School Board President Stymied; Cindy Babcock-Deutsch Unable to Cite Law She Claimed Bars Public Discussion of Union Negotiation

Written By: Robert Cox

Cindy Babcock Deutsch.jpgFrom March until May, dozens of New Rochelle residents came before the school board at so-called “Budget Workshops” to share their concerns about increasing property taxes, out-of-control spending and especially runaway salaries, benefits and overtime for District employees. Residents repeatedly hammered away at two questions during the school board meetings: (1) will there be a pay freeze (2) will there be any sort of giveback on health insurance benefits. Time and time again School Board President Cindy Babcock-Deutsch lied to residents claiming there was a law which precluded any public discussion of ongoing union negotiation to the obvious discomfort of other board members who knew full-well there was no such law.

Back on June 2nd, I wrote about my appearance before the school board:

I addressed my first comments to Ms. Babcock-Deutsch, reminding her that in the months prior to the budget vote many New Rochelle residents asked for information about the status of the then-ongoing F.U.S.E. negotiations. Residents asked about whether there would be a pay freeze, givebacks or an increase in contributions to the health care plan. Babcock-Deutsch repeatedly told residents who appeared before the school board that there was a law which precluded board members from commenting publicly on union negotiations. When residents pressed her to state which law she was talking about she gave the tried and true “I will seek counsel” answer which is code for “I am lying, out on a limb in doing it and need to bail myself by hiding behind my lawyer”. It is school district employees and board members way of “taking the fifth”.

After reminding her of her past statements I pointed out that it had been a couple of months said she told residents she would “seek counsel” and get back to them and so far she never had. I asked her whether she had gotten counsel and could now provide us a citation for a law which precludes board members from discussing ongoing union negotiations with New Rochelle residents. Babcock-Deutsch said that she had only stated that she would seek counsel as to WHETHER she could discuss ongoing negotiations. I pointed out the record was clear that this was not the case, that she had repeatedly stated there was a law that precluded board members from discussing ongoing negotiations. Babcock-Deutsch then asked whether I wanted a letter with the answer to that question. I said that I would like such a letter. Babcock-Deutsch then promised to send me a letter explaining what law precludes the school board from informing the public about ongoing union negotiations [note: I followed up with an email confirming her offer and my acceptance, asking that the letter be provided before the next school board meeting, currently scheduled for June 30th, at which time I will comment on her letter.

Over the weekend I got Cindy’s letter in which she is unable to cite any law that precludes public discussion of ongoing union negotiations.

The letter is definitely worth a read by all fans of irony.

In the letter, Ms. Babcock-Deutsch has the balls to cite the New York State Open Meeting Laws and New York State Freedom of Information Act. This perversion of the law is especially rich coming from a woman who has routinely violated the Open Meeting Law to invoke “executive session” to discuss public business in secret, supported Superintendent Richard Organisciak in pissing all over the Freedom of Information Act and personally defecated on the U.S. Constitution of the United States by tramping all over the 1st, 4th, 14th and 15th Amendments in her tenure as School Board President. More to the point, however her letter is a big, hairy middle finger to every New Rochelle resident who showed up for the budget workshops to ask questions about the then-ongoing union negotiations. To that extent every resident of New Rochelle should be outraged by the childish antics of this prima donna.

Babcock-Deutsch is clumsily attempting to skirt the issue and avoid accountability for her own words by claiming that since the Board as a whole made a decision not to discuss the union negotiations no individual member may contravene that decision. Of course that is the entire point. The board made a decision to be silent. Therefore they could have chosen not to make that decision or, if the had and then changed their mind, could just as easily make a decision to reverse themselves and issue a statement in response to questions from the public. Given that the board CHOSE to be silent it means they had the OPTION to be silent and that is why? Because THERE IS NO LAW THAT REQUIRES SILENCE DURING UNION NEGOTIATIONS.

In fact, this is precisely what Superintendent Richard Organisciak did when he gave a statement to the Journal News which addressed the very questions being raised by residents at the board meetings.

I know it is just one lie on a long string of lies from the board of education and the administration of the school district but it is still appalling to see a grown woman lie like a child with her hand caught in the cookie jar. Even more pathetic is watching people who know better or maybe used to have some integrity sit on that board like the three monkeys: hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil.

4 thoughts on “School Board President Stymied; Cindy Babcock-Deutsch Unable to Cite Law She Claimed Bars Public Discussion of Union Negotiation”

  1. Deutch’s version of “I did not have sex with that woman””
    Much like Bill Clinton being caught red handed, Ms Deutch continues to lie right to the very end in spite of having her nose rubbed in it. I really believe that if Bill, from the outset came out and admitted his indiscretions and asked for forgiveness he would STILL be president, or maybe even king. Both he and Ms Deutch have lost all respect and credibility in the eyes of anyone who knows of these ongoings. Shame on her and good for Bob Cox. (to bad about Bill, he could have been a contender)

  2. Congrats to the board and Ms Babcock Duetsch!!!
    They did an amazing job handling the Union and you cox!!! You cox would’ve tried to sabotage any kind of union negotiations with infiltration from any of your cronies ie your wife. Your wife and your other cronies which we are going to name in a future reply act like idiots. We leak information which is useless but seems important and then when it’s printed we know where those people stand. Your cronies are fools and have all been exposed. They do nothing in this town except for themselves. When you only help yourself and are self imposed, your true colors shine through.

    1. If you are going to defend Cindy Babcock-Deutsch…
      …you might want to learn how to spell her name!

      As for this muddled mixed up rant of a kooky comment, let me see if I can cut through this tangled mass of clouded delusions just long enough to try to make some small sense of your incoherent ramblings.

      I believe your point can be boiled down this: you want to scream, shout, and hurl insults and threats in the hopes of taking the focus off the repeated lies told to the community by Cindy Babcock-Deutsch during the run up to the budget vote in May by trying (and failing) to make the issue me (and my family) yet again. The problem is that her lies were heard by many people in person and on TV and there are recordings. Her letter is also now on record and that demonstrates clearly that she cannot cite a single law to support her repeated false claims.

      As for wishing to sabotage union negotiations, that is silly. Had you attended the last school board meeting you would know that I went on the record with (for me) somewhat complementary remarks about the F.U.S.E. agreement. My biggest complaint was they did not lock them at 2.41% for three years instead of two. I also wrote about it on this blog — twice. I have also said that I do not really have an issue with the pay that teachers receive. Most of them are good to excellent and should be well paid. The problem is that we have too many teachers and way too many non-pedagogical employees because we have many children in our schools that are not properly enrolled and, as is becoming obvious, all sorts of scams running within the maintenance and grounds departments.

      Ms. Babcock-Deutsch could put an end to this issue by simply stating that she was in error when she said there is a law the precludes public discussion of ongoing union negotiations by members of the school board or administration. Admitting an error is not something I have ever seen before from Ms. Babcock-Deutsch so I do not expect one now. Instead, she continues to pile lie upon lie in order to run away from the original lie.

  3. Cindy and the Law
    Well Bob, no surprise here. I mentioned in several blogs in the past that the law did not cover what she claimed. I checked both federal and state. Law protects only specific items under negotiation and even here there is some need for discretion or prudence. She heavy handedly misused her power to continue the opaqueness and lack of transparency prevalent in the board’s approach to its masters — meanng those who voted for its trustees. In fact paying 70% or so of the school district budget obligates trustees to respond to simple questions such as you posed or for example, “as the representative of the tax payers, are you discussing whether FUSE should negotiate around health and welfare member payments, etc…. what she did was actually bad faith. Not surprisingly, no one in City Hall or in the Council or anywhere else commented on this. That is the major lesson — this woman misspoke and she had counsel and they offered nothing subsequent to the voter/taxpayer in terms of the fact that she blocked key input from the superintendent, etc…

    this is so damn sad and sadder still sensing if not actually knowing that when you posed the question the contract was signed, sealed and delivered.

    warren gross

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