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Friday, April 13, 2007

Pamela Greenbaum Spells it out for Us

The Jewish Star runs a story this week in which they attempt to profile all 6 declared candidates in the upcoming School Board elections. Unfortunately, they could not get Pamela Greenbaum to sit for an interview, and this is the reason she gave:
Greenbaum, who has spoken to the paper before, would only say, "Quality education for all. That's my comment." She declined to elaborate,even after a reporter observed that her comment might better be described as a slogan. A day earlier Greenbaum responded to a question about why she changed her mind and decided to run again by saying, "I don't think I'm going to be talking to you very much." Why? she was asked. "I doubt that you're going to endorse me, anyway, so why should I waste my time?"
Eep. She actually told a reporter that she will not deign to discuss her views as a school board candidate with someone who is not prepared to endorse her??? That explaining her views and policies to anyone not committed to endorse or support her is, in her own words, a waste of her time? I guess we now have an idea as to why Pamela Greenbaum thought a lawsuit was an easier way to counter criticism of her actions as a board member than actually making a rudimentary attempt to explain her views. Are we to understand that she simply will not discuss her views with someone who she feels does not agree with and support her on every level? If the ridiculous lawsuit I face is not proof enough that Greenbaum is unwilling to tolerate any criticism or her whatsoever - even criticism as benign as that which she absurdly alleges to be defamatory in her court filing - then this latest admission of hers pretty much seals the deal.

In other local news, Larry Gordon has written some harsh but very accurate words regarding board members Pamela Greenbaum and Stanley Kopilow in light of their lack of support for the new, zero-increase budget as proposed by district 15 superintendent John Fitzsimons (Keep in mind that a zero-increase budget may be the only way for this district to finally approve a budget and end the unfortunate stretch of austerity the public schools have been facing):
As the board endorsed the newly proposed numbers by a vote of 4 to 2 (board member David Sussman was not present), it was interesting to note that both Pam Greenbaum and Stanley Kopilow who have been vociferous advocates of getting the district out of austerity mode voted against the new budget. It's an almost surreal turn of events, with those who have been advocating for years that a budget must be approved now opposed to it, and those who were opposed to the budgets of the previous four years now committed to getting the budget passed.

...The new proposed budget calls for a total increase of $825,000, with an unprecedented zero increase in schools administration and capital expenditures. It's important to understand that if the budget is defeated at the polls, education law calls for an automatic increase of almost 4 percent in the annual budget. That automatic increase, however, is accompanied by a series of restrictions on spending. Such austerity provisions prohibit the purchase of new equipment (computers, phone systems, etc.) or making non-emergency repairs on buildings.

Opposing this budget is really not much more than a public-relations ploy for the two board members, who have made an art of opposing their fellow board members just to be contrarian. By their past rhetoric, Greenbaum and Kopilow have in a sense boxed themselves into a corner, making it hard for them to do the responsible thing. For his part, Mr. Kopilow says that the new budget indulges in voodoo economics. Ms. Greenbaum challenged the board's counsel, who suggested in response that she submit her questions in writing so that they can be thoroughly researched and answered and also criticized her use of the board-meeting forum to promote her position on issues not at hand.

What Kopilow and Greenbaum objected to most was that the new budget would include funding of pre-K busing for private-school children. These two board members continue to talk about providing services for private-school children as though it comes at the expense of public-school students. Unfortunately, that is the picture being painted by those who want to create disunity and friction in our heterogeneous community.

...We can only be puzzled at how the two board members who continually express their desire to bring the district out of austerity so it can repair its buildings, update its computers, buy a new phone system, and make other improvements went ahead and voted to keep the district operating under the limited contingency budget.

Hopefully the above observations will serve to help voters appreciate the importance of participating in the May 15 elections.
Uh oh. Pamela Greenbaum has "made an art of opposing their fellow board members just to be contrarian"? Pamela Greenbaum is obstructionist? Pamela Greenbaum voting based not on principles, but as a "public relations ploy"? Larry, if I were you, I would watch your back. It seems that Pamela Greenbaum has a very loose interpretation of defamation, and judging by the standards she applied to my criticism, this would certainly qualify.

44 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Expenses increase. If the transportation referendum passes, that will be an additionally huge expenditure. A zero percent increase means less money for programs and infrastructure (among other things). Maybe Greenbaum and Kopilow are against the budget just to be contrary. However, just maybe, they are against it because they know that even if a responsible budget is voted down, the district will have more money to spend on austerity then they would under a zero percent budget.

7:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Guys, Greenbaums a disaster. We have a few more days. We gotta get another candidate. This lawsuit will be her and our downfall.

9:46 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Guys, Greenbaums a disaster. We have a few more days. We gotta get another candidate. This lawsuit will be her and our downfall.

9:47 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Okay: So now we are up to 1% increase for budget, INCLUDING the new busing (to be voted on the referendum).

As a P.S. mother, I vote yes to both.

How about everyone else? It would be nice to get a consensus.

11:43 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Whats so bad about the contingency budget except that the board has no discretion to spend on items outside the state's guidelines? The Board will likely impose an austerity budget of zero - not 4% (which is the state's cap but not a minimum) and then have the ability to spend the entire budget any way they like. Do you think more teachers, building repairs, or ps program enhancements will follow? Will they buy ps kids computers? Of course not! But you can bet there will be free building use for outside groups, busses to private schools more than 15 miles away, late and early private school busses, and the taxpayers will foot the bill for all of it while the ps children carry the burden on their back. Vote no!

3:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is against the law to bus further than 15 miles.

6:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

No school in NY State buses more than 15 miles.

With the 1% increase, it INCLUDES the pre-school busing.

Under austerity, they cannot upgrade the computers.

If the budget is voted down, the district can impose up to 4 percent increase. It is cheaper to vote for the 1 percent and let the budget pass.

Buildings can only be used according to district guidelines and staff has to be budgeted to supervise building use and the use of utilities. That wasn't placed into the budget.

Don't make up stories and pass rumors around. Keep the facts straight and we'll all get along better.

We've had enough racism in this world this month.

7:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maybe Greenbaum and Kopilow are against the budget just to be contrary. However, just maybe, they are against it because they know that even if a responsible budget is voted down, the district will have more money to spend on austerity then they would under a zero percent budget.

Wrong, get out of Austerity and things can change.

8:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why does Greenbaum always read off a paper at the board meetings? Who's writing her material?

9:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nothing's going to "change" for the public school students if the district is off austerity. PS kids are not getting new computers (not in the budget), their buildings are not getting fixed (not in the budget), class sizes are not decreasing if the .9% budget is approved (the superintendent had to ask for a "good faith commitment from the board" that if he needs more teachers they will hire more teachers next year). So where's the downside to voting no? Voting yes just gives the Board discretion to change around the budget and do with the budgeted money whatever it wants.

10:08 PM  
Blogger SAVESD15 said...

Let us think for a moment. Maybe Greenbaum and Kopilow just don't agree. They are allowed to do this you know. The main job of the school board is to advocate for the public school. Yes, we received more funding this year, but the money as per the governor was supposed to go towards enhanced programs,reduced class size, and after school programs. People are largely misinformed about austerity. If we do spend another year on austerity, we can buy a new phone system, as it was declared and emergency. Yes it would be nice to have new computers, as most of the computers are seven eight years old. We have yet to see any plans for purchase of new computers. As of a 1/7 NY Times article a board member informed the community that capital improvements were being made, and that a consultant was being hired. That is not in the budget. The free building usage, will incur overtime charges for the custodial staff, monies for electric, and security, this is not in the budget. If you want equality write to the governor and ask him to pass legislation to rid New York state of the Blaine Amendment. Spitzer in his education speech said-

Many private and parochial schools do an excellent job of educating many of our kids and they deserve our thanks and support. Our first priority must be funding public schools, but to the extent the law and our fiscal resources allow, we should support parents who choose to send their kids to private and parochial schools.

You need to speak with him, because he even states Public Schools first, and to the extent of the law private schools. If you have an eqaulity problem I would pick on him, I doubt it is Pam Greenbaum fault even the governor refuses to take away from the public schools. I encourage a letter writing campaign, Aclu, the more attention to your cause the better.

10:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

And second, what money we do spend must be more tightly tied to educational outcomes – especially as we plan major new investments in our schools. Those districts receiving significant increases in Funding under our Investment Plan must be able to show how that money is allocated, school by school, and show how they are using their money to produce the outcomes we expect. Then for once we’ll know what’s working and what’s not, so we can make our policies smarter every year.

Do you think when the board shows the Governor where we spent the money he will applaud our communitys equality thought process? Hmm Education plans blown off, no new program enhancements, 24/26 in a class. It must be Greenbaums fault, she did all this. If we try hard enough perhaps we can get her for the Kennedy killing.

10:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am curious for a community that demands fiscal responsibility, you put up two candidates that were on previous boards that helped spend 18 million dollars. Your kidding right? Can you blame them? Dr. Sussman was the president and Dr. Mansdorf was also on the board. What fiscal responsibility should be when its convenient? I would think after so many years of this enough is enough. The above blogger is right, you have a problem with the lack of equality, write to the governor, if this budget passes, we are opening ourselves up to state involvement, having to explain why extra received did not go to public education is opening us up. The state does not see the equality issue the same way you do. They look at the children of this community two ways Public priority funding, non public books,transportation,special education.
Also, the special education tuition we paid, while I agree avoiding lawsuits are a good idea, violated section 200d of the state disability laws, at what cost are we willing to bend to demands of certain groups to make everyone happy. Every parent will now demand mediation, they would be crazy not to. Congradulations, you got your tuition, at a cost that is far greater than you ever could imagine.

10:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What do you expect from a nappy-headed ho' like pamela greenbaum?

10:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have no idea how to understand this school board thing. Could somebody post a school board/budget for dummies ?

11:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Okay, it looks like the public school parents have started a revolt. Orthomom a new blog is out to steal your wind. They say objective and all negative comments will be deleted. Imagine that fair, objective, perhaps you may learn something.
http://www.savesd15.blogspot.com/

1:54 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"

Okay, it looks like the public school parents have started a revolt. Orthomom a new blog is out to steal your wind. They say objective and all negative comments will be deleted. Imagine that fair, objective, perhaps you may learn something."

How ridiculous. There are comments from all, sides here. Whose to say that one person's objectivitiy is not another person's realioty. That's why saying a blogis "objective" is silly. If we want objective, we don't come to someone's personal blog. People come here to get OM's opinion on the issues.

9:08 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There are comments from all, sides here.

I read the other blog, and it seems to be very objective with a little humor. The opinions are really what most of us want the truth, about this district. The blog demands accountability fiscally and educational programs for all children. I think it is an interesting take. It calls our board out, the whole one.

9:16 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I cannot believe that Pam said that to the reporter. I was happy when I heard she had dropped out of the race. I think putting her forward as the ALPS candidate was a huge mistake. She sullied herself by behaving so petty. I read Feder's brief. There is no case there for defamation. If Pam can't stand the kind of criticism that they mention in the lawsuit, she REALLY shouldn't be running again.

10:21 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

ALPS is on the ropes. If they are so sure that they will take back the majority on the BOe then why are they afraid of the budget. They watch out, if the .9 passes then "they can spend" as they see fit, but it ALPS wins, they will be the they and can spend as they see fit.

Vote the for budget with your head, not with your heart.

12:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Vote the for budget with your head, not with your heart.

12:42 PM

If that is what you believe in. Unfortunately I can't. I agree with pre-k busing, but I can't agree with spending extra funding from the state going towards it. The governor was very clear in his intentions public funding first, smaller classes, new enhanced education programs. This budget includes none of this. It also does not include the thousands more in special ed costs we will incur. Why? Because, parent on both side know this district will settle before going to court. Why would anyone agree to the services they are offered. I encourage all who have been through the system of this district appeal,appeal,appeal. It is time they do the right thing by our kids.

1:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rabbi Reisaman said in shul yesterday that there should be sepertae seating at the school board meetings for now on and that this is the root of all the problems.....

2:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rabbi Reisaman said in shul yesterday that there should be sepertae seating at the school board meetings for now on and that this is the root of all the problems.....

Not to stir the pot, but a shul is tax exempt, when a Rabbi starts to discuss things that should not be mixed, you put your shul and community at risk for investigation. I hope Rabbi Reisaman does not make a habit of discussing Public School Politics in shul. You open the door way wide by just telling the community what people have suspected a long time. Good luch.,

3:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Not to stir the pot, but a shul is tax exempt, when a Rabbi starts to discuss things that should not be mixed, you put your shul and community at risk for investigation. I hope Rabbi Reisaman does not make a habit of discussing Public School Politics in shul. You open the door way wide by just telling the community what people have suspected a long time. Good luch.,


Not a very well-thought out comment. Discussing whether he approves that school board meetings have mixed gender seating is far from discussing politics. It may be inane, as most people don't really care what Rabbi Reisman thinks about the mixed seating at school board meetings. Yet that doesn't mean he is doing anything inappropriate when he tells his community not to sit men and women together when they attend school board meetings. No one's opening any doors wide. Rabbi Reisman would probably also be happy to go on the record saying that he is against co-ed schools. There is nothing wrong with that either. None of this is political, and saying it is is just silly.

FYI: Rabbi Reisman's speech was about mixed seating at many events, as well as the level of Kashrut provided by the local Vaad. Good luck trying to find a word about school board politics in anything he ever says. It's all politics, all right, but of a very different kind than the local school board.

3:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

what did Rabbi Reisman say about our Vaad? And, on the issue of separate seating at board meetings....once again, why do we jews think we have the right to dictate to the general population? if we want to sit apart,,so be it. RR is really overstepping his bounds to even suggest this be implemented at secular school board meetings..

3:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

http://www.savesd15.blogspot.com/

A site concerned with the children of our district, objective and understands the education laws of new york state

3:31 PM  
Anonymous rabbi Reisman chussid said...

"And, on the issue of separate seating at board meetings....once again, why do we jews think we have the right to dictate to the general population? if we want to sit apart,,so be it. RR is really overstepping his bounds to even suggest this be implemented at secular school board meetings.."

Oh please. He doesn't care what anyone else does, he just wants his shul members to sit separately when they go. Just like he wants them to make separate seating bar mitzvahs and weddings. hes not telling the YI of Woodmere members to make separate bar mitzvahs or weddings.

3:31 PM  
Blogger orthomom said...

Warning:
Further comments spamming my comemnt section with website url's will be deleted. Once is enough. You have now posted 6 times with the address of your new website. Great. We'll be sure to visit. Bye now, unless you have a more substantive type of comment.

3:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hmmm, that’s funny; I thought it was incredibly well thought out comment as no where in the preceding was it stated that it was gender based in any way. Historically though it is quite easy to present that nearly all comments stated in the past refer to the animosity between Public and Private School Community Members. In as much as it seems you are attempting to cover the previous post and it’s intentions rather vehemently, in all actuality, all you accomplish is further strengthening the thoughts of the general public on the extent of Shul political discussions.

3:51 PM  
Blogger orthomom said...

Anonymous said...

Hmmm, that’s funny; I thought it was incredibly well thought out comment as no where in the preceding was it stated that it was gender based in any way. Historically though it is quite easy to present that nearly all comments stated in the past refer to the animosity between Public and Private School Community Members. In as much as it seems you are attempting to cover the previous post and it’s intentions rather vehemently, in all actuality, all you accomplish is further strengthening the thoughts of the general public on the extent of Shul political discussions.


I was not involved in the relevant dispute, but I will step in here to say that you have a very fair point, the commenter in question did not elaborate clearly. I can understand why you might have thought that Rabbi Reisman was referring to public and private parents sitting separately. I can assure you, however, that from the info I have received about Rabbi Reisman's speech, it had nothing to do with politics, and everything to do with him wanting his own congregants to maintain separate seating between genders. His main thrust was all about separate seating between genders - as a matter of fact, the e-mail I received about the speech did not mention school board meetings at all, but rather some neighborhood fundraisers.

I think we can all agree that this topic was a misunderstanding and irrelevant to the discussion at hand.

4:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Warning:
Further comments spamming my comemnt section with website url's will be deleted. Once is enough. You have now posted 6 times with the address of your new website. Great. We'll be sure to visit. Bye now, unless you have a more substantive type of comment.

They are posting all over your web.

4:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would like 'our' school board member Pamela Greenbaum to clearly define who or whom "all" is referring to in her statement, "quality education for all". I don't care which newspaper she clarifies her statement in.

7:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey, I recently added a news widget from www.widgetmate.com to my blog. It shows the latest news, and just took a copy and paste to implement. Might interest you too.

2:59 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

bitch, and im not talking about pamela

1:49 AM  
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good to hear Pamela greenbaum

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