Looking For New Candidates
This Spring’s Onteora election has just shaped up to
be another doozie. We appreciate freshly-resigned Board President
Ralph Legnini’s letter of explanation for his move,
printed in the letters column a few pages ahead of this editorial,
even while we worry about the use of such frustrated means
in the political sphere.
As Legnini points suggests, there are many who wish we could
finally get beyond the divisiveness that has rocked our school
district for far too many years. From what we’ve heard,
the latest problems arose not because of old traditions battling
new ideas, as occurred with the mascot issue, or singular
town tax arrangements versus larger municipal concerns, as
some have boiled the Large Parcel issue down to. It didn’t
even have to do with any threats of school closures, or the
avoidance of harsh restructuring plans, that pitched everyone
against each other last year. It had to do with the simple
back and forth involved in governance.
Our hope, now, is that the high-minded fashion in which Legnini
left the board, whether you like it or not, be matched with
idealized candidacies that reflect the goals he tried bringing
to the board… for unity, harmony, and getting beyond
our minor differences.
We are asking that those who choose to run do so based on
real issues involving what we want to see Onteora be, and
not just what we hope it won’t become. Candidates running
for the votes of everyone in the wide district, and not just
against other constituencies.
The issues that have dominated us in past election cycles
are largely moot now. The consolidation plan of last year,
with its massive bonding needs tied to the creation of a middle
school less than half our residents wanted, seems tone deaf
to our current economic times. Worries about the Large Parcel
issue seem unfounded. Attempts to lower tax loads based on
mass firings at one of our last steadfast bastions of employment
seems poorly timed.
How about candidates who want to bring about new programs,
work with those board members who will still be with us for
at least another year or two, and provide direction for our
relatively new administrators?
There are tough times ahead but also, with all the talk of
stimulus packages and needed infrastructure repairs, some
true glimmers of hope.
How about having candidates for the Onteora board, this time
around, who reach out to all our towns, all our school district’s
constituents and “stakeholders,” and have some
constructive ideas for what needs to be done now.
I’m sure we can do this. After all, we HAVE done it