School budget redux
To the Editor:
It is sad that School Superintendent Doelger, in his response to my letter (March 25), was unable or unwilling to address the issues I raised and instead reverted to an ad hominem argument against me personally.
As superintendent, we never padded our budget. If we had, our voters would have handily defeated the budget. To suggest that we did could result in a lawsuit against the Shelter Island District and superintendent.
To get back to the issues, the NYS Comptroller has said that the Shelter Island District maintained a fund balance of $1.7 million dollars since 2015 to the present and that this was illegal by over 1 million dollars each year. The fund balance by law is supposed to be a maximum of 4% of the total budget. That means that the fund balance during these years should have been between $400,000 and $500,000, not $1.7 million dollars. So the school district put over 1 million dollars in each budget that was in excess of the law for the fund balance — fact. Even if the fund balance limit is increased to 8% next year, it 1) does not excuse the illegal limits of the past several years and, 2) would still leave at least $800,000 excess in the fund balance.
Instead of returning this excess tax amount to the taxpayers, the superintendent moved the excess monies to other reserve accounts that were already fully funded. This will not fool the comptroller or the taxpayers.
Second, in my district we had four schools and over 1,600 students. Our entire administrative staff constituted myself as superintendent, a business manager, a special education coordinator/psychologist and one principal in each school — a total of seven administrators for the entire district with four schools and 1,600 students. How many administrators are there in the Shelter Island District to help the superintendent with one school and approximately 200 students?
Third, according to the comptroller, there were 98 employees in the district to service 203 students — fact. When we are spending approximately $54,000 in taxpayer money for each student, why do the district’s test scores compare so unfavorably against many other school districts in Suffolk County?
I look forward to Superintendent Doelger’s response to the issues and hope he can refrain from personal attacks on me.
BOB FREDERICKS, Shelter Island
To the Editor:
I would like to commend the Shelter Island Police Department and Shelter Island Emergency Medical Services for their actions at the school this week.
We had a medical emergency with a student. They arrived within two minutes in a diligent, effective and compassionate manner. The student was transported to the hospital and turned out to be fine.
Special thanks to EMT Mark Kanarvogel, Officer Anthony Rando, Officer Dave McGayhey and all who responded. Our school is in good hands in this community with such great people in emergency response.
BRIAN DOELGER, Ed.D., School Superintendent
The folly of men
To the Editor:
I feel the American people had a good four year run. A president willing to challenge corruptness, who believed in one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all. He advocated for all Americans’ inalienable rights and to uphold our Constitution. This formula has proven successful and has endured to keep our blessed nation bound together, but that was not good enough.
We went from “America First” to “America Last.” If there was bipartisan support for the good of our country, obviously we’d all been better off. Common sense, right? But no, the far left was threatened. This Trump guy will disrupt our agenda. We must stop them at all costs. With the aid of sick, twisted billionaires, paying off the media brainwashing half our country, causing no-stop chaos through Antifa and other splinter groups.
The evil money is distributed to many areas, and put our country on its knees. To compound the injury, the radical far left has done the unimaginable. Stolen our electoral system, to further squelch our democracy.
Which spits on our constitution and flag that so many have fought and lost their lives over.
This was a tyrannous act and it smelled like fascism. Time to wake up. Those who voted legally, with hope for this administration, have been betrayed. They don’t care about you and they most surely hate the rest of us. All government agencies even the Supreme Court sold America down the river on that one. Does anyone remember of the people, by the people, for the people?
History shows once again the folly of men. Sadly, our children will suffer the most. You take God out of any nation, it will eventually crumble. We have become a world-wide joke. What’s in store the next four years? Will they manipulate and continue forever? Will they shred our Constitution? What other demented ideas will arise and take form?
What’s happened to us? Why have we become so complacent? Why disregard common sense? Why do we find our selves attracted to evil and turn our backs on goodness?
I’m not a pessimist only truly concerned. However, there are many people working diligently to combat the evil every day, have the guts to stand up for what’s right. Christ is the true answer. He replaces discord and division with optimism and hope. Please pray for our national culture and sovereignty.
TOM YOUNG, Shelter Island
Editor’s Note: The Supreme Court (as the writer states) along with state and federal courts dismissed over 50 lawsuits brought by President Trump or his allies claiming election fraud and other irregularities. President Trump’s attorney general, William Barr, said that the Justice Department had uncovered no voting fraud “on a scale that could have effected a different outcome in the election.”
To the Editor:
But for the grace of God and the SIPD and our incredible EMS, I probably would not be around to write this letter.
I am so grateful for your expertise — you know who you are. Just saying “thank you” just doesn’t cut it
I had a little setback, but have been keeping up with all the Fantasy Island news and other letters over the past two months. Lots of people have lots to say about the politics of this little Rock. I’ve tried to keep up with Channel 22 as well and of course my life line, Shelter Island Local.
Great political cartoon in Saturday’s Newsday, referring to the border crisis. “Need to take care of the crisis within the border first.” Those are my thoughts.
And that leads me into: Let’s deal with the immediate here. All the studies and town meetings for the Comprehensive Plan are eye-opening. I never realized so many people were just not content with Fantasy Island as it is. However, things seem to be changing by the minute. We need affordable housing now, the short-term rental law abolished, and water issues addressed immediately.
It’s good to see some letters responded to. It seems a few are kind of “been there done that.” The intersection of Nostrand Parkway, Brander Parkway, West Neck Road and Bootleggers Alley looks great. I hope that the proposed meadow will be something like the Robb Property meadows on South Midway Road, with a butterfly weed popping up in August. As they say, “the best is yet to come,” and it is a great save for the town.
So, Tom and Tillie osprey are circling. I guess they’re going to renovate like the rest of Shelter Island. The wood ducks are back, the geese are nesting and a fox family came around to check things out. We are summer-ready.
We need to welcome all of the new homeowners from Brooklyn and of course those that are not from Brooklyn. As the saying goes, “what came first the chicken or the egg?” I wonder what came first, Dime Savings Bank or the surge of Brooklyn newcomers. Just wondering.
GEORGIANA KETCHAM, Shelter Island.