Board Candidates’ Answers to Debate Questions
Board Candidates’ Answers to Debate Questions
The following 9 questions, 1 from the Women’s League of Voters and 8 from the
audience, have been paraphrased as are the candidates’ answers. The order of
questions and answers is correct. For exact words, please watch the broadcast video
(click for details). The comments, of course, are Diligentsia’s opinion.
Question 1 WLV: If elected, what are your ideas for saving money?
Lenz look at all spending; deﬁne priorities re children; establish a 5-yr fair enough, but
plan; direct resources to children, not admin; share services; incorrectly expressed as
generate revenue a criticism of past Boards
Kashkin save on transportation; ﬁnd energy efﬁciencies
Camp the tax cap is good; labor costs are not capped; get bigger give- “break the contract” is
backs from unions not valid or fair
Kerner share services; new revenue generation such as monetizing our real ideas, some new
theater; need a grant-writing team to help Principals; share
courses w/Rivertowns’ high schools
Dawson I agree with Kerner; let’s try getting Pocantico HS business waiting on yet another
another time; no more cuts; we will be going over the tax cap; Bev Superman
Miller (Asst Super for Business) will help us with better budgets
Question 2 Tim Connick, IUFSD employee: “All Board Members agreed to Reese’s last contract
except Robyne Camp. How do you all feel about the terms (long list of dollar numbers
here) under which Jim Reese retired from our District?”
Kashkin I wasn’t there and have no comment
Camp the dollars you quoted are correct and I thought it was unjustiﬁed why’d she know the
numbers ahead of time?
is she saying it was un-
contracted? time not
worked? what then?
Kerner by contract, he got nothing extra except a small stipend; we facts
needed him to stay 1 more year; keep in mind that the current
Board, including Ms Camp, just hired a new Super for 5 years at
Dawson we trusted Reese; he got nothing extra; I can’t talk about the new weak answer
Lenz I’m against it; why didn’t we plan for Reese’s retirement? who said we didn’t?
Question 3 David Rubin, taxpayer: “How do you feel about this year’s budget?”
Camp I’m against it she voted for it!
Dawson explains the budget-vote process as regards voting a budget weak, deﬂective answer
down in a tax cap environment beﬁtting a politician
Kerner I would have worked for a different and better budget
Lenz I would have deferred hiring the Asst Supt for Curriculum until when?
Dawson we had a new budget process this year: we listened to the admin Really? Damning
enough to disqualify any
Lenz I’m pro-language off the subject
Question 4 Ed Berenson, taxpayer: “Will you promise to stay under the tax cap?”
Kerner can’t promise about the future, will try to stay under
Dawson no promise; we need more revenue
Lenz no promise; not my ﬁrst choice
Kashkin no promise; we must be ﬁscally responsible, including good long-
Camp the tax cap is important; it’s fair; we can be creative the only “yes”—
ahead! Or Pollyanna.
Question 5 Mike Morley, former Board-member: “What do you intend to do about our athletic
Dawson needs to be addressed; I want to weak
Lenz ﬁelds are important; need budget; need planning; talented people hot potato? Richard
in our town haven’t been embraced such as my friend Richard Wood as ﬁnancial
Wood; no more “hot potato” benefactor?
Kashkin important because this has a ripple effect on all things school; in
favor of a new committee; we must do something
Camp we’re all for academic athletes; we need good, drained grass Motherhood; goats do,
Kerner the problem is “how”; safety must come above all; the current sad, accurate
Board has handled the last request badly by just putting it aside
with no action; you can’t have good ﬁelds without “resting” them—
and we don’t enough ﬁelds to do that
Dawson my Board did not put is aside really? what happened?
Lenz prioritize; no carpet prioritize = planning
Kashkin we need more Board and public discussion so we can actually
form a plan
Camp the Board's done nothing; the ﬁelds have been mismanaged; correct; truly, absolutely
we’ve been ﬁxing other things wrong; who knew?
Kerner the ﬁelds have not been mismanaged, they’ve been over-used
Question 6 Anne Carroll, taxpayer “What is your understanding of those budget variables we
Lenz we need better contracts; we need more planning you know, planning
Kashkin the PTSA has suggested many savings; no cuts that impact kids
Camp we must do better contracts; we must tell the unions, hat-in-hand, put Camp in charge,
that we’re going to break our deals then run for it! Is she
passive or aggressive?
Kerner this is not a unique situation in Irvington; go to Albany if you want
change; we’ve got to focus on the bigger political picture
Dawson no more cutting; our cash reserves are already down; the contracts best response
we have are the best ever; we need to go over the tax cap
Lenz why? where’s the rules? we know everything’s not by the rules huh? no planning?
Kashkin we need more community involvement in Albany re unfunded
Camp we shouldn’t be spending on a Curriculum Director (plus secretary) this is a variable? you
at over $250k all in don’t want, your
does; now what?
Kerner Ms Camp, how can you suggest the Asst Supt for Curriculum isn’t
program and student-related?
Dawson I’m on it; I’ve met with all our politicians surprise! zebra’s got
Question 7 Allison Weintraub, taxpayer, “As a BTF-member I offered the Board all kinds of
savings which weren’t followed up; we’re now losing our best teachers; what are your
ideas for savings?”
Kashkin no one cut will do it all, even closing Main Street School correct
Camp bussing won’t save enough; the community isn’t discussing Main ½ correct
Street School yet
Kerner let’s ﬁnally do a real analysis re closing Main Street School; how right on!
can we talk about without knowing anything?
Dawson we’re stuck, transportation-wise; we don’t cut speciﬁc people when off-subject
we reduce program budgets
Lenz I know we can save more on transportation; we need more knows again? planning,
cooperation; we need more planning of course
Kashkin let’s look at transportation
Camp last in, ﬁrst out (LIFO); too bad, let’s change that see Question #6,
Kerner the Board screwed up in the way and time it changed probably right
Dawson we had to switch true; so?
Lenz we didn’t have opportunity to research we? research =
Question 8 Jill Rembar, taxpayer: “What is your pie-in-the-sky wish list for our District?”
Camp put foreign language back in; switch to Trailblazers Math; ﬁnally 50% wrong-headed;
address struggling readers; establish an exchange program where are this election’s
coming from? (hint:
Kerner more professional development in light of the Common Core thank you
standards; establish language classes, especially Mandarin, in
Dows Lane; reverse this year’s cuts; introduce better tech ed
Dawson the .5 Guidance position; then I’d talk to Principals and teachers to not bad
see what they want
Lenz reintroduce everything’s that been lost; community-driven additions Ms Lenz believes she
understands the issues
Kashkin restore High School cuts especially; work on athletics ﬁelds; return OK
foreign language to 5th grade
Kerner we should address the issue of under-qualiﬁed music teachers true, but what about all
other teaching ares,
Dawson we can’t replace Larry Corio and your point is…?
Lenz put everything back; we need more planning surprise!
Question 9 Danny Gold, former Board member, “What are your thoughts regarding the Assistant
Superintendent for Curriculum, Teaching and HR position?”
Kerner this is a job including many tasks and we need them all done;
perhaps Ms Camp can suggest other ways to do it
Dawson I agree with Kerner; Principals can’t do the whole job
Lenz defer ﬁlling the position and ask Dr Kor to more stipend work oy!
Kashkin I’m no teaching professional and I accept that my Admin tells me fair enough
we need this; I’m happy it’s in the budget now
Camp lots of reason for the job, but not now; divide the job among contradictory at best;
teachers and Dr Kor; Mary Anne Doyle did nothing poor answer if you look
at her 3-yr record
Kerner the job shouldn’t be divided; keep teachers in the classroom; Dr
Kor did great work in difﬁcult conditions but this was a temporary
Dawson Principals can’t evaluate themselves correct
Lenz we didn’t get value; we need more study 9 times—count’em!;
Plan 9 from Outer
Kashkin don’t divide labor; we need more teachers in classrooms, not less right
Camp we didn’t get our money’s worth; give teachers a stipend for just keep bowin’ that
additional hours ﬁddle
Kerner Dr Kor is very stretched and after-hours is not enough; Dr Kor true; sorry Dr Kor, we
hasn’t been able to be in her Main Street Ofﬁce enough know you try!