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? answer comment 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?” answer comment 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 $250k Dawson we trusted Reese; he got nothing extra; I can’t talk about the new weak answer Super’s contract 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?” answer comment 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 Board member! Lenz I’m pro-language off the subject Question 4 Ed Berenson, taxpayer: “Will you promise to stay under the tax cap?” answer comment 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- term goals Camp the tax cap is important; it’s fair; we can be creative the only “yes”— BEWARE—ﬁscally reckless candidate ahead! Or Pollyanna. Question 5 Mike Morley, former Board-member: “What do you intend to do about our athletic ﬁelds?” answer comment 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, too 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 don’t control?” answer comment 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? Or passive-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 mandates 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 Harrison Superman 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 striped friends 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?” answer comment 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, “Camp” Kerner the Board screwed up in the way and time it changed probably right transportation arrangements Dawson we had to switch true; so? Lenz we didn’t have opportunity to research we? research = planning Question 8 Jill Rembar, taxpayer: “What is your pie-in-the-sky wish list for our District?” answer comment 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 struggling readers coming from? (hint: Catherine Johnson) 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, too? 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?” answer comment 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 band-aid 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 Space! 10…9…8…7… 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!
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