The school board meeting was well attended and yes, there were only six speakers, most of whom spoke about saving the Finance Academy. Am I upset that no one called for a lot of the action purposed on this blog? No. Change takes time and it is happening right before our very eyes. The simple fact that people are going to the meetings and the RSB is slowly but surely opening up, is a victory. This affords people the opportunity to become informed. An informed public can then hold the RSB and administration accountable. Eventually, people WILL take action. For example, (it is of the opinion of this blogger that) the one citizen speaking up about transparency and filing Article 78 charges have completely changed the way the RSB runs their meetings. If you haven't noticed the school board meetings now begin at 6:30 and the Board writes "it is anticipated the Board will adjourn into Executive Session at 6:30." However, it is also of the opinion of this blogger that pre-scheduling executive sessions is a violation of NYS Open Meetings Laws. Regardless, any concerned citizen now knows the RSB begins their meetings at 6:30. After changing the meeting times the RSB still didn't explain why they were moving into executive session. After more prodding, the RSB now posts why they are moving into into executive session. This is a HUGE deal. For all you teachers concerned about negotiations, before this citizen spoke up, the public had no idea why the RSB went into executive session and, according to a reader, the minutes do not reflect the RSB discussing your pending contract. Therefore, to an outside observer it would appear as though the District is not negotiating in good faith. Now, the February 1, 2011 agenda reflects the RSB discussed "negotiations with HTA." Therefore, again to an outside observer, it would appear this was the first time the superintendent discussed negotiations with the RSB. Think about the ramifications if someone investigated how the administration negotiated with the HTA.
For those of you who went to last nights meeting, it was different. According to people who have gone to meetings in the past, meetings were sparsely attended. Outside of people invited by the RSB for the dog and pony show and the budget meeting last spring where staff cuts were discussed people did not go to school board meetings. Last year, cuts were made and according to at least one person serving on the board at that time, the board members had no idea what programs and teachers were going to be cut. The staff and union were likewise blindsided. Last night, there were people who knew ahead of time the staff and programs in discussion to be cut. It was reported to me that the superintendent visited the high school on Monday afternoon to present the purposed cuts to the teachers. He deserves recognition for doing this, though there are people who see this action as political posturing. Teachers and community members can now voice their opinions to the RSB before the decisions to cut have been made. Yet another huge step forward.
In another step forward the RSB openly discussed the Fisher Bus contract. I will say I am appalled that Fisher Bus gets a 3% increase each year regardless of inflation. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports inflation for 2010 as 1.67%. Thank you for finally discussing the busing contract. It is of the opinion of this blogger that Fisher Bus has profited greatly from this District at a great cost to other programs. The busing contract is a discussion for another post.
Therefore, before people start complaining about the "lack of action." Take a look back and notice all of the changes.
NEW- THE FLEECING OF THE TAXPAYER- HODGSON RUSS LEGAL BILL
*****NEW****Click on link below to be directed to the Hodgson Russ Legal Bills Jan- May 2016- THE FLEECING OF THE TAXPAYER.https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B03Rg-d-K8EZYVRLTUxxVmpUNzA/view?usp=sharing