Please support both bond propositions on Tuesday, December 6. You can find where your voting place is located here.
Last night, Andrew Mandel’s StrongERamapo advocacy group had a conference call to discuss their support for both bond propositions on Tuesday’s ballot. Here is their report on that call:
Thank you to those who joined our conference call tonight about Tuesday’s bond vote. After a robust conversation, the consensus was what I would call “very cautious” approval of the bond. People understand the following:
(1) The plans for the renovations have been spelled out (http://www.ercsd.org/pages/East_Ramapo_CSD/District_Pages/2016_Capital_Bond), and they do not include any private school improvements,
(2) The State Education Department is now on the ground in East Ramapo, and the Commissioner has promised to keep appointing monitors in the district throughout the entire project (since the state is able to do so, even if a law is not in place)
(3) Moreover, the state would be providing over half of the funds for the renovations, which means more eyes from the state will be closely watching how the money is spent,
(4) Ellen Jaffee, Ken Zebrowski, and David Carlucci are already working to extend the life of the bill that expires on June 30, 2017,
(5) We are going to need to keep fighting for long-term change, since people believe that the buildings, once renovated, will ultimately be sold to private schools. However, we did not see that as a reason to keep the buildings as is and make public school students suffer in the short-term; rather, it is a reason to keep organizing, engage in long-term planning and remain extremely active to ensure public school students do not have a cramped learning environment. Strong East Ramapo will be hosting a forum on December 21st to discuss the future (details coming).
Know that we had some folks from Ellen Jaffee and David Carlucci’s office on our call tonight, and we asked for more assurances that the State Education Department would indeed hold an extremely high bar for approving the sale of buildings, given that we do not believe that was the case for Hillcrest. I will keep you updated as we learn more about that tomorrow.
If you are not voting for the bond, I respect your skepticism and your decision; just please write me and share what you will do next to ensure that we will one day be able to improve the facilities. I’m genuinely interested in various other plans.
Polling locations (7 a.m. to 10 p.m. Tuesday)
Lime Kiln Elementary School (35 Lime Kiln Road., Suffern)
Summit Park Elementary School (925 Route 45, New City)
Kakiat Elementary School (465 Viola Road, Spring Valley)
Ramapo High School (400 Viola Road, Spring Valley)
Avir Yakov Girls’ School – formerly Hillcrest School (32 Addison Boyce Drive, New City)
Louis Kurtz Civic Center (9 North Main St., Spring Valley)
Spring Valley High School (361 Route 59, Spring Valley)
Margetts Elementary School (25 Margetts Road, Chestnut Ridge)
Chestnut Ridge Middle School (892 Route 45, Chestnut Ridge)
Hempstead Elementary School (80 Brick Church Road, Spring Valley)