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Anger, Opinions and Community

by on March 10, 2016

This will be short and sweet (well maybe not so sweet).

It has come to my attention that members of the New Hartford Board of Education have been the subject of verbal attacks and other bad behavior in public by members of this community, because of a difference of opinion.

Whatever your position on the closing of Bakerville School, shouting, name calling, rude comments, and threatening are not polite behavior.  You wouldn’t want to have folks treat you in a similar manner.  I am dismayed that people are acting this way in public sometimes in front of their children.

Members of our boards give up significant personal time to be of service to this community and they vote in a way that reflects the desire to make New Hartford the best it can be.  There is no place for public rudeness toward them.  That kind of behavior tends to stick in people’s minds for a very long time and it breaks the spirit of community.

Whatever the outcome of the vote people will go back to their daily lives and forget about the Board of Ed, or the Board of Finance, and won’t really get out of their way to go to meetings or put themselves up for service.  Evidently they won’t even keep up by reading the minutes of the meetings.  (Do this on a regular basis, folks.  It lessens the big surprises.)  I don’t even like going to meetings, so I can understand that the folks on our boards feel less than appreciated right now.

To the Board of Education:  You folks work very hard, and have always done a great job in making sure that the kids in New Hartford got a great education.  Many of them have been on the board for years.  They’re doing what they think is best now.  I have nothing but respect for them, and so should you.

Disagree if you want.  We all do.  Try to keep your points to actual facts.  If someone doesn’t know a fact that you know, communicate the fact by all means.   Listen to the other person.  Keep it polite.  Too much damage is done by bad behavior.  We all have to live here beyond the vote.

 

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7 Comments
  1. John Peltier permalink

    Hi Sharon,

    Just reading your posts on schoil consolidation. I see your take but you mentioned 55 students in our 2015 Kindergarten class and the Superintendent’s report notes 63. That might be an indication that the decline is over. You really should attend the meetings before telling how to act towards the board members. Their actions have warranted the emotions that pored out. I’d love to discuss further if you are interested.

    • In this post I mention no student numbers, and I don’t recall ever saying there were 55 students in Kindergarten.

  2. Very well written and you are correct with everything you have said as far as the name calling and threatening but the same goes for the board, in my opinion the reason people are getting worked up is 2 main reason:
    FIRST: The board went ahead an did a vote without letting the public know
    SECOND: The people of this town think as well as myself that they (the BOE) haven’t thought about the kids and the repercussions of their actions!

    • The discussion about closing the school went on for 3 years. It was documented in the meetings. There was a lot of opportunity to respond to those discussions.

      As to your second point, yes you and some of the people in town probably think that way. But that is all that the Board of Education does think about. I know members of the board and have known some for close to 40 years. I assure you that they did no such thing.

      • Kelly Longhi permalink

        This has become more about big egos and pride than anything else. Bottom line. It’s been proven that the savings aren’t significant enough, class sizes are and will continue to increase and the majority of people in this town want the school to remain open. It’s ridiculous at this point. Listen to the will of the people!

      • Those claims are not supported by the numbers, Kelly. There are two additional students this year. We still are quite a distance from the number projected for last year. We will find out Tuesday whether or not the majority want the school open. Let’s wait and see.

  3. Betty Stoutenberg permalink

    I hate to see this tearing at the wonderful community feeling that we have always had in Bakerville.
    There need not be hatred over this. Let’s be civil to one another. It is okay to disagree with either side. It is not okay to be mean and spiteful.

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