A disappointing BOE decision

To the editor:

The resignation of Deb Lennon from the Saranac Lake Central School District’s Board of Education has resulted in a poor decision by the new board.

Ms. Lennon’s resignation occurred after the annual school votes on May 20. In accordance with options set forth by state law, the board chose to solicit letters of interest from the public. Yet just 42 days prior, the annual public school vote was held. The vote included elections for two open board seats, and four people expressed their interest by competing for those seats. The short time frame between the vote, the resignation and the new board’s first meeting should have made it a simple process to appoint Lisa Paschke, the third-place finisher, to fill the remaining year of Ms. Lennon’s seat. The board had previously taken such action when I was appointed, based on my second-place finish, to complete Susan Rdzanek’s term upon her resignation. There is nothing underhanded about following the results of an open election that had given the public time to know the candidates.

The board’s decision now negates 250 votes, prevents the public from vetting prospective candidates and puts the selection in the hands of six people. There is much more room for even the perception of underhandedness in that process than in any other. It makes no sense to appoint a new person for one year, making almost half the board new and inexperienced, when Ms. Paschke has the experience and knowledge to deal with the issues. Unfortunately, Ms. Paschke may no longer be interested – and neither am I.

Terry Tubridy

Saranac Lake