Don’t give up

Those of you who have read my previous letters know how critical I’ve been with the Kingston School District management, the lap-dog school board, and how reckless the district spent money (taxpayer money).  Now I want to commend our new superintendent, Paul Padalino, for bring some fiscal thinking into the mix and attempting to bridge available resources with academic goals.

When a manufacturer finds less long term demand for their product they reduce capacity and consolidate resources and buildings to continue to provide to their remaining customer base. With schools, students are the customers and to waste money on unnecessary buildings and staff cheats the student.

To date parents are concerned about putting fifth-grade students into the same buses and buildings as grades 6-8. I suggest we all re-read the recent report of two local school principals on what they observed on their visit toFinlandto learn first hand why Finns score so well in academic achievement. Parents there are not concerned about how many grades are in a building because in grade K the year is devoted to teaching and accepting socialization skills and behavior required of the student throughout their years in their school system.

Now obviously such “radical” thinking will not float down from Albany in my lifetime.  However that responsibility has rested with us parents and guardians from day one and now we need to step up to the plate and accept the responsibility which was always ours.  My parents did it, I did it, you can do it.

As humans we resist change. Also as humans we adapt to change. I commend Dr. Padalino for the path he is asking us to take and encourage him to not give up the fight.

Ronald Dietl, Kingston

Will we do what’s right?

In 1986, organized crime ruled the waste hauling industry in Ulster County and tipping fees were whatever the traffic would bear. It was through the efforts of then-Assemblyman Maurice Hinchey that the New York State Legislature enacted Chapter 936 of the Public Authorities Law that created the Ulster County Resource Recovery Agency (UCRRA). On Dec. 30, 1991, The Ulster County Legislature (Res. 390) created the Solid Waste Service Agreement betweenUlsterCountyand the newly formed UCRRA. The intent was to remove the influence of organized crime and level the playing field where tipping fees were concerned.

The agreement called for closing and sealing a number of small illegal landfills and creating a state of the art DEC-approved countywide landfill with flow control, to insure the necessary volume to be financially sustainable. The landfill and flow control were never approved and as a result the UCRRA was forced to operate at a loss, which continues to this day. Additionally, the county legislature was forced to subsidize the UCRRA through the Net Service Fee to the tune of $1.3 million to $2.5 million a year.