Letter: West Irondequoit School Board needs to diversify

Staff Writer
Monroe County Post

We are candidates running for the West Irondequoit School Board. We write this letter since we share the same volunteer commitment to the community. We have lived in the town and/or the district over 40 years. Details on our background are listed in the district budget newsletter. Please ignore our pictures, since we were never good at that!

We support public education and educational programs that are effective and benefit all students. Over the years, reports show the district does not have the higher ratings of some other school districts in Monroe County. We promise to look into that.

The record shows that a major problem facing the district is finances. Taxes are a problem for the district, since we have a report that shows West Irondequoit school taxes to be the second highest of 18 school districts while the average household income in Irondequoit has been reported in the past to be one of the lowest of all towns.

Also, the New York state comptroller reported “taxes were levied higher than necessary” for the three or four years reported on. Inflated and false expenses raised taxes more than needed and because that money was not used, it created illegal surpluses more than the 4% state law allows.

Also, it is our understanding that six of seven board members, including two incumbents running for re-election to the school board, are either teachers or related to a teacher. Where is the diversity? Maybe a teacher or two, but we believe the board should not be dominated by any “like-minded group.”

We oppose illegal surpluses/false expenses which cause unnecessary taxes. State law must be obeyed. We will bring diversity to the board. We will represent those who elect us. Thank you for your consideration when you vote.

Larry MacDonald and Michael Valente