Calling on Sloatsburgers – Think about serving the community by running for the Ramapo Central School District Board of Education

Posted on 01 February 2017 by Editor

RamapoCentralSchools Want YouCalling on Sloatsburgers. Put your thinking caps on and get active.

2017 will see two seats open on the Ramapo Central School Board, and what better way to serve your community than to invest in helping improve and protect local schools?

RCSD Sloatsburg CandidateSloatsburg Elementary School is a treasured asset nestled in the Village of Sloatsburg. It serves as a beacon for young families who understand the benefits of the award-winning Ramapo Central School District, which regularly sees students graduate and go on to success in colleges large and small. Many begin that journey at Sloatsburg Elementary School.

The Village has had a public school serving the community since back around 1870 … and a Sloatsburger on the RCSD Board of Education will help ensure our little school house stays healthy and strong far into the future.

Since Village Clerk and Treasurer Thomas Bollatto retired from his long service on the BOE in 2015, Sloatsburg has been without representation. It’s time to change that.

Sloatsburg needs a voice on the RCSD BOE, especially when the conversation periodically touches on district kindergarten enrollment — and which schools are gaining and which are losing numbers.

As an aside … any current board member who has ever discussed consolidation of elementary schools as a way to improve future district fiscal vitality has no place on the RCSD board. That’s parochial thinking and dangerous to the future of the district.

Let’s do a twofer Sloatsburg. Spring 2017 is just around the corner.

Regular Board of Education meetings are open to the public and generally held at 7:30 p.m. on the first and third Tuesday of each month at the Administrative Building in Hillburn. Please be sure to verify meeting dates, times and locations prior to the event, as circumstances may arise that require a Board meeting to be moved or rescheduled.


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6 Comments For This Post

  1. Dave Veraja Says:

    Please dont be so closed minded. While everyone appreciates having a school in their community, consolidation needs to be under consideration. While I would be opposed to Sloatsburg losing its local school closing one of the elementary schools may at some future date become financially favorable. One would have to consider the age and condition of the buildings, overall cost of staffing, and repair of any individual building. While this quickly becomes a complex issue Student enrollment, present and in the future also needs to be considered. In the end a balance has to be maintained, between taxes and providing quality education.

  2. Editor Says:

    From my perspective, consolidation is a non-negotiable topic — meaning, non. Losing an elementary school in the Ramapo Central School District can send a community into a downward spiral and open a dark door to unintended consequences. I don’t advocate that direction at all … once it’s gone, it’s gone.

    And so goes with it, like a sinkhole, a whole host of community activities and interests and vitality.

    Speaking specifically for and of Sloatsburg. Sloatsburg Elementary School is a cultural piece of Sloatsburg’s identity and history, both as a Village focus of support and a vital community beacon that attracts young homeowners and other residents to the area. Sloatsburg has successfully supported a school in these parts since 1870.

    Sloatsburgers and the Village of Hillburn essentially were original pillars of the Ramapo Central School District, along with Suffern High School. You better take your consolidation talk to another community. Like the universe itself, this open mind is much too expansive to even envision such a thought.

  3. Dave Veraja Says:

    WE can not always do business as usual. If pupil enrollment were to drop, at some point the district would have to consider an alternate plan.Other school districts have closed schools in the past. To say the issue is [non-negotiable] is in fact closed minded. To say such a thing without a review of the actual dollar figures and pupil enrollment is just not wise. It would be fair to say no one wants to lose their local school and it would likely be an extremely difficult decision if the board went in this direction. In conclusion while providing the best in education, The board should not operate as if they have a blank check from the taxpayer. I do believe this is how many districts have ended up with Million dollar turf fields.

  4. Editor Says:

    Dave … thanks for the comments. Again.

    There’s been much reviewing by SVdotcom over the years of RCSD data, budgets, contracts, issues, etc. It’s all complex but provides a clear narrative of what the district is facing and where it is trying to go. Sloatsburg Elementary School enrollment has not dropped over time — it has actually been steady and shown traction by gaining students compared to other district elementary schools. What you’re recommending, elementary school consolidation, is not something I want for my community. No amount of handwringing will alter the fact or belief that Sloatsburg is better and stronger with an elementary school in its back yard. It’s what you call a community magnet, attracting people who invest in Sloatsburg for years, contributing in turn to much-needed vitality.

    A strong and vital Sloatsburg is good for the Ramapo Central School District (which I believe is most healthy in its present configuration – other communities must be aggressive to protect and improve their schools).

    I’m not applying for a wisdom award. I’m an advocate for Sloatsburg, and as such contribute as I can to enhance community and economic quality of life. You dismissing that advocacy as close-minded and unwise might be called an ad hominem logical fallacy.

    Sloatsburg is an ever evolving semi-rural community that historically has rallied to provide for itself. A school house in its midst is something the community has supported for generations, and impacts the future health and well being of this area as a vital, growing community. It is a pillar of the Village.

    Yes, the 1990s/early 2000s periods of property overvaluation allowed both the Town and School District to enhance budgets that must now be scaled to present times. That was not on my watch. Now, the current reorientation of priorities may not be popular, and will and does impact people and programs. They might (and have) involve staff and admin salaries, benefits, activities, transportation, etc, scaling back. But Dr. Douglas Adams has generally righted the ship, so to speak, and steered a hard course toward a safe fiscal shoreline for the district — which has to date included all aboard in terms of schools. All are intact.

    Your severe advocacy for consolidation as a way forward, no matter the opaque dress presented in, is not appealing.

    If you’re a property owner and taxes are an absolute determining factor in your fiscal health going forward, I recommend you move. Please.

  5. Dave veraja Says:

    Of course the Sloatsburg school is of primary importance to our community. I had said I would oppose losing the Sloatsburg school, its a treasure in our community of which my children both benefited from.

    All Iam saying is that at some point in the future if enrollment were to drop to a point it was no longer financially viable to maintain/operate all of the schools that an extremely difficult decision may have to be made. I do not believe this will be the case in the near future. But to say you would Never consider it is simply close minded, without knowing what the future will be.

    For you to suggest that I move, I sense you are of unstable mind and character, evidenced in the fact that you hide behind being identified as [the editor]. I thought this was merely an open exchange of ideas and opinions. Apparently its an exchange of only your ideas and opinion. Perhaps you can further discuss this with your therapist at you next session.

  6. Editor Says:

    Obviously, the mind is sound enough to operate a site that gives you voice and the open, free exchange of ideas and opinions. There was no promise it’d be return exchange free. So, voice away. The idea of elementary school consolidation in the RCSD is a subject I take seriously as it impacts the future of not only Sloatsburg, but all Western Ramapo communities.

    The recommendation was that you consider relocation if the local tax burden proved too much for you to bear.

    Regarding that therapist, I believe mine’s currently engaged in speculative contemplation about possible future events that may necessitate him to downsize and relocate.

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