Esteemed NTRA Members and neighbors:
Tonight and tomorrow evening there will be public hearings related to the pending decision on the possible changes to the town of Kiryas Joel’s boundaries and it’s implications on the Monroe Woodbury’s school district boundaries.
I have been communicating with our Orange County Legislator, Mr. Barry Cheney, who has been very responsive to my inquiries. I’ve also been in contact with our School Superintendent, Ms. Elsie Rodriguez and Mr. Jon Huberth, President of the M/W Board of Education, both of whom have also responded in a timely and professional manner. I’m sharing some of those exchanges below.
Our school Superintendent, Ms. Elsie Rodriguez, has provided an update through the M/W website which provides some details.
I found Ms. Rodriguez’s letter on the M/W website.
I’ll look out for the District’s study that she mentions in the letter and help pass on this information to concerned residents here in northern Tuxedo.
I suggested that the school board add a link to the Orange County notice of Public Hearing
Tuesday, August 15, 2017 at 6:30pm at the Central Valley Elementary School Auditorium, 45 Route 32, Central Valley, New York, 10917 and continuing thereafter, on Wednesday, August 16, 2017 at 6:30pm at the Bais Rachel Paradise Hall, 5 Israel Zupnick Dr., Monroe, New York, 10950
I know many people are unaware of these hearings and the details were not included in Ms. Rodriguez’s letter.
On Fri, Aug 11, 2017 at 1:09 PM, Jon Huberth <email@example.com> wrote:
Thanks for this. Mrs. Rodriguez has and will continue to post all information on the district website as the information is made public, so you and all other interested parties can check in there.
Monroe Woodbury Board of Education
On Aug 11, 2017, at 12:52 PM, Kenneth English wrote:
Dear Mr. Huberth.
I’m forwarding the message I wrote to Superintendent Rodriguez for your consideration and possible response.
I would also want to be clear that I know the issues you and Ms. Rodriguez are facing are daunting and I’m sure you all have been diligently striving to find remedies.
I look forward to learning more about the work you’ve been doing, reading all reports available, and hopefully participating in contributing to the discussion and outcome.
I do plan on attending the planned informational meeting on Tuesday. I imagine that you will be there as well.
From: Kenneth English
Date: Fri, Aug 11, 2017 at 10:24 AM
Subject: Update from Superintendent Rodriguez regarding Kiryas Joel annexation needs to be disseminated to all 29,000 taxpayers
Esteemed Superintendent Rodriguez.
I’d like to reintroduce myself. My name is Kenneth English. We had communicated in April of last year when I invited you to speak with the Northern Tuxedo residents Association.
We appreciated that you and Assistant Superintendent of Business and Finance, Patrick Cahill, came and spoke with our group. Our goal was to keep our residents engaged and informed about the workings of our school district and the pending changes that will effect us all. It is in that spirit that I’m writing to you now.
I was forwarded your E-mail message below from a neighbor who has children in a M/W school. It disseminates important information and a frenetic timetable for action. Specifically, I’m writing you to ask that you consider ways to keep all of the 29,000 M/W taxpayers informed. This crossroads we all are facing will have long standing implications for generations.
You mention that “The Legislature will vote on September 7 and, if approved, Monroe voters would decide the outcome on November 7.” Additionally that “The district will conclude its study shortly and then publicly discuss the findings and recommendations.” Knowing that this time of year is typically when people are on vacation and the extremely tight timetable to disseminate the information from your study, allow time for people to consider it, and to schedule and publicize a meeting with all taxpayers, before the Legislature votes on this on September 7th, seems totally unreasonable. I echo your thought that, “Making the decision to move boundary lines requires a methodical, complex approach.” It also requires a reasonable timetable.
I’m sure much of this is beyond your control but, as our Superintendent, I feel your team must make every effort to reach out to all of your constituents, the 29,000 taxpayers you mention. I think that it’s essential that the residents you represent in the the towns of Woodbury, as well as parts of Tuxedo, Chester and Blooming Grove, be given ample opportunities to become informed and involved, since, as I have been informed by my County Legislator, Barry Cheney, they will not be allowed to vote in any referendum. I know that there’s a collective mailing list for all M/W taxpayers, since I regularly receive my tax bill, that I ask you to utilize to disseminate all information and notices related to this urgent issue.
I know that you are working hard on our children’s behalf to protect all that has been built up over the decades. I look forward to learning more about these efforts and how I and others can understand and support your work.
With sincere respect.
From: Monroe-Woodbury Central School District <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Thu, Aug 10, 2017 at 6:03 PM
Subject: Update from Superintendent Rodriguez regarding Kiryas Joel annexation
Dear Monroe-Woodbury families,
I hope you are enjoying your summer break. The summer months pass by quickly as we ready our buildings for the return of students on September 6.
I’m writing to share with you the most recent information related to the annexation of land from the Town of Monroe to the Village of Kiryas Joel. Most recently, Kiryas Joel has proposed to form a new town to separate the Village of Kiryas Joel from the Town of Monroe. Under the proposal, the 164 acres annexed from the Town of Monroe in 2015 – plus an additional 56 acres – would be detached from Monroe to create a new Town of Palm Tree.
The Orange County Legislature will be holding two public hearings next week regarding the proposal. The Legislature will vote on September 7 and, if approved, Monroe voters would decide the outcome on November 7. This agreement is contingent upon the changing of school district boundaries so that the 220 acres are moved from the Monroe-Woodbury Central School District to Kiryas Joel School District. The new town would be legally established in January 2020 if approved by voters.
It is important to note that the school district represents more than just the town of Monroe; we also represent the town of Woodbury, as well as parts of Tuxedo, Chester and Blooming Grove. In total, the school district is accountable to more than 29,000 taxpayers who reside in these towns. It is our job to ensure we make fiscally prudent decisions for our taxpayers.
Making the decision to move boundary lines requires a methodical, complex approach. Just two weeks ago, the district received revised parcel information from the Town of Monroe, numbers that differed from those previously discussed. As a result, the district is working quickly to compile an updated report, utilizing the new data.
Based on the most current assessment information, if the formation of the Town of Palm Tree is approved and school district boundaries are moved, the district would lose approximately $880,000 in tax revenue, an amount which would then be absorbed by the remaining taxpayers.
District representatives have been meeting with leaders at various state levels since March, in hopes of identifying ways to mitigate the impact on M-W taxpayers. These conversations will continue.
What next? The district will conclude its study shortly and then publicly discuss the findings and recommendations. Our first, and primary, focus is always what is in the best interest of our students. We will continue to be the voice of the students, families and residents of Monroe-Woodbury.
As always, please contact me at 460-6200, ext. 6201 or email email@example.com if you have questions.
Enjoy the final weeks of summer!
Superintendent of Schools
Northern Tuxedo Residents’ Association
PO Box 484
Tuxedo NY 10987