While it's never advisable for a school board to be without an opposing viewpoint, which makes for spirited discussion, a body of like minds can still make the right decisions for the community it serves. Lawrence Board of Education incumbent Uri Kaufman and Abel Feldhamer, both parents of children in private schools, are the right choices for trustee seats in Tuesday's election.Another strong endorsement comes from the Jewish Star:
Kaufman and Feldhamer will continue a policy of fiscal responsibility in a community that demands fair spending and slim tax levy, while offering programs and services for all students, in public and private schools. Feldhamer is officially running unopposed, though John Kinder of Inwood is running as a write-in candidate for the same seat. And though we applaud Barry Ringelheim, who is running against Kaufman, for always speaking up for public-school students, we question whether he has the temperament to serve on this school board. While we feel a public-school voice may be necessary on the board, Ringelheim should not be the one supplying it.
...much has changed in the district overall, and very much for the better, with all due credit going to the board members who have tamed the budget and simultaneously improved student performance. In that sense, the board itself has the opportunity to improve with age, if only its members would care to make the effort. A lot of good things are happening in the district and if the board did a better job of getting that message out — improving the lines of communication between themselves and their constituents — we are certain it would go a long way toward winning support from public school parents who still don’t know what to make of a board of mostly private school parents, or who have already made up their mind to the negative.Finally, the Five Towns Jewish Times gets behind the same candidates:
The thought has occurred to us that were a public school parent to run for the board who was a proven moderate, with a track record that proved he or she could interact respectfully and fruitfully with private school and public school parents alike — on the board and in the community — that would be someone we would want to endorse. That has not happened this year.
In District 15 Michael Hatten has decided to not run for re-election. We thank him for his distinguished service and endorse Abel Feldhamer of Cedarhurst to succeed him.
Feldhamer has already offered a number of years of service to the community behind the scenes, quietly directing several successful election campaigns. He would be a valuable addition to the board and we urge Dist. 15 voters to support him.
Uri Kaufman is running for re-election and he has our support, as well.
Kaufman’s challenger, Barry Ringelheim of Atlantic Beach, has distinguished himself in what we would consider to be the worst possible way. His oftentimes factually inaccurate, usually hateful public statements about public school politics, the board and private school families, in print and in person, reveal him to be a definitively poor choice, at best, for any sort of public office in our community.
On May 18 there will be another fair and open election for two seats on the District 15 board. Incumbent Uri Kaufman will face challenger Barry Ringelheim, and Abel Feldhamer will be running unopposed for the second seat on the ballot. As was reported here two weeks ago, the plan was to have John Kinder oppose Mr. Feldhamer for the seat being vacated by Michael Hatten. What actually happened, however, is that Mr. Kinder mistakenly filed his candidate’s application for Mr. Kaufman’s seat. This resulted in Kinder withdrawing his candidacy, with the hope of running a write-in vote campaign for the seat being vacated.Looks like the local papers all concur. It is particularly interesting that there seems to be agreement on the point that Mr. Ringelheim loses support mostly due to his divisive rhetoric rather than due to his positions. Honestly, it would be nice to see the public school community put forth a candidate who distinguishes himself for more than the way in which he hurls invective.
Call it a mistake, or call it the bungling of simple and uncomplicated paperwork. Certainly this does not bode well for these candidates, as an elementary mix-up like this does not exactly inspire one with a lot of confidence in the candidates.
But that’s really not so important. What is important is that our board continues to manage the system in a fiscally responsible way and that educational services continue at the highest quality possible for the betterment and benefit of all the children in the district. That’s why it’s important to vote for Uri Kaufman and Abel Feldhamer in the upcoming election.