An important election, for two Board of Education seats, is on May 17 in Sag Harbor. For those of us with children at Sag Harbor schools, we understand the importance of this election. For many outside of the day-to-day ongoings, I will attempt to outline why this election is unique.
We commend all the students, parents, faculty, and those in operations for the outstanding job everyone has done navigating the pandemic. Albeit there have been unprecedented challenges, the Sag Harbor School District leadership has proven it can tackle the issues facing our students.
The Sag Harbor community is aligned in the singular goal of keeping our children safe. The Board of Education of any school primarily exists to support that goal.
In February, at a public board meeting, the community was exposed to a heated discussion on New York State mask mandates. Unfortunately, this meeting resulted in a community-dividing moment.
To be clear, there was a deep interest in the community to removing masks; however, the approach seemed very divisive, and personal attacks on board members are a non-starter.
The board handled the situation with professionalism, allowing all sides to express their concerns, and ultimately moving to keep the mask policy in place as set forth by the state and district.
Having a board that represents the community, not individual agendas, is critical for its ability to function successfully. The board must maintain adherence to laws and policy outlined in its district and board goals. It must be consistent and function as a nonpartisan body, not prone to influence or divisiveness.
To that end, we must elect professionals to the board. Their ability to perform the functions of the board is of the utmost importance. Personal political views of board members and candidates should not be relevant.
Grainne Coen and Ronald Reed reflect those principles. They have a long history of accomplishments, maintain local business interest and are full-time residents. Both candidates are very familiar serving on boards throughout their professional lives. In short, they are parents and local business owners with a long list of achievements and highly capable of fulfilling the Board of Education positions at Sag Harbor School District.
Let’s move forward as a community, united around the welfare of our children. Undoubtedly, there will be more obstacles to overcome in the years ahead.
Please note, Grainne Coen will be on the ballot; Ronald Reed’s name will need to be written in.
Ian and Alicia Welch
One fine body…