Andrew Mandel of Strong East Ramapo and Yehuda Weissmandl, ERCSD president, were interviewed on Susan Arbetter’ s Albany radio program today regarding the Sabrina Charles Pierre “oversight” and appointment of Joe Chajmovicz to the vacant board seat over Jean Fields, former Ramapo HS principal.
From Andrew Mandel, Strong East Ramapo:
Thank you to Albany political journalist Susan Arbetter for featuring East Ramapo on your daily radio show today (http://www.wcny.org/aug-1-2016-commissioner-maryellen-elia-andrew-mandel-board-president-yehuda-weissmandl-dave-catalfamo/).
Arbetter pressed Yehuda Weissmandl multiple times about why Ramapo High School principal Jean Fields was overlooked for the open board seat. He said he had to think about “the will of the majority” and who the “larger community” would want to serve.
First of all, how does President Weissmandl know that new board member Joe Chajmovicz would be the person that “the larger community” would want to serve? What qualifications or credentials does he have? What canvassing of the public was done? He said Jean Fields had been “handily defeated” in the election, yet she received 4,000 more votes than Chajmovicz, who has never run.
Let’s pretend that President Weissmandl is right. I then think we need to ask ourselves why the “larger community” would not want to extend an olive branch to public school families by appointing someone who represents them and why the number of seats currently occupied by private school advocates is insufficient. The school board can NEVER claim an interest in building bridges when making a move like this.
Lastly, of course, the will of the majority was not particularly on the board’s mind when dealing with the swearing-in of Sabrina Charles-Pierre. President Weissmandl acknowledged that he himself had been sworn in properly under the same circumstances two years ago, but it got “missed” this time. This is awfully damning, no? Surely even Weissmandl can see that the importance of “the majority” appears to depend on which majority we’re talking about.
I’m glad that Weissmandl said he wants Sabrina to serve her full two-year term and is working to restore it. But neglecting Sabrina AND skipping over Jean Fields underscores the unwillingness of the board to be true partners.