Springs voters will be asked on Tuesday to choose from among four candidates running for two board of education seats, and you would be hard pressed to find a better qualified group. They are Tim Frazier, Phyllis Mallah, and Arthur Goldman, each of whom is a former or current educator, and Liz Mendelman, a career human resources executive for General Electric and Springs School PTA president.
Ms. Mendelman’s varied background and involvement with the school augurs well for her as a board member. She has said she is of a mind to cut costs wherever possible while saving “critical” programs. She would be an asset on the board.
From among the others, it is almost a tossup. Each is reasoned, well-educated, and appears committed to the school. In 2010, we endorsed Ms. Mallah for the Springs School Board, citing her long and valuable experience in the Yonkers school system. As a retired person living on what she has called a “small income,” she also has emerged as a voice for thrift, something many Springs voters are interested in this year, to say the least. Our preferences by only the slightest of margins are Ms. Mendelman and Ms. Mallah.
Voters also will be asked on Tuesday to confirm a new three-year tuition agreement with the East Hampton School District. This is a good deal for Springs, as well as the other sending districts, and should be approved. Likewise, a request to allow up to $150,000 to be transferred each year to a repair fund is prudent.
The Springs tax rate will increase by 5.8 percent if the budget is approved. As in the case of East Hampton, we find it difficult in these economic times to suggest what voters should do. Nevertheless, it is important to remember that when budgets are turned down, school districts invariably cut programs that directly benefit students. Salaries, no matter how high, benefits, and committed construction projects don’t change. Voters would do better to approve budgets, choose candidates whose views they find compatible, and promise themselves to make their voices heard by participating in school board meetings in the year ahead.