East Ramapo Board President says Activist Cause is Old News


Dear Editor,

Peggy Hatton’s dissatisfaction with the East Ramapo School District vote (Letter to the Editor: Hatton Not Happy With E. Ramapo Vote, Posted May 23, 2013) is not news. We have all seen this movie before. Ms Hatton has been complaining about the ERCSD election results for several years. Hatton’s problem is that none of her chosen candidates can get enough votes to get elected. Each year, the district’s voters choose other than Hatton-favored representation for the School Board. And then, of course, Hatton complains.

In what has now become a yearly dance, Hatton and a group of other self-appointed “community activists” search for and promote a slate of candidates for available seats on the East Ramapo School Board, and then Hatton and her “activist” friends campaign for her candidates on a promise of change and of a renewed commitment to the educational well-being of the school system. Her candidates routinely lose. Hatton then complains about the result, implies wrongdoing by or improper motives of those who prevailed, and begins another campaign to challenge the Board, and to promote the candidacy of new candidates.

The repetitious nature of Ms. Hatton’s activities has become tiring. Ms Hatton needs to learn a very fundamental lesson in civics: The democratic process entrusts election activities to the voters. If the voters repeatedly reject Hatton’s candidates and her challenges, it may be time to take a careful look at her approach. Hatton’s effort to dismantle the ERCSD Board’s leadership and challenge its decisions have not been successful. Her negativity and constant complaining has been repeatedly rejected by the voters. Perhaps more community building activism is in order.


Yehuda Weissmandl
President, ERCSD School Board

(Photo: Christopher Anderson/Magnum Photos/New York Magazine)
(Photo: Christopher Anderson/Magnum Photos/New York Magazine)

2 Responses to "East Ramapo Board President says Activist Cause is Old News"

  1. Erika T   May 24, 2013 at 8:44 pm

    I applaud Peggy Hatton for tirelessly fighting against a board which has done nothing but decimate the public school system. They tried to be tricky this year by running candidates of color and posting signs in Spanish and French asking voters to vote “yes” on the budget while the signs in English and Yiddish told people to vote “no”. But we know what’s what. Peggy is an asset to the community and we need more people like her on our team.

  2. commentator   June 6, 2013 at 4:09 pm

    Actually there was no concerted effort in the Orthodox community to vote no to the budget, just to vote for certain candidates. Whoever posted that, that is factually incorrect.

    There is also no consensus within the Orthodox community that the public school community should have a lower quality education etc. This is just feeding the hysteria.

    The reality is that the majority of the Orthodox community is tapped out(not the very wealthy) due to private school tuitions and the general cost of living and current economic conditions.

    Do you realize that on average elementary school tuition in Jewish schools locally is about 10k per child easily. That means a family with 4 children is being asked to pay 40k in tuition. That means they need to make at least 60k just to pay tuition before they eat.

    Do you think this average family making 100k -150k/year (which is considered a decent income)can afford to pay the increasing costs of property taxes that go up and up each year on top of everything else they’re paying. It’s simple economics. The numbers don’t add up.

    This is the only real reason the budgets have been voted down. I am unsure of this as I am not that involved in the intricacies of the school district but my instincts and knowledge from my work lead me to believe that it is the state mandated pension and health benefits that are using significant resources. I belive these cannot be adjusted as they are contractual.

    But this is no different than many of the other stat and local governments who cannot afford to pay the increasing costs of the pensions, salaries and health benfits of all the employees.

    There is no ill will against the employees who have worked hard and earned these but the reality is unless changes are made going forward it is unsustainable long term.

    Look what happend in CA, Wisconsin etc. etc.

    It’s unfortunate but it is reality.


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