By Dov Herman
Five weeks ago, residents of our community came together in record numbers and waited in long lines to defeat a Lawrence School Board referendum that would have ruined a quiet residential neighborhood and forever damaged the quality of life for all Five Towns residents.
The Community Coalition of the Five Towns, of which I am an active member, proudly helped unite our community and rally our residents to action. The eye-opening lesson that we all learned from the March referendum is that a majority of school-board members had not acted in the best interests of the people who elected them.
Our community also learned that the Lawrence School Board needs more trustees who are independent thinkers and vocal advocates for the public good. That is why I am now running, with CC5T’s support, for an open school-board seat in the May 21 election. This opening was created when Solomon Blisko decided not to seek reelection.
That is also why CC5T is now proudly supporting six-year incumbent trustee Rabbi Nahum Marcus, a tireless champion for special-needs students and their families. Rabbi Marcus is often the lone voice of public advocacy on a rubber-stamp school board. His continued presence on the board will help to make it more transparent and more responsive to our community.
As for myself, I am a parent and small-business owner. I will work hard to stabilize or reduce taxes, but never at the expense of our children. I firmly believe our children should receive a high-quality education. I can candidly pledge that I will promote community interests over those of the board and certainly over outside special interests, including deep-pocketed developers.
Like others in CC5T, I want to ensure that our school board behaves in an open and transparent manner, and that it does a better job of representing and uniting our community. Its track record in those areas has been something less than exemplary.
Residents of the Five Towns should also remember that the Number Six School is still a significant issue. The referendum’s defeat gave Five Towns residents a second chance to see the Number Six School property used in a way that benefits our community and especially our children.
Our school board will soon be accepting new bids for this property. Like CC5T, Rabbi Marcus and I want to ensure this process reflects the highest and best interests of our community. We also want to ensure that our school board adheres to the mandate it received from 4,155 committed voters.
Those voters sent a clear message to the school board that our neighborhoods are important to us; that our quality of life is not for sale; that this property should be used for the benefit of our community; and that our children’s ball fields and open spaces should be preserved.
No doubt there will be another public referendum on whatever proposal the board ultimately accepts and supports. My presence on our school board will help ensure voters do not face the same roadblocks and hurdles put in their path during the March referendum that created confusion and long lines at the polls.
Residents of the Five Towns supported one another and stood by one another in the March referendum. As an active participant in CC5T, I helped bring community residents together.
Now, I want to continue that effort as a vocal and voting member of the school board. It is apparent that our community genuinely needs watchful and committed members on the Lawrence School Board.
Like other dedicated participants in CC5T, my goal is to continue to be a positive and unifying force for good in our community. I pledge to work diligently to preserve and improve the quality of life for all Five Towns residents.
My sincere hope is that on May 21, residents of our community take a similar view and elect me to the Lawrence School Board and reelect Rabbi Marcus for another term to continue to protect their interests. v