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Fri., Dec. 26
Serving the community of Ogdensburg, New York
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City school votes didn’t matter

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To The Editor:

At Monday’s Ogdensburg school board meeting, many people were honored for their achievements and service for the last year. It was quite an evening.

Then the taxpayers of Ogdensburg were informed through the actions of the board that they, the taxpaying voters, do not matter.

On May 21, Fred Bean was voted out of his seat by a quite convincing margin. The margin was 310 to 198 votes, meaning that 61 percent of the people who voted in that election voted for a change. The only problem is the taxpayers were shortchanged. Here’s how.

With the resignation of Betty Mallott, a vacancy was created. While the options were put forth by Mr. Vernsey of appointment, special election or the St. Lawrence-Lewis Board of Cooperative Educational Services superintendent making an appointment, Mr. Vernsey expressed his desire to not have another election because of the cost. Really?!? Cost?!? Why worry about the cost now? After cutting staff and creating more administration, costs worry him. Mike Tooley, right on cue, immediately asked Mr. Bean if he was interested in returning to the board as an appointment to fill the remaining year of Mrs. Mallott’s term.

By making that one simple suggestion, Mr. Tooley, backed enthusiastically by Ron Johnson, has basically told the voting public that their votes mean nothing. The election, in their estimation, seems to be worthless. Mr. Tooley’s following rationale is even more preposterous. Because there were only two people involved in the election, he offered the loser of a decisive vote a position back on the board.

Does this make sense to anyone else? If Mr. Bean was wanted back on the board to continue his service then the vote would have reflected that. Instead, he was voted out. I would say that is a clear sign of how the voters felt.

Therefore, on July 1, I urge the people of this community to go to the school board meeting at 6 p.m. in the cafeteria and voice their opinion on this matter. Do not let your vote be wasted. Do not let your voice go unheard.

In closing, I would personally like to thank Mrs. Mallott for her years of dedicated service to the Ogdensburg City School District. She has put in many years of hard work and tireless hours of dedication to the education of our community, and for that she should be held in the highest honor.

James King


Board of Education

Ogdensburg City School District

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