Dear Syosset School District Community:
I’ve been receiving many calls on this upcoming election and whereas I wish to talk to everyone personally that is not feasible.
I am in my second year as Your Trustee for Syosset School District, I have to say the first year was not a ‘walk in the park’. The second year took off like a rocket. A Trustee must have the ability to communicate with 8 other personalities along with District staff, teachers, PTA, Parents, Students and Seniors in our community. It’s not easy, I have to say that I requested many documents, met much resistance from the former Superintendent. However both Michael and April promised I would be heard and receive all the information I required to review and assess where cost efficiencies can be made and understand the financial workings of the District. Laura provides support by understanding the issues or motions and asks the right questions, which furthers the action. The former Superintendent made remarks that “ Chris, you’re driving this district crazy”. My response was and will be I would be a voice for our community and that stands as my word.
I am One of Nine Trustees, to oversee the financial budget of the School District. Together we Initiate, review and recommend for improvements in operations, reduce costs and maintain instructional programs. To me one of our primary goals is to serve our clients and those clients are your children.
When our previous Superintendent left us abruptly your Trustees stepped up and came together so September 2013 school opening would be seamless for your children. The ongoing efforts was not by a single person or just the School Board. Many of the staff saw an opportunity to contribute and work harder. Suddenly the relationships that have been censored also took off. The other administrative staff are empowered, you can see it on their faces.
This past year of Transformation we “cleaned house” we requested RFPS, interviewed vendors, legal, auditors, architects, Real Estate, Bus Transportation, BOCES and other vendors to ensure maximum performance. We fielded inquiries from the community, conducted open meetings for community involvement, advocated for student government to report at school board meetings and obtain experience of real life presentations to a large audience. I Initiated the Finance Advisory Committee for increase transparency and welcomed community participation, the first Committee in over 20 years. When I asked the former Superintendent on 3 different occasions for her to assign a staff person, she turned me down. When I requested Dr. Friedman assign staff he came himself along with Dr. Rufo. In early 2013 I made motion for comprehensive Financial Documents which show previous years actuals vs budgeted. However I could not do it alone, I needed to collaborate and share my views with 8 other members. When I was challenged it was an opportunity to do more research and communicate better.
We as a board of nine advocated for a capital reserve fund. This fund is for the future of our community and children. Furthermore it requires Your Approval to spend any of the funds. How more open and transparent can you get? We will be reviewing energy performance contracts for cost effectiveness and consideration of solar energy. Working on plans for a Turf field for school sports, many schools of lesser means have had these superior fields for many years. Created Newsletter and improved website for faster and more comprehensive communications.
Dr. Ronald Friedman was selected as an interim Superintendent and one of the reasons he came to Syosset is he met with the current board of trustees and liked us and saw how all of us was working together, which is not an automatic at every school district. We had an exhausted process to interview a permanent Superintendent, engaged the community in hearing from them and welcomed input.
The days of doing things in a vacuum are long gone, we need to move on, The following saying still has merit in these modern times “ If it’s not broken don’t fix it” .
Change for Change sake is not needed at this time, allow the current board to have experienced Trustees continue the work that has been started. Allow us to build on the great educational successes of this District while improving the Student experience. We are on the right track and all Nine of us want this School District to become even greater. With Dr. Rogers I am hoping to improve educational instruction, find opportunities for increased revenue and our District become more effective and efficient.
I commend anyone who takes time from their family to Volunteer, we have many such organizations in Syosset and Woodbury, and I thank you all for your time as in my opinion serving is one of the highest forms of contribution and satisfaction.
We have the right people in place.
VOTE MAY 20 – YOUR VOTE IS IMPORTANT AND COUNTS
I RESPECTFULLY REQUEST YOUR SUPPORT AND CONSIDERATION
Support Cohen, Schlesinger & Neuendorf as Syosset Trustees, on ballot as 1,2,3
Support the school budget
Support the Capital Reserve Fund
REMINDER: There are now only 3 Syosset voting locations.
Syosset High School – 70 Southwoods Road
HB Thompson Middle School – 98 Ann Drive
Robbins Lane Elementary School – 157 Robbins Lane
If unsure of your location call 516-364-5600
The above represents my personal views and not as being a Trustee from the Syosset School District