May 8, 2013 | 1814 views
Budget debate dominates PTA forum
Adept challengers take on experienced school board incumbents
When the Board of Education election and budget vote is held at Baldwin High School on May 21, ballot casters will face a difficult decision. Up for re-election are Kim Taylor, current board president, and Mary Clark, the board’s second-longest-serving trustee — two distinguished, hardworking women experienced in handling the crises that seem to buffet Baldwin year after year.
Challenging these two stalwarts at a PTA-sponsored candidates forum on May 1, however, were two newcomers who also brought a lot to the table: Deborah Rebore, a chipper mother of two Plaza students and a lawyer who specializes in education, and Joel Press, a contracts lawyer so ubiquitous at school meetings that he may qualify as the hardest-working member of a school board he does not actually sit on.
Last year’s candidates forum was a contentious affair. With the closing of two schools looming, a throw-the-bums-out atmosphere pervaded, and did, in fact, result in the ouster of the long-serving Trustee Robert “B.A.” Schoen and the installation of Eric Harrison. This year’s debate featured far fewer fireworks, and the most heated exchanges actually occurred between the challengers, Rebore and Press, who are both members of the Baldwin Education Assembly’s budget committee. The two argued the merits of that committee (via their answers to audience-submitted questions), with Rebore maintaining that the committee did not receive enough information to reach well-reasoned conclusions, and Press contradicting that idea.