Comments by jjhehir


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Posted on April 17 at 4:16 p.m. (Suggest removal)

When two top administrators are retiring, is this the best time for the Board to accept the resignation of the superintendent also? That's like throwing the rudder overboard just to see what happens.


From: Attitude toward fans by police not welcome


Posted on April 17 at 4:09 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Linda, when the Board was to renew a $5,300 coach's contract a few months ago they held a regular meeting and filled the auditorium. Dozens of people commented on the pros and cons of renewing his contract. When the Board contemplates accepting or rejecting the resignation of the supervisor in a $189,000 contract mum is the word; move on there is nothing to see here.


From: Concerns over Jay Street construction are being addressed


Posted on April 16 at 12:25 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Jill,
In this year's 2013/2014 budget, for every dollar paid in salary fifty-one cents went for employee benefits.
Joe Hehir


From: Niskayuna board must keep focus on helping students


Posted on April 7 at 9:37 p.m. (Suggest removal)

When Mrs. Salvaggio was hired in 2011, the school district’s scholastic ranking was number three, according to a report by the Albany Business Review on June 28, 2013. In her second year it was number two, and in her third year it was number one. Now, the Board is requesting that she leave. That makes no sense at all.


From: Niskayuna superintendent, school board parting ways


Posted on February 25 at 12:10 p.m. (Suggest removal)

When budgeting, priorities have to be considered; which is more important, funding the education of felons or funding the education of children?


From: Two very different perspectives on free college for felons


Posted on February 6 at 11:05 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Beverly, lets not change the subject. President Obama disrespected us when he lied about Affordable Health Care, on several occasions. He may be lying about the I.R.S. harassing Tea Party organizations, Benghazi and “Fast and Furious”. It is about time someone held his feet to the fire.


From: Niskayuna Town Board must also tighten its belt


Posted on February 5 at 2:34 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Gee, L.D., I didn’t know that I ran an impoverished home and am an incompetent parent, as according to you, are most parents. Thanks for letting me know. I am going to run down to the school district tomorrow and let them bring up my kid.


From: Pre-kindergarten a good idea whose time has finally come


Posted on February 5 at 2:20 p.m. (Suggest removal)

I think you are absolutely right, Matt; the editorial “Déjà vu over Nisky school closing” on misses several points:
First, it is not just NIMBYism that is behind the Birchwood Elementary School and Van Antwerp Middle School parents opposing the possible closing of their schools. It is the squeeze between the ever-rising cost of employee benefits and the ever diminishing promised state aid that is their concern. This is a community problem; it should be addressed by the whole community, and should not fall solely on the shoulders of a section of the school district.
Second, it is not just a matter of biting the bullet a year or more ago. The school board bit the bullet each year for the past six years, ever since the stock and bond markets went into the dumper.
Pension funds, which every school system contributes to, only work when equity and bond markets perform as they did in the 1980s and 1990s. Those days are over.
Pension funding, which was worked out between the governor, the legislature and the unions doesn’t work anymore; there are equity and bond market shortfalls from time to time, like now. It is, therefore, the responsibility of the governor and the legislature to fund those shortfalls, but they send the bill to school boards and say, ”You pay for it.”
In addition, the Governor has his own problems with his budget. To make the budget work for him, he imposes what is called a Gap Elimination Assessment on all school districts. In other words he shorts school districts' promised school aid which they depend on to balance their budgets.
So, with rising costs over which they have no control and diminishing aid, which they have no control also, the Niskayuna Board of Education went to the taxpayers last year, tin cup in hand, and said “Can you help is out?” The taxpayers gave them a resounding “NO”
So what are school boards supposed to do?


From: Niskayuna school conundrum is all the state’s fault


Posted on February 3 at 11:45 p.m. (Suggest removal)

The Kosciuszko Bridge spanning Brooklyn and Queens on the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway is and was always called the Kosciuszko Bridge.


From: New York’s public sector has cut more than its share of jobs


Posted on January 31 at 2:28 p.m. (Suggest removal)

I think the editorial “Déjà vu over Nisky school closing” on January 31, 2014 misses several points:

First, it is not just NIMBYism that is behind the Birchwood Elementary School and Van Antwerp Middle School parents opposing the possible closing of their schools. It is the squeeze between the ever-rising cost of employee benefits and the ever diminishing promised state aid that is their concern. This is a community problem; it should be addressed by the whole community, and should not fall solely on the shoulders of a section of town.

Second, it is not just a matter of biting the bullet a year or more ago. The school board bit the bullet each year for the past six years, ever since the stock and bond markets went into the dumper.

Pension funds, into which every school system contributes, only work when equity and bond markets perform as they did in the 1980s and 1990s. Those days are over.

Pension funding, which was worked out between the governor, the legislature and the unions doesn’t work anymore; there are shortfalls from time to time, like now. It is, therefore, the responsibility of the governor and the legislature to fund those shortfalls, but they send the bill to school boards and say, ”You pay for it.”

In addition, the Governor has his own problems with his budget. To make the budget work for him, he imposes what is called a Gap Elimination Assessment on all school districts. In other words he shorts school districts promised school aid which they depend on to balance their budgets.

So, with rising costs over which they have no control and diminishing aid, which they have no control also, the Niskayuna Board of Education went to the taxpayers last year, tin cup in hand, and said “Can you help is out?” The taxpayers gave them a resounding “NO”

So what are school boards supposed to do?


From: Deja vu over Nisky school closing


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