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B-BP BOE: District Funds Will Not be Used to Pay for Welcome Dinner

Board of education issues statement to clarify the controversy over Tuesday's meeting.

The following is a press statement received from the Bayport-Blue Point School District Thursday regarding the public protest over a dinner meeting held at Blue restaurant Tuesday night to welcome the new district superintendent, which came under fire by several residents when it was learned district funds would be paying for the event.

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Statement from Board President James March:

On behalf of the Board of Education, I wish to apologize for the events surrounding the dinner hosted for our new superintendent of schools on Tuesday evening. We were operating under the mistaken belief that our board's modest discretionary funds could be utilized to cover recognitions of this nature. What we have come to learn is that this is not permissible under board policy.

Prior to the start of the event, Board Trustee William Milligan covered the cost of 10 meals at the board table. Following the dinner, Trustee Rebecca Campbell made a donation toward the event. And after receiving clarification on the policy, the rest of the members of the Board of Education have committed to covering the remainder of the balance.

No district funds were ever actually paid to the restaurant.

The dinner was a dignified event to enthusiastically welcome our new district leader. I look forward to focusing on this exciting new chapter in our district.

Yvonne Kleine October 07, 2012 at 04:47 AM
There you go again.
Katy Chandler October 07, 2012 at 12:19 PM
Yvonne.....You have just stated a fact about the difference between owning your own business and the board of ed's use of school funds! I am a lawyer and you are 100% right! I know you are not telling people how to express themselves. They just don't get it!
Michelle Rose October 07, 2012 at 12:44 PM
Dr Kleine, I know the school is not a "business" I was being facetious since on this thread time and time again people have asked for this district to be run as a "business" . I totally get that and the difference between my husbands right to take his company to Tahiti but that is a far cry from a $22 per head dinner made as an act of good will which the taxpayers did not pay for ultimately anyway. Dr. Klein I would love to have you run for board honestly. Then in a year we can talk :) Thanks for clarifying to me the difference between a business and a non profit entity such as a school district. PS my husband agrees with me 100% that this entire thread is petty. The small amount of taxpayers money would have made a very powerful bang for the buck but then this is a moot point because taxpayers didn't pay for it. Teachers and administrators don't only do their jobs for the cash. Most do it for the rewards and gratification that come with teaching our young. Just because a superintendent makes whatever salary he makes does not mean that makes him happy. There are extrinsic rewards from a job. People are happy at their jobs for many other reasons that are intangible. Employees need more than just a dollar amount thrown at them to bring happiness. Think about that.
Michelle Rose October 07, 2012 at 12:53 PM
This reminds me of the hub bub about the boe's use of school owned lap tops! Come on let's find some positivity this early in the year. I haven't heard any cheers for the money we are saving on our new Superintendent's salary and it's three year freeze! That should make some people at least a little bit happier :)
BBP Family October 07, 2012 at 01:16 PM
I wish I had known this dinner was taking place. I would have: 1) Recomended Cav's over any other local establishment. 2) Forked over the $22 cash to cover the Supt's plate. The fact that we have taxpayers wasting the valuable time of our elected BOE is deplorable. I elect BOE members for their experience in being able to work with a Supt to build and pass a fair school budget. Not to be on the defensive or explain a dinner bill. For goodness sake, the behaviors of the "locals" who brought this "controversy" to light are an embarrassment and hopefully, Dr. Butera does not think, is representative of those of us who live here. Honestly, if some of these people playing "gotcha" would run for the BOE I'd love it. I'd be sure to put them to work for my family and community so our kids get what they deserve out of a school budget. Fat chance though, based on their past behaviors and commentary.
Michelle Rose October 07, 2012 at 02:08 PM
Reminder to all, you get what you pay for and the environment you create for our "taxed payed" employees. Let's not run another superintendent out of the district. Penny wise, pound foolish. Read this article that slipped by Bayport Patch "New York State Education Commissioner John King recently commended Bayport-Blue Point High School for its academic achievements and designated the school as a "Reward School" in New York State. The State Education Department bestowed these awards based on high student performance on state assessments, graduation rates and overall academic progress. Along with this designation, the school is eligible to compete for a Commissioner's Schools Dissemination Grant of up to $150,000 to further advance students' educational opportunities." Long Island Advance
Ed Horcrantz October 07, 2012 at 02:42 PM
The actions of the school board members are disgraceful. BBP can not even afford to provide bus service for our children but can go to dinner at "Blue" on our school tax dollars. I want to ask a question......is this the first time they illegally used our tax dollars or is it the first time they have been caught?
Ed Horcrantz October 07, 2012 at 02:44 PM
Thank you for telling it like it is! The actions of the school board members are disgraceful. BBP can not even afford to provide bus service for our children but can go to dinner at "Blue" on our school tax dollars. I want to ask a question......is this the first time they illegally used our tax dollars or is it the first time they have been caught
Michelle Rose October 07, 2012 at 02:53 PM
Well said BBP family!
Yvonne Kleine October 07, 2012 at 02:53 PM
Michelle Rose: There is nothing "petty" about the mis-use of public money. I was asked to run for the school board. I am the sole caregiver for my disabled 96 year old Mother and that occupies most of my free time, I had to decline. I have nothing but respect and gratitude for the service of our board members. "Being facetious" sometimes does not translate in print. BBPfamily: . Who is "playing gotcha"? What you seem to be saying is that it's fine to spend tax money on small things Maybe that's what Pete McGowan thought when he started his tab at Teller"s. It is odd that some have such anger at the whistle blowers. That's how corruption flourishes. It takes courage to expose wrong doing. Was it Dinnergate? Of course not, but it was thoughtless towards those who are struggling to feed families, heat their homes, and pay their insane property taxes. I'm reminded of an earlier post, a woman who wistfully said she wished she could take her family out for a meal. Not everyone in this community is "affluent". Lastly, why all this concern for Dr. Butera's opinion of us? He is a Ph.D. and a school superintendent. Don't you think HE should have known that taking him to dinner on the public's dime was illegal? It's astonishing that these well educated, successful and affluent folks had not even a passing acquaintance with the laws of New York State and a couple of "ordinary" citizens did. Now that's REALLY embarrassing.
Judy Mottl (Editor) October 07, 2012 at 03:37 PM
Hi Michelle. That didn't slip by Patch at all. We posted a story on it on Sept. 21: http://patch.com/A-xX1Y. That's why I encourage everyone to sign up for the daily newsletter as we do anywhere from five to 8 stories a day and it's hard to keep track :)
BBP Family October 07, 2012 at 04:57 PM
Ms. Kliene, In answer to your question, "who is playing gotcha?", I'd have to say the affluent whistleblowers (stalkers?) planted at Blue, ready to contact newsday, with camera in hand is who is playing gotcha. Can't be sure they can be called "residents"...is that term applicable to people who split their time between a FI, NYC, and Bayport home? Never mind going out to dinner, who has the time to own at least three residences and be a whistleblower? For you to compare this welcome meal to McGowans behavior is ignorant - local politics have been corrupt forever. Apples and oranges here. I'm double checking this for you, but Im going out on a limb and saying this was NOT an illegal act. There were too many smart people there (Supt. and BOE) to let that happen. Let me anticipate the next accusation...we are headed towards a Roslyn reference, right? Oh wait, we already ran that guy out...to greener pastures.
BBP Family October 07, 2012 at 05:12 PM
And as far as Dr. Buteras opinion goes, he is here to work with the board to raise student achievement and do it in a responsible manner, financially. He must be laughing so far at where the focus is here. Has anyone (Newsday? The whistleblowers? The Patch?) found where it says this act was illegal? Show it to us in print and I'll start buying into the conspiracy. Our community is looking foolish, and our board, unfocused. None of these shiny new board members checked before-hand to see if buying the new Supt. dinner was illegal or merely inappropriate looking? They all seem to be smart people, especially the new triple threat. Thats the impression I got when I got their fancy card promoting their competence in the mail last spring. The fact of the matter is, it doesn't make sense for the actions of a few speak for where the priorities lie for schools.
Michelle Rose October 07, 2012 at 05:25 PM
I am praying these ridiculous, petty, few don't send our new superintendent running for the hills also! it will become pretty hard to sell our homes here in Bayport -Blue Point if we can't keep a decent superintendent in our district . Great points BBP family.
Michelle Rose October 07, 2012 at 05:29 PM
Judy Mottl. I sincerely apologize!!!! I missed it. I googled it and I couldn't find it anywhere on google. I shouldn't have assumed that! sorry!
Yvonne Kleine October 07, 2012 at 05:30 PM
It's KLEINE, thank you. Your deeply green class envy is showing. Mr. Feustel may own three residences, he also pays taxes on those residences. I would venture to say he and his wife pay more taxes than most of us posting here and most of us in town. Since when has it been illegal to own more than one house? Furthermore, they live right here in Bayport as you well know. And what the heck do you know about anyone's financial circumstances? You really do presume. My remark on Mr. McGowan was irony, which like "being facetious", must not translate well in print. Check all you want, the word came down from the State Comptroller. MOOT POINT. "Local politics have been corrupt forever." The mind boggles. That is a cynical and disgraceful statement if ever there was one. Let's close our eyes to it all because it's always been like that and why should we get off our lazy butts to change it? Or heaven forfend, we might upset one of our buddies. We didn't run anyone out to "greener pastures" He was compensated handsomely. The greedy weasel socked us for his advanced degrees and then flew the coop to feather his nest, whilst we held the burning bag after he promised he was staying. A man of his word, right? But since your post demonstrates you have no regard for honesty, integrity or ethics, why should it bother you? Seems to me ignorance must be contagious, because you have it in spades.
BBP Family October 07, 2012 at 07:03 PM
Ms. K, I am not explaining myself in a way you can understand. My main point is, we can't miss the forest for the trees here. We get stuck on petty minutae and we'll be distracted from the important thing: passing a fair and responsible budget. You mentioned Noel Fuestel. I've never met nor spoken to this person. But what I have read here on the Patch is that has a sharp tongue (a bit like yourself, I'd say) and he seeks people out and goes into attack mode (not unlike what I'd imagine occurred at Blue, based on the Newsday article). The internet tell us he's made a habit of this, on more than one Island. Is this productive behavior? I find it distracting. One last thing. I am not green with envy, nor ignorant, doc. I also hold integrity and honesty in the highest regard, FYI. I value ethical behavior. My point is, if we find ourselves getting caught on thinking we are "onto something", we'll be left with a failed budget, which would take years to recover from, in the schools and as homeowners. And around that time of year, the aforementioned troublemakers will recover inhailing the "Saltaire" of their second or third home.
Yvonne Kleine October 07, 2012 at 07:21 PM
I can certainly see you are not envious at all, not at all.
BBP Education October 07, 2012 at 09:03 PM
Sorry but a school district is a business. It may not be a private business but it is. A school district employs the most individuals from a town and when it starts to falter from the top down then it will have a trickle down effect in the town. I agree with michelle rose 100% and if you don't understand her point then I'm sorry, don't feel bad when the scores keep coming back lower and lower. Maybe some of you people should take an educational business class and learn the true meaning of how and what runs a school. ---- on a side note the last superintendent did not get forced out or left because of the town. If you actually knew the man then maybe you would understand why he left to take on a new challenge.
Michelle Rose October 07, 2012 at 10:47 PM
I have to say, I never saw the article in the newsday. Out if curiosity I back tracked through the Patch articles and low and behold the person that started this whole fiasco and was quoted several times was Rita Palma. I really had to laugh. I was wondering how this whole thing got started. Now I know. Shocking. I don't even know this woman but any time there is any attack against our "thieving" school district (sarcasm for those that demand specificity) she is at the lead of it all. She gets it started but I haven't seen one post from her on this thread. I don't know Mr. Feustel either but the same thing can be said for him. Isn't there anything that this district ever does that can be commended by them, nothing?
Sandi October 08, 2012 at 12:18 AM
Yvonne, I have been reading the comments people are making to you! There is a couple of people that should maybe step back and cool off. I thought it was a nice idea to share my thoughts on different subjects, but this is out of hand! I am going to stop commenting on "Patch" from now on, because it's too cut throat! Good luck with staying with it!
Yvonne Kleine October 08, 2012 at 08:03 AM
In 2009, Mrs. Rose's husband's company outsourced Long Island construction jobs to a non-union firm in Kentucky. The job, in Shirley, was partially subsidized by tax dollars provided by the Town of Brookhaven. Kentucky was grateful, Long Island was screwed. Score? Kentucky: $$$$, Bayport-BluePoint: 0. For all her pious handwringing about the status of our schools, and fear of our diminishing property values, and fervent prayers for the forbearance of our new superintendent, ( that he may overlook the scrutiny of "stalkers") it seems Mrs. Rose was not able to prayerfully prevail upon her husband to employ LONG ISLAND workers, who would have then contributed to OUR economy and OUR schools instead of lining the pockets of scabs from Kentucky. Shall we commend her husband's company for this? Did this make the workers "happy"? But wait, she said it's NOT all about dollar amounts being thrown at them, there are "extrinsic rewards" to be considered, like has the Goodwill in Patchogue re-opened? So of course, why would it concern her if the board used taxpayer money for a dinner? These things are too petty for her to countenance. Silly, frivolous, unimportant. Folks, all the cool breezes from Saltaire cannot blow away the terrible, mendacious and foul humors of this hypocrisy. But I forgot, it's just business, right? And now I know. SHOCKING!!!! Don't take my word, Google it.
Michelle Rose October 08, 2012 at 04:39 PM
"Dr" Kleine , I would guard against speaking of matters that you do not have first hand knowledge of or have "read" on Google. There are so many incorrect statements you have made I couldn't even possibly make a rebuttal regarding my husbands business affairs. Not only does this not belong on this thread, it's inappropriate and a personal attack. Instead of googling it, I would suggest you ask your fellow community members what they think about Clare Rose's contributions within the community.
Bayport Student October 08, 2012 at 05:47 PM
Your comment there shows that you have been backed into a corner and are on the losing end of this argument. You are just trying to insult Mrs. Rose for her husband's business practices, which may have helped save a community in Appalachian Kentucky. it's just not necessary and doesn't add to the discussion.
BBP Education October 08, 2012 at 08:06 PM
It's a shame they had to attack you on that level Michele. I guess when you mention the leader of the group they have to attack anyway they can.
Yvonne Kleine October 08, 2012 at 08:12 PM
This is really the laugh of the day. You, dear lady, are the Empress Supreme of inappropriate and personal attacks, You viciously slam Rita Palma at every opportunity. It must be uncomfortable to be hoisted upon your own petard. You opened this door in your previous post when you cited your husband's business as an incandescent paragon of how things should be run and haughtily lectured us about good employee relations. If you don't know what's waiting outside it, you shouldn't open it. If you are concerned about your husband's "business affairs" coming to light, you should not speak of them. Funny, Google is great when it pushes your agenda forward. Not so great when it exposes things you wish to ignore. You actually named the business, not I. It is possible that people are as ignorant of who you are as you claim to be about Rita and Noel. As for the quotation marks around "DR." a title I have not once used here, piffle. The local folks who are losing their homes because they've been out of work for years will appreciate that a town was saved in Appalachia, Bayport Student. That's mighty fine. Losing the argument? Horse puckie. The taxpayers won and the mis-use of school funds was prevented. Certain things are important. I want the road I live on to be safe, and my school board, above board. Thank you Noel,Tori, and Rita for all you do for our community. "All that is required for evil to flourish is that good men stand and do nothing."
BBP Family October 08, 2012 at 08:36 PM
Hey I am all for good strong debate...but "Doctor", your comments are inappropriate, particularly for this thread. Am I wrong to think they don't apply to the article title, "B-BP BOE: District Funds Will Not be Used to Pay for Welcome Dinner"?
Michelle Rose October 08, 2012 at 08:52 PM
I am not even going to respond to this other than to say I have never preached how my husbands business is a paragon for how to run a business nor did make a reference to Appalachia. Your comments speak for themselves and you are making yourself sound like a fool. I am an evil person lol, did you google that too? I have never viciously attacked or made up anything about anyone. Please don't respond to me anymore as I will not respond back to you any more. You have a sharp tongue and apparently are the only person who is allowed to have an opinion on this site without viciously attacking those that disagree with you. Please though, keep on remarking, I am sure many people find it humorous.
BBP Family October 08, 2012 at 09:03 PM
The level of commentary on this site never ceases to surprise me. I do love the big words you use though, doctor. (Oh, and the Dr. title is one you included in your profile...piffle.) And doc, do tell, what exactly is it that Palma, Fuestel, and Tori (no idea who that is) have contributed to our school community? Besides requesting information as if a part of a 20/20 expose, and publicly attacking public servants, I have yet to really get that. Oh wait, they each MAKE money on the people in this town. Is that better or worse than if they did that in Appalachia? (That was sarcasm.)
BBP Family October 08, 2012 at 09:36 PM
Hey doc, did you read the patch article about the Reward school status of BBP? Did Noel, Tori, Rita, and Doctor Kline contribute to B-BP HS being recognized for their academic successes and graduation rates? The award that makes them further eligible to compete for a $150K grant? And in that same vein, did they help pass a budget under a 2% cap in that same year? This stuff takes years in the making to accomplish. It's not a slingshot quick fix, like Fuestel snapping pics at Blue and passing judgment on what he sees. You know who was behind that award? Dr. Anunziato, the other guy - Curriculum Supt. (name escapes me), and...drumroll please...the board members replaced by the three new and improved board members! Ouch. That smarts. Man, if that group of corrupt losers (more sarcasm) could accomplish that, who knows what the new board could do? Maybe for "all they do for the community" (your words) Fuestel, Rita, et., al. should run for the board! I would LOVE to have THEM working for ME!

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