School board chastises teachers union for its actions at meeting

Katonah-Lewisboro school board President Mark Lipton accused the Katonah-Lewisboro District Teachers Association of acting in an “unfortunate” and “confrontational” manner at the school board’s meeting on Thursday, Dec. 13, at which leaders of the teachers union said that it had “lost confidence” in Superintendent of Schools Dr. Paul Kreutzer.

At Thursday’s meeting, seven members of the teachers union, led by John Jay High School teacher Geoff Curtis, distributed a six-page document accusing Dr. Kreutzer of various improprieties and of failing to “exhibit good judgment, common sense and perception.”

On Saturday, the board released a three-paragraph statement in which Mr. Lipton criticized the union for its behavior and said that the school board, not the teachers union, is responsible for evaluating Dr. Kreutzer’s job performance.

Addressing the union’s accusations, Mr. Lipton said that “none of the information made known to the public [by the teachers union] was unknown to the board.” Mr. Lipton went on to chastise the teachers union for its behavior.

“We find it unfortunate,” he said, “that the KLDTA chose to share its concerns in a confrontational public manner, rather than utilizing appropriate and respectful means of communications. Oddly, many of these concerns date to Dr. Kreutzer’s previous employment in Wisconsin, while others refer to his time in Katonah-Lewisboro.”

Although the union demanded an investigation of Dr. Kreutzer, Mr. Lipton said that the board would continue its standard process of performance review for Dr. Kreutzer. “It is the board of education that is responsible for ensuring that the superintendent discharges his duties effectively,” Mr. Lipton said. “As mandated by contract, the board will continue to exercise its performance evaluations of the superintendent using our established protocols.”

The Ledger has learned from reliable sources that the board believes that the union leadership’s behavior on Thursday night was an attempt to divert attention away from the district’s financial condition, as discussed in the FACE report delivered to the board that evening.

A source familiar with the school board’s thinking told The Ledger that, “As the FACE report showed, the district’s finances are under a severe and maybe irreversible strain, almost exclusively because of teachers’ salaries and benefits, which far outstrip every other district in Westchester, including far wealthier districts than ours, such as Scarsdale, Armonk and Chappaqua.”

“The only way to realistically view the union leadership’s behavior on the very night the FACE report was presented,” one source said, “is to see it as an attempt to divert public attention away from this fact and to bring up false and rehashed allegations against the superintendent. This was an unprincipled sneak attack full of smears and innuendos with no basis in fact. Not only was their behavior embarrassing to each of them as individuals, it casts doubt on the judgment of the teachers throughout the district that they would allow themselves to be represented by people who behave this way.”

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  • Richard Morrissey

    Where is Kreutzer now? The KL schools is just about the only district in Westchester whereby the Superintendent has not released a public statement about the school plans for tomorrow.

    Is Paul missing again?

  • Vilsmeier Haack

    Richard, he is off getting another massage.

  • reeve1

    I am surprised at Coach Curtis. The Union’s intransigence will ultimately lead to failed votes and austerity budgets. That will be an end not just to quality education, but to the varsity athletics he professes to love.

  • i’mouttahere

    Whoa!!! Mark, Mark, Mark. Are you kidding me? Why, it was YOU and the rest of the BOE who approved these ridiculous salaries that are bankrupting our community and school district, in the first place. And now, you are using what you DID as an excuse to deflect away from this potentially extremely serious problem?

    But that is not the point here and you know it!

    I have no vested interest in the teacher’s union. As a matter of fact, I believe that they have way too much power. I also believe that a BOE meeting is the absolute appropriate time to disclose such information. If its true, then this guy needs to be FIRED and PRONTO!!!

    What is wrong with you???

    The fact that you are not pulling out the stops to protect our staff AND STUDENTS, is nothing but reprehensible. What if their allegations are correct? hmmmm??? What if he IS behaving in this heinous manner? What if he IS abusing not only our staff, but our children? He did so in Wisconsin! I wouldn’t expect anything different here in NY.

    The teachers/staff have never made such a claim in the 21 years that I’ve lived here. I read their statement thoroughly and they spent considerable time in putting it together. Now why would they do that if it wasn’t true? And how dare you accuse them of trying to deflect the subject away from our financial situation? That is absurd in the extreme! You guys have been warned about that too, for years and years… very, very sad. It appears that it is YOU, that is trying to lambaste our teachers as a way of deflecting attention away from all of the many, many mistakes this board has made for years and years. Please do not add to those mistakes by wasting your precious time and efforts in something counter-productive.

    Please do the right thing and investigate this guy, ASAP! If he is innocent, it will come out and if he’s not… please consider the ramifications!

    • Teresa

      Got that right I’mouttahere!

  • Glenn DeFaber

    I have never been a big fan of many of the past practices and members of the school board but President Peter Lipton is 100% correct in his assessment. The teacher’s union leadership’s play at character assassination of our school superintendent is an attempt to gain the upper hand in their contract negotiations. There should be no doubt left in parents and residents minds that Sandy Grebinar and her subordinates do not have our children’s best interest at heart. The most precious things we have in life are being used to further their selfish goals. They are an embarrassment to our community.
    I hope the school board stands behind what is moral and right and does not cave in to this avarice mob.

    • Really????

      With all due respect, Mr. DeFaber, how is it that you can be so sure that there isn’t any truth in the allegations? If it were your wife or daughter being subjected to mistreatment, wouldn’t you want that looked into?

      I have read many of your posts, and while you seem to be aiming to do anything you can to tear down those who may disagree with you, I find it hard to believe that the best interests of our children, which you claim Sandy Grebinar lacks, are on the lists of things of value to you, either. Your motives and feelings toward teachers is quite clear through your rants.

      Everyone has their own agenda – yours is clearly one of wanting to see the union torn down; you are entitled to that opinion – but don’t claim virtuosity that your writings clearly indicate you don’t possess.

      • Glenn DeFaber

        Now really???? are you Sandi Grebinar? Sorry I made a mistake, if it was, most of it would have been censored. Lets start with the alleged actions that occurred in K-L. They have been investigated by a 3rd. party and found to be baseless. If you think you know me than you would know if it was my wife or daughter being mistreated I would not have it used as a weapon in contract negotiations. I would be in the face of Dr. Kreutzer immediately. If I thought what he was doing was illegal or immoral the district attorney and/or a private attorney would be engaged.

        Value of children? Then you defiantly do not know Sandy Grebinar. As I have said in many of my “rants” the teachers union leadership I disdain NOT the teachers. I love my sisters, daughter and niece they are teachers, Putting four kids through K-L I knew every one of my children”s teachers. Most were caring and giving. Some were were not. Unlike many knee jerk YES voters I am still here 7 years after my last daughter graduated. Don’t have to sell because I have no mortgage and it is worth five times what it cost me to build. I am here because I choose to be and I choose to fight for all those who have a vested interest in the well being of all the past ,present and future children. Living here is not a pay check. I have seen and spoken to many school board members in 27 years. I do find it amazing how conservative and sensible they become after their service on board. Only a brain dead person can not see the fiscal cliff K-L faces. The biggest obstacle to saving our schools for our children is Sandy Grebinar and her lieutenants. If it takes reining in the union, so be it.

  • had enough of it

    Granted, the teachers’ union has their own agenda, and in many ways wield too much power. Yes, our financial condition is out of control. But here we go again, with the BOE acting in its own arrogant way to preserve its own power, and slam down any that would dare to confront them. It is disgusting and shameful – and shame on all of us that we have elected these people to our board to begin with.

    From what I read earlier, it sounds as if Marjorie Schiff was the only voice of reason in stating that perhaps the allegations warranted a closer look. I hope she will have the courage to stand up to the bullying of Lipton and Breslin. I’m also a bit surprised that Janet Harckham has been silent in this.

    Perhaps what needs to happen here is for community members to attend the next BOE and demand from the board that that an independent counsel be appointed to look into this matter; will they try to silence those that have elected them?

    Like it or not, this is now a matter of public accord, and trying to brush this back under the rug will only make the Board look worse (if that’s possible).

    When allegations of this sort are brought up, it is incumbent upon those who have been elected to uphold the moral standing of our schools to take prompt action in a transparent way. (Oh, wait, this is the K-L BOE we’re talking about here…)

    Are the motives of the union entirely pure? No. Do we know if the allegations are true? No. Do our teachers, administrators, and all those who serve in our schools deserve a safe environment in which to work? Yes. Regardless of the truth in the end, does this warrant a full investigation and a real, transparent, and swift response from the BOE? YES!

  • joe m.

    I dont think Lipton and Kritzer have the best interest of the children when they have no statement to parents or teachers about tomorrow and if kids are going to be safe and what teachers say to students!!

    Every School around here has sent something out to teachers and parents.

  • Kelly Douglass

    So sad to see the continued dispute going on in the Lewisboro educational system. Geoff Curtis is one of the least confrontational individuals I know. He is a stand up guy doing his job in a difficult situation. Having left the district a year ago, I am fortunate to work in an environment where I am respected and supported. I make less money, but it is worth every penny. Being respected and appreciated for what you do is…..priceless.

  • Dean Travalino

    This is a zero sum game with Ms. Grebinar and the Union using children as pawns. Parents take your choice, either the Union cuts out this despicable ploy and gives reasonable concessions or much larger class sizes across the grades and de facot pay for play are just around the corner

  • reeve1

    Stand up guys do not make reckless, unfounded and already discounted claims in an inappropriate public forum against a man with a young family.

    But individuals clinging to unsupportable salaries and benefits:

    “As the FACE report showed, the district’s finances are under a severe and maybe irreversible strain, almost exclusively because of teachers’ salaries and benefits, which far outstrip every other district in Westchester, including far wealthier districts than ours, such as Scarsdale, Armonk and Chappaqua.”

    Well that’s another matter . . .

  • Just want to point out that the same typo appeared in this article and in Mr Piro’s piece this week. I believe the proper spelling of “source” is “gordon”

  • Edna Malkowitz

    To quote Lipton:
    “…“We find it unfortunate,” he said, “that the KLDTA chose to share its concerns in a confrontational public manner, …” Maybe these tactics are the only way to get your attention and force you to respond Mr Lipton?

  • Mr. Lipton says “none of the information made known to the public [by the teachers union] was unknown to the board.”

    Then try this simple exercise. Read the letter and replace Dr. Paul Kreutzer with the name of any other district employee.

    Would he/she have been hired, knowing what the board knew? Would he/she still be employed a year and a half later?

  • Sam

    Let’s give the BOE the opportunity to thoroughly investigate the accusations against Kreuzter and take any necessary actions. Also, let’s all consider how challenging it must be for BOE members; they are volunteers, who are truly concerned about advancing our district, put in so much time and committment and then get praised and bashed with each difficult decision they make. There is tremendous respect for individual teachers, none for its union. Time for the teachers union come to the hard realization that there is no way that this community will put up with the highest cost per pupil distinction, don’t want to be known for this, nor can we afford it. No expense trimming outside of teachers salaries and benefits will even make a dent. Much prefer to see concessions from the teachers rather than get more job cuts and reductions to programming. Please teachers, don’t force us into a school closing, much larger class sizes, and cuts in educational programs. Let’s reinforce what a quality school district and residential community we have and not bring it down. Promote good relations between the entire community and we’ll all clearly see how fortunate we are to be within the KLSD. Look toward raising and educating our children as our top priority and let’s not be so mean-spirited and selfish.

  • Richard Morrissey

    And Sam are you lining up not to get your holiday bonus or to take a pay cut? Would you cut your babysitter’s salary?

    • Sam

      Just FYI, I am unemployed. Would love even a P-T job, no benefits necessary. Too bad, our school district doesn’t have openings for low-paying jobs without benefits, or I be the first to apply. For now, i just volunteer my time at the school until I am able to supplement my families’ income. Moved to the community 10 years, with two babies mainly because of a well-regarded local elementary school. Hoping that we can keep that school open, as well as the three other schools, and maintain some of the value that we paid for our house, that is now worth less than we paid for it. No, I wouldn’t cut my babysitter’s salary – don’t have one. Trade off babysitting favors with family and local friends, because my family makes sacrifices so we can afford to live in a well-respected school district. Really, we know that you generally get a better education for your kids in a higher-taxed school district. But the time has come for us to fairly, and I stress fairly, compensate our teachers and administrators. And fairly just doesn’t apply to staff, it also applies to taxpayers. And just maybe if we get some concessions, students coming up through the school district will still receive the same/better education that we received throughout, before these contractual benefit obligations got so out of whack.

  • Michael Gordon

    There’s no denying that the primary cause of the budget problem we have at KLSD is the compensation packages that our staff enjoy. 80% of next year’s expenses are slotted to that line item, as are 90% of the anticipated increase between this year’s expenses and next. Just take a look at last year’s Finance Committee report if you want to see how far out of whack our District is relative to peer districts such as Byram Hills, Chappaqua, and Scarsdale. And read last Thursday’s FACE Report to see the anticipated impact not only on next year’s budget but on budgets in the years to come.

    I firmly believe that, with very, very few exceptions, our staff is among the finest anywhere. I believe that if our staff were given a real opportunity to consider just how far out of line their pay and benefits have gotten on a per pupil and aggregate basis, they would agree that there has to be some modification. I believe they would agree that if the compensation line is not modified, the consequences will not be pretty: jobs will have to be taken away from staff members, in-school and after-school programs will have to be cut, and uncared-for equipment will begin to deteriorate. These things will happen not because we want them to, but because, with the tax cap and with the tax burden on our community, we will have no choice.

    At the end of the day, the question is whether the leadership of our District staff associations have the courage to be honest with their members and share with them the true state of affairs in our District.

    • Bill S

      The primary cause for the expense (not budget) problem is Michael Gordon. He and his puppets on the board agreed to the unreasonable union demands, not once but twice.

  • brutus

    The union leadership is waging a war that no one can win, using our children, their rank-and-file, and Dr. Kreutzer and his family as cannon fodder.

  • Vilsmeier Haack

    I smell fear in the board!

  • brutus

    So Hack, this is about your union instilling fearand intimidation? Or just the science department?

    • Vilsmeier Haack

      Brutus, nice job with the google search! Unfortunately, though, I am not a teacher of the science department nor any kind of a teacher for that matter. Rather, I am a student and I am thoroughly upset with the leadership in this district.

      If you look at the facts, plain and simple – namely that Kreutzer sexually harassed and bullied employees in our district – I think all persons, regardless of their opinion on unions, will agree that something has to be done about this monstrosity of a superintendent.

      • another taxpayer

        Couldn’t agree more. I’m so outraged at this allegations. 4 women claim sexual harassment. One is one too many but people can always doubt one person, but FOUR women? Clearly, there is something wrong here.

  • Michael Gordon

    If it makes Bill S feel better to blame me for decades of collective bargaining that resulted in District agreements that are uniquely pro-labor, that’s fine with me. Maybe that will raise awareness among our teachers and community members of the importance of modifying those agreements so that we can avoid having to dismantle all of the great programs that make our District so special.

    • Tsuji Trost

      The only think special about our district now is a school board that is totally unwilling to hear serious concerns about the integrity of their superintendent.

      • another taxpayer

        Couldn’t agree more!

  • GlennDeFaber

    Vilsmeier and Tusji follow the money for the correct answer. This will serve you well in the real world.

    • Vilsmeier Haack

      You failed to acknowledge the fact Kreutzer may have acted in reckless and inappropriate manners. Are you, Glenn, then saying that we should ignore flaws in the professionalism and the integrity of leadership so long as we “follow the money.”

      I don’t give a damn about the teachers union; I am not a member of the KLDTA nor am I teacher. I give a damn about the environment in which we’re raising our kids. I was given many opportunities in the KL school district. The environment that was fostered while I was a student in the system was remarkably conducive to success. It is my strong conviction that we should do whatever possible so as to see the community and our students flourish. It is also my opinion that if a single person thwarts educational progress (e.g. Kreutzer), we must be vigilant in the appointment of a superior person.

      You may ask how is Kreutzer hindering educational progress. That’s a reasonable question. And It hasn’t been given much clear attention. Kreutzer and his interactions with teachers and administrators has simply given rise to a period of discontent amongst the faculty. This stemmed out from a single incident: the loss of Ellen Dougherty from the High School. Ellen was well liked amongst teachers across the entire district. She embodied compassion, integrity and perfected the high school environment. News of her departure sent shock waves through the educators as well as the KLDTA. While the details of her departure were not made public due to legal issues, they are detailed, quite explicitly by the KLDTA: Kreutzer possesses archaic and draconian instructional methods – contrary to Ellens as well as almost other educators in our district – AND he harasses (verbally and apparently sexually) his staff. This event – the loss of superb leadership – is what has created the awful educational climate of the KL school district.

      Those who urge us to ignore the Kreutzer catastrophe are not being kind or caring to students. Those that view this as foolish banter between the board and the KLDTA are not giving this pressing issue considerable time. No, they are not the friends of the students; rather, they are complicit in the heinous and destructive activities of this superintendent.

      Surely none of this should come as much of a surprise. Kreutzer has focused and spent a good deal of money in the aesthetic modifications of the district: new tiling in the high school, a new website with a logo and a brand! And for what real purpose? The facade Kreutzer has put up is an effort to hide the leadership and structural fractures of our district. It’s also a great way of concealing a threatened educational system.

      In fact, Kreutzer cares so much of his image he does not write his own speeches – he has hired a firm to do so – and he seldom speaks. When he does speak, he spits out foolish things, throwing around useless acronyms (his favorite is PLC for professional learning community) with uncertain and ambiguous goals for the community, such as “we shall obtain the unobtainable” Why, you ask? He has no goal. He has no plan. He’s here until the community goes mad – just like in Wisconsin – and then he’ll soldier on elsewhere or perhaps attempt to run for office.

  • brutus

    Hack, I admire your passion and that you have eschewed Call of Duty XX to join this debate.

    Time and the real world will teach you fiscal reality. But you should learn compassion, respect and what a “fact” is a little sooner. Your teachers are cool people but they are not always right. Use what God gave you

    • Vilsmeier Haack

      It’s Haack. After the reaction. Because, unlike your children – who presumably do play Call of Duty XX – I care significantly more about my education rather than frankly boring and dulling games.

      You’re very good at making stupid presumptions.

      Read my above statement in response to Glenn.

      Maybe, then, you’ll stop playing Call of Duty XX and open your eyes to the specter haunting our community.

  • Glenn DeFaber

    Haack you speak with so much conviction and detail about Dr. Kreutzer. First you say you are a student and then you say you were a student. Which is it? I think all your knowledge about Dr. Kreutzer is being fed to you by someone very close to the Union leadership. Is that the reason you use a cartoon name so your veracity cannot be measured?

    • Vilsmeier Haack

      *Was a student of the KL community and am now a student in higher education. Apologies for the change in tense – it certainly was the crux of my argument. Your ad hominem attack is a fallacious and indicative that you cannot rationally defend the seemingly deplorable qualities of Kreutzer.

      I chose the name Vilsmeier-Haack as an alternative alias as my identity shouldn’t undermine the positions presented on this forum. You, on the other hand, exercise the ad hominem attack and believe that my identity SHOULD influence the reception of my arguments.

  • michael gordon

    Let’s not lose focus here. The number one issue that must be addressed is the compensation figure for KLSD staff and the extent to which that figure is out of line with comparable districts, on a per pupil and aggregate basis. Leadership is important, and issues regarding leadership can and no doubt will be dealt with appropriately via the established performance review protocols mentioned by Mr. Lipton. But, to be blunt about it, the parade of horribles that some would attribute to the Superintendent’s alleged shortcomings (i.e., “discontent amongst the faculty”) pale in comparison to the real and tangible damage that will be done to our schools and our students unless and until we get that portion of our expenses that makes up 80% of every dollar we spend — staff salaries and benefits — under control. The BOE, which represents the Katonah-Lewisboro taxpayers, and the KLDTA and KLSSA, which represent the bulk of our staff, must come together and work out a solution that will keep our District from going off its own fiscal cliff. And if they find themselves struggling to achieve that goal, then their constituents on both sides, taxpayers and staff, must urge their elected representatives to keep at it.

    • Bill S.

      You had six years to address the compensation issue while on the BOE, you failed to do so. Don’t try to tell the community that the BOE is there to represent them. The BOE is there to serve their own selfish interests.

    • Vilsmeier Haack

      Let’s not lose focus here. The number one issue that must be addressed is the Kreutzer catastrophe. Leadership is immensely important, and Mr. Lipton’s response to the KLDTA’s speaking at the public forum was outrageous and unprofessional. The request for 15 minutes should have been granted – as members of the board such as Treyz and Schiff agreed – seeing as previous precedent has been to allow extended speaking times. Silencing the opposition like that is just oh so unbecoming.

      Don’t try to hide a leadership fiasco under the umbrella of a pending economic crisis.

      But the board shouldn’t be terribly surprised by any of what is going on. They knew these very confrontational events would transpire! It was foreshadowed by the protests upon Kreutzer’s arrival.

      • Glenn DeFaber

        Let us not loose focus what this is all about Haack. The school budget has a structural deficit that cannot be solved without it’s employees reducing their compensation or reducing it’s members. In the last 20 years a budget passed with a 60% approval vote about two times. As the Unions push for a higher payroll( busting the tax cap) and think that the budget vote will get the 60% approval is naive or just plain dumb. Most fair minded residents can obviously see the Union’s strategy of focusing on Dr. Kreutzer’s detractors in Wisconsin and in K-L. You prove the point by your statement ;”The number one issue that must be addressed is the Kreutzer catastrophe”. I agree that it is a catastrophe but not for the parents or residents but for the Unions. You also state that K-L has a pending economic crisis. This crisis is not pending but has been with us since 2007 and before. It is only the Union or students like yourself who either don’t care or are oblivious to the decimated education our children will receive. You received the best education money could buy which put us where we are today, broke. I hope when you graduate college and enter the real world where somebody else is not footing your bill you will start thinking on your own and not regurgitate what somebody is telling you. As the saying goes” too bad youth is wasted on the young” y. You prove that point with every comment you make.

  • Michael Gordon

    Well, I see Bill S falls into the category of inveterate BOE haters. Ah well. At least he agrees that there is a staff compensation issue to be addressed. And hey, Maybe Bill will turn his charm and grace on Albany, persuading them that they need to change the labor laws so that non-police/fire public employee contracts in NY will no longer be indestructable and municipal employers such as KLSD will have a fighting chance at the bargaining table.

    • Glenn DeFaber

      Mike the Conservative party is looking for new members with your thinking. It is good to see how much you have grown since you graduated. I will not hold your past actions against you because our children are too important to be used as pawns.

    • Bill S

      There you go again, putting lables on people without knowing anything about them. It is the old mantra, if you don’t agree with me, you are against education. There are actually a few people on the current BOE who care about the education of our children at an affordable price. You had six years to effect a change in compensation and benefits, you didn’t even try. Why? Because you did not want offend the teachers. Now that you are no longer on the BOE, you are attacknig their contracts, which were negotiated in good faith and to which you and your fellow BOE members agreed. You are a phony and a hypocrite.

  • michael gordon

    Bill S, be of good cheer. There are so many things you and I have in common. You don’t like to be mislabeled. Neither do I (of course, the difference between us is that you know who I am but I don’t know anything about you because you choose to hide behind a screen name). You believe there are folks on the BOE who care about affordable education. So do I (I actually think all seven BOE members have that goal in mind). You paid enough attention to know that I served on the BOE for 6 years. And you’re absolutely right. I did! You say that I’m “attacking” teacher contracts. Well, I am, since if those contracts aren’t modified, our District is going to be in quite the pickle. And lastly, I agree with you that (even though you decried, in an earlier post, “unreasonable union demands,”) our contracts were signed in good faith — the staff representatives, in good faith, sought out the best deal they could get for their membership, and the District representatives, in good faith, sought out the best deal they could get for the District (bearing in mind the impact of Triborough). We now need both sides to come together and agree, in good faith, on compensation modifications that will keep our schools from falling over the cliff. You would agree with me on that, right Bill?

    • BillS

      You need to get one thing through your head, you and I have absolutely nothing in common. You failed to do the right thing for the taxpayers while you pontificated for six years on the BOE. The Triboro Agreement does not dictate the salary scale, the size of the increases nor the level of benefits. These are items you and your incompetent BOE puppets had control over. There were plenty of residents who tried to warn the BOE of the financial disaster you were created. But all warnings fell on deaf ears. The best thing you can do for the taxpayers at this point is to crawl back under your rock.

    • Vilsmeier Haack

      Michael, I’m still waiting for you to address the Kreutzer catastrophe.

  • vic conte

    this is the same board that before they fired the former lacrosse coach they were bragging about it at a Christmas Party the night before they told the man. This board has to go!! They are only backing Dr. K because they dont want to look bad for hiring him!!!

  • michael gordon

    Even more common ground between Bill and me: we both agree that the Triborough Amendment (it’s a piece of legislation, Bill, not an agreement) does not “dictate” salary scale, the size of the increases, or the level of benefits. It does, of course, empower the KLDTA, KLSSA, and every other non-life safety municipal union to walk away from contract negotiations if they don’t like the salary scale, the size of the increases, the level of benefits, or anything else for that matter. If they did that now, Bill, the Triborough Amendment would require that all of the terms of the contract (including contract terms that were agreed to before I was elected) would remain in place. So does the BOE have “control,” as you say, over salaries and benefits? Not really Bill. It doesn’t. Sadly, we must part company on that point which, by the way, makes a good stopping point for our discussion. After all, we don’t want to bogart the blogosphere.

  • Mr Gordon states the obvious, these are tough times that need new solutions. But talking about Triborough is a lame attempt to turn attention away from the big issue right now: what do you do with the superintendent when everyone who works for him thinks he is a fool, who damages to the district’s reputation every time he opens his mouth, who uses bullying as a leadership tool, and who thinks the right to prey is one of the perks of power?

    Gordon and the board made a huge mistake in hiring him. The board knows it and so does Gordon. He’s the one that rammed Kreutzer down the district’s throat and now this board has to clean up his filthy mess.

    • BillS

      B. McNulty you are 100% correct. But keep in mind that Michael Gordon was a bully while on the BOE and he is still a bully. It has to be his way or the highway. All I can say is they (the BOE as well as the administration) have been warned for many years that they were creating a financial mess, they would not listen. They were also warned about Dr. Kreutzer. All Michael is trying to do is protect his reputation. But when you have failed as miserably as he has there is nothing to protect.

  • Bob Dixon

    We continually hear that the Board gives away the farm or allows other terrible things to happen: this prompts one to wonder if a Board member with a child or more in the system can be his true self . Fear of retribution surely exists. I thought about this often while a member and was glad I was not in that situation.

  • another taxpayer

    Forget the BOE. File a complaint with Albany.

    FOUR accusations! FOUR! You can discredit one but not four. These are serious accusations.

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