Nov 15, 2011 Russ Tarby Uncategorized
You know what they say about birds of a feather.
Something like that’s happening on the Liverpool Central School District Board of Education.
On Oct.12, the school board appointed former board member Richard Pento to the seat recently vacated by James Kane, who no longer resides in the district.
The significant thing about Pento’s appointment is not the fact that he’s a former member of the board, but the fact that he’s married to a teacher who works at Liverpool High School.
Eight board members voted unanimously to welcome Pento back into the fold despite his defeat in last May’s election. Of those eight, five have ties to district teachers.
Two-thirds favor teachers
Now with Pento added, six out of nine board members have good reason to favor the powerful and arrogant United Liverpool Faculty Association.
Last spring that union, which represents 1,000 district employees, flatly refused to accept a wage freeze to help offset the $5.7 million budget gap then facing the school district. No, the teachers wanted their money, and they wanted it now. ULFA cares nothing for the taxpayers who bear the burden of higher levies even while struggling to feed their families during this endless recession.
Now contract-talk season has rolled around again. ULFA’s new president, Rich Funnell, must feel pretty confident of finding sympathetic souls on the other side of the table this fall. The current school board includes two retirees who are still ULFA members, one with a son who is a substitute music teacher in the district and three with spouses in the union, including Pento.
Get the picture?
Birds of a feather flocking together. And taxpayers get pecked to death.
Union boss gets raise
On Veterans Day the Albany Times Union reported that New York State United Teachers union officials in Albany recently rewarded themselves with lucrative raises. NYSUT President Richard Iannuzzi received a 23 percent increase of $44,808 increase – more than the salary of many teachers laid off in recent years – to an annual salary of $240,180. With benefits including use of a vehicle, Iannuzzi s compensation package totals $345,987. And yes, that comes out of the mandatory dues of teachers. No wonder they keep asking for higher wages.
A shame and a sham
In order to be able to pay the price demanded by teachers, last spring the Central NY School Board Association opposed the governor’s 2 percent tax cap.
Why would the BOEs oppose a mechanism devised to hold down costs in fairness to taxpayers? They claimed a tax cap would negatively impact smaller school districts. But the real reason was because so many school board members are teachers, retired teachers or relatives of teachers.
It’s a shame and a sham, but Empire State boards of education are overrun with teachers and their relatives. Changes need to be made to assure that the taxpayers are at least as well-represented as teachers on school boards across the state.
Famous last words
Carrie Roseamelia uttered the most memorable line I heard on Election Night.
“Dang, I got murdered,” she exclaimed as she glanced at results on her smartphone.
The novice Democratic candidate for town council in Salina’s Ward 4 drew 487 votes as compared to Republican Michael Delvecchio Jr.’s 846.
Roseamelia shouldn’t feel too bad. Her party’s town-wide standard-bearer, supervisor candidate Patrick Foster, was similarly slaughtered Nov. 8 by incumbent Republican Mark Nicotra, 3,572 to 1,775.
The only Democrat elected to the five-member town board was Ward 2 incumbent Councilor James Magnarelli, who overcame a challenge by Republican Tom Saya 763 to 648.
Tommy wins Sammy
Liverpool High School alumnus Tom Bronzetti won a Syracuse Area Music Award last week for his band’s new disc, “Make Someone Happy.” A track on the Sammys’ Best Jazz Recording features Tom’s sister, Alicia Bronzetti, singing “Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered,” from the musical, “Pal Joey.”
Bronzetti, a gifted guitarist, was presented with his Sammys trophy by keyboardist George Rossi and saxophonist Joe Riposo at the Pirro Oncenter Ballroom down city. The first person Bronzetti thanked was LHS jazz ensemble director Jim Spadafore.
Riposo, who also lives in Liverpool and spent more than three decades teaching here, was inducted into the Sammys Hall of Fame on Thursday, Nov. 10, at downtown’s Dinosaur Bar-B-Que.
“The mark of a good teacher,” Riposo said, “is when they start hiring your students and don’t call you anymore.”
Please don’t worry, Joe…we still have your number!