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>Jim Morgan sets the record straight

>Jim Morgan sets the record straight

SUNSHINE IS ALWAYS THE BEST POLICY
by Jim Morgan

I have just reviewed the mass mailing that various sports groups made regarding Tuesday’s School Election. This unfortunate piece, especially as regards me, is a combination of falsehoods and misrepresentations. None of the signers had the courtesy to contact me or check their facts
before using their children’s team email lists to spread their inaccuracies.

To set the record straight:

I have never engaged in “harassing, bulling or antagonizing” behavior with the BOE or staff. What I have done is persistently point out their questionable management judgments and sought to have the BOE members do the job we elected them to do as our representatives.

I have never threatened to sue the Village or BOE. What I did do was point out questionable BOE’s procedures that could potentially lead to a lawsuit.

I have never “courted” the teachers. What I have done is urge the BOE to get on with the contract negotiations to reach a settlement ending the unhealthy classroom condition of having teachers working without a contract.

I have never sought to “compromise the BOE’s position in the negotiations.” What I have recommended is that the final agreement must recognize the needs of the taxpayers the Board represents.

When it was pointed out to me that a REF by-law prevents a serving Trustee from running for the BOE, I promptly resigned.

My campaign has focused on the need for every resident of the Village to have a strong voice representing them on the Board of Education. We need a BOE member that will not accept that a 2% annual property tax increase is acceptable without exploring how we can more efficiently use the $90 million annual school budget. My opponent automatically accepts that taxes must go up by the state ceiling. We need a BOE member that will place curriculum needs over hardware needs when planning our school technology budgets. My opponent has allowed the school technology planning to become stale. We need a BOE member that will seek out public participation in Board decisions and not hide in secret committee meetings closed to the public. My opponent prefers the shadows and closing the public out of the BOE’s deliberations. We need a BOE member that will push to resolve the teachers’ contract mess in a way that recognizes the Village’s economic conditions before students begin to suffer.

My opponent prefers to draw out negotiations for no discernable benefit to the taxpayers. There are important issues at stake in this election that will impact our children’s futures and  the values of our homes for years to come. If you really feel that BOE’s lack of transparency and initiative in demanding cost effective answers to our schools’ needs is acceptable to you, by all means vote for my opponent. I believe that BOE’s decisions are too critical to leave to an individual that does not approach every decision with an open, inquiring mind and understands that he is your representative. If you want a strong voice that represents your interests as a parent and taxpayer, please vote for me in the election for the one year BOE term.Finally, I want to comment on the gratuitous way these authors went out of their way to attack

Gina Damasco. This was just plain mean. I met Gina during the campaign and quickly learned that she is a well informed individual that has a genuine desire to be of service to her community.

Since she is an experienced education attorney, she decided that our BOE could benefit from her background and willingness to serve. She had not participated in a previous campaign in Ridgewood and was unaware of all the electioneering that a Village election requires. The letter writers never asked her why she did not participate in the early campaign. So they chose to  pick on mechanics rather than substance. This group should be ashamed of themselves for their arrogant comments. Attitudes like theirs are a major reason why many well qualified Village citizens are unwilling to run for office and be the subject of such ill-informed trash.

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