ELECTION DAY: Save Our City, Vote Down the Budget, Vote Up Malfetano

Written By: Robert Cox

This is a reminder that Tuesday, May 19 (today!) is the date for the vote on the School budget, as well as the Library budget and Board of Education and Library elections. Polls are open from 7AM – 9PM. (If you don’t know your polling place, you can call the Board of Education at 576-4219).

You should have received the “Budget News” newsletter in your mail recently; it will list your polling place on the mailing label and contains detailed information on the Proposed budget. If you have any questions about your polling place, please call the Board of Education at 576-4219.

If the budget is defeated the District can resubmit the budget or come up with a new budget in June. If that budget is defeated New York State will institute a contingency budget. According to the District, that budget will be $300,000 less than the proposed budget.

Now, look at the pack of lies being emailed around by backers of Polow, Hastie and the school budget:

THEIR CLAIM: There will only be full-day kindergarten starting in 2009 if the budget passes.

TRUTH: False. For months the school board and administration have justified this new program on the grounds that New York State was insisting on New Rochelle offering Full-Day K. If this is true why would the State cut this program for their own contingency budget?

THEIR CLAIM: The ability of community groups to use sports fields and facilities for events will be affected.

TRUTH: False. Community groups will still be able to use fields and facilities.

THEIR CLAIM: A contingency budget could also effect our ability to keep the vast sports and music programs we have

TRUTH: False. There is absolutely no requirement that any cuts be made to sports and music programs; meanwhile the District’s own budget makes cuts to the current music programs.

THEIR CLAIM: A contingency budget could also effect creative programming, CILA, magnets and other enrichments.

TRUTH: False. There is absolutely no requirement that any cuts be made to creative programming, CILA, the magnet schools. No idea what “other enrichments” means.

Bottom Line

Superintendent Richard Organisciak admitted in an interview with the League of Women Votes that the $300,000 difference between the District’s proposed budget and the Contingency budget is tiny on a $229 million budget. He also admitted that the REAL issue is State control of the District’s finances. That is their fear. That someone outside their little club would be able to look at how they are spending our money and why. Given their track record of no-bid contracts, fraud, misappropriation and other financial shenanigans, they have good reason to be afraid of someone looking over their shoulder next year.