In a contentions school board meeting, residents, parents, school board candidates and PTA officials appeared for the New Rochelle School Board to comment on the district’s proposed $230mm budget, the largest in the history of New Rochelle and one of the largest ever in Westchester County.
The most impassioned plea came from Ms. Emery Schweig, current president of the New Rochelle High School PTA and candidate for Member, Library Board of Trustees; New Rochelle City School District. In her remarks last night, Schweig referenced concerns expressed by New Rochelle residents over the past several school board meetings – people who have spoken of their fears of losing their jobs and their homes in what President Obama has called the worst financial crisis of the Great Depression. She proceeded to ridicule those concerns by calling the current economic situation “temporary” then emphatically demanding that voters to “suck it up” and approve a budget loaded with wasteful spending, expanded teacher pay and benefits, and millions of dollars in new programs.
Other highlights from the Board meeting.
Four of the five school board candidates were present last night and three of them – Jeff Hasty, Dr. Jack Wagner and Vincent Malfatano – spoke on the budget. Hasty in support of the budget, Wagner and Malfatano opposed.
Mr. Malfatano got into a heated exchanged when School Board President Cindy Babcock-Deutsch initially refused to recognize Malfatano who wished to speak a second time on the budget after all who wished to speak on the budget had been recognized.
Malfatano received an enthusiastic response when he proposed that any parent of children enrolled in the public school system be allowed to vote on the school budget and for school board seats regardless of their immigration or citizenship status.
The PTA presidents from each school in the district spoke, each to announce that their school’s PTA council had voted to support the school budget (“dog bites man”).
I spoke and made a few points: (1) I expressed my concern over the lack of parking at New Rochelle High School — now that employees or no longer using them as their personal vehicles they are being parked near the new wing; (2) that in light of our reporting on the misappropriation of school vehicles, the district should install lo-jack type devices to track there whereabouts of district vehicles; (3) I asked Organiciak about the union negotiations — whether there would be a pay freeze or any teachers fired. Cindy spoke and said she was not going to let him answer because it was illegal. I then asked if that was the case why he answered that exact question for the Journal News. She responded by implying that he was misquoted. I followed up by asking whether a correction had been requested. She refused to respond. I sent an email to the reporter, Aman Ali, asking him to respond to this allegation. I do not expects a reply but will update this post if I get one.
If you would like to support Ms. Schweig in the upcoming election, her campaign can be reached as follows:
Emery Schweig Campaign Contact Information
Schweig for Library Board
26 Stone Cabin Road
New Rochelle, NY 10801
- Occupation: Parent, education/youth advocate
- Co-President, NRHS PTSA (2007-2009)
- Secretary, NR Branch NAACP (2006-2008)
- President, Museum Service Council of the Neuberger Museum of Art (2006-2008)
- Docent, Neuberger Museum of Art (2000-2008)
- Commercial Litigator, private practice in NYC (1987-1994)
- Judicial Law Clerk, Appellate Division, 2d Dept. (1985-87)
Top Priorities if Elected
- Preserve and improve the current resources, programs and services of the New Rochelle Pulbic Library.
- Encourage mutual support between the NRPL and the New Rochelle community.
- Promote the NRPL as a critical resource for literacy and life-long learning.