City Council Adopts Paris Climate Agreement Goals

Saratoga Springs City Council Unanimously Approves Resolution in Support of Paris Climate Agreement

For Immediate Release: May 22, 2019
The Office of Commissioner of Finance, City of Saratoga Springs, Michele Madigan
Contact: 
Michele.Madigan@Saratoga-Springs.org 

Saratoga Springs, NY – At the May 21st City Council meeting, the Saratoga Springs City Council unanimously approved a resolution in support of the Paris Climate Agreement. Commissioner of Finance Michele Madigan brought forward the resolution, which was provided by Climate Mayor’s, a bipartisan network of U.S. elected officials working together to demonstrate leadership on climate change through meaningful actions in their communities. The resolution also recognizes the guidance provided by the State of New York, specifically through Governor Andrew Cuomo’s Executive Order #166 which mandates a statewide reduction of GHG emissions to 80% of 1990 levels by 2050.


Commissioner Madigan stated, “The City has and continues to take material steps on the sustainability front, from the Spa Solar Park on what was previously a landfill to the City-wide push to improve energy efficiency across City-owned facilities. This resolution recognizes the positive steps taken by the City to date and gives guidance to the current and future City Councils on our emission reduction goals. Nations around the globe have agreed to the Paris Agreement, and I’m proud to live in a city, and a state, that is committed to fighting against climate change and protecting our environment for future generations.”

The resolution calls for three steps to be undertaken by the City, which are:

  •          The creation and implementation of a Climate Action Plan to reduce emission;
  •          Collaboration with other Climate Mayor municipalities supporting the goals of the Paris Agreement; and,
  •          Committing to explore policies and programs that promote emission reduction.

Much like the Sustainability Hub on the City’s website unveiled earlier in 2019, this resolution represents a collaborative effort between the Finance Department and Mayor’s Office. Mayor Meg Kelly stated, “Sustainability projects have shown themselves to benefit the City environmentally, financially, and in an improved quality-of-life for City residents. Communities around the nation are being negatively impacted by climate change, and as elected officials, it is our responsibility to work toward a solution. I look forward to the creation of the City’s Climate Action Plan, and our continued efforts to achieve the climate goals outlined by the Paris Agreement.”


A RESOLUTION OF THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF SARATOGA SPRINGS IN SUPPORT OF THE PARIS AGREEMENT

WHEREAS, consensus exists among the world’s leading climate scientists that global warming caused by emissions of greenhouse gases from human activities is among the most significant problems facing the world today; and WHEREAS, documented impacts of global warming include but are not limited to increased occurrences of extreme weather events (e.g. droughts and floods), adverse impacts on ecosystems, demographic patterns and economic value chains; and

WHEREAS, the State of New York through Executive Order #166 has mandated statewide reduction of GHG emissions to 80% below 1990 levels by 2050; and WHEREAS, responding to the climate change provides communities an opportunity to access first mover advantage in the range of products, services and know-how that transitioning to a climate-compatible future brings; and

WHEREAS, the Paris Agreement resulted in a commitment from almost every nation to take action and enact programs to limit global temperature increase to less than 2 degrees Celsius, with an expectation that this goal would be reduced to 1.5 degrees in the future;

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED THAT THE CITY OF SARATOGA SPRINGS: 1. Indicates its commitment to reducing GHG emissions through the creation and implementation of a Climate Action Plan; and 2. Joins other US cities in the Climate Mayors network in adopting and supporting the goals of the Paris Agreement; and 3. Commits to exploring the potential benefits and costs of adopting policies and programs that promote the long-term goal of GHG emissions reduction while maximizing economic and social co-benefits of such action.

School Vote Results

According to the unofficial results on the District website John Brueggemann (3,362 votes), Dean Kolligian (3,069 votes) and Natalya Lakhtakia (2,898 votes) are the winners. These were the three candidates endorsed by the Saratoga Springs Teachers Association. Dean Kolligian was also endorsed by Saratoga Parents for Safer Schools. I can’t remember when candidates endorsed by the Saratoga TA have lost a School Board race.  This year was no exception.

The other results were:

Shaun Wiggins: 2,819 votes

Heather Reynolds: 2,800 votes

Ed Cubanski: 2,575 votes

Connie Woytowich: 1,008votes

The proposed budget passed (4,687 votes) as did Proposition #1, a proposal to spend $1,195,000 to purchase school buses (4,873 votes).

Matt Taibbi’s Devastatingly Brilliant Critique Of The Media

Matt Taibbi is among the most insightful and stinging critics of American culture. He mixes razor sharp analysis with humor.

Here is the second half of an interview with Taibbi done by Chris Hedges. Interestingly this interview was done on RT Network which is the Russian supported media which unfortunately might  prompt some to dismiss it out of hand. I think it’s worth a listen. Much of what he has to say can relate to the current Board of Education campaigns we have been experiencing here in Saratoga Springs.

Elect Connie Woytowich To The School Board

Any of the candidates running for the three seats open on the Saratoga Springs Board of Education would serve the district well. It should be apparent that I prefer some to others, but all of them care deeply about our schools, and it is to their credit that they are willing to take on the very demanding job of being a School Board member. Voters will be able to vote for any three of the seven running this coming Tuesday, May 21.

I do have one candidate I especially support: Connie Woytowich.

Connie Woytowich has dedicated her professional life to secondary education. She has been a teacher for 19 years.

Connie holds four degrees and is a Master Teacher. According to the State University of New York which manages the Master Teacher Program, the program is a “statewide network of the highest-performing STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) teachers dedicated to sharing their expertise with peers and attracting high school graduates to careers in STEM.”

Connie was also the president of the Division Street School PTA which has been designated a National PTA School of Excellence.

In 2017, Assemblywoman Carrie Woerner honored her as a “Woman of Distinction” for her “Excellence in Education.”

I could go on about her many achievements, but if the reader wants to explore them more they can go to the earlier post where the candidates answered my questionnaire.

The central issue for me is that she is a person who truly understands what goes on in our schools from concrete, personal experience. She brings to the table a documented exceptional standard of teaching.

I have also found her to have a skill that seems all too rare these days: she listens.

Although Connie has many items on her platform (see earlier blog on candidate questionnaires) I should note that she supports re-arming the monitors with additional training, and she is able to present her arguments in a thoughtful way. While I agree with her arguments, I would have supported her even if she took a different position.

As noted at the beginning, we are fortunate to have a fine set of seven candidates to choose from to fill three seats on the Board . For qualifications and character Connie Woytowich is a clear choice for me.

 

School Board Candidates Respond To Myths

This post is meant to address myths being circulated regarding the candidates who support re-arming the school monitors. These candidates are alleged to be single issue. The candidates who are endorsed by the Saratoga Parents for Safer Schools are alleged to be under the control of SPSS. It is also alleged that all these candidates have accused their opponents of not caring about the safety of the students, teachers, and staff at the schools.

All of these accusations are untrue but they seem to be finding considerable traction.

At the risk of being snarky, I decided to do what most of the people circulating these kinds of things should have done, which is actually ask the candidates to address these accusations.

As comes as no surprise to me, the following statements from the candidates show that this stuff is utterly without foundation.

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Connie Woytowich’s Response

1. Several candidates have asserted that the candidates who support re-arming the monitors are single issue candidates.  I know that your answers to my questionnaire indirectly addressed this but I am asking that candidates address this issue directly.

Over the past decade, I have tirelessly served the educational community of our school district.  I have volunteered on a multitude of school building and district initiatives, including serving as the PTA President at Division Street School. I have dedicated my entire career to K-12 education as a science teacher and am a designated NYS Master Teacher.

Categorizing me, or any of the other candidates, as a single issue candidate demonstrates a failure to be educated on the candidates and their work in the community. Such accusations are unfounded, insulting, sensational, irresponsible and superfluous.

2. During this campaign period there have been accusations that the people on the school board who voted to disarm the monitors did not care about the safety of the students, teachers, and staff in our schools.  Could you share your thoughts on this?

I find it hard to believe that anyone who is willing to volunteer a large amount of their precious time to our school community does not care about the individuals that work or attend our schools. I will restate here that such accusations towards the five people that voted to disarm the monitors are unfounded, insulting, sensational, irresponsible and superfluous.

The five people that voted to disarm the monitors have stated why they voted the way they did. Never once did they state that they did not care about safety. They have stated their personal opinions and perspectives based on the information that they had at the time and voted no as a result. I respectfully disagree with their votes and will work collaboratively to rearm qualified, trained and evaluated law enforcement in our schools in order to provide a safe learning environment for children, teachers, administrators and all staff in our buildings.

Connie Woytowich

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Shaun Wiggins’ Response

Are there issues beyond the question of whether or not the monitors should be armed that motivate your campaign to be on the school board?

ANSWER

Education occurs at the intersection of learning and teaching. This is where what I refer to as the “Teacher-Student Exchange” occurs. Where, in a safe and secure environment, the teacher and student meet, and the teacher imparts knowledge to the student and in exchange receives fulfillment. It is the role of the Board of Education to ensure teachers have all they need to deliver on student achievement. To accomplish this, I am running on THREE issues:

1.    Safety – I will work to increase the safety and security across our schools. This will include a comprehensive program that includes armed personnel.

2.    Education – I intend increase support for teachers and help enhance the quality of education for all students in Saratoga Schools. This includes support of the teachers’ push to “Correct the Tests” campaign. I fully support the call for the establishment of appropriate benchmarks to ensure ELA and math tests accurately measure student knowledge and learning, to reduce the amount of testing appropriately, to make the tests developmentally suitable, and to improve the rollout of computer-based testing. Finally, and it is important to note, I will also support students’ desires to learn in a safe, secure and friendly learning environment, allowing them to use clean bathrooms void of activities such as vaping. I also intend to lay out a path to allow greater student access and voice with the School Board.

3.    Transparency – I will increase communications with the voters in our district exponentially, allowing easy access and understanding for the budgeting process, decision-making, and planning. We live in an age of ideation and communication. With greater transparency, not only will the voters be more informed through proactively pushed information, I believe that they may offer new ideas and methodologies for better student achievement. I will ensure that their thoughts and ideas are easily communicated to the Board. This will allow the School Board to “bring the voter along” as opposed to last minute revelations or discoveries; or, only allowing community members to participate through (what are perceived) meaningless procedures where the Board does not even respond, and in some cases send texts during this process, disrespecting the community members. The School Board is elected by the voter and represents their values, beliefs, and priorities. I will make sure there is full accountability to the community for all Board actions.

There has been quite a bit of controversy over the Saratoga Parents for Safe Schools group which supports your candidacy.  Would you describe your relationship to this group?

ANSWER

My relationship with the SPFSS is straight forward, I am running on a “ticket” that is endorsed by the organization. This means that I accept financial support. With this acceptance, I maintain the responsibility to report all fund received from SPFSS and I approve all messaging that that has me quoted (approval means that I agree to messaging or I edit the messaging). I have no involvement in the day-to-day operation of SPFSS — this includes who they decide to hire or fire, how they raise money, what funds they accept or reject. That is solely their responsibility. Conversely, they have no involvement in how I run my campaign.

It has been alleged that some candidates who support re-arming the monitors believe that those supporting their disarming do not care about the safety of the children in our schools.  Would you address this allegation?

ANSWER

These allegations are patently false. To address the accusation that I am of the mindset that the Board members who voted to disarm the monitors do not care about our children’s safety, let me be clear: I am absolutely positive that they care just as much as I do about our children’s safety. They are simply of the belief that we do not need armed personnel to ensure that our children are safe. It is our collective experiences that are foundational in shaping our beliefs. With that, my experiences constantly remind me that there are bad people in our world…and I will take it a step further, there are evil people who, for whatever their reasons, seek maximum harm/disruption. While I wish that Saratoga Springs existed in a bubble void of violence, hate, and all other bad things, the fact of the matter is…we don’t. We face the real risk of an active shooter(s),  and my belief is that having at least one armed personnel on each site during an event will save lives. I am uninterested in reading or discussing various reports that point to facts that armed personnel make no difference; I can point to other reports that point to facts that armed personnel DO make a difference. This is where my experience overrides academic beliefs. I have been very clear with voters, informing them that I will work my hardest to bring back armed personnel (whether they be in a security guard, School Resource Officer, or regular law enforcement capacity).

Of course there are many details that will have to be worked out, but that’s the job. I have the experience to find consensus and path to reintroduce armed personnel and better manage other risks that our school system faces.

——————————————-

Dean Kollgian’s Response

My top 3 priorities are as follows:

1.  Education Quality

2.  Safety & Security

3.  Infrastructure monitoring and long-range facilities planning

Education Quality – I believe that our school district as a whole is great and I completely value and support the public school education system.  Saratoga Springs City School District is one of the best in the Capital District, supports students academic and athletic aspirations and has strong graduation rates.  We could certainly work on and continue to monitor things such as; class sizes in our elementary schools, challenging educational opportunities (STEM, honors programs, etc) and our athletic and extracurricular opportunities.

Safety & Security – This priority is relatively self-explanatory.  We need to bring back the common sense security that we have had for the past 30+ years within our District.  Having highly trained and educated law enforcement personnel (active and retired) on our properties on a daily basis provides for the most safe and secure learning and teaching environment for our students and teachers.

Infrastructure monitoring and long-range facilities planning – Our largest capital expenditures will always be “brick and mortar”.  We need to make sure that we are taking a proactive, versus reactive, approach to the ongoing maintenance / renovations / construction of all of our facilities.  Taxpayers want to have a better understanding of the needs of the District when it comes to these large expenditures.  Although the largest expenditures may not happen on a regular basis, it must be made well known that ongoing costs are going to be incurred and we need to perform these tasks with great fiscal responsibility.

As for my “relationship” with Saratoga Parents for Safer Schools it goes no deeper than the fact that we have a similar interest in the safety and security of our students, faculty, staff, administrators and visitors within our buildings and grounds.  When I agreed to be “endorsed” by this group, we met and hashed out quick a few ground rules.  One ground rule was that at no point in time could I direct them what to say anything within their platform and the same went for them toward me.  We agreed that we would join, in collaboration, with 2 other candidates that they would also endorse as all 3 of us had one goal in common – again, safety and security.  When fundraising began, we agreed that the 3 candidates would have a shared account.  We would see each and every transaction that came in, and went out, of the account.  We would approve every single expense, without question.  We agreed on this three months ago and we haven’t had one problem since.  The 3 of us; myself, Shaun Wiggins and Ed Cubanski are independent in the fact that we have many other issues that we would like to see addressed if we are fortunate enough to be elected.  To think that any of us are “one issue” candidates is preposterous.  There are many other issues that we discuss publicly and look forward to discussing with the Board of Education in the future.  We have spent countless hours going door-to-door, attending “meet-and-greets”, attending Community events and talking with all of the stakeholders (parents, teachers, administrators and most importantly students).  We look forward to continuing this over the next few weeks to continue to educate ourselves on the myriad of issues that different people see within our community.

At no point in time have I, personally, ever eluded to the fact that the other candidates “don’t care about the safety of our children in the schools”.  I am sure that each and every person, current Board members and those running, cares about the safety of our children.  What we differ on is the approach to managing the safety and security within our schools.  I look forward to the opportunity to listen to their opinions, as well as the ability to share mine.  At the end of the day we all want what is best for our children. After all, they are the future of our community!

Thanks,

Dean Kolligian

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Ed Cubanski’s Response

Kaufmann Questions 2019 May 01 – Cubanski

 

Q1. Are there issues beyond the question of whether or not the monitors should be armed that motivate your campaign to be on the school board?

 

A1. Yes, I’ve stated my campaign focuses on the three pillars of safety, education, and advocacy.

 

First, Safety.  Safety is an all-comprehensive program from physical security, identifying students and school adults that may be having issues that may negatively impact the school and those around them, counseling, and having the resources to resolve an active shooter in a timely manner.

 

Second, Education.  We need to have programs to address each level of student from those struggling to pass a class, those that do very well in school, to those that do not feel challenged in our school district.  We must provide resources to meet the needs of every student.

There is some thought that kids that don’t feel challenged will leave the school and will go to a Charter School or private school.  Does that benefit every student?  Isn’t it better to have students that may be near the top of their school serve as role models for those ranked lower?  What about the benefit of a diverse education skill level work together on a class project?  Would such grouping benefit the student that learns a new study habit or how to gather information as part of a team project?  I firmly believe the answer is yes.

Would smaller class size K-3, less than 20:1 improve the core math and ELA skills to have students flourish in grades 4-12?  The common-sense answer would state the answer is yes to reducing class sizes K-3 to less than 20:1.  The Center for Public Education studied 19 different class size programs throughout the country over the last 20-years and came up with the same verdict.

 

Third – Advocacy.  I have heard directly from teachers that many new programs that come out were not at the request of the teachers.  Additionally, many of that same group told me that it was rare for school administrators to take action on resource requests and are provided the answers, “we cannot do that due to budgetary reasons.”  Additionally, the teachers also reported that most of the programs rolled out by Administrators relied mostly on the teachers training the teacher on the new program versus having a structured professional development program to teach the teachers as a group.

I want to be part of a school board that listens to the teachers.  I would survey the teachers to solicit anonymous responses (if they so desire) to a list of 1) fill in the bubble questions, but also 2) provide space for them to write down their issues.  This written feedback is essential to gain the trust of the teachers that the school board is listening to them and can address their concerns, and maybe implement their solutions to a variety of school issues.

I also want to be an advocate for the students.  I would query the parents to find out how many are receiving tutoring outside of school and why.  Having this data will truly measure the success of our schools because it will identify an uncaptured set of data that may show why so many kids are failing or not performing as well as they could because they don’t have the financial resources to pay for outside tutors.

Q2. There has been quite a bit of controversy over the Saratoga Parents for Safe Schools group which supports your candidacy. Would you describe your relationship to this group?

 

A2. I have a great relationship with the group.  The joint candidates of the shared campaign account had an agreement that any campaign purchased material or press releases with our names on it must have all of our approval.

Q3. It has been alleged that some candidates who support re-arming the monitors believe that those supporting their disarming do not care about the safety of the children in our schools. Would you address this allegation?

 

A3. I’ll only talk about what I am running on – Safety, Education, and Advocacy.  I’ll also talk about how Shawn, Dean, and I are aligned.

 

I’ve stated from the beginning that I will not comment on other candidate’s positions.  I don’t know their strategy, mindset, details of the reasons why they are doing x, y, or z because I don’t know the facts surrounding their strategy.  Any comment I had would not know those details and would only lead to adding to the fray of negative discourse that is uniformed and show that I did not complete detailed research on their position, which should involve a direct quote from the other candidates.

 

 

 

Betty Gallagher’s False NRA Conspiracy Claims Go Viral (Corrected)

It has been truly grim to read recent emails I have received concerning the Saratoga Springs School Board election that show little concern for accuracy and even less concern for engaging with people with whom the senders disagree.  

An example was the recent email blast that Betty Gallagher sent out to a very large list.  I have always admired Betty as a sober and thoughtful person who I would have expected to be meticulous regarding the truth and accuracy of anything that went out over her name.  She has been a stalwart soldier in the League of Women Voters for many years. It is indeed a very bad sign of our times that Betty would propagate a rumor that some sort of conspiracy is afoot involving the NRA and the coming School Board elections.  

This was her original email:


Sent: Thursday, May 16, 2019 12:22:33 PM

Subject: School Board Election, May 21


 Dear Friends – The answer to gun violence in our society is NOT more guns.  I will be voting for John Brueggermann,  Heather Reynolds and Natalya  Lakhtakia on May 21.    The NRA is very active in exerting influence in our School Board election. Don’t let them steal it!

Please remember to vote at this important election!

 Betty

 

What follows is our exchange:

————————————————————————

John To Betty:

Betty:

What is the basis of your claim that the NRA is somehow involved in the school board elections?

JK

———————————————————————-

Betty To John:

Web Notes – How the NRA Exerts Influence Beyond Political Contributions

https://www.nbcnews.com/storyline/orlando-nightclub-massacre/nra-s-political-influence-far-goes-beyond-campaign-contributions-n593051

John and Jane – I think it is fairly well accepted that the NRA exerts influence at federal, state and local elections in order to favor gun ownership.  This is accomplished through its membership – and at times financially. Do you believe that the NRA has not noticed our election, or that its members are not taking its advice?

 I have tried to copy one of my references but am not very good at this.  Hope it comes out for you.

Betty

———————————————————————-

John To Betty:

Betty:

In reading your email it appears that you have no data that documents the involvement of the NRA in the Saratoga Springs School Board election.  

The NRA is not known for stealth campaigns.  In fact they generate donations by highlighting their war on behalf of gun owners.  Their PAC directly contributes to candidates and the PAC also contacts their members urging them to support whatever candidate or cause they are involved in.  If history is any indication, if they were involved in this election they would do so loudly and publicly.  

As you may know, I am active in shooting sports.  I am not a member of the NRA but during this campaign I have talked to people I know who are in the NRA.  Most of them actually knew nothing about this election.

In your email you asserted:

“The NRA is very active in exerting influence in our School Board election. Don’t let them steal it!”

In hindsight don’t you think that this statement lacks the care for moderation and accuracy that has traditionally been reflected in your comments on public issues?

JK

—————————————–

Betty To John:

John –  The NRA sways elections through the actions of its devout paid membership. Pro-gun.   This is undeniable.

———————————————————-

So with respect to Betty, yes, the NRA does involve itself in elections but no, it is not undeniable that they are operating behind the scenes in our local election.  What happened to the importance of having some kind of proof when making allegations?  Betty has no copies of emails from the NRA to its members, and there is no record of the NRA making any contribution to Saratoga Parents For Safer Schools (SPSS) or any of the candidates.  As I noted in my email to her, I have spoken to people who are proud members of the NRA and most of them knew nothing at all about the school board elections including who was running.  The few who  told me they knew something about the election learned about it in the newspaper or TV.  Am I to believe that the friends I shoot with, who are never reluctant to share their right wing views with me, are suddenly trying to keep this great NRA conspiracy Betty thinks exists a secret?

In reading the thread of emails it was apparent that her rumor had found fertile ground.  The fact that she and the others participating in this email thread would  uncritically spread this rumor is very disturbing.

Betty’s email blast resulted in a cascade of emails from her very extensive list in which the authors approved each other’s choice of candidates and congratulated each other on their wisdom in making these choices.  Some like the following took the NRA conspiracy myth even further:

“i agree with you totally, betty. it is definitely my intention to vote for these 3 people. my other concern re the nra is that once they get their foot in our doors, it will be very difficult to get it out. it’s not  just this election but the meetings and issues to follow never mind future elections. i hate to be such a down dora, but i don’t trust either them or their adherents at all.”

 The exception in these email exchanges was a message sent by Kara Rossetti, the founder of Saratoga Parents for Safer Schools, the group that was formed in support of rearming the school monitors.  Ms. Rossetti sent a thoughtful and measured email (see below) in which she refuted the NRA allegation and went on to explain why she supported re-arming the monitors.

This had no impact on the continuing cascade of emails.  No one addressed her points.  Instead the writers continued to perpetuate the NRA myth as did this writer:

 “Betty, You go girl. We’re right there with you on those 3 candidates. You’re probably right on the NRA, we have said that from the start. Please circulate this widely.”


Rather than speaking to Kara’s denial of NRA involvement, Laura Chodos  responded to Kara by cavalierly dismissing the importance of whether or not the NRA was involved.   Ms. Chodus seemed utterly disinterested in whether this email thread was amplifying disinformation about the election or in even acknowledging any of the other information Kara offered.

The narrative of these emails is driven by the clear sentiment that by opposing rearming the monitors one is taking a stand against gun violence and somehow standing up for gun control.  It is apparent that those participating in this email exchange have adopted the myth, supported by no documentation, that the people who support re-arming the monitors are part of a right wing campaign that also opposes gun control.  It explains their lack of interest in actually engaging in the issue of school safety as for them the opposition is dominated by right wingers who cannot be reasoned with.

There seems to also be a troubling underlying fear that our community is under attack and by electing a particular slate of candidates we can hold these forces back.

It will no doubt come as a shock then to the people on Betty’s email list that Kara Rossetti, who organized the Saratoga Parents for Safer Schools, is a strong proponent of gun control.  In fact, she told me that in the America she would like to live in, the only people allowed to have guns would be law enforcement officers.

I expect that the people participating in this self congratulating email event have no idea how hurtful it is for someone like Kara to be so gratuitously dismissed by Laura Chodos and to have the organization she founded be repeatedly the subject of unfounded accusations that they are agents of the NRA.

Kara is not alone in both being for gun control and, at the same time, for re-arming the monitors.  None of Betty’s email list seem interested in actually finding out whether any of the candidates are even members of the NRA.

Kara Rossetti deserves enormous credit for her courage in advocating both thoughtfully and with considerable courage for what she believes is in the best interest of safety in the Saratoga schools. You may not agree with her approach, but she and Saratoga Parents for Safer Schools deserve to be heard for what they honestly have to say and not be subjected to false accusations.

———————————————————-

Kara’s Email

On May 16, 2019, at 2:18 PM, Kara Rosettie <krosettie@hotmail.com> wrote:

Greetings

Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts on the upcoming election. We are fortunate to live in a community where so many people care so much.

 

I wanted to take the opportunity to address a few things in your email as well as provide some historical facts regarding this issue. What many in the community do not realize is that the armed protection that was removed from our children this past year was a practice and protocol that had been in place without incident for the past 30 years. The effectiveness of this practice in Saratoga is starting to be mirrored by other districts in NY State and is the recommendation from the Federal Commission report for school safety as well as the Parkland School Commission Report after 17 lives were lost.

 To further clarify, this is not an issue of gun control. It is an issue of safety. There has been much rhetoric regarding the “NRA” in regards to this upcoming election. It is simply false. At no time has the NRA been contacted, nor has there been NRA funding or involvement. This grass roots movement has taken flight with the support of local parents, grandparents, teachers and community members who believe in restoring proven and trusted safety and protection to our schools.

 The driving force behind any attempt to rearm monitors is simple; response time. On average it takes 7.7 minutes for law enforcement to respond to Saratoga City Schools, longer for schools on the outskirts like Greenfield. The majority of school shootings are over within 4-8 minutes. 

Seconds save lives. 

 The only way to mitigate response time is to have law enforcement and armed monitors readily available.

While we believe every candidate is sincere in their efforts to keep our children safe, only Dean Kolligian, Ed Cubanski and Shaun Wiggins recognize that in order to do so we must work closely with local law enforcement and heed their recommendations. Chief John Catone, an expert brought in to address the BOE has repeatedly stated that our children are now “less safe”. 

It is now time for our community to heed these words and bring safety measures back to our schools. Our teachers, administrators, staff and children deserve a safe and protected environment and it is our duty to elect those who will provide this.

 Thank you again for your dedication to community.

———————————-

Laura Chodus’ E-mail

 

Respectfully disagree with you, Kara.

NRA influence or not, the way to peace is not through arms.

The practice you reference was against the law. And NO OTHER district in our region arms their grounds monitors. None.

I have removed from this reply chain the 2

people who requested such.

Thank you,

Laura

 

Anti-Union Dinner Moves to Chianti’s Restaurant

First, let me advise my readers that due to time constraints I am writing this post without the assistance of my editor so any incoherence or typographical errors are entirely my fault.

There is some confusion over multiple dinners headlining Rebecca Friedrichs. Ms Friedrichs was the plaintiff in an important anti-union suit discussed in previous posts.

Ms. Friedrichs will apparently still be speaking on Friday night at the Hall of Springs for the Saratoga County Women’s Republican County Committee. The Choice New York event will be this evening at 8:00 (Not sure of time) at Chianti II Ristorante on Division Street.

So for all the readers of this blog on the left you may prefer Panza’s for Italian food in the future and for all the readers of this blog on the right, you may want to patronize Chianti’s for your Italian food.

As for me attending, I plan to watch the last episode of Suburra on Netflix (highly recommended) Italian TV series about crime and corruption in Rome. There are several scenes in which the characters dig into pasta with olive oil, garlic and hot peppers. I think I may cook some up to go with watching TV.