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Crafting East Ramapo 'watchdog' bill no easy feat

November 23, 2014 "Early support is building for state oversight of the East Ramapo school district, but pressure is on Rockland
County's legislative delegation to craft a plan that New York's most inscrutable politicians will get behind. Or at least that they
won't oppose. All eyes are on state Assemblywoman Ellen Jaffee, Assemblyman Ken Zebrowski and state Sen. David Carlucci, Democrats
who represent portions of East Ramapo. The three met Friday and plan to huddle the week after Thanksgiving with state Education
Department officials to begin drafting a bill that would give life to fiscal monitor Hank Greenberg's vision for mending the fractured school district.
"We have to have an intelligent, strong piece of legislation that reflects much of what Mr. Greenberg suggested," Jaffee said. Greenberg has
received widespread praise — and some criticism — for addressing in plain terms the extreme distrust that plagues East Ramapo, where Hasidic
and ultra-Orthodox Jews who send their children to private schools have dominated the school board since 2005." Complete Journal story here.


Racism in East Ramapo, New York: It's Time to March

November 21, 2044  The Huffington Post "I do not make accusations of racism lightly. I am not talking about personal biases.
I am talking about institutional practices that appear to be condoned at the highest level in New York State government. Read
the post; look at the evidence. It will be hard to disagree." (More)


East Ramapo covered on Brian LehrerEast Ramapo is covered again on the Brian Lehrer show.
In the aftermath of Hank Greenberg's report. Chancellor Tish from the NYS Board of Regents
is a guest on Brian Lehrer’s show.   Youtube.com

 

 

East Ramapo School Board Is Criticized by New York State Monitor

NOV. 17, 2014   The New York Times "A monitor appointed by the state to investigate the
East Ramapo School District in Rockland County delivered a sharply critical report on Monday,
saying the board had shown favoritism to the Orthodox Jewish students who attend private
schools in the district and calling on the Legislature to give the district additional money while
overhauling its governance. The monitor,
Hank Greenberg, stopped short of calling for a state
takeover of the district. Instead, he proposed that the Legislature pass a law appointing a fiscal monitor with the power to overrule the school board’s
and the superintendent’s decisions." Read the full story on the New York Times online here.

State Calls for East Ramapo Watchdog

Schools need long-term entitiy with veto power over board decisions

November 17, 2014 "The state-appointed fiscal monitor of the East Ramapo school district wants a legislative intervention that would
give an appointee veto power over the board's "bad decisions." If enacted, the Board of Regents-backed proposal by the monitor, attorney
Hank Greenberg, would be the most dramatic intervention in a school district by New York state in more than a decade. He said the new
monitor would be tasked with intervening to prevent bad decisions like the wiping out of the district's reserve fund and spending millions
of dollars on an out-of-town law firm. "They have utterly, recklessly depleted those reserves and now I believe the district teeters on the
precipice of fiscal disaster," he told reporters. Greenberg also slammed the school board for its habit of discussing public matters behind
closed doors — what he said were regular violations of the open meetings law. But he also stressed unity and called on community leaders
and clergy to talk to one another." Read the complete Journal News story here. 

Orange & Rockland seeks $34-a-month rate hike

November 15, 2014 "Rockland customers would see their electric and natural gas bills increase by an average of more than $34 per month
next year under a rate hike requested Friday by Orange and Rockland Utilities Inc.The company filed its request to charge more to deliver
electricity and natural gas with the state Public Service Commission, which oversees most utilities in New York and would have to approve
the hike.Under the plan, which would take effect Nov. 1, 2015, ratepayers ould see their monthly electric bill increase by about 6 percent,
or $8.13 per month, to $143.99, according to O&R. The figure is for a residential customer using an average of 677 kilowatts of electricity per
month.
Ratepayers would see their monthly gas bills increase by about 19.1 percent, or $26.18 per month, to $163.38, the company said. The
figure is for a residential customers using 100 cubic feet of natural gas per month." Complete Journal News story here.

 

United Water's Hudson plant, surcharge request denied