March 15, 2000
VOTE NO CONFIDENCE $40,000,000 SCHOOL BOARD BOND DEFEATED
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."