Letter to the Editor: Board of ed election

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To the Editor:

A lot of people vote in general and local elections, but miss school votes. The Greenville School Board vote on May 17 this year is a critical one. I encourage ALL voters to turn out for this important school board cycle, cast their vote for Goodman & Finch, stand up to the tsunami of abuse the Bucci candidates and their supporters have waged against our school leaders since 2020, and help our District emerge from the pandemic united and stronger instead of polarized and weakened. 

Also, if you DO diligently turn out for school votes, fill your car with registered friends who don’t and bring them along! Voting is May 17 from 1 to 9 p.m. in the Greenville Ellis Elementary Cafeteria (at the corner of 32 and 81).

These are my top four reasons that I’m voting for Jay Goodman and David Finch – as a strategic joint ticket – and why I think you should, too:

1) Jay and David are both experienced leaders and incumbent members of the Board of Education that have helped to deliver balanced budgets in the past, and are eager to serve again for the greater good even after the brutality they’ve endured from the community during the madness of the pandemic. This is a telling testament to their character and their dedication to our school and kids, and ought not be taken for granted. 

2) The two Bucci Brothers on the school board ballot are running on a platform of chaos, which our schools don’t need any more of after the last two years. Jamesbucci.com describes an agenda that simultaneously ignores State health mandates (in which case the school would lose millions in state funding), cuts taxes (but what school programs would they cut to balance the budget?), aims to rewrite the Common Core (which has already been replaced with NextGen standards), and more word salad I won’t wade into the mud to tread. None of the decision making or jurisdiction for these initiatives rests with the local Board of Education – it would only introduce conflict in meetings, and be counterproductive to the important business the Board DOES need to get through.

If the Bucci’s are sincere about making progress on their platform, and not just making a stink, they ought to take it to Albany instead of Greenville where State education policy is made. This misdirection suggests the Bucci’s don’t understand the basics of the offices to which they seek to be elected. And further, their public behavior suggests more than a lack of understanding – but a dark willfulness to disturb the peace at our school. The Bucci ticket is not one that will lead the school; it’s a ticket that will tear it apart. To illustrate this point, look to the public record: 

EXHIBIT A. Obtained via FOIA, James Bucci is the second signature on this threat against the members of the school board in February 2022: tinyurl.com/bucci22 

EXHIBIT B. You’ll notice that the other signators from Exhibit A are amongst those that disrupted school days with on-campus protests in February, resulting in the Middle School and High School going remote before President’s Week. The disturbance made the regional evening news: tinyurl.com/GCSCloses 

3) As grateful as I am that two additional, fresh and very respectable members of our community are willing to step up and oppose the Bucci’s, I’m strategically voting for the incumbents this year and hoping those new candidates will stick with it to run next year when the next two seats are up for election (and longtime incumbents may be less likely to seek re-election). This would avoid splitting what I perceive to be “the vote of reason” in favor of the Bucci’s in a tight race and an exceptionally polarized year. 

4) I’m concerned that if the toxic politics of the Bucci ticket win in this school election, it will reinforce and embolden the rising tide of anti-science, xenophobic, fragile politics in our area. These politics don’t belong in public schools, and we need ALL VOTERS to turn out and defend our schools from it whether you have kids in the District or not. If you want to live in a world where reasonable, fact-checking, well-educated people lead it, start with the schools. 

Please turn out to vote at Greenville Elementary May 17, and vote Goodman and Finch! 

Sarah Gordon

Rensselaerville

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