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Letter to Editor: BBP BOE Reduction Proposal Not a Good Move

The community needs more representation, not less, says a Bayport resident.

First let me start off by saying thank you to all the candidates running for the Bayport-Blue Point Board of Education.

This goes to both the incumbents and the four challengers. I’m sure it took a lot of time and thought just to make the commitment to run. I look forward to the “Meet the Candidates” night on May 10 to hear how you think you can ensure we continue to produce a quality education for our children while balancing the financial pressures of the budget. I hope and encourage all community members to attend that meeting as well.

However I do want to point out one very important but “harmless looking” item that will also be put up to vote and that is the referendum to reduce the current Board of Education from seven trustees to five.

The simple fact is that this is not in the best interest of our community to approve this reduction. If you have spoken with a board member or attended the BOE meetings it is very clear that time commitments of this position are only increasing. And with some very important decisions on the horizon; the hiring of a new superintendent, negotiating new contracts, and the perennial exercise of cost containment, it is apparent that we cannot afford to reduce our board.

Reducing the trustees from seven to five only reduces the representation and the voice of each and everyone in the community. The hard earned tax dollars that you pay will essentially be decided upon by a simple majority of three Trustees. Whether or not the majority is represented by three new board members or three existing board members, it is not in our community’s best interest.

So please get out there and get to know the candidates and exercise your right to vote on May 15 th, but please make sure you also don’t reduce your voice at the same time. Vote NO to the referendum to reduce the board from 7 to 5.

Thank you, a concerned but optimistic community member,

John Vazquez, Bayport

Suzanne April 29, 2012 at 04:15 PM
I'm voting NO for the reduction. I absolutely agree with you John, in not allowing 3 people to be the decision makers for how my tax dollars are spent and about decisions concerning my children's education. Only 3 people? It's nutty. It would make it TOO EASY to make decisions that each one of us may or may not want to be made. Why would someone want ONLY 3 people to decide what's best for our children and our school district? More representation is better representation. It certainly would be more democratic.
John Vazquez April 30, 2012 at 02:49 PM
Thank you for the feedback and support on this issue. It is important that the word gets out there because some folks in the community may vote yes because they interpret this as a cost saving measure - which it is not.
RJ April 30, 2012 at 07:38 PM
As many as 20 districts on LI have 5 member boards, all with more students than ours. I believe 5 qualified people would make the election of each position more important. A smaller board would make it easier to accomplish things. We the community may take these elections more seriously and learn about each candidate and vote for the ones that have our vision. Those in the community that have the drive and experience to improve our district may be more inclined to run because they could make a bigger impact. Of course it would be a cost savings (2 less laptops, books, hotel rooms, etc). The saving would be small but less is better than more.
Jess O April 30, 2012 at 09:56 PM
RJ, I have to disagree. Reducing the size of the school board sounds like a solution in search of a problem. Sometimes it makes sense to elimate seats from a school board especially when small communities have difficulty finding candidates or there is a lack of community interest. These factors are not applicable in the BBP school district.
Eliza Kay May 03, 2012 at 05:39 PM
I would also suggest that at least one board member be an educator. Effective boards in any industry are diverse and balanced. Not only do they include leaders with expertise in financial and legal, but include industry-specific expertise that only an educator, perferably a classroom teacher (doing the actual teaching) can provide. JMO


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