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March 15, 2000


By Stewart Lilker

Freeport's residents spoke out today and defeated the ill-conceived and foolish forty million dollar school bond. When the final votes were tallied, a stunned school board looked on as the figures were displayed. The vote, 808 for and 933 against, was something the Board clearly didn't expect, as just a few minutes before the tally was in, Board President Grover expressed his confidence that the bond would pass. For almost two months, residents of the district have said they felt left out of the process, that they didn't trust the Board or its plan and that they thought the administration had failed in the job educating the children. This weekend's Newsday write up on the State report cards, showing Freeport in the bottom of the barrel once again, didn't help. The residents voiced their displeasure with the Board and the School administration at the ballot box. In the FNYN photo, the Board looks on dejectedly as Board President Grover adjourns the meeting with the loosing tally projected on the screen.

As has become the norm in Freeport elections, this election was also marked by irregularity. On the registration tables at the polls, the district's bond flyers and the district newspaper, the Pride, which touted the district's perceived benefits of the bond, were piled high on display. At the Bayview School, three foot high poster boards proclaiming the benefits of the bond were also on display. The inspectors of election said the flyers and the district paper came packed with the materials sent by the District Clerk and they were told to put them out. When the Clerk, Mary Bediako was questioned about this by FNYN, she ignored the question, refusing to answer. When Board President Grover was questioned about this, he smiled and said, "I don't think that's legal."


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