Niagara Gazette

Opinion

May 17, 2013

HAMILTON: Falls 'dumbs down' school board petitions

Niagara Gazette — I guess that after 20 or more years, if you cannot teach your own favorite board members how to do something as simple as getting 100 of their own friends and neighbors to properly sign their petitions, then the next best thing to do is to dumb down those petitions.

Sad but true, the Niagara Falls Board of Education, ranked the fifth worst education system in Western New York, according to Business First, is indeed dumbing down its nominating petitions. Perhaps it is time for them to adjust their motto from, “Learning For All ... Whatever It Takes,“ to “Re-election for Us … Whatever it Takes.”

When Business First magazine rated our system at 92 of the 97 school districts in Western New York with high schools, superintendent Cynthia Bianco said that it was “like comparing apples to oranges.”

Now, after the last meeting, I am not sure if she meant that for the students or for the board members.

I think that school board candidates, as well as candidates for any office, should be required to personally walk the sidewalks and get signatures from a demographic cross section of the people that they seek to represent. In an at-large election like school board, those signatures should be in some systemic order according to neighborhoods and streets to ensure that they did so.

But that will not likely be the case. After I challenged some recently submitted school board petitions, the board’s attorney announced that they are going to simplifying the new petitions. To me, it is obviously so that the people who run the system can understand how to do something that is less taxing on them than it is for the social studies students who go to city council meetings to get their councilmen signatures to prove that they attended that meeting.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Opinion
  • NIA Glynn, Don mug GLYNN: New York still delays decision on hydrofracking Many people across the state remain puzzled why the decision to allow hydrofracking has been delayed for so long.

    April 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • NIA Bradberry, Bill mug BRADBERRY: To every thing there is a season; this is OURS I'm not sure what The Byrds had in mind way back in 1965 when they popularized Pete Seeger's 1950s rendition of Ecclesiastes 3, but I am inclined to agree with novelist Thomas Wolfe who wrote: "[O]f all I have ever seen or learned, that book seems to me the noblest, the wisest, and the most powerful expression of man's life upon this earth."

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • NIA Confer, Bob Mug CONFER: Property rights and the Clean Water Act The United States of America was founded on the premise of natural rights, succinctly dictated as the unalienable rights of "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness."

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • NIA Higgs, Norma mug HIGGS: St. Peter's Episcopal Church, inside and out When I had a couple of questions I checked in with Whitney Mallam, a long-time church member who introduced me to Solon Myron Napoleon Whitney (commonly known as "The Major"), one of his relatives from the early days of this church's history. I was intrigued by some of Whit's comments and hope to learn more about him in the future.

    April 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • NIA Glynn, Don mug GLYNN: Seneca Niagara Casino in billionaire category One of the Niagara area's biggest businesses is now part of the billionaire class.

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • SINGER: Bridging the ideological gap Being both liberal and conservative, as currently designated, makes one perhaps sound wishy-washy; but one can't go down the line on everything.

    April 20, 2014

  • NIA Smith, Doug and Polly LETTERS FROM THE ISLAND: Home alone on the Island Yeah, you know who I mean. Hard to start this project without you but deadline looms and you're still bein' Nana, the role you were born to play. I know, I know, if you'd known grandchildren were this much fun, you'd have had them first.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • NIA Hamilton, Ken mug HAMILTON: The Bills stadium and the proverbs We are what we are because of the way that we think, and we got the nothingness that have as a result of it.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • GUEST VIEW: A closer look at Spirit Airline's DOT numbers This last week, there were articles published highlighting that Spirit Airlines has the highest DOT customer complaint rate among US airlines.

    April 18, 2014

  • NIA DeLuca, Michele mug DELUCA: Say it ain't so, Joe I had just parked my car in front of the Gazette offices on Niagara Street last week Thursday when a man approached me and stood by my door.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

Featured Ads
House Ads
AP Video
Opinion
House Ads
Night & Day
Twitter News
Follow us on twitter
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Front page