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Board of Education President Bids District Farewell

Robert Rossi, president of the Board of Education, sat at his final board meeting Tuesday night.

After six years on the Board of Education for the Smithtown Central School District, Robert Rossi sat for the final time as president of the board Tuesday night.

Rossi, , was presented an award for his years of service by .

“It’s an honor to be here on this board, to serve the community, to serve the students – I love the students, I have a great admiration for them, I want to see nothing but the best for them. I think that this is a great place, it’s not easy work but I thought it was rewarding work,” Rossi said after the meeting.

Despite losing to Plourde, Rossi said he wishes her and fellow board newcomer Joanne McEnroy the best.

“I enjoyed my time here, but after six years and putting in all the work I did I wish the new board members the best, I really hope that they get out of it what I got out of it, and I’m sure they’re going to put into it a lot,” he said. “I think they are good community people and I think that they will do a terrific job.”

Rossi said now that he isn’t on the board he intends to spend time with his family and visit his son, a former graduate of the Smithtown public school system who lives in Branson, Mo.

Ellie C. June 30, 2011 at 01:15 AM
"Rossi said now that he isn’t on the board he intends to spend time with his family and visit his son, a former graduate of the Smithtown public school system who lives in Branson, Mo." And will he be doing this with his ample vacation time from his well paying public sector job +overtime, or from his overly generous public pension?
robert rossi June 30, 2011 at 12:33 PM
Ellie C. I don't know who you are but let me tell you something! I work for the city of New York as a truck mechanic for 30yrs. You have no clue as to the conditions or envirement that I work under. If you think you would be able to stand the stench of rotting garbage in the heat of the summer while you repair a hydraulic system you are more than welcome to meet me at my house at 5am to leave for Queens to work by my side. Oh and by the way I have not had a raise in 2 yrs and according to the Mayor will not be receiving a raise for another 2-3 yrs. You are arrogantly misinformed. I have spent 6yrs of UNPAID time on this school board which I have enjoyed to spite having to listen to uninformed arrogant people like you!! Perhaps instead of sitting in your basement writing anonymous insulting blogs you should get out and try to help the community!!! Robert Rossi, yes, I signed my name and I am listed in the phone book!
stjamesBri June 30, 2011 at 02:32 PM
Well done Mr. Rossi. Ellie C is a teacher. Thank you for your VOLUNTEER time, you've done a fantastic job keeping taxes down. My one complaint is I wish you never agreed to the bus referendum, it was a terrible way to try and save money. My hope is that it will be reversed. The safety of the children should always come first and our superintendent did a terrible job railroading this through, without any plan. But again, on the whole, good job and thanks for your time.
Worried Smithtown Parent June 30, 2011 at 02:57 PM
I believe that anyone who volunteers their time should be thanked .. So Mr. Rossi thank you for your time .... With that being said I think it is sad that what you will be remembered for is your last act in office the bus referendum. The safety of our children was obviously ignored as you did not do ANY safety studies prior to making this referendum. I truly hope you enjoy your retirement and I hope to see you at the next board meeting telling the board that you have taken some time to really think about what was done and admit that some errors were made and to join us in asking for a revote ......
Catholic Mom June 30, 2011 at 04:04 PM
Agree, revote must happen...
parent June 30, 2011 at 05:26 PM
My dad was a transit worker who is living on a pension today, and trust me, today, noone would want to do the work he had to do to EARN it! Let us not insult each other or anyone who takes the time to volunteer for our schools. Mr. Rossi, thank you for your time and service to this community and thank you for signing your name to this blog, please do not stop there, sign a petition for a revote on this fiasco of transportation. As for the rest of Smithtown residents who feel so strongly about this issue turn it into action not insults. Get up, get out and sign a petition and let's get our transportation back for all our children.
Catholic Mom June 30, 2011 at 05:30 PM
FYI, Mr. Rossi and his board were presented with over 1800 signatures on a petition, and chose not to act....shameful. School will start without transportation. unless the BOE attorney, figures out the law and what the word "authorized" means, and the difference between authorized and required...
One Opinion June 30, 2011 at 07:18 PM
Mr Rossi volunteered six years and thousands of hours of his time to the Smithtown School district not to mention all the other charitable work he does. YOU SHOULD BE ASHAMED to post such hatred. I wonder what you will have to say when Ms Mcenroy leaves the BOE (after ensuring the STA has their contract) and has time to enjoys her six figure retirement.
Smithtown Mom of 3 June 30, 2011 at 08:43 PM
I agree that the wording of the referendum, specifically the use of the word "authorized", gives the board the ability to maintain the current transportation regulations. Let's hope that the board realizes the error that was made when the referendum was passed and use the power that we have given them to keep our children safe!
Chris July 01, 2011 at 11:41 AM
Stop picking on Mr. Rossi, who volunteered his time, and put the blame where it belongs, on the paid Superintendent, who came up with the idea without researching it or considering the downside. He should be held accountable. But he's on vacation in Croatia. He couldn't even wait till the school year was over. He missed the board meeting where 15 parents spoke, and if you call his office, you will find he won't be back for another week. What kind of commitment does he have to the families of Smithtown who are worried about their children's safety? Actions speak louder than words!
Lisa July 01, 2011 at 12:22 PM
Where in the world is Mr. Ehmann as the debate about busing rages? Apparently on the beach in Croatia. Will he be back for the special BoE and policy meetings on July 6? All parents need to show up and question his whereabouts. Most importantly, show up on July 12 at the organizational meeting and demand his resignation for his negligent and callous disregard for the safety and wellbeing of Smithtown's children.
Just A Mom July 01, 2011 at 01:08 PM
His Lame Duckness is more interested in his vacation than the lives of Smithtown's children. The new board should get him to retire now.
Rick July 01, 2011 at 01:37 PM
As the architect of the ill-conceived busing proposition, it is the height of irresponsibility for Ehmann to take a 2-week vacation abroad when the district is burning. He shot from the hip with this sloppy and shoddy proposal and now he runs away and leaves Mary Cahill who is gone June 30 and Eugene Barnosky, the SD attorney to answer to distressed parents. As the clock ticks to the opening of school, how dare he not be present for the fall-out of his poor decision making. He's taking themeaning of lame duck to a new low.
PTA Dad July 01, 2011 at 02:41 PM
Mr. Ehmann has left his central office in a shambles while he frolics in Croatia. What a disgrace. I guess he thinks he is entitled to follow the same calendar as his wife who teaches at St. James El. and finished on June 24. But that's not the Supt's calendar. He should not have left the country when important meetings were scheduled on June 28, July 6 and June 12 and several key members of central admin. retired or resigned as of June 30. . If the district can manage without him, he should leave now and save the taxpayers his quarter of a million $ salary.
One Opinion July 01, 2011 at 05:43 PM
Really? The Supt. is not allowed to take a vacation because some people are upset about the outcome of a vote? Personal attacks are made against him and his family and this is supposed to be helpful? The amount of ignorance is astounding. Many people attending the BOE meetings do not even understand how these meetings opertate much less bother to stay for a full meeting to understand the business of this district. Yet some show up when they have an issue and expect everything to stop. The BOE made their decision when they rejected the petitions. That's were the issue should be. Take it up with them. Had those petitions been accept there could have been a new vote within 60 days and if the the majority of the Smithtown Residents chose to reduce the limits then it could have been corrected before September. There are many school distrists on Long Island and throughout New York that do not have door to door bus service. Many of them in suburban communities just like Smithtown. I do not see stories in the news about all these horrible accidents and child abductions that people fear. Understanding the issues and working for change is more effective than personally attacking administrators and fear mongering.
John July 01, 2011 at 08:36 PM
No one is saying anything that is not true about Mr. Ehmann. The school year ends on June 30 and most superintendents take their extended vacations during the dead of summer when official business is wrapped up. It's surprising that he would choose to leave now when a number of key personnel have left the district and no administrator is there to take calls from parents. It's a fact that Sue Ehmann teaches at St. James and teachers' last day was June 24. There are no personal attacks here. Parents are just demanding what they deserve -- a responsive superintendent who should not be planning a vaction until the final board meeting of the school year. Parents who are constantly reading and hearing about accidents and threats of gas explosions in Smithtown surely don't appreciate your making light of their concerns for their children's safety. Other districts do not necessarily have the same dangerous traffic patterns as our area. The board took the Superintendent's word on the transportation proposal; he's paid to inform and advise the board. Smithtown News writes the plan was ill-advised. The plan was Ehmann's and not the board's. The board members are convenient whipping boys. Just remember they are unpaid volunteers who have no expertise in running schools. They hire a superintendent to run the district. The only thing you can fault the board with is hiring Mr. Ehmann and extending his contract with a nice raise when no one else is getting one.
Catholic Mom July 01, 2011 at 09:03 PM
The teacher DID receive a 3.94% step increase..with no contract and incredible medical/dental/eye insurance benefits, The catholic school teachers are again without any increases. The BoE needs to really examine the word "authoirize", The attorney needs to find a way to fix it..thats what attorneys do.....OR hire an attorney who can......and fire this guy.....
One Opinion July 01, 2011 at 10:36 PM
First, I am not making light of safety. However, my family does not live in fear of gas explosions and pedophiles. Although our BOE trustees are volunteer they are responsible for deliberating and asking questions before making decisions. They have spent countless time deliberating the most insignificant issues and yet when it came time to discuss placing the transportation referendum on the ballot not one of them expressed any concern as to the impact nor did they ask any questions. This board has 58 years of combine expereince serving on the Smithtown school board and much more as parents and citizens. It is their job to ask the questions and get the answers. As I am sure you have seen the average citizen can only ask questions at a BOE meeting and very rarely get answers. Remember, not only did the BOE allow for this referendum to be put up to vote in the first place but they turned their backs on the petitions for a revote as a second rinsult. The Supt wanted this referendum to pass. The administration made a clear effort to ensure that the implication of the referendum were not clearly understood and worked with the PTA 's to be sure they did not insight parents at the possibility of loosing busing. The Supt knows that the increased costs coming down the road are tremendous. This busing issue is only a drop in the bucket. In a few years schools will shuttered and Smithtown will looses full day Kindergarten.
One Opinion July 01, 2011 at 10:47 PM
Mr Barnosky represents the school district. Both the administration and the school board are obviously in favor of the transportation changes. Why would it be Mr Barnosky's job to "fix it"? I would think that the parents who are contesting the wording of the referendum would retain their own legal counsel.
Catholic Mom July 08, 2011 at 12:41 PM
NOTE: They changed they changed the date of the BoE meeting to July 13th..check out district website, Hard to hit a moving target....

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