Statement of the New Rochelle Board of Education on School Security Officer Position

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Statement of the New Rochelle Board of Education on School Security Officer Position

December 22, 2010 - 02:30

Over the course of the last few weeks, there have been many mis-truths and faulty characterizations regarding the postings for a new School Security Specialist position. In an effort to set the record straight, we offer the following chronology and explanation:

1) In 2009, the City School District requested a 211 extension waiver for Rolf Koehler, School Security Officer which was granted by the New York State Civil Service Commission to run through June 2010. This waiver was predicated on the satisfactory work done by Mr. Koehler in his assignments since 2005.

2) In the Fall of2009, upon notification from the New York State Civil Service Commission and in compliance with Section 211 ofRSSL Chapter 640 amended in October 2008, the City School District requested that a new examination for the position ofSchool Security Officer be administered. When the job description was produced, it did not reflect changes in requirements from when the previous exam had been administered. The City School District requested that the job description be amended to more appropriately reflect the new job requirements. The request was not honored. The incumbent at issue was not required to take the new test since he had successfully taken and passed the previous examination.

3) The City Civil Service Commission conducted the test in February, 2010. The test results were released in the Spring 2010 with a list of12 candidates having been deemed to have passed. Of the nine candidates who scored 80 or above, 4 were retirees receiving New York State pensions who would have required waivers of their own. Two had no prior experience, in security. Two were already employed by New Rochelle School District with no supervisory experience, while one worked in another district with no supervisory experience. Of those who scored between 70 and 80, one was a retiree with no supervisory experience. One was employed but had no supervisory experience and one could not clearly show any evidence of supervisory experience. Thus only one non-retiree was available who may have had supervisory experience and qualified. When there is only one candidate available, it presents the District with no choice.

4) Subsequently, the New York State Civil Service Commission reviewed the test results and identified three candidates who it felt were qualified for appointment IF a vacancy existed. With no vacancy existing in June 2010, the City School District requested a continuing waiver for Mr. Koehler based upon his performance and qualifications to that point.

5) In Summer 2010, the New York State Civil Service Commission upon request by City School District provided an extension of Rolf Koehler's 211 Waiver through October 31, 2010.

6) In September 2010, the City School District developed new specifications for a School Security Specialist position and requested that a test be given for this title. The test was scheduled for February 5,2011. Subsequently, the City School District determined that a broad
review of existing security needs and requirements for the District should be undertaken and requested that the test be canceled.

7) In November 2010, the City School District elected to withdraw a pending request for a continuation ofMr. Koehler's 211 Waiver.

8) The incumbent, Mr. Koehler, requested and was granted a leave of absence from his job as School Security Officer to run from November 1, 2010 through January 1, 2011. Mr. Koehler will be returning from leave to his job, without benefit of a waiver.

The City School District has been consistent in its adherence and respect for New Rochelle Civil Service Commission requirements, the New York State Civil Service Commission requirements and all applicable Federal, State and local labor and employment laws and regulations.

Throughout the years, the City School District has appreciated the cooperation it has received from the New Rochelle Civil Service Commission in the preparation of job postings, the administration of necessary examinations, the preparation of eligible candidate lists and its guidance in addressing new requirements such as waiver and pension concerns.

We look forward to a continued positive relationship as we work together to identify the best qualified individuals to serve the needs of the New Rochelle community.

Sara M. Richmond, President
New Rochelle Board ofEducation

Richard Organisciak
Superintendent of Schools

Schools Superintendent Richard Organisciak Statement on Rolf Koehler

There are 3 Comments

With all due respect to the boot licking board, Ms. Richmond forgot to mention that the original 211 waivers for three retirees, Daniele, Koyn and Kohler stated that all three were retired NEW ROCHELLE police officers when in reality Kohler is a retired NYC police officer. This has been a tangled web woven to protect Daniele and friends all along. People have to choose between buying food, paying their mortgage, utility bill and having to do without. Small business owners are cutting hours, reducing stock and rescinding benefits. The City is in a hiring freeze, closing parks and raising taxes and then there's the school district that falsifies documents to protect the chosen few who continue to double-dip by collecting full state pensions with benefits while working full-time security positions. In a city of 80,000 residents is there no one else qualified to head security? Is there no one else qualified to become “school security specialist”? Get real; there is no reason that candidates must be retired New Rochelle police officers unless you are skewing the test to favor one candidate. These bloodsuckers continue to feed at the public trough while well-qualified candidates who could be gainfully employed are intentionally excluded by trumped-up qualifications.

Everyone wants the best possible employees to protect our children and there were four candidates who scored 100% on the test. This is not about who is or isn’t qualified or about who is the best candidate. This is about the three men in a room concocting positions, which didn’t previously exist, to employee friends. The New Rochelle City School District had competent security before the Daniele Cabal and it will have competent security long after the Daniele Cabal is gone. Is it any wonder that school district taxes comprise almost 80% of our overall tax bill? The only question is how long the public will continue to elect mindless board members who go along to get along and allow the pigs to continue to feed at the public trough?

Martin Sanchez's picture

Obviously this letter was written by Mr. Jeff Keil, the Board's legal advisor (despite having three lawyers on teh board). It is face saving response to a wonderful journalistic effort by Mr. Cox. The school will hope the issue goes away. Let us hope that it will not given the investigation by the state. More importantly, the Board has been duped by a mayoral-appointed group within the Civil Service Commission that is corrupt and which has been engaging in criminal-type actions for a very long time. They continue to bypass legitimate rules (such as the test mentioned) and create convenient answers to community-initiated questions. This issue will come back to bite them all. Appointing friends and cronies is a slap in the face to all of us: it smells of the nepotism and violates ethics policies adopted by the Board recently. Transparency is a virtue and the highest goal in government. It does not exist here.

I guarantee NOBODY remembers on election day and the board all gets reelected by large margins.