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Step Up and Help Habitat for Humanity

January 28, 2010 - 21:52

Downtown, amidst the closed business shops, the proliferation of storefront churches, dollar stores, and other vestiges of a neglected business district, lies a ray of hope, a haven for the less fortunate and a blessing for a community under stress. I speak of Habitat for Humanity, a place where deeds take precedence over words, an oasis for those who give and receive and sadly, subject to the financial realities facing all of us during these troubled times. Their lease is expiring; their landlord is looking to triple the rent. But, this is not about the landlord --- it is about all of us; the City which does not seem to have a vision and purpose for its downtown, citizens who respond nobly to calamities such as Haiti, New Orleans, and September 11, but find it difficult to stand up and do something to preserve and protect what is most fundamentally decent and needed in our society. I am among those who can be indicted for this form of benign neglect and I don't know what to do about my own sense of powerlessness, lack of commitment, or both. But, maybe someone out there does know what can be done, Perhaps tomorrow I will come up with the spirit and will to make a difference. I pray both of these happen.

Talk of the Sound is important; much more important than I originally thought.

New Rochelle School Board Performs Tax Certiorari Two-Step to Justify Secret Meeting

January 20, 2010 - 19:48
1 comments

DSC_0573_2.jpgIn announcing a School Board meeting on January 19th, 2010, the district web site states:

Board of Education Special Meeting
Members of the Board of Education will hold a Special Meeting on Tuesday, January 19 2010, 7:00 P.M. in the Carew Room at the Administration Building, 515 North Avenue, New Rochelle, New York.

AGENDA
7:00 P.M. Special Meeting
I. CALL TO ORDER
II. NEW BUSINESS: INTERVIEWS
The Board anticipates making a motion to go into Executive Session to interview candidates for the position of tax certiorari counsel, during which they expect to discuss legal matters, pending and proposed litigation, and matters leading to the appointment of counsel including, but not limited to matters of prior employment history.
III. ADJOURNMENT

I struck by the line which reads: “...[the board] expect to discuss legal matters, pending and proposed litigation...”

General Observations on New Rochelle Testing; A Reply to Dr. Korostoff

November 07, 2009 - 03:01
2 comments

On October 1, 2009 Bob Cox published and listed an in-depth report on Mr. Korostoff’s report to the New Rochelle School Board on what appeared to be a presentation on a growing trend towards parity and related matters concerning the New Rochelle middle schools; Albert Leonard and Isaac Young. His assertion is that Isaac Young, through what have been significant interventions, are reaching parity with its sister north end school, Albert Leonard. He also goes on to assert that the gaps between African American and white students as well as Hispanic and white students is closing to some appreciable degree. He does not explain what has led to this and, as far as I can tell, his rationale centers around some questionable assumptions as well as an overreliance on 2008/09 data.

Bob Cox painstakingly, sometimes emotionally, questioned the findings and indeed, found numerous content errors in the presentation. This very fact, along with the aforementioned questionable assumption; along with what I judge to be a poor and selective choice of presentation methodology, tell me that (1) this report is vague and selective in research and findings, (2) unacceptable to any analytic parent or voter, and (3), points out the lack of skill and purpose on the part of the designated oversight source, the Board of Directors.

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Latest posts from Warren Gross

A Few Things to Keep in Mind as First New Rochelle School Budget Meeting Approaches

My experience of the average citizen in New Rochelle is that he/she is fair, hardworking and committed to a sense of country, community and values. For many citizens, some or all of these have been challenged in the past few years by the sheer weight of a repressed economy and the lack of direct and focus relief offered by our elected officials at every level in the nation.

There are some indications that things may be turning around to some degree. However, make no mistake about it, we have many long and difficult days ahead and, if you are a property owner and taxpayer in New Rochelle, these days may be darker than we might like to admit. Yes there is some light, but most of it is still filtered behind tinted glass. The bright hope of transparency and community participation has not been realized on any level; national, state, local community and, the topic of today's report, school district. I do believe that there have been changes for the better in the district beginning with some relatively new trustees who appear to want to improve matters and get closer to the taxpayer. Let's hope that this is the case.

Read more

New York State Taylor Law - What You Need to Know for the Upcoming School Budget Forums

Introduction

One of the continuing issues property owners in New Rochelle have with the School District is the annual raising of property taxes. When the District holds public meetings for the community to field questions and explain the rationale for increases, they general beginning the meeting with lengthy testimonials from all of the district schools as well as the Parent Teachers Association (PTA) extolling the virtue of the District. By the time they come around to community questions, many people have left the premises based on the hour or on sheer boredom and only then, the dog and pony show and questions appear.

To add insult to injury, people attending the session sometimes have had questions responded to by the Union Head, Martin Daly, which is unusual to say the least, outrageous under any condition, and, were this arrangement under the supervision of the federal Fair Labor Standards Act, likely deemed as contrary to law and even an unfair practice. During such occasions, the presence of the Union Head has been justified as being part of an open community meeting. This is interesting from a number of viewpoints; Mr. Daly is not a resident or taxpayer in New Rochelle and his speaking for the District would suggest the negotiations between District and Union is properly described as being a “Sweetheart Contract” --- Mr.

Read more

Step Up and Help Habitat for Humanity

Downtown, amidst the closed business shops, the proliferation of storefront churches, dollar stores, and other vestiges of a neglected business district, lies a ray of hope, a haven for the less fortunate and a blessing for a community under stress. I speak of Habitat for Humanity, a place where deeds take precedence over words, an oasis for those who give and receive and sadly, subject to the financial realities facing all of us during these troubled times. Their lease is expiring; their landlord is looking to triple the rent. But, this is not about the landlord --- it is about all of us; the City which does not seem to have a vision and purpose for its downtown, citizens who respond nobly to calamities such as Haiti, New Orleans, and September 11, but find it difficult to stand up and do something to preserve and protect what is most fundamentally decent and needed in our society. I am among those who can be indicted for this form of benign neglect and I don't know what to do about my own sense of powerlessness, lack of commitment, or both. But, maybe someone out there does know what can be done, Perhaps tomorrow I will come up with the spirit and will to make a difference. I pray both of these happen.

Talk of the Sound is important; much more important than I originally thought.

Read more

New Rochelle School Board Performs Tax Certiorari Two-Step to Justify Secret Meeting

DSC_0573_2.jpgIn announcing a School Board meeting on January 19th, 2010, the district web site states:

Board of Education Special Meeting
Members of the Board of Education will hold a Special Meeting on Tuesday, January 19 2010, 7:00 P.M. in the Carew Room at the Administration Building, 515 North Avenue, New Rochelle, New York.

AGENDA
7:00 P.M. Special Meeting
I. CALL TO ORDER
II. NEW BUSINESS: INTERVIEWS
The Board anticipates making a motion to go into Executive Session to interview candidates for the position of tax certiorari counsel, during which they expect to discuss legal matters, pending and proposed litigation, and matters leading to the appointment of counsel including, but not limited to matters of prior employment history.
III. ADJOURNMENT

I struck by the line which reads: “...[the board] expect to discuss legal matters, pending and proposed litigation...”

Read more

General Observations on New Rochelle Testing; A Reply to Dr. Korostoff

On October 1, 2009 Bob Cox published and listed an in-depth report on Mr. Korostoff’s report to the New Rochelle School Board on what appeared to be a presentation on a growing trend towards parity and related matters concerning the New Rochelle middle schools; Albert Leonard and Isaac Young. His assertion is that Isaac Young, through what have been significant interventions, are reaching parity with its sister north end school, Albert Leonard. He also goes on to assert that the gaps between African American and white students as well as Hispanic and white students is closing to some appreciable degree. He does not explain what has led to this and, as far as I can tell, his rationale centers around some questionable assumptions as well as an overreliance on 2008/09 data.

Bob Cox painstakingly, sometimes emotionally, questioned the findings and indeed, found numerous content errors in the presentation. This very fact, along with the aforementioned questionable assumption; along with what I judge to be a poor and selective choice of presentation methodology, tell me that (1) this report is vague and selective in research and findings, (2) unacceptable to any analytic parent or voter, and (3), points out the lack of skill and purpose on the part of the designated oversight source, the Board of Directors.

Read more

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