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Liz Barrett Resigns From Kings Park Board of Education

Resignation handed in after district employee alleged Barrett publicly discussed his employment status.

Kings Park Board of Education trustee Liz Barrett has resigned (Patch file photo)
Kings Park Board of Education trustee Liz Barrett has resigned (Patch file photo)
Kings Park Board of Education Trustee Liz Barett has given her resignation to the school district after standing at the center of a community controversy for the past four months. 

In a Dec. 10 letter posted in Kings Park Central School District's website, Board of Education members said a district employee reached out to one of them on Dec. 5 alleging Barrett publicly discussed his employment status. 

The Kings Park Board of Education held a special meeting on Monday to discuss this allegation, according to the Dec. 10 letter. 

"At the conclusion of the meeting, Ms. Barrett indicated to the Board of Education that she was no longer willing to serve as a member of this board. Earlier this afternoon, Ms. Barrett submitted to the District Clerk a formal letter of resignation, effective immediately," reads the Board of Education's Dec. 10 letter. 

The Board of Education's letter also states allegations made by the district employee "had nothing to do with the prior complaint," referencing controversial allegations over the community fundraiser for Barrett that the board has grappled with since August. 

"It is my belief that instead of being able to remove me from the board of education through the ballot box certain members of the board have used exaggerated complaints about me to force my resignation. Upon reflection, I see no reason to put my family through another difficult and expensive process," Barrett said, in response to the board's Dec. 5 letter. 

Jim McGuire, of Kings Park, had asked the board to review section 6110 of the Code of Ethics for Board Members, which is related to receiving gifts, in August.

McGuire questioned whether there was a conflict over Barrett accepting monetary donations to cover her attorney fees after the board brought about a petition with the New York State Commissioner of Education in June 2012 that could have removed her from the board amidst allegations that she shared confidential school information with an undisclosed third party.

After months of struggling over how to handle the complaint, Kings Park board members decided at their Dec. 3 meeting to resolve ethical questions raised by a community fundraiser by sending Barrett a formal written letter containing any questions they have regarding the fundraiser.

Barrett would have be given opportunity to respond in writing by the Dec. 17 meeting, where her answers would be reviewed before further action is decided. 

Barrett has allegedly attempted to resign from Kings Park Board of Education twice before, according to Trustee Charles Leo at the Dec. 3 board meeting, but board members previously refuse to accept it. 

Marie Goldstein, president of Kings Park Board of Education, clarified to Patch that Barrett had spoken in passing about possibly resigning her position, but had not previously submitted a letter of resignation.

Barrett was first elected to board in 2010, and was unanimously voted to the position of vice president for the 2012-2013 school year. 

"We appreciate the work that she has provided to this community for the past three and a half years and we wish her the best in all her future endeavors," reads the board's letter. 

Virginia December 12, 2013 at 03:16 PM
@ Richie Marcus, I need help understanding. Can you please give an example of where "leaders" misled the public? I would appreciate it very much. Thank you.
Richie Marcus December 12, 2013 at 03:34 PM
@Virginia - I made no claim of anyone misrepresenting the public. I stated that I personally do not want people who are angry and militant representing me or my community. Just an opinion.
Virginia December 12, 2013 at 04:03 PM
@ Mr. Marcus, thank you for your reply. How were these leaders "militant"?
Richie Marcus December 12, 2013 at 05:11 PM
@ Virginia , you are very welcome. It is my opinion that some, certainly not all, have taken their positions as civic leaders to an all time low. Civic organizations used to be all for the people. All about doing good for the community. Today there are some who are angry, nasty political activists who confront people who do not share their views. Civic meetings are almost as nasty as Board of Ed meetings and somewhere in the midst of all this egotistical selfish behavior the children of our town, and the residents, are forgotten. Adults need to put their personal agendas aside and refocus on what will bring this town back together. I am not looking to argue with you , Virginia, just stating my somewhat sad observations of what is happening on a pretty regular basis in our town.
George McKnight December 12, 2013 at 05:39 PM
Mrs. Barrett was elected for a second time by the public to serve the community. If anyone is going to serve on that board they had better be elected by the public in an open election and NOT appointed. The community voted in who they wanted to serve them and have the RIGHT to do so again. Appointing anyone would be a very big mistake. The past candidates who were not elected in the past election can run again if they so choose.
Richie Marcus December 12, 2013 at 05:51 PM
I agree with Mr. McKnight. An appointment of any sort would just stir up all the negativity and hatred that is at the forefront these days. Let the people vote for their choice.
Dan Warne December 12, 2013 at 06:50 PM
The appointment of anyone would give the appearance of incumbancy in the next election, and that wouldn't be true. The Board only needs three to conduct business and has 4 sitting members. Keep the seat vacant till May and have 2 openings for the Board. They all vote yes to everything anyway!
Virginia December 12, 2013 at 07:18 PM
Thank you Mr. Marcus, unfortunately you obviously do not go to civic meetings since we regularly attend and have never witnessed what you are saying. You have thrown out many accusations without giving any instances. I personally have found the leadership very willing to let everyone be heard and I have never seen them try to silence anyone for stating a difference of opinion. I have seen them taking on controversial issues and give the residents the real facts. Maybe you should see for yourself sometime. I would be glad to let you know when the next meeting is and would even meet you in the lobby to discuss this further.
Richie Marcus December 12, 2013 at 07:26 PM
@Virginia I have attend civic meetings and my experience was different than yours. It is not about being right, Virginia. It is about getting along, being civil and acting like neighbors not like enemies. Hoping in the coming New Year we can all just get along. Merry Christmas!
Virginia December 12, 2013 at 08:02 PM
Mr. Marcus, I am not trying to be rude, but without specifics, your point is moot. I really hope to meet you at the next meeting. Have a wonderful evening. V
Richie Marcus December 12, 2013 at 08:31 PM
Virginia - This is not a court of law and I do not need to provide evidence to justify my opinions. I simply wish that our town residents would stop looking for the fight all the time and maybe just respect that we are all entitled to our opinions and our opinions do not make us wrong or "moot" or evil or targets . It is time to work together.
Virginia December 12, 2013 at 11:29 PM
@ Richie Marcus, Hi.... I didn't mean to upset you, but I don't believe I said anything to think we are in a court of law. I simply was looking for your facts, facts where an opinion is created. I am a teacher for over 20 years, I guess it is the way a teacher thinks. I also never called you evil or a target unless you are speaking of another party on this thread. You have spoken about your opinion several times and if you want people to understand and/or agree with with you, then providing facts will make perfect sense. Also, I do not know where you live or who is in your circle, but the people I am surrounded with and groups I have met at the meetings and at local events have shown nothing short of kindness and concern toward one another. Are you sure you are speaking of the same town as I am? Maybe you should think of leaving the circle you are in, it seems to be filled with anger and misery. I am a very positive person. I would enjoy a meet with you. I truly hope to see you at the next community event. V
KPLifer December 13, 2013 at 08:19 AM
She was not qualified for this position. Se was there for her friends and it back fired. The DA should be investigating the entire situation.
ChudleyQ December 13, 2013 at 10:29 AM
Virginia, you do realize that all Mr. Marcus was saying, is that we should be civil and respectful, and that your messages in response could be considered something LESS than civil and respectful? It kind of proves his point.
sally pruslow December 13, 2013 at 10:57 AM
As a past board member waiting 4 months is not an eternity and spending money for a special election in this climate is wasteful. The nite of the election the person who gets the most votes is sworn in immediately. The other elected person will be sworn in at the July meeting. This has been done in the past. I think an appointment COULD cause more problems. Remember, this year you will be voting for two board members.
Steely Dan December 13, 2013 at 11:13 AM
Charlie Garner had the third highest votes. If I recall not much less then Tom L but much more then Pam D. It seems that the Liz Supporters want this extra time to get 2 Liz ordained candidates. Back when Steve W was not running for re-election, I heard there was a meeting of the minds to find a Liz sidekick.
KPLifer December 13, 2013 at 11:58 AM
it is time to vote out the other union schill also
George McKnight December 13, 2013 at 12:05 PM
Whether anyone on here likes it or not, the public are the ones to elect the next board member. NOBODY should be appointed to a seat that the public selected and wanted to represent them from the past election. The mention of an appointment of anyone should send this town into an outrage. The board can run with four members until an election can be held.
Steely Dan December 13, 2013 at 12:26 PM
George, why not Charlie Garner? It wasn't an election where there was no other candidates.
George McKnight December 13, 2013 at 03:47 PM
No, as much as I like Charlie and know him personally, this is an elected position and the whole public has the right to vote again for who they want in that seat. If new people want to step up, there should be that opportunity for them and the public to make that choice. A chosen few don't get that right to out weigh the public.
TURK 182 December 13, 2013 at 03:58 PM
Holy crap Steely Dan, how many times are you going to mention that Charlie Garner deserves the seat? You have made it clear about how you feel. I don't think he needs a cheerleader. George is right the public should elect the next board member!!
Steely Dan December 14, 2013 at 09:35 AM
Turk 182, I tell you what. I won't mention Charlie anymore when people stop defending a woman who spread a child's confidential email, took money for an attorney to get her out of trouble for doing something so disgusting, leaked an employees info, and breached security policy to get her petitions signed. Two people were reassigned to other schools because of her. I, as well as many other parents, are worried who the next candidate is going to be. Where were the good old Ed Hogan days. This crap wouldn't be going on! I want someone who doesn't have kids in the district. I want someone who isn't only focused on the Special needs kids, but kids that have great potential, but no one to champion them. Kids that are brilliant, but the family doesn't have the money to do extra. There are kids in this district who are so intelligent, but they do't have sports to fund their way into college. What are we doing for them. My child is in all accelerated. She is on the high Honor Role. But she doesn't play sports. In 12th Grade her AP courses are going to cost a lot of money from what I heard. Money I don't have. So in conclusion Turk 182, I wants someone who is fair to all the kids, not just their own.
Learnto ReadKP December 14, 2013 at 09:46 AM
LOL... it is *High Honor ROLL*... I think we have heard enough from you Steely Dan. The board said that they will discuss it on Tuesday. Instead of continuing to bash Liz, why don't you go to the board meeting on Dec 17 and tell the board how you feel what should happen next. Liz resigned so that this district could actually concentrate on what matters - the kids. Your last post seemed to imply that you might care about that too. Liz is gone - MOVE ON!!
Steely Dan December 14, 2013 at 10:16 AM
@Learnto ReadKP, you should take your own advice LOL! Honor Roll Marking Period 1: High Honor Roll (90.00000 - 120.00000) Who is we? I can post whatever I like. Liz was no victim. The child and his parents, the employee and the community were. LAX_Dad said it all!
George McKnight December 14, 2013 at 01:29 PM
The board will move on and continue to work at the task before them. There will be a vote in May and two seats will be filled by whomever the PUBLIC chooses to represent them. From where I sit the biggest problem facing this town now is this Blog where people have the Gaul to spit, kick and defecate on one another with anonymity. When people don't have the guts to say something to your face but come on here and spread HATE with no regard to anyone, which includes family and children, proves only that they are the bigger problem. Patch you should be ashamed to allow it and are, in my opinion the biggest problem this town has. The board couldn't resolve it so, HATERS won and Liz has resigned, the PUBLIC will vote in the next board members. Case closed.
sally pruslow December 14, 2013 at 02:12 PM
I agree George. I wrote last week to clean up this mess. After the last board meeting she promised to monitor this site because I told her it would get ugly. I wish I had been wrong. It is sad when people can't use there name, they answer their own posts and often slip and let people know who they really are. We have enough problems to deal with in this school district. I wish they could put their energy into helping to solve rather then add to the mess.
Steely Dan December 14, 2013 at 02:30 PM
George, it's comments like yours that perpetuate this issue. What are you talking about "Haters". No "Hater" made Liz send that child's email around, run a fundraiser and not account for it publicly, sign petitions at PV on school time, or discuss an employee's status. Everyone that is giving her a free pass really worries us. As a parent, if my child's info was leaked, I would want that person to be ousted. I would demand they apologize not only to my child, but to the public for their breach. Something tells me by the time Spring arrives, two candidates that have been "Knighted" by the Agruso lynch mob will be on the ballot. That's working the system. In DC they call them lobbyists, here they're people with an agenda. Their own kids are probably embarrassed by their behavior. Like I said before, Ed Hogan would NEVER put up with this! Last, I have a nasty habit of not proofing spell check. What ever would I do if it wasn't for Tom or Rich to point out my typo. I read Pam K's posts. Although I don't agree with her, I'm not a condescending zealot like "LearnTo ReadKP" You attacked Lax_Dad for no reason. Why don't you put your skills to good use and tutor kids that need help and can't afford $20 an hour.
ChudleyQ December 16, 2013 at 09:19 AM
Mr. McKnight: I think most fair and open-minded people would agree with you that it’s wrong to spread hate. There obviously has been some of that on these pages, and I’m sorry. I do think that there is tremendous value to having an open forum like this, where opinion can be shared. But it needs to be fair and honest, and not rise to the level of vitriol and personal attack that it has. Where I would disagree with you, Mr. McKnight, is on the issue of anonymity. Throughout this whole “episode”, it’s been obvious that there is a lot of hatred, a lot of distrust, a lot of “loose lips” and a lot of people with agendas (some hidden, some obvious). In a perfect world, people stand at the microphone and say what they think without fear of retribution. Maybe twenty years ago, people could do that. Not anymore. We’re all worse off for it, but it’s the new reality. I have been very vocal about the actions of Ms. Barrett, and why I thought it was important to hold her accountable for them, while at the same time trying to be respectful of her and her family. The fact that I use a “screen name” doesn’t change how I feel about that, or mean that I wouldn’t get up in front of a school board meeting and say the very same thing. But as I said, this is a small town, you hear an awful lot of “talk”, and there are a lot of people with interesting tales to tell about the schools and the school board. If even half the stories are true, we’ve got some serious issues. Until the culture of the School Board and the office of the Superintendent change, I’m just not willing to risk what impact it will have on me or my family. If you want to think that’s a character flaw in me, that’s your right. If I want to think that it’s a sad reflection on the state of our schools and our school board, that’s my right. I would much rather see things your way, Mr. McKnight, but I just can’t get there. Not in this climate. It is time to change the climate.
George McKnight December 16, 2013 at 11:48 AM
@ChudleyQ, respectful opinions and dialogue are fine and needed but its the, at your throat comments that do nobody any good. Only when you put your name and face to it will the vitriol and personal attacks stop. So its your right to do as you need to, I just don't believe it works for the better good of a real discussion. Wish you well, Merry Christmas.
Stevo December 18, 2013 at 01:27 PM
It's a shame this little town has become so divided. I think our kids deserve better than this.

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