Voters in the Greenwood Lake Union Free School District will get to vote on Tues., May 16 on the proposed budget of $25,693,920. While this amount represents a .98 percent increase in the budget compared to last year, the proposed tax levy increase was 1.2 percent. Voting will be held at the Greenwood Lake Elementary School gymnasium, located at 80 Waterstone Rd. in Greenwood Lake, from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Two seats on the school board, each for a three-year term, will be voted on. Incumbent Ron Sommer will be seeking reelection. Also running are Kevin Tuhy and Mary Lally.
Proposition I on the ballot will be a vote on the proposed 2017-2018 School District Budget.
Proposition II on the ballot to be voted on: “Shall the Greenwood Lake Union Free School District establish a capital reserve fund to be known as the ‘Districtwide Improvements and Bus Purchase Capital Reserve Fund,’ which shall be for the purpose of paying all or a portion of the costs of repairs and improvements to the District’s buildings and facilities, including site work as well as the purchase of school busses; the ultimate amount of such fund shall be $5,000,000 to be funded from transfers from unexpended unassigned appropriations in the general fund and/or legally available funds available to the District, to the Capital Reserve Fund, over a period of 10 years?”
I would like to take a moment to introduce myself. My name is Mary Lally and I have been a resident of Greenwood Lake for 26 years. I have worked for the Greenwood Lake Post Office for 17 of those years. I reside in Indian Park where I served as President of the Board of Directors.
I have two children who both went through the Greenwood Lake school system and on to college. My son, Brian, graduated from NYU last year. My daughter, Quinn, will graduate from Columbia. I am an avid supporter of the best education the District can afford to give all the students. But, as I look at the current Board I see grandparents, brothers, parents, and uncles. What I don’t see is a singular, senior citizen as myself. Who will be the voice for the empty nesters, the voice of the retired, or the ones who have no voice or skin in the game?
I want to be the voice of reason. I want to let all those folks who, for years, have voted yes, without hesitation, on each and every budget know that their voice matters too. You won’t see my name on signs, buttons, magnets, or pens.
By state law the District reimburses the candidate for campaign expenses, but I won’t put that expense on the taxpayers. I don’t believe in doing so. I have listened to the Board complain, for years, about unfunded mandates. Yet, now there is a recommendation for a pilot program for Pre-K. This will fall on the taxpayers, it will not come from the State. I would like to see the Board really listen to the constituents. I promise to push for more transparency between the Board and the community.
I have been a District resident since 2002, with my wonderful wife, Cathy, and our two great children (daughter age 12 and son age 17).
It has been a pleasure to represent you on the Greenwood Lake UFSD Board of Education for the last nine years. We have a great group of individuals on our Board; I’ve been honored to be their President these last several years.
I represent GWL UFSD at the Orange County School Board Association and I am currently their President. Orange County School Boards is one of the most active county associations in the state, advocating for all students.
I advocate for our students at both the State and Federal level. I participate on the New York State School Board Association (NYSSBA), as a Voting Delegate, Legislative Liaison. And have been a member of the NYSSBA Resolution Committee for three years.
When I’m not working for Wakefern Food Corp. (ShopRite), or doing School Board business, you can usually find me spending time with my family. Girls Scouts; Boy Scouts; school functions where I get to watch as a proud parent. If it’s swim season, you might find me running a swim meet, as a USA Swimming National Certified Referee, Chief Judge, Starter or Stroke and Turn Judge.
I’d like to serve another three year term as your representative. Let’s continue the great work that we have begun, and help our District become even better! I’m asking for your support on May 16.
While on the Board for the last nine years, the District has made many great strides in creating a cutting edge 21st Century Learning Environment for all our students. Some of the numerous initiatives we have accomplished in the last few years:
- Smart Boards or touch LED interactive screens in every class room.
- One-to-one technology in second through eighth grade. I-pads lower grades and Chrome books upper grades.
- Project Lead the Way including: laser engraver and 3-D printer (2017/2018 Budget item).
- Continue to refine our bus fleet replacement and new GPS tracking of all our busses.
- Upgrading our network capabilities.
- Spanish in K-8
- Science21 in K-6
- New playgrounds; both schools.
- New gym floor, upgraded outdoor fields; middle school. (summer 2017)
There are many more improvements we have done in the last nine years, all while maintaining a very low tax burden. During the last nine years, on the Board, and with help from all District personnel including our dedicated business office staff, the District has been able to maintain a fiscally responsible mantra. In the last nine years, your tax rate has increased a total of only 7.76% or an average yearly increase of 0.71%.
Thank you and please vote for me, Ronald Sommer and visit Running4theBoard on Facebook.
My name is Kevin Tuhy and I will be running for one of two open seats for the Greenwood Lake School Board election on Tues., May 16. Since moving to Greenwood Lake my wife, Lauren, and I have found not only a home but a great community with incredible values and a tremendous amount of pride.
We are astonished by the overwhelming support and acceptance that our family has received from everyone. We have met many wonderful people and have made some amazing friendships through our involvement in many activities. Through many solid and well organized sports programs, scouting events and community events, that we have been involved, it has really shown us what this community is all about.
Having two children in the Greenwood Lake School system, a fourth grader and a sixth grader, I feel it is important to be involved not only for my children; but all the children that they have befriended and we have grown to know. I feel it is my duty as a father to set an example to my own children to illustrate the respect for an opportunity to perform a civic duty. I can think of no better way to serve this great community than by serving its children and the future of our children.
While there are many issues and more to come, it important for any potential Board member to be able to hear the concerns and sentiments of the entire community. There will always be issues that arise that touch the community as a whole, but with each issue that arises one fundamental question must be asked – “How will it impact our children?”
I truly believe that this is the number one question of any school board and must not only be asked but more importantly answered. There will always the tedious impact of Albany along with the financial accountability to the taxpayers. These two things cannot and should not be taken lightly. They impact everyone within the community and must always be weighed with equal consistency. These things can be both an opportunity as well as a challenge.
The well-being of our children’s education and their future success hinges on the decisions of today. The outcome for the children weighed with the fiscal responsibility to the taxpayers of the community, is not a duty that should be taken lightly by any member of the BOE. Every decision has a cause and effect, the ultimate effect needs to be the solid foundation for the education of our children and their well-being.
I am requesting your support and although there will most certainly be tough decisions at times I can commit to listening to all concerns and weighing the best possible decision for our children. Please do not hesitate to reach out with any concerns, questions or suggestions that you may have and if they are within the scope of responsibility I will be more than glad to investigate and offer feedback.