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Board Candidates Tackle Residents' Questions in Meet the Candidates Night

Candidates in agreement on most issues, praise current board of education.

 Residents had their chance to meet and question the trio of candidates contending for two open spots on the Kings Park Board of Education Wednesday evening.

Candidates Mike Kelly, Diane Nally and Charlie Leo agreed on most, if not all, of the issues that were raised during the two-hour question and answer period moderated by the League of Women Voters.

Related: Candidate Profiles- , ,

All agreed the current board was up to par, providing children with a quality education while being fiscally responsible.

All three were in favor of keeping the current busing system and not contracting to an outside agency.

“I love that we have our own buses,” said Kelly. “It’s a nice feeling," but added that everything comes at a cost that has to be weighed. “What is the community willing to accept as far as cost and what they are willing to give up and keep.”

Nally said she is “very much in favor of doing everything we can to keep our busing and not go to contract busing.”

Leo agreed and said most drivers were community members who knew the streets. “I know contracting has been discussed and can be looked at. Owning the buses is probably the least expensive and the best option,” he said.

Contract negotiations for the teachers union were also discussed. The union’s contract expired last June,

Leo, said the answer starts with collective bargaining, adding that collective bargaining was “a simple idea, but a difficult process.”

Kelly, said, “any contract has to be negotiated with transparency, in a calm, relaxed fashion.”

Nally said she would like to see both sides come to a compromise for a "fair and equitable settlement."

Candidates were asked to share their involvement with the school in regard to their attendance at board meetings. Both Leo and Kelly said they have attended occasionally. Nally, who said she has been attending since the beginning of the school year said that she has also attended meetings in other districts.

Kelly has been to two budget hearing meetings; Nally said she has attended all, leaving early once during a Saturday meeting and Leo stated he had been at one or two.

The entire Meet the Candidates event can be seen on the school district’s website.

Denise May 14, 2012 at 01:37 PM
Voting for Nally, best person for the job who knows education.
Nick Viscomi May 14, 2012 at 02:26 PM
I find it really disheartening that i just finished my freshman year at college and i come back to the town i love being divided because of an election. OF COURSE there are and always should be differences of opinion on the candidates, that is good, that is why a democracy works. The problem is the vicious slander and personal attacks on the candidates and those who support them. There is simply no need. I am 19 years old and if i can control my hot headed comments then so should every adult who chooses to take part in this process. If you do not like a candidate or you suspect they are not running for the right reasons you are well entitled to that opinion, share it if you even feel the need, but make sure you actually know the information you put on the internet is factual. Nally never "stomped his feet" i played on that field, it was unsafe and the contractor the district uses to manage it agreed. It was crap. I had teammates roll ankles at least weekly and we always complained about the conditions. It was a legitimate concern for a program he cares dearly about. Mrs.Nally may have started attending meetings at this time but the other candidates were not attending meetings at any more of a consistent pace. Mrs.Nally has been in the community for 52 years and has always served it proudly. I believe she will do the same for the BOE and keep the children of Kings Park (who she works with) in mind at all times.
Nick Viscomi May 14, 2012 at 04:27 PM
Saying somebody is sympathetic to the unions is obviously not vicious slander and i was not referring to that. I was referring to the overall tone this election has taken. That is the exact point i was making you have every right to feel that way. Although it is irrelevant to the election is there really something wrong with the family being extremely passionate about a sports program they have been a part of for decades? Maybe they went about expressing that in the wrong way, but being replaced in my job a week before it started would certainly fire me up. Implying that Mrs.Nally is running to avenge that is absurd. Quite frankly even if she was we all know one board member alone cannot change anything. The Nally family represents something that makes this town so special. Strong passion for the community and the desire to come back to the community after college to continue to be a part of it. There are countless families like that in this town which makes me so proud to be from it. This is why once again i feel that Diane Nally who has been in the community for 52 years will make a great board member.
Natalie Pfeiffer Kennedy May 14, 2012 at 05:48 PM
First, I'd like to say, Yes, I did just join KP Patch at this moment so that I could post this one thing.... Now, with that out of the way... Nick, Welcome home. I am very proud of you for standing up for what you believe in and speaking out. You make a great deal of sense. Very well said.
Liberty May 14, 2012 at 09:37 PM
Sorry---I do not know Nally or her family but when I see people writing against candidates rather then for their candidate,I smell a rat. Citizens are asked to vote for Kelly because Nally is no good, Tell me why he is good not why Nally is bad --because he passed a civil service test to become a cop doesn't hold water--was he a Captain or hold a higher rank where he was a leader--I haven't heard that
KPperson May 14, 2012 at 10:18 PM
Liberty, first, I don't belive that you don't know Nally. Second, all I have been saying is that the unions are pushing so hard for Nally, that I am worried that she will be sympathetic to the ubion in which her sona nd husband are members. I have been saying that I am voting for Kelly and Leo because I feel that they are INDEPENDENT thinkers. How come you are not asking me why Leo has credentials? Hmmmm. Mr. Kelly was a decorated detective who worked in high pressure situations and needed a clear head. How's that? What credentials does Nally have. Her son and husband are in the teachers union. She taught religion. Does the amount of years you have lived in KP have anything to do with whether or not you are a good board member. Do you realize that one current board member does not even have a real job and another is a flight attendent? Are their credentials better than Nally's? Shouldn't we have qualified individuals on the BOE??
Liberty May 14, 2012 at 10:42 PM
Sorry you don't believe me but it is true. I read what you said about Kelly but isn't it true that he was in the union PBA or DEA for his entire tenure with NYPD. He received everything- salary, pension and health benefits because of the work of the PBA. Now he is anti-union-truly doubt it. I do not think that Kelly is a bad candidate but the way you went after Nally is low--but it will be all over tomorrow--may the best candidate win
dennis May 14, 2012 at 11:00 PM
where is nick's post?
KPperson May 14, 2012 at 11:05 PM
Liberty, I never said Kelly was anti-union. In fact, I bet he is a good union member! I have not said anything about Nally's character other than the fact that as a taxpayer, I am concerned that she is being heavily backed by the teachers union who are seeking a pay raise and by the CSEA. As a taxpayer it concerns me why they are backing her more heavily than any other candidate as long as I can remember. She had also made it public that she was upset with the district about her son being removed as soccer coach. Her husband has made the strong public comments, not me. I am also concerned with what Tricia said about Nally being part of a plan by the former business administrator to try to bring the district down so he can be voted in by the BOE (which he helped put in place) to be the next superintendent. My friends who are teachers have confirmed this. I am sure Nally is a great friend and a great mother and wife. I just don't see any of these issues with Leo and Kelly. As a taxpayer, I am concerned that Nally's strong support by the unions will contribute to me being TAXED OUT OF MY HOME. That's all. My choice is Leo and Kelly.
KingsParkKid May 14, 2012 at 11:22 PM
I am NOT happy with the decisions the BOE has made and certainly do not think the way they renewed Agrusos contract was fair. I believe Nally would be wonderful on the BOE and feel if the current members of the BOE feel so strong about Kelly winning, then he might not be someone I want on the board. Nally began going to the meetings when Agruso and the BOE began making poor decisions for OUR district.
Natalie Pfeiffer Kennedy May 14, 2012 at 11:44 PM
Nick left 2 posts just prior to mine. He must have deleted them. Shame. He was very articulate and made a great deal of sense.
Tina S. May 15, 2012 at 12:55 AM
Once a budget is adopted the district cannot ask the taxpayers for more money. Therefore, teachers would not be getting any raises that would go above what our proposed budget is.
Tina S. May 15, 2012 at 01:04 AM
I'm sure if one dug deep enough you'd be able to find that everyone has an agenda regardless of how big or small. And believe me I know a few that do, but they are not in this running -- thank heavens. How about everyone keep their opinions about the personal aspects of each candidate to themselves and let each person vote for whom they wish. Each of these candidates has "volunteered" (that's right, they don't get paid) for what seems to me to be a VERY thankless job, with countless hours of work and ridicule from the community. For those who have negative comments....maybe you should run yourself and see what people have to say about you.
Nick Viscomi May 15, 2012 at 03:34 AM
I did leave two posts that were deleted by someone other than myself. After contacting the editor and finding out it was not her either i am actually disgusted that someone would take the time to flag my completely appropriate post as inappropriate. What kind of person does that? Honestly people need to take a look at their actions. The fact that someone would stoop to that level is just sad, if you are that weak in your conviction and have that little backing to your words do not post them in the first place. Deleting my posts is childish and petty.
Nick Viscomi May 15, 2012 at 03:35 AM
For those interested this is my first comment: I find it really disheartening that i just finished my freshman year at college and i come back to the town i love being divided because of an election. OF COURSE there are and always should be differences of opinion on the candidates, that is good, that is why a democracy works. The problem is the vicious slander and personal attacks on the candidates and those who support them. There is simply no need. I am 19 years old and if i can control my hot headed comments then so should every adult who chooses to take part in this process. If you do not like a candidate or you suspect they are not running for the right reasons you are well entitled to that opinion, share it if you even feel the need, but make sure you actually know the information you put on the internet is factual. Nally never "stomped his feet" i played on that field, it was unsafe and the contractor the district uses to manage it agreed. It was crap. I had teammates roll ankles at least weekly and we always complained about the conditions. It was a legitimate concern for a program he cares dearly about. Mrs.Nally may have started attending meetings at this time but the other candidates were not attending meetings at any more of a consistent pace. Mrs.Nally has been in the community for 52 years and has always served it proudly. I believe she will do the same for the BOE and keep the children of Kings Park (who she works with) in mind at all times.
Nick Viscomi May 15, 2012 at 03:37 AM
Here is my second comment in response to another post that has mysteriously disappeared: Saying somebody is sympathetic to the unions is obviously not vicious slander and i was not referring to that. I was referring to the overall tone this election has taken. That is the exact point i was making you have every right to feel that way. Although it is irrelevant to the election is there really something wrong with the family being extremely passionate about a sports program they have been a part of for decades? Maybe they went about expressing that in the wrong way, but being replaced in my job a week before it started would certainly fire me up. Implying that Mrs.Nally is running to avenge that is absurd. Quite frankly even if she was we all know one board member alone cannot change anything. The Nally family represents something that makes this town so special. Strong passion for the community and the desire to come back to the community after college to continue to be a part of it. There are countless families like that in this town which makes me so proud to be from it. This is why once again i feel that Diane Nally who has been in the community for 52 years will make a great board member.
KPLifer May 15, 2012 at 11:04 AM
I see a lot of lawn signs for toms mommy. Where have all the others gone?
Natalie Pfeiffer Kennedy May 15, 2012 at 12:01 PM
Nick... Glad to see you reposted your remarks. Again, Welcome home
Susan D May 15, 2012 at 01:41 PM
Liberty wanted a reason to vote FOR Mike Kelly and I have plenty. I have nothing against any candidate but I also was looking for a reason to vote for someone and not against anyone. I met Mike Kelly for the first time right after he decided he was going to run. I was very tough on him, I thought- asking what he thought he was going to accomplish, what was his agenda and why he was going to run for the board. I found him honest and quite open about wanting to serve the community. I guessed that as a cop that WOULD be a good reason….wanting to serve, I mean. He told me that he felt that all of the community should be represented, not just unions but unions too- not just teachers but teachers too, not just the hard working CSEA employees but them too. He felt quite passionately that he was open to information and not coming with an agenda. I believed him. I vote YES every year for the budget. I am not a big talker and never post on this site because I am usually mostly either amused or horrified by the levels to which people stoop to express their opinions. I just had to answer LIBERTY because I think our school district and our town is the best and I think we deserve the best. In my humble opinion Mike Kelly the best choice we have.
Denise May 15, 2012 at 04:24 PM
Don't know you personally Nick, but must say you are much more mature then most of the inappropriate adults commenting. I am also voting for Diane Nally as I feel she is the best for the Board. Your parents should be very proud that they raised such a well educated young man.
Nick Viscomi May 15, 2012 at 08:15 PM
Thank you for the kind words Natalie and Denise. I was just fed up with the bickering and slandering of a person who i know cares about the community just as much as i do.
George McKnight May 15, 2012 at 10:07 PM
Hi Nick, I wanted to dido what Denise just said about you knowing I can confirm it by knowing you since before you started school here in Kings Park. You are a great example of the fine and respectful students our schools develop. I have to say its wonderful to read and hear your comments here as they are both precise and respectful. NEVER let anyone keep you from speaking your mind or voicing your opinion here or anywhere else. Glad to hear you had a great first year at school and looking forward to seeing you over the summer.
Liberty May 16, 2012 at 01:31 AM
Congrats to Leo and Nally for their great WIN
Liberty May 16, 2012 at 01:55 AM
Who is crazypants McGee?
KP Mom May 16, 2012 at 02:02 AM
Tricia Dwyer-Johnston Exactly what am I wrong about?
jimmybrown May 16, 2012 at 02:33 AM
Dr.Agruso took us to great places....????? I am utterly confused ,because the ONLY place she took this district is down the crapper!!!She has no Loyalty to this community.It is all about the power with that woman!! She has never faced a community like ours and she will again in her life!We prooved it today when Nally won!She has her goons and that is fine ,but don't be praising her because that makes me just wanna throw up in my mouth just a little! The woman is a NASTY person.Lets put her job on the line without a sneaky vote for another term ,or at the very least getting a review!!!!! The teachers get reviewed...the custodians...the aides..the 3 groundsmen ...the 3 mechanics..etc...why don't she LEAD by example if this is the case!!!!You can praise her all you want ,but this town knows the real deal!!!We all know how she HELPED you!
jimmybrown May 16, 2012 at 02:38 AM
WOW!!!! You need help!
jimmybrown May 16, 2012 at 02:47 AM
I agree well said! I am glad Mr.Motherways 5 minutes are up...like he once told one of the community members!!!See ya you won't be missed!
jimmybrown May 16, 2012 at 02:54 AM
Thank you Kings Park for putting in all the effort to vote Nally :) ! It prooves just how strong we are if we stick together.Now that we have a voice on the board things can be done the right way. We won't be told to sit down...times up.....no more comments...and I am greatful to all who voted Nally she is clearly the best person to fill the shoes of that evil Motherway...as for Steve he will be missed his shoes can't be filled!
KPLifer May 16, 2012 at 11:07 AM
Mommy, you won! Now get me a raise and tell my boss to stop picking on me!! I am entitled to everything as I grew up here!!!

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