Letters to the Editor, Nov. 13, 2013
EDITOR: I read C.J. Marshall's column, "There's nobody smarter than a dumb farmer." Couldn't be truer words.
My father was a farmer. He spent over 30 years at his occupation. He gave up factory work early in his marriage. He opted for the longer hours and more freedom of farming.
He got by with using outdated equipment. He said he didn't want to buy modern equipment and therefor work for every bank. He provided for his family and still got to do things his way.
Unfortunately, I chose a different path. I went to work for a local factory instead of taking over the family farm -- a decision I have always regretted. I feel like I let down a generation of farmers. My grandfather was farmer also.
EDITOR: I read in the paper a few weeks ago where the Daily's parent company is going to try to sell The Daily Review. This memo brought back fond memories. Not only did I spend the first 48 years of my life in Bradford County, but my job at The Daily Review was one of the first jobs I had.
Back then, Dave Turner was the principal shareholder. I recall that at times he would come to the printing floor to check on things personally.
EDITOR: Recently, I raised some questions at the October Wyalusing Area school board meeting, in which some, but not all were answered on the superintendent's blog. I was not completely satisfied with the answers that were given, so I will ask again.
1) Why were there discussions held by the board at the public meetings for such things as whether or not an assembly for the students concerning recycling was too "political", or what color to paint the activities building located next to the cemetery, but no public discussions were held regarding the consequences of eliminating positions throughout the district. Where were these discussions held? It was just brought up for a vote, and voted on as if it didn't really matter.
2) Why does the district pay for life and auto insurance for the superintendent, and why do we pay for a cell phone for the superintendent, as well as other administrators?
The auto insurance question was answered, but nothing was said about the life insurance. Why should we have to pay for a life insurance policy?
The cell phone question was answered as well. However, as "necessary" as it may be for the administrators to have cell phones, (What did they do before these were around?) why should the taxpayers have to be the ones paying for them? I'll bet that they are not all used solely for school business.
3) Why, when you were already facing a $2 + million budget deficit when you hired this superintendent, did you agree to give him a 3 percent yearly bonus on top of his salary? This was not answered on the website. Also, the current superintendent was hired on March 28, 2011 at a salary of $98,000 per year, with a 2 percent raise to be applied each year of the contract. On Sept. 10, 2012, the board voted to "adjust " his salary to $105,000 effective Sept. 28, 2012.
It is quoted of him (Chester Mummau), in another local newspaper the week that he was hired, saying "My vision for the Wyalusing Area School District is to continue to build on the already great programs in place, and to make it a model school system to provide the best education possible for the students." As far as I have seen, he and the board have been cutting programs, rather than building or preserving them. Our foreign language program is virtually non-existent. The online foreign languages that are offered have been touted as poor, aside from the fact that you don't have the personal interaction with a teacher. Yet, they continue to question why students are attending cyberschool, when that seems to be the direction they are pushing them.
I also read the district's mission statement to the board, which states that they will have an educational partnership among family, school, and community. I then stated that when they leave the family, and community out of the equation, there isn't a partnership. I asked them if they actually took any of the requests or suggestions of the people that they claim to represent to heart.
For those of you who are not aware of how to find the questions and answers to and from the board, they can be found on the school's website or by going to the following link https://plus.google.com/104162287439936999764/posts. To access this through the school's website, you must go to administration, then choose superintendent from the drop down, then pick 'Responses to ask the Superintendent' to the left of the page. This is the only place you will find the answers to questions that were asked at these meetings, after the board has deliberated on how to answer them.
EDITOR: To the people of Troy, I would like to thank you for your support at the election -- sorry, this wasn't meant to be at this time. I will still be looking into the problems, and try my best at helping our town and citizens of Troy. I will keep doing my best for all.