There is an election in the Five Towns next Tuesday, and for those who have either moved into the area over the last decade or maybe have been distracted, this is a chance to reelect people who are unsung heroes and deserve our unending expressions of gratitude.
We covered some of this last week in discussing the incumbents who are up for reelection in the otherwise rather innocuous Lawrence District School Board election, but since the election takes place this coming Tuesday it requires that it be reiterated.
Dr. David Sussman is a urologist with a very busy practice. He hails from a traditional Jewish family, has lived in Lawrence for more than a few decades, and has a wonderful wife and family who have grown into a collection of outstanding professionals who, like Dr. Sussman, are a credit to the communities they reside in.
Every family, whether in the district public or private schools, owes a debt of thankfulness to David Sussman because, plainly stated, he is a hero of local quality education.
If you did not live here 15 years ago, then you just do not know the nature of the blistering criticism and ridicule that Dr. Sussman had to take by other school board members and even the local press, all because he stood up to defend the rights of the increasing number of district students who were attending local yeshivas instead of public schools.
The result, if you just tuned in, is that Dr. Sussman overcame the opposition, and he, along with determined and innovative colleagues like Board President Murray Forman, past president Dr. Asher Mansdorf, and the incumbents facing reelection, Michael Hatten and Tova Plaut, need your votes on Tuesday in order to carry on for the better good of all district students.
So it’s not just about winning the election, which will be fairly simple considering that two of the three candidates are running unopposed. It is about a vote of confidence for people who touch the lives of every family in the district in some fashion. If your kids attend a public or private school in District 15, then these folks have a daily impact on your children’s educational lives every day.
This is what it comes down to—the need to set aside a few minutes and go vote for David Sussman, Michael Hatten, and Tova Plaut and to vote yes on the district school budget, which the board has kept steady over the last decade. Contrasted with the ever-increasing property-tax rate in neighboring District 14, Woodmere-Hewlett, District 15 is a dream, featuring quality education and fiscal responsibility. Please make sure that you vote.
Reva Oliner For Library Board
If you have not been paying any attention to the activities of the local school board, you certainly do not know anything about what is happening on the library board. Joe Fuller has been a board member for a decade and has done a fine job. But longtime Lawrence resident Reva Oliner is opposing Mr. Fuller because she believes the library board has been stagnant and has failed to keep pace with the growth and the needs of the area.
“We serve the largest population of any area library, yet we have the smallest library,” Ms. Oliner says. She adds that over the past years there have been a number of false starts on the need to build a new state-of-the-art library and that the board needs some new and fresh ideas to move things forward in the year ahead.
In addition to the size of the library, Oliner says that the next biggest issue is the matter of parking. She says that there are limited spaces available in back of the library and that seven of those spaces are taken up by staff on a daily basis. “The library can certainly arrange for spaces for employees at another location nearby,” she says.
Reva Oliner adds that even the small library that currently exists is being seriously under-used. She says that more programming is needed for both seniors and teens and that she has the fresh ideas to make things happen.
It’s a good idea to give Reva Oliner a chance to lead the way out of stalled complacency. Let’s vote for Ms. Oliner and the library budget on May 21.