Marlboro committees formed
Community members took to the internet last week to express their dissatisfaction with the way the Marlboro Central School District went about forming various groups to help them deal with fallout from the Dynegy situation.
Before closing for winter recess, the school district posted an open invitation on its website asking local taxpayers to volunteer to be part of a committee to help guide administrators and Board of Education members in making decisions regarding the future of the district.
Days later, Marlboro Community Concerns, a group whose goal is to unite local residents and help improve the current tax situation, posted on their Facebook page that they would be requesting a seat on the committee.
“Once we’re on the committee it will be our goal to share YOUR suggestions and ideas for change,” they told their supporters.
Unfortunately, it looks like they won’t get that chance. Last week, the group shared that one of its members, Dan Brooks, had emailed Marlboro Superintendent Ray Castellani to ask about joining the committee, only to be told that several groups had already been formed and they were not currently seeking additional members.
Brooks said that the district’s request for volunteers was taken down from its website shortly after the email exchange.
“What this proves to us is that prior to the holidays the [Board of Education] and superintendent had no interest in expanding the list of committee members,” read a statement that appeared on Marlboro Community Concerns’ Facebook page. “The invitation was posted to the district website to appease anyone who asked about community involvement, but a preselected group was in place already.”
It is unclear when the committees are scheduled to meet or if the meetings will be open to the public, but Marlboro Community Concerns says they were able to obtain a list of the various groups and their members, which they proceeded to publish on their page.
“Anyone familiar with Marlboro, NY will no doubt recognize many of these names,” they wrote. “In the dire situation we are in, where new ideas devoid of politics and conflicts of interest are needed more than ever, it puzzles us beyond understanding why so many people with vested interests in school district operations, the bargaining units and town politics have been included.”
Reactions to the online posting were mixed. While several readers criticized the school district for not trying hard enough to secure diverse representation on the committees, others defended the process, saying they had volunteered to be a part of the committees and were selected.
“I am neither ‘more of the same’ or a member of the good ole boys club,” wrote Marlboro resident Tony Perugino, who was chosen to be part of a budget committee. “Everyone on the various committees are concerned citizens with a vested interest in getting this situation resolved as responsibly as possible.”
Castellani could not be reached for comment.
By Jessica Murray