2010-05-05 / Elections

Haldane School Board Election Update

Mark Mormar -- Candidate for Haldane School Board Trustee

Editor's Note:

The following candidate announcement, for Haldane school board candidate Mark Mormar, should have appeared in the May 5 PCN&R. We regret the omission.

The candidates for the Haldane Central School District Board of Education are Mark Mormar, Michael Junjulas (incumbent), and Gillian Thorpe, vying for two open slots. For full details on the May 18 election, see page 16 of the May 5 PCN&R. Tonight, Thursday, May 6th at 7:00 pm, voters are encouraged to attend a Meet the Candidates forum in the Music Room at Haldane. The event is hosted by the PTA. Coffee and refreshments will be served.

Mark Mormar's announcement appears below.

The announcements for the other two candidates can be found at the following links:

Michael Junjulashttp://www.pcnr.com/news/2010-05-05/Elections/Candidate_Platform.html

Gillian Thorpe:  http://www.pcnr.com/news/2010-03-10/Letters_to_the_Editor/Announcement_o...


Mark Mormar
Haldane School Board Trustee Election

I am pleased to announce my candidacy as Trustee for the Haldane Board of Education at
the upcoming May 18th election. Many of you will know me as a decade-long resident of Cold Spring who coaches Little League baseball and Philipstown Rec soccer, writes for film,
television and magazines, or most notably, simply as Max’s dad. What you may not know is that I attended Horace Mann-Barnard High School in the Bronx, Columbia University and UCLA. Among other things, I’m a licensed boat captain, owned a SCUBA diving business in the Virgin Islands, a tobacco shop on Nantucket, and helped launch a TV station in Argentina. Always eager to volunteer, I’ve fought fires in New Mexico and worked alongside the Red Cross.

So, what does any of this have to do with my desire to join the Haldane BOE? Only that
I’ve seen and done much with my 46 years, but the place I’ve chosen to call home, raise my son, greet neighbors and march in the Halloween parade is right here in our community of Cold Spring. To my thinking, community is about relationships, where strength is built upon shared vision, strong leadership and pooled resources. Sure we all face challenges, economic or otherwise, but the best way to effect change is to wake up every morning with conviction and a sense of purpose. In particular, we collectively face a profound obligation to provide our children with the highest caliber education attainable. So, the real question isn’t why I want to be a Haldane Trustee, but rather why wouldn’t I do my part?

The BOE has a uniquely American role in planning the educational growth of our youth. It is asked to create standards, establish goals, set policy, balance spreadsheets, review legislation, and oversee management of a complex institution. To do so, it relies on volunteers with diverse opinions and backgrounds to meet openly and find solutions to complex issues that ultimately determine the daily education, health and safety of our children. I have the utmost respect for the individuals who currently sit on the Board, and believe that they, and those before them, have established a strong foundation for our school. Still, I have questions, and there is always room for a new voice and fresh perspective to help keep the board’s agenda relevant to our district’s unique circumstances.

Like many of you, I see taxes increase annually and wonder if we truly make the most of our current resources. Moreover, when determining budgets, how much to spend and what to spend it on, are the welfare and instruction of our children being considered before all else? Clearly, the next few years will see diminished government funding, and we will be forced to look at how available dollars are apportioned. Aside from an obvious responsibility to its faculty,
students, and their parents, the school board must remember it’s also fiscally accountable to local taxpayers who do not have children at Haldane. We must search assiduously for every possible source to put money back into the system. In this regard, I wholeheartedly advocate bridging relationships within Cold Spring and neighboring communities to spur joint initiatives and reap more widespread benefits.

If forced to identify my particular strength, it is an unfailing concern for our kids. I have coached them on the field, aided their work in the classroom, and watched them interact on the playground. They are smart, witty, opinionated, and deserve our full attention. It is their cause that brings me to this election. As a parent, I cannot comfortably sit on the sidelines while decisions that affect my son’s future are made without my full participation.

There are some vital issues that the BOE will tackle during the next few years, from diminished government subsidies to teachers’ contracts and record elementary attendance. It is my goal to join forces with the excellent men and women who already selflessly dedicate so much effort as Trustees, and add a bold, new voice on behalf of you all. I, for one, cannot think of a more meaningful way to focus my energies, and respectfully ask for your support in the voting booth on May 18th.

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