Candidates’ Answers to Debate Questions (PDF)

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					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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