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Rockland County, NY - East Ramapo School Board Members Hit With Lawsuits At Tuesday Meeting

Published on: August 5, 2015 11:32 AM
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(Andrew Mandel)(Andrew Mandel)

Rockland County, NY - Members of the East Ramapo school district board appeared stunned as they were hit with legal papers demanding their removal in front of a packed scheduled meeting on Tuesday night.

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LOHUD.com (http://lohud.us/1M4JRSj) reports that, accompanied by reps from the law firm Advocates for Justice, parents and community members approached and served each school board member in attendance along with superintendent Joe Klein.

At the heart of the lawsuit are charges that the predominantly ultra-Orthodox school board has violated its fiduciary responsibilities by running up excessive legal bills on the backs of taxpayers in mounting its defense in a federal case brought by local parents who charge that members purposely misdirected public funds to benefit the ultra-Orthodox community.

Steven White, a plaintiff who took part in serving the board, said the tactic was necessary because board members have a history of avoiding the process.


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Read Comments (23)  —  Post Yours »

1

 Aug 05, 2015 at 11:40 AM yonasonw Says:

The East Ramapo situation is an embarrassment...and I'll wager that the plaintiffs are going to be successful on the fiduciary question...bringing more embarrassment to us. A court won't run with its tail between its legs due to the power of Chassidishe voting blocs...unlike certain legislators.

2

 Aug 05, 2015 at 11:43 AM 5TResident Says:

They are going through exactly what District 15 (the Five Towns school district) in Nassau County went through about 7-8 years ago. The "public school parents" sued in federal court to have the democratically elected school board thrown out simply because most of the members did not have children in the District 15 public schools and therefore, they claimed, could not represent the children. Worse yet, the school board was accused, quite without any evidence, of hatching a plan to close the public schools and open yeshivas in their place. Each case was almost immediately thrown out of court, as the judge found in each case that if a board member is a taxpaying member of the District and there is no other evidence of unsuitability to serve, they have the right to be on the school board if they are elected. The mere fact that the member does not have a child in the public schools does not disqualify that member. If any parent without a child in the public school system was exempt from paying the school tax, that would be a much different story.

3

 Aug 05, 2015 at 12:03 PM bennyt Says:

By the looks of the faces in the audience, they don't look like big taxpayers to me.

4

 Aug 05, 2015 at 12:54 PM East Ramapo taxpayer Says:

75% of the audience are here illegally and pay 0 taxes.

5

 Aug 05, 2015 at 01:13 PM albroker Says:

this is what Israel can look forward to when the Haredim (and Arabs) take over power due to sheer demographics not competence.

6

 Aug 05, 2015 at 12:04 PM circle Says:

What a dream it would be. Don't permit anyone without a child in public school to serve on the school board. Then the schools will once again be flush with money so all the public school students will receive all the services they need and deserve without the private school parents (ie Ultra Orthodox JEWS) deviously bleeding the system dry.
Of course, that same law will also make it very clear that anyone paying tuition for a child to attend a private school would not be liable for property taxes!

7

 Aug 05, 2015 at 12:47 PM Ramapo taxpayer Says:

Reply to #1  
yonasonw Says:

The East Ramapo situation is an embarrassment...and I'll wager that the plaintiffs are going to be successful on the fiduciary question...bringing more embarrassment to us. A court won't run with its tail between its legs due to the power of Chassidishe voting blocs...unlike certain legislators.

Your hatred toward Chasidim is so great that you can't think rationally.

8

 Aug 05, 2015 at 01:02 PM allmark Says:

It shows very bad political sense to have an all frum, or majority frum, board of a public school district. There is no possible way this can end well. I understand that the boards in these situations are democratically elected and I also understand the logic of having a frum board to control spending but it is still a terrible idea. Just because a given frum community can win a school board election doesn't mean they should. For the frum community, the issue is about property taxes, to the parents of the children it is about the much more emotionally charged topic of their children's education.

9

 Aug 05, 2015 at 01:20 PM Historian Says:

The real culprits are the leaders of the Mosdos that sold the future years ago when Jason Friedman was the superintendent. They allowed huge salary increases for the teachers so they would get an extra bus or a textbook. The teachers contracts are online for all to see. Take a look at the year on year increases in salaries and benefits.

10

 Aug 05, 2015 at 01:26 PM Josh Says:

The choice of channeling discretionary funds to a particular area is fully within the rights of the duly elected board.That others would prefer to see the $spent differently is irrelevant. The only responsibility of the board is to assure that those monies are spent equitably and with no discrimination.Presumably the Haitian and
Dominican special ed. services are being funded along with those of the private school communities. Has anyone claimed otherwise?

11

 Aug 05, 2015 at 02:08 PM albroker Says:

Reply to #4  
East Ramapo taxpayer Says:

75% of the audience are here illegally and pay 0 taxes.

it doesnt matter the Supreme Court said municipalities MUST provide free education to anyone who seeks regardless of immigraiton status and in addition ESL classes and free interpretation classes regardless of cost. By the way your congressman Eliot Engel supports giving them citizenship so your representitives doesnt see them as a problem.

12

 Aug 05, 2015 at 03:45 PM Anonymous Says:

The board paid 2 million dollars for legal fees and the state declared that was excessive, so the board is being sued personally for the return of the money. Many items purchased by the board such as an 8 thousand dollar swing for the private school kids taking classes in the public school is unethical. The board paid for kosher kitchens in the public school---brand new, yet won't fix the mold in the ceiling which is black and falling down. This black mold causes cancer. The board laughs at requests to remove the mold. Now that they have to pay for this suit out of their own pockets, let's see what happens.

13

 Aug 05, 2015 at 04:49 PM East Ramapo Says:

Reply to #9  
Historian Says:

The real culprits are the leaders of the Mosdos that sold the future years ago when Jason Friedman was the superintendent. They allowed huge salary increases for the teachers so they would get an extra bus or a textbook. The teachers contracts are online for all to see. Take a look at the year on year increases in salaries and benefits.

100 % right

14

 Aug 05, 2015 at 04:55 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #11  
albroker Says:

it doesnt matter the Supreme Court said municipalities MUST provide free education to anyone who seeks regardless of immigraiton status and in addition ESL classes and free interpretation classes regardless of cost. By the way your congressman Eliot Engel supports giving them citizenship so your representitives doesnt see them as a problem.

But if you were paying the extreme high taxes that we pay here you will be talking differently, These people who are here illegally have no right to free education and have the gall to excuse us that we want to cut out wasteful spending and continue to live off us like leeches that appalls every straight thinking person. I guess we live in Obama's Amerikka where everything is upside down.

15

 Aug 05, 2015 at 05:31 PM Doc Says:

It would be ironic if have to sell a few public schools to pay for this second frivolous lawsuit.

16

 Aug 05, 2015 at 04:45 PM East Ramapo Says:

There was around a handful of residents around two hundred Aliens ( that are driven with wrong information )and mr. McWilliams that said that he represents the black African community. but for some reason he was the only one there from that community that means that he has no support within his community

17

 Aug 05, 2015 at 06:53 PM DOVE1 Says:

Reply to #1  
yonasonw Says:

The East Ramapo situation is an embarrassment...and I'll wager that the plaintiffs are going to be successful on the fiduciary question...bringing more embarrassment to us. A court won't run with its tail between its legs due to the power of Chassidishe voting blocs...unlike certain legislators.

Ye, we made it in KJ and we will IYH make it in Ramapo ,AL APOCH VECHAMOOSECH.......I feel your Paiiiiinnnnn

18

 Aug 05, 2015 at 10:31 PM 5TResident Says:

Reply to #8  
allmark Says:

It shows very bad political sense to have an all frum, or majority frum, board of a public school district. There is no possible way this can end well. I understand that the boards in these situations are democratically elected and I also understand the logic of having a frum board to control spending but it is still a terrible idea. Just because a given frum community can win a school board election doesn't mean they should. For the frum community, the issue is about property taxes, to the parents of the children it is about the much more emotionally charged topic of their children's education.

I agree, it doesn't look good but keep in mind that we are paying the same taxes as the public school parents but don't use the services. As taxpayers we have the same right as everyone else to see how our money is spent. As I said earlier, I have zero problem with not having any private school parent on the school board IF I'm exempt from paying school tax. If I'm paying taxes I want my say. "No taxation without representation" was one of the key complaints that the Americans had against the King of England that led to the revolutionary war.

19

 Aug 05, 2015 at 11:34 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #16  
East Ramapo Says:

There was around a handful of residents around two hundred Aliens ( that are driven with wrong information )and mr. McWilliams that said that he represents the black African community. but for some reason he was the only one there from that community that means that he has no support within his community

I was there and there were many black people. Look at the pictures. Why are you lying?

20

 Aug 05, 2015 at 11:38 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #1  
yonasonw Says:

The East Ramapo situation is an embarrassment...and I'll wager that the plaintiffs are going to be successful on the fiduciary question...bringing more embarrassment to us. A court won't run with its tail between its legs due to the power of Chassidishe voting blocs...unlike certain legislators.

The state department already said the board spent the money recklessly and the insurance company will not pay any more. The board has to pay their own legal fees. I would not want to be a board member.

21

 Aug 06, 2015 at 12:37 AM parent Says:

I don't know why they want to be on the school board if they don't have kids in the system. Power complexes? It seems like the Chassidim (I am a chasid but BH not in Rockland County!) want to control everything so they get all the funding. This wasn't a nice tactic, but it seems it was effective. I would love to have seen their faces! What was the lawsuit they spent so much money on?

22

 Aug 06, 2015 at 10:07 AM EAST RAMAPO Says:

Reply to #19  
Anonymous Says:

I was there and there were many black people. Look at the pictures. Why are you lying?

I saw the pictures and there was around a hand full of his community and they are usual attendees with the same agenda

23

 Aug 06, 2015 at 10:49 AM Realist77 Says:

It is all in the way that they conduct themselves. The board members lack the social skills to interact with others not from their culture. If they were receptive and respectful to those in the community the situation would be very different. However, they handle themselves with an elitist all knowing attitude that has rubbed many the wrong way.

24

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