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Letter: Former Board of Ed Prez Disputes Former Trustee Weber's Views

Bill Motherway, former president of the Kings Park Board of Ed, says he was 'extremely disturbed' by a letter written by Steve Weber, a former member of the board.

The letter to the editor written by Steve Weber that Bill Motherway refers to can be seen on the Times of Smithtown. Click here to see the letter.

To the Editor:

I was extremely disturbed by the recent letter written by Steve Weber, a former member of the Kings Park Board of Education with whom I served for three years. I would like to address some of the specific points that Mr. Weber has raised as many are not only incorrect but seek to, again, disrupt our school district and community.

Mr. Weber’s libelous contentions about the recent response from the Commissioner of Education and the petition that was brought against Mrs. Barrett are very troubling. The facts of this matter, which are undisputable, are very clear. Our school district received a complaint from a community member containing accusations that confidential district information was being shared with people whom were not privy to hear it. The allegations included specific information relating to school district employees and, most serious, allegations that student confidentiality had been breached; a potential violation of Federal Law.

Upon the advice of our district's retained counsel, I personally attempted to contact Mrs. Barrett to discuss the complaint. Mrs. Barrett never responded to any of my requests and, instead, chose to retain a private criminal attorney to handle this matter on her behalf. Upon advice from the school district’s attorney, the Board of Education retained special counsel to investigate the basis of the allegations and make a recommendation to the Board of Education on how to handle this matter to ensure that our district was protected from any potential liability brought about by Mrs. Barrett’s alleged actions.

Special Counsel thoroughly investigated this matter and upon the conclusion of their investigation, recommended to the Board to refer this matter to the Commissioner of Education for his review, which we did. The Board of Education acted at all times on the advice of special counsel and to say this was a politically motivated move is a lie. I challenge anybody to point to one “politically motivated” action that I undertook during my six year tenure on the Board. And while the Commissioner chose to invalidate this petition based on procedural grounds, the fact remains that the merits were never considered and I still believe that Mrs. Barrett did indeed do what was alleged.

Mr. Weber actually does make one good point and that is the Board of Education should not provide a "rubber stamp" to administration. In fact, providing direction and constructive criticism to our Superintendent is one of the main responsibilities of the Board of Education. What a school board member should not do is use his position to make baseless accusations and agitate our community to promote, what I believe is, his own personal political agenda. While Mr. Weber would like you to believe his claims to have provided a "critical eye", his voting record just doesn’t back up his claim. In his three years on the Board of Education, Mr. Weber voted over 99% of the time with recommendations brought by the Superintendent of Schools including 100% of the resolutions that involved Individualized Education Plans for students with special needs.

The Board of Education has a responsibility to support and work with administration to advance the district's goals. There are times when there were disagreements, however, responsible board members work together to set direction and seek results. Having served with him for three years, I truly believe this is something Mr. Weber is incapable of doing. During his tenure
on the Board of Education, Mr. Weber consistently made statements against our District’s Superintendent, even after voting to extend her contract during his first year on the Board of Education.

Many of Mr. Weber's actions while on the Board of Education would be considered by many, questionable. While the Board of Education was engaged in budget discussions with the community last spring, Mr. Weber called a private meeting with school district employees to make commitments that proposed staff reductions would not happen. He did so without authorization from the Board of Education and did so while we were engaged in contract negotiations with the union representing these employees. His approach to public service in many cases was not only destructive to our community, but possibly illegal, and the height of political aggrandizement that he claims to be against.

I thought Mr. Weber's self-serving actions would have stopped when he chose not to seek re- election last year and hope, for the benefit of our entire community, he allows our school district and the current Board to move forward with their business. If Mr. Weber was so concerned about the direction that our district was taking, he should have ran for re-election.

As a life-long Kings Parker, an attorney, and someone who has given a great deal to our town, I have an incredible amount of respect for anyone that chooses to run for the Board of Education. It is a mostly thankless job, and the challenges are enormous. For six years, I worked hard to do what was right and if there are any doubts to the success of our schools, just look at the great things that our students go on to accomplish after receiving an education in our district. Many of our graduates even move back to Kings Park to raise their own families because they too know that great education and great experience that their children will have in our schools.

William Motherway

Editor's note: Bill Motherway was a member of the Kings Park Board of Education from 2006-2012. He served as president from 2010-2012

new guy October 24, 2012 at 02:17 PM
No matter what side of the fence your on I think everyone could agree that there's some serious problems within the district. In the end who loses? The kids and the tax payers. I would ask all to check out other towns on the "patch" none seem to have so much bickering when dealing with local issues. At one time this site was good to hear about local news and local events. Now it's just a daily pissing match.
Annmarie Delmonte October 24, 2012 at 05:18 PM
Finally the TRUTH- a no b.s. no nonsence explanation! Thank you Mr. Motherway and thanks to the KP PATCH for publishing the truth at last. I agree that it is time to heal and let the BOE get back to business but I'm glad that I finally have the answers to questions i have had for a long time. It's too bad for all of US that Mr. Motherway isn't still on the board, but i finally understand what the truth is.
johnj October 25, 2012 at 06:30 AM
all the pats on the back. job well done . we are all great . hes the best. shes the greatest... 2012 kings park 61%students pass state tests.(your children) lets give raises ,extensions,contracts. this school district needs help ,new direction,clean house
Charlie October 25, 2012 at 08:53 PM
John J, Where do you get your incorrect information from? Do you just make it up or do not read well? It is hard to listen to anything you say when your statistics are wrong. Do not concern yourself with our children, cleaning house, or changing direction. The district is in great shape, we can always improve, and that is the focus.
Maria Cirilli October 26, 2012 at 03:11 AM
I agree with Charlie that there is always room for improvement. However, I think our district was ranked at or near the top in our region which included districts such as Cold Spring Harbor and Harborfields. If you want to see the results, please see the presentation that Dr. Cartisano made to the board. http://kpcsd.org/files/filesystem/BOE%20August%2014th%20%20presentation.pdf
kper October 26, 2012 at 03:29 AM
So right away you believe mr motherway.... Why aren't we hearing from the family of the child that these supposed allegations are about. Your time is up mr ex prez let it go!
sally pruslow October 26, 2012 at 02:51 PM
Sally Pruslow Mr. Motherway I have a problem with how the person making the complaint was given credibility, since she wasn't the parent. Also how did she even become involved in the situation? Wouldn't it be considered hearsay? Another problem with this case is that it apparently happened over a year before you filed the complaint. Why did this take so long for it to become a concern to the BOE? Could it have been the upcoming election and control? Were their concerns over the superintendent's contract? I think you would have been better to have commented sooner than later. Keeping this going and now starting to defame Mr. Weber only keeps the district divided and upset. The district would be better served by having John Gross comment and answer questions, than you an interested party.
kper October 27, 2012 at 06:36 AM
oh enough already no one is wasting their time nor energy on calling you TDJ stop using the incognito names just state your facts and allegations of misconduct on the site so everyone can see it
kper October 28, 2012 at 04:08 AM
for your information my name is Kelli and you seem to always have to have alot to say just like TDJ always gotta get that last word in huh!! GET YOUR FACTS STRAIGHT!!!
kper October 28, 2012 at 04:52 AM
i think i know what my name is in fact i live right by memorial park on new dairy so again get your facts straight and get your head screwed on better you really do have issues!!!
sally pruslow October 28, 2012 at 03:00 PM
Sally Pruslow I received a email from the patch written by Heh which has not shown up on the patch. This correspondence I think was written by TDJ and was removed from the patch. In this message she gave a phone # to contact her and she said she would tell the whole story, plus she eluded to the fact she would speak if invited at a PFA meeting. She also wrote that Liz Barrett's husband threw a bottle of water on her after the Oct 16th BOE meeting and that she had witnesses!!!! I was walking to my car with the Barretts when we walked past her and a group of people. Mr. Barrett did make a comment but he didn't have a bottle of water with him, nor did they even make eye contact with TDJ. When are these lies going to stop. This type of behavior is childish. Over and over again peoples good names and families are being effected. What is the agenda here? There are no winners. When can we let the BOE do their jobs without constant assaults. Unfortunately, people will think twice before ever running for the BOE.
Anastasia Gray January 07, 2013 at 03:27 PM
'extremely disturbed' - 2 key words.
John K Massaro January 07, 2013 at 03:39 PM
WHY IS MS BARRETT STILL ON THE BOARD? Or maybe I should ask, HOW BIG WAS THE CHECK SHE WROTE TO STAY ON THE BOARD? There is absolutely no reason why this woman of questionable morals & obvious guilt should still be on the school board. This is a ridiculous travesty that she still has a seat. She should have either stepped down or been given her walking papers as soon as this scandal hit. The school board should put it to a public vote. Let the people decide whether or not this shady woman should still serve. I guarantee she'll be out on her keester before the end of the week...
John K Massaro January 07, 2013 at 03:41 PM
Periods & Commas - look into it...
Anastasia Gray January 07, 2013 at 03:54 PM
One should have a very clean slate and clean up his or her own yard before engaging in town issues. May I add, one should know the facts before spewing nonsensical words and stick to the topic!
Anastasia Gray January 07, 2013 at 04:14 PM
Pissing matches are best left behind closed doors.
Anastasia Gray January 07, 2013 at 05:42 PM
Don't throw stones there buddy boy.
John K Massaro January 07, 2013 at 06:44 PM
"Buddy Boy?" You've been watching West Side Story again?
Anastasia Gray January 07, 2013 at 08:53 PM
Your needless comments. Hmmmm you obviously need to compensate for a 'shortage' of some sort.
John K Massaro January 07, 2013 at 09:03 PM
LoL.
KPLifer January 07, 2013 at 11:35 PM
He doesn't even live in the district. Worry about your own dirty house
Anastasia Gray January 08, 2013 at 12:28 AM
KPLifer, who asked you to chime in? This is Kings Park Patch? What a shame. Furthermore, do you even know who I am addressing in my posts? NO so stfu.
kper January 08, 2013 at 12:59 AM
I keep getting notifications of these new posts and I have to say I feel like I'm reading something that happens in high school and I'm sure we are all out of school just had to say something because its kind of getting ridiculous
Liberty January 08, 2013 at 02:39 AM
Discussing comment John---Liz not only was elected by her peers to the title of Vice President but is regularly cheered at school events. If you were in the district you would see that she is the one of the best Kings Parkers.
John K Massaro January 08, 2013 at 03:07 AM
Yet if she had one ounce of integrity in her & if she actually had the best intrest of the district in mind, she would have stepped down immediately following the allegations to avoid further scandal & distraction on the board. If she really gave a crap about the school she's supposedly serving, she'd see that the air of doubt will always hang over her head. But the bottom line is, the only intrests she has is her own, the only agenda she's interested in is her own. Believe me, I know more about Ms Barrett than you want to think I do. I know all about her & her history. Every day she sits on that board is another day that she shows off her lack of scruples & morals. At this point, guilty or not guilty, it's time for the board to move on without distraction, without questionable morals & without Ms. Barrett...
Albert Noesei January 08, 2013 at 03:13 AM
I witnessed an argument today between two first grade students today which had more class and respect than the people WHO WERE RUNNING THE DISTRICT THE LAST THREE YEARS! Are you people kidding me? For the love of god! You make Republicans look civil. REALLY KINGS PARK? REALLY?
John K Massaro January 08, 2013 at 03:15 AM
I own property in San Remo, therefore I pay property taxes in Kings Park, therefore I pay towards the school district, therefore I'm considered a member of the community & the district. Furthermore, I spend more time living in Kings Park than I do in my own home. I also plan on moving back into Kings Park before my son gets out of elementary school, therefore I will have a child in the school district, therefore the district is very much my concern. So stick it up your ass...
Anastasia Gray January 08, 2013 at 06:19 PM
Weber's views should be kept to himself since he is the only one who understands them.
John K Massaro January 08, 2013 at 06:21 PM
One can only hope. If there ever is a vote on the subject, I will be there with bells on...
sally pruslow January 08, 2013 at 09:08 PM
Sally Pruslow Have we turned the clock back and returned to Oct 2012? I hope not........ I have been getting all these email's about the past. Why ???? Is there anything to be gained at this point? Why can't we move on and let the district try to heal. Let's not stir this disfunctional mess up again, there is nothing to be gained..... Some people may not be satisfed but that's the reality of real life.

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