Monday, May 14, 2012

Democracy in Action

This Freeman story is enough to make even the most jaded among us lose heart. How do we bring change to local politics, when there is no opposition? Ariel Zangla explains:
Five candidates are running for the five available seats on the Rondout Valley school Board of Education in Tuesday’s election.

Incumbents Breanna Costello, David O’Halloran and Michael Redmond will be joined on the ballot by newcomers Wayne Beckerman and Rebecca Versace.

Incumbents Gail Hutchins and Matthew Finck are not seeking re-election.

The top three vote-getters on Tuesday will serve three year terms; the other two will serve one-year terms, replacing Trustees Lennart Berg and William Oliva, who have resigned.
So, five seats, five candidates. Isn't that just swell. And if you want to express your dissatisfaction with the current crop of candidates, you can . . . go home and scream into your pillow, I guess.

And, as several commenters have noted, O'Halloran doesn't send his kids to Rondout schools. Who knows why this is. But some might feel that O'Halloran is a bit of an elitist by doing so.

It also leads one to ask why O'Halloran would want this seat, given his apparent disdain for public education. Well, it all comes down to the budget, doesn't it?:
“Over the last decade of increasing budgets, many challenges were solved by spending more money,” O’Halloran said. But that is no longer an option, and the district must review every cost and service and look for more efficient delivery of service, he said.

O’Halloran said he chaired committees that reduced the footprint of the school district, allowing for a more efficient grade configuration and reducing the overall budget by $1.8 million while maintaining strong programs in academics, the arts and sports.
O'Halloran, first and foremost, doesn't like taxes. So, he will do what's right for his own interests. But will he do right by the students? This remains an open question.

I would suggest that you vote for O'Halloran's opponent, but it looks like you'll have to be satisfied with that pillow I mentioned.


  1. Read this April 30, 2012 review of Pinegrove Ranch BEFORE you vote for David O'Halloran:

    “We went to Girl Scout weekend and my girls did have a great time! I have refrained from writing this review bc I was giving the owner of this family owned business the opportunity to apologize, sadly I have not received one. Unfortunately our room was not clean- hair in the tub, dirty sheets, dirty carpet and and strong smell of urine. The mattresses looked quite new but were not covered therefore were horribly stained with urine. At the front desk we asked for clean sheets yet no one asked WHY we needed sheets or offered to change the beds, we were handed a stack of sheets. We complained about the conditions however nothing was done. In an effort to make the best of things we went on with the weekend. Sunday morning (day of checkout) we had a major rush of water from the ceiling in the bathroom. We were unable to shower, called the front desk (from my cell) and was offered another room to shower but at that point we were ready to go. We had a manager and our troop leader come to our room, both agreed that it was dirty and did smell. The manager assured me the owner would call me the next day. He did not, nor did he call the following day. I then called, I received a call back from a different manager who insisted I email him what happened. I refused, after all it's not like I'm asking to speak with the Wizard-just the owner of the dude ranch. He was quite rude. I finally received a call from Mr. O'Halloran- he did not apologize, he yelled at me instead of speaking to me, remained focused on a review from my sister-in-law on here (that was written at 2am when she could not sleep on her urine soaked mattress) and told me how hard he works and how high his insurance rates are......inappropriate??? He offered no apology never mind any form of compensation, and then hung up on me. My troop has tentative plans to return in Nov and although I cannot go I was planning to send my girls, unfortunately I will not give O'Halloran another dime. We are already looking into other places that would love to have us, we are a very nice and reasonable group of people and this disrespect makes Pinegrove unattractive. I plan to share this with other groups considering Pinegrove as well as groups I know that already have annual trips there. This was not what you would expect from "family owned and operated."

  2. I am no friend of O'Halloran's, but the 5:17 post is nothing short of financial assassination. Shame on you for posting a totally unconfirmed and unproven letter such as that. If you dont care for O'halloran, then dont vote for him, but surely no one should give an ounce of credibility to this letter.

  3. 6:16 -- Of course you're not a friend of O'Halloran. Probably you work for him. You wanna talk credibility? Go and read the hundreds and hundreds of reviews of Pinegrove. You can tell that the bad ones are written after a horrendous experience, while the good ones are copied from advertising brochures. You wanna talk financial assassination? Then talk about the guests' money wasted on the roach motel.

  4. School Board members give up alot of their time for absolutely no return. No pay, no benefits,.....nothing at all.
    So I will never criticize anybody who runs.

    And if you don't like the choices you have two choices.
    Either don't vote or run yourself next time.

    Please leave the personal attacks out of this discussion.