There was no mention of the defeated budget in the following day in the Journal News. Apparently, Paul Feiner was unable to quickly draft a spin for the defeat and the Journal News bowed to the probable request by The Paul to keep it out of ‘his’ newspaper. After all, they are only there for his campaign. In an article the following morning on the website, TheDailyGreenburgh, they quote three people regarding the budget.
|Above is the picture of Thomas Bock and a portion of the article as it appeared in an article posted in the TheDailyGreenburgh website.|
At the top of the article, they posted a picture (above) of Thomas Bock, a former Republican candidate and opponent of the proposed budget, as if he were the one leading the charge against it. He chastised the Board for not posting the budget online for residents to see and download. ABG agrees with him. True transparency in Greenburgh, something that doesn’t exist yet but is touted often by our deficient leadership, is not only necessary, but is essential for ensuring public involvement.
Two other residents were quoted. “I voted," said Gayle Williams, a supporter of the budget and mother to Woodlands High School students. "[I’m] so disappointed with the paltry turnout and the defeat. Our children will be the losers.” What the article didn’t mention was the fact that she is married to Terrance Williams, a long-time incumbent school board member who was not only in favor of the budget, but in favor of not making any changes to the second proposed budget. “The children get hurt most by the people who voted that either don't have kids in the schools or their kids have moved on," said Stephen Morton, who has a son at Lee F. Jackson Elementary School. “It's our kids’ future. Austerity plans in this day-and-age will hurt our kids more than they help our pocketbooks. We need to stop looking so short on our terms and think long-term.”
Obviously, Williams and others on the Board believed fewer voters would respond to the special election and it would sail on through passage. Oops! They were playing a game on a very slippery slope. To listen to them, this had the future of our schools, as well as our children in peril. The reality is, the funds in question simply don’t go to programs for the children.
With the resulting defeat, the district is now forced to adopt a contingency budget, set at $57.338 million. This budget will force Greenburgh Central 7 to suspend impending services. What specific children's programs are being cut? We’re told it includes certain transportation, library renovations and the installation of a new telephone system. ABG is not moved by the paltry amount stated here, which comes out to be roughly $294k. By removing this amount only, the School Board is making this whole process a mockery and is a slap in our face.
Many Greenburgh residents shared their thoughts on the budget's successes and downfalls. Bock, also stated that many residents were frustrated with the tax increase, which was slated at 5.8 percent. This will happen regardless, whether it's the regular or austerity budget. This is why many people are upset.
"When you compare our school district to Westchester and throughout the state, we are paying a higher amount of money per student and getting lower results,” Bock said. ABG agrees and is baffled why we pay so much more. How are other communities so successful with less money and Greenburgh's Central 7 is a constant struggle? Perhaps a school board member will respond.
ABG believes that the community needs to clean house and remove all incumbents from the school board and start with a fresh group of people. Let’s have real transparency, real dialog and real results. Not these petty excuses that insult the constituents intelligence.
By the way, we had high hopes for TheDailyGreenburgh site. Unfortunately, they've elected to do fluff pieces and not challenge our leaders. We don't really need another Feiner Koolaid media machine. Once the Journal News abandoned the art of reporting, their readership, subscriptions, staff and revenue fell. It's why weekly publications are still thriving. If fact, the Journal News has what they call Express weeklies which regurgitate what was printed during the week in hopes of getting some of that advertising revenue. It's not for reporting, but another vehicle for advertisements. They'll be gone soon, too. Hopefully, the former staff of the Journal News that has undertaken running TheDailyGreenburgh, will realize what the real need is and try to fill it. Let's hope so.