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March 28, 2000

Board's Revised Bond In Trouble

by Stewart Lilker

FNYN has learned that the meeting, originally scheduled to be held on Tuesday evening, March 28th at School Board member Joyce Lisiís house and then in the districtís administration building, was held instead at the home of Pat Lewis. This meeting, as originally discussed by Ms. Lisi and the Board during the Boardís executive session of March 22nd, was to discuss the bond and bring together people who were in support of the bond. One of the topics discussed at this executive session revolved around the name of the committee, with suggestions such as "Friends of the Bond" and "Friends of the Children." Among other things, Board President Grover talked about getting the support of the Village and the Fire Department. Mr. Grover seemed to feel that Village Trustee Mauserberger could and would be responsive to getting the Fire Department to support the Bond. Sometime ago, Trustee Mauserberger, for personal reasons, pulled his children out of the Freeport Public Schools, as did Board President Grover.

Confirmed sources reveal that the discussions at Ms. Lewisí meeting revolved around several issues. Everyone agreed that the district needs reduced class size. Superintendent Moffettís six hundred dollar a month car allowance was discussed and Ms. Lisi explained that it was customary that car allowances were a component of many superintendentís contracts in other districts. FNYN has never been able to find a Freeport superintendent that was given a car or that has been treated as generously as Ms. Moffett.

Discipline in the classroom was also found to be a problem and it appeared from the discussion that the participants felt that class size was in part responsible for some of these problems.

Over occupancy, which in essence is a Village issue that has been swept under the rug since the election of Mayor Glacken, was another topic of discussion. There was a feeling among some that the reason over occupancy and the issue of out of district students has not been attacked is that the district receives aid based on the number of students attending the Freeport Schools.

As usual, the issue of trust took a prominent place in the discussions. Trust has been an issue in this district for a long time and was discussed in the ERM report some years ago. The consensus among the attendees, all who agreed that the district needed more classrooms, was that the primary reason for the failure of the bond was the lack of trust in both the Board and the Administration. Board member Lisi attributed the continuing lack of trust in the Board and the districtís administration to the era of Superintendent Bonen.

Also brought up at Ms. Lewisí was your reporter. It was asked why if he [Lilker] was such opposition, why not include him. Why not have him join, rather than push him out? Board member Lisi stated to the gathering that he [Lilker] didnít want to be included. She claimed that he has been asked to be included and he choose not to.

Board member Lisiís statement that I have been asked to be included and refused is simply not true and unsupported by any records or evidence. On the night of the Boardís bond defeat, Mr. Grover asked me to come up with a plan. When I told him that I would be glad to work together with a group of qualified residents and with the Board to devise a plan that would be acceptable to the districtís residents and beneficial to the children, Board VP Renken emphatically said, "We donít want your help." -- ed



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