Talk of the Sound has confirmed that shortly after her term ended as New Rochelle Board of Education President, attorney Sara Richmond accepted a potentially lucrative position working for Kehl, Katzive & Simon, the law firm which has represented the school district for over 20 years under a long-standing no-bid contract, written by the law firm, that has been sharply criticized the New York State Comptroller as unfair to taxpayers. The contract was renewed again this summer, days after Richmond's term expired.
As New Rochelle Board of Education President, Richmond was responsible for making referrals to Kehl, Katzive & Simon and approving invoices from the firm. During her time on the board, Richmond repeatedly voted to approve payments totaling millions of dollars to her new employer.Read more
The New Rochelle City Council will discuss requesting a voluntary Payment In Lieu of Taxes (PILOT) from non-profit institutions at the next council meeting. These include; Sound Shore Medical Center, Iona (Preparatory, Grammar & College), College of New Rochelle and the Ursuline, Salesian & Thornton Donovan schools. While a voluntary public service fee for non-profits has been recommended for over a decade the 800-pound Gorilla in the room remains unscathed…. AVALON. Last year, 115 students were registered from Avalon 1 (255 Huguenot) & Avalon East (40Memorial Highway). These students cost New Rochelle Taxpayers $2.3 million to educate last year. This year, the Avalons have once again exceeded the 58 students calculated in the Final Environmental Impact Study (FEIS) by 86% enrolling 108 students costing taxpayers $2.16 million. When combined with what the Avalons would pay in school taxes at 100% taxation ($7,728,762.14) the burden to New Rochelle taxpayers is almost $10 million.Read more
Talk of the Sound is happy to announce that Anthony Bongo has met all requirements and graduated from Columbia University Teachers College. Congratulations, Dr. Bongo!
It has been a long road with many fits and starts but the Office of Doctoral Studies has confirmed that Dr. Bongo's diploma has been mailed to him.
As we have said before, when he has actually earned his doctorate we would be happy to announce that here on Talk of the Sound and offer congratulations.
So, there you go.Read more
Albert Leonard Middle School in New Rochelle, NY has been operating without power from Con Edison over the past two days. Con Edison tells Talk of the Sound they expect to have full restoration of power by 5:00 PM Wednesday. According to a Con Ed spokesperson, there were defective cables at the school.
Two Con Edison trucks have been on the scene since yesterday, one in the parking lot and one near the main entrance to the school. The school has been promised a generator truck to run the building tomorrow in the event power is not fully restored, say school officials.
Orientation meetings for Albert Leonard staff was moved to New Rochelle High School yesterday. No students or staff were put at risk due to the electrical problems at the school.
"There was no safety issue today as today was strictly for orientation", said New Rochelle schools spokesman Paul Costigliano. "Students came in at their assigned time to get their schedules, buy metro cards and agenda books and that is pretty much it."Read more
New Rochelle Police are investigating allegations that four current and former school district employees -- a janitor and three security guards -- were having sex with students while employed by the New Rochelle Board of Education. This is in addition to Jose Martinez, the former Assistant Principal at Jefferson Elementary School who admitted recently to having a course of oral and/or anal sex with a 14-year old boy at Isaac E. Young Middle School in 2010. The matter has been referred to the Westchester County District Attorney's office, sources say.
During my campaign for school board last year I related to Naomi Brickell, in what was intended to be a private conversation, that Jose Martinez was not the only case of a school district employee having sex with students that I had heard about. I told her that there were five names, including Martinez, that had come from multiple sources.
Talk of the Sound broke the Martinez story -- and the subsequent story of his arrest --because I had multiple, independent sources and I had additional sources saying that he had abruptly resigned and that he did not return my phone calls and messages I left for him.Read more
The New Rochelle Board of Education met last night in their last meeting before the start of the school year. Here are a few highlights with some commentary:
Schools Superintendent Richard Organisciak said that harassment in the schools has gotten to the point where the district needs to go beyond what they have in terms of bullying prevention and sexual harassment.Read more
Talk of the Sound has learned that Operations Manager Anthony Maraglino has been "unexpectedly resigned" by the New Rochelle Public Library. His last day was Friday.
Maraglino's departure comes in the wake of the recent disclosure of financial mismanagement at the library, first reported by Talk of the Sound. Library officials are still not entirely sure what happened and continue to investigate but have acknowledged that several hundred thousand dollars thought to be in the library's fund balance is not there. They have described the problem as an error in calculation and provided assurances that no money was stolen. Board members have been somewhat mystified about the source of the problem because as recently as June 9th, the library director Thomas Geoffino had reported to the board that the library spending was under budget, having expended 81% of its 2010-11 budget with 92% of the fiscal year lapsed.Read more