Board Has Best Interests at Heart
Dear Sag Harbor Express,
I was recently invited to sign a petition asking the Sag Harbor School Board to focus on issues of governance, process and respect.
My initial reaction was, “Of course!” These are all important and admirable goals for any board. Who wouldn’t want to sign this? And I expect most people who are asked will sign on.
But I haven’t signed the petition because my concern is that it implies that the board has not taken seriously its responsibility to promote good governance, process, and respect.
Concerned members of the Sag Harbor community point to the fact that within the last year, two board members have resigned, complaining in letters about these very issues.
But I believe that it is each member’s responsibility to speak out during a meeting if they judge something to be inappropriate, not sit back quietly and complain about it after the fact as though they were an outside observer and not an integral participant.
I have attended many school board meetings over the past several years, and from my perspective, rather than deteriorating, the tone and dialogue on the part of school board members in open meetings has been quite open and respectful in the past year.
I also think that this board should be commended for doing the hard work of putting together a budget that maintains programming and staff at a time when so many schools are laying off teachers.
Can the board work to improve its governance and process? Absolutely. Perhaps one step (which I believe board president Theresa Samot has already suggested in a meeting) would be to more methodically provide an opportunity for each member of the board to address important issues.
I firmly believe, however, that every single one of our current school board members has the best interests of the community, the school, and the students at heart. I encourage everyone to come to board meetings, see the board in action, and get involved. I think we should support this board in looking forward, working together, passing the budget this spring and providing excellent educational opportunities for the children of Sag Harbor.
Service and Character Begins at Home
Let me tell you about character.
I am so proud of my son with the stress that he has endured over the last few years
I was diagnosed with breast cancer when my son was in the spring semester of 9th grade at Pierson High School. I went through four operations, multiple rounds of chemotherapy and months of recovery. I thank my son who kept my family together over the next two years. He volunteered his hard earned summer job money to pay for out of pocket medical and living expenses. He was the one who saw through the shortfalls of those in the family and saw the good in each and every one of us. He was the mediator and unifier; he was the one who saw the big picture and accepted everyone for who they really were. He shared antidotes for every situation thrown at him. His service was to his family. I was and still am so grateful.
These life experiences have most certainly given him the tools and perseverance to succeed throughout life with strong and honorable character. We are all in a better place now. I, in particular, will continue to help those who need my support and most of all I will continue to give my support to my son for all that he has done for us as a family.
Service and character begin at home. It is my hope that those that do not know this will learn the truth in this life long journey and that this will enlighten those who might have lost sight of family values in the future.
I’d been driving my jeep with bald tires for months. My friend told me on numerous occasions to buy new tires. I turned a deaf ear to her requests.
My mechanic told me that I could have a blowout while driving with these tires. I ignored him completely.
I was stopped and talked my way out of a summons, indicating that I was just on my way to buy new tires. The officer let me go.
I visited an old friend who owned a funeral parlor. He looked at my tires and said: “You better buy new ones unless you want to me to bury you.” That friend finally knocked some sense into me. I had new tires put on my jeep the next day. It took an undertaker to persuade me to buy new tires. I was fortunate that we had met before I could have become a customer of his and also hurt somebody else. I asked myself, “What’s wrong with me?” Do I have a death wish?
I began to think about death wishes other people must have.
Doctors tell us smoking causes cancer, yet we keep smoking…
We are warned that being overweight increases our chances of having a heart attack or stroke, but we keep overeating and not exercising enough…
We’re told that the abuse of prescription drugs and their overuse can cause addiction, overdose and death, but we keep on taking too many of these drugs…
We all know that “speed kills,” yet we’re always in a hurry and drive too fast, we text while driving, we drive without seatbelts.
We tell ourselves that we will never get sick or die from smoking, or overeating, not exercising enough, abusing drugs, speeding, texting, etc…It is always the other guy who will become the unfortunate one to get sick or have an accident or die. Take a good look in the mirror. The other guy could end up staring right back at you some day.
Pretend for a moment that I’m your friendly undertaker. Do you want to see me now, or in the near future, or would you prefer to see me in the far distant future after living a full, happy life? The choice is up to you….long life, short life.