the building is a common sense decision that any rational board member would have made. However, to me, giving raises during a recession to already well compensated people requires a special brand of fiscal blindness and insensitivity. I think it is time to give other people a chance; people who are trained negociators and contract analyzers, and who also have children and grandchildren in the district and care about the welfare of children as much as you do. With your contacts, you can still do the parent-administrator liason work you do so well, but you can do it through the PTA and give yourself a rest.
sue April 23, 2012 at 11:24 PM
Is there a BOE meeting scheduled for tomorrow night? 7pm? High school?
Gimmeabreak April 24, 2012 at 01:00 AM
I agree with Michelle. Seems a lot of parents have time on their hands to point fingers. We are supposed to teach our children by example... Seems to me this community should have a bullying problem. maybe the district can offer you guys an anti bully workshop. If you are all so passionate and can do a better job then why don't you get off your computers and run for the board yoursleves?? Show us how YOU can single handedly save the district!
Judy Mottl (Editor) April 24, 2012 at 03:15 AM
Hi Sue. I believe the meeting tomorrow night (Tuesday April 24) is a BOE workshop meeting at 7pm at the high school. I'll doublecheck and post a news blurb in the morning.
dan pichney April 24, 2012 at 03:25 AM
There are three people with children in the district who HAVE gotten off their computers and ARE running for the board. In fact, one of them is an expert on computers. The other is an attorney who knows how to read contracts and negociate. The other person is a finance expert. Vote for them and they might very well single handedly save the district!
Sarah April 24, 2012 at 10:12 PM
No one is bullying. They are asking the questions that the board should be asking of our administration. We appreciate the work and the time that the board members put in, but they are ELECTED to represent the members of the community. When someone voices their opinion they have the right to be heard. The economy is still in bad shape. Yes, the state needs to change things,but in the mean time we need to do the best we can with what resources we have. Giving out raises to the administration when many people in the community were losing their jobs, taking pay cuts, or not receiving raises was a slap in the face to the tax payers. Yes, Jane you get what you pay for and it seems that the administration got what they wanted and the children of the district have gotten less and less. Mr. March said at a board meeting, "Dr. Annunziato has his PhD from Columbia and we think (the school board) he knows what is best for our children." Well, they are "OUR"children, and people need to feel that our school board is really listening to what they have to say. Sadly, that is not the case at this point in time.
dan pichney April 25, 2012 at 01:27 AM
Well said Sarah, thank you.
Michelle Rose April 25, 2012 at 01:12 PM
There were some polite questions but on the whole they were castigations and accusatory! Bullying in my eyes. I would not want my children emulating the behavior I have seen in this thread by a few people!
Michelle Rose April 25, 2012 at 04:01 PM
Mr. Pichney I also take offense to your suggestion to Jane to take a rest and to join the PTA! As I member of the PTA I don't appreciate what you are suggesting about this hard working group!
dan pichney April 26, 2012 at 01:23 AM
I know that the PTA is a hard working group. But Jane works 3 jobs, has to raise a family single handedly, and do all the reading, research and meetings required to be a good board member. What I was saying that she could still apply the best of her talents in a PTA capacity and give other people a turn at the BOE. However, there is also the "polite" issue. Last year,in an editorial Suffolk County News asked for Jane's resignation based on her own bullying behavior and outburts at board meetings and her childish rants against other members of the community on her Facebook page including expletives. Defend her as a friend, but the castigations and accusations arose as a reflection of her own bullyin behavior.
Michelle Rose April 26, 2012 at 11:08 AM
Dan I understand that you always have to have the last word in these threads but any way here goes. You refer to the editorial at Suffolk County news. You must know that an editorial is just one persons opinion. You try to infer that Suffolk County News itself asked for her resignation. I witnessed the personal attacks on Jane while all the Facebook stuff was happening. She was the victim of an overzealous, small group of "attackers". I have seen the same people attack many others in this manner at recent board meetings.Ridicule and accusations are not the answer. I am not defending just her as a friend but a large portion of the community that don't agree with bashing teachers, administrators and BOE members. I welcome change and I hope whomever gets in helps to clean up some messes but anger is what is driving a lot of this behavior and it's not right. I have seen members of the community act like lunatics at our BOE meetings. There must be a way to get more accomplished if everyone works together as a whole, not against the separate entities. Say what you will but I have seen several instances of bullying at BOE meetings, online, and in parking lots. It's not helpful. Dan I see you have a hand in many threads on this site and they all have a recurring theme of anger and blame. I am sorry you are unhappy here. I myself feel blessed and fortunate that I live in a beautiful place, with great kids receiving a top notch education, and love living here in Bayport.
dan pichney April 26, 2012 at 12:05 PM
Michelle, I love Bayport, I've been here since 1980 and I've done a ton of volunteer work to make it a better place. My wife and I never had kids but we happily paid our taxes because we our own backgrounds, we recognize the value of a good education. I never was a tax pact person or anything remotely like it. I can still afford the taxes, even if the cap was broken so that is not an issue either. If you didn't get it the first or 10th time I repeated it over the past several months, what really annoyed me was the Board gave generous raises during the middle of the worst recession since the Great Depression when a significant number of people in the community lost jobs, businesses, homes and they and their children in the district were placed under tremendous emotional stress. This board seems to be intimidated by the administration and gives them anything they want. They in turn show arogance and condensation to the parents and other people like myself in the community. I also don't condone people screaming like maniacs at board meetings. However, I know the small band of dissidents are all intelligent, well educated people. There crime is want transparency in the board and forthright answers to questions about their children's educations. Parents are allowed to question teachers and administrators. Their children are the most precious thing they have, so yes they get excited sometimes. Parents have to agree with what is best for their kids, not told by arrogant strangers.
dan pichney April 26, 2012 at 12:14 PM
PS Below is the text of the Suffolk News Editorial. It is not the opinion of one person, but the opinion of the newspaper's editiorial board after they investigated the events in question. PUBLIC DECORUM A trustee who serves on a board of education for any particular school district has been elected to that position in the hope that they'd represent the best interests of the taxpayers and especially the children, whose education in many ways is dependent upon their decisions. In that sense, just as with all elected officials, these individuals are held to a higher standard as role models in their community. Last week, during a Bayport-Blue Point Board of Education meeting, it was reported that one of the trustees had used a profanity on a Facebook page, which is an online forum that could possibly be viewed by both adults and children. The accusation was not denied. That behavior is something that should never be tolerated, despite whatever frustrations might have incited it. The trustee, Jane Burgess, should try to redeem her role model status by doing the right thing and resign.
Judy Mottl (Editor) April 26, 2012 at 12:22 PM
Hi Everyone, as this thread is a combination of BOE issues and the debate over healthcare benefits for teacher aides and assistants, I created a new thread with a poll on the healthcare topic per a request from a reader in this thread: http://patch.com/A-sKht So please take a minute and vote and use that story link for that topic feedback. I'll compile results early next week.
Michelle Rose April 26, 2012 at 12:24 PM
Silly that is one persons editorial. You really don't see that? That is not objective writing it is subjective!!!!
jane April 26, 2012 at 12:26 PM
the best way i can explain this lack of trust or communication is this.. Lets say you see a movie, and your friend asks you about the movie. In detail. now you have to explain the movie without giving names or actors, or plots because its illegal. And then expect them to know what is going on. The BOE is a system to protect EVERYONE and to make the decisions that the community as a whole would like. To hire the correct professionals to do their jobs and be held accountable for those jobs. This school commnuity has gone soooo far in such a short amount of time in the last few years. We have always had great teachers and staff but until we saw what was out there and how things could be done we never knew what we missed. its like getting the Iphone after having a wall phone. There was so much to learn and do to get everyone together. Its not easy the changes that have taken place. I am sorry that you felt we over paid. We are one of the few schools who use merit pay to admin. when they attain the goals and after reveiws they get their rasie. some did , and some didnt. Some did and refused to take it. We are not arrogant strangers. i will admit I have lost my composure towards some of the negitive nellys. But they have not seen how far we have come and continue to spread negitive ideas that there is something wrong. When after hours of talking and explaining and then in public they say something totaly different. thats just not right! its ok to not agree.
Sandi April 26, 2012 at 09:15 PM
Jane, no superintendent is worth $300,000 a year! I wish there was a cap on their salaries across the board in every district. Also, there is a superintendent for business and curriculum, why? Let Annunizato earn his big salary and do it all. I've been in this district for over 40 years and we never had all these superintendents. Overkill, and we the taxpayers pay the price, let our taxes go directly to the students welfare, not these peoples pockets!

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