Winter 2010 Newsletter 

Letters to the Editor
















Take back control

Having received many e-mails about the appointment of Joe Cipp as interim superintendent, I too am amazed at the audacity of South Country Board of Education President Greg Miglino to recommend appointing Cipp. Cipp lacks building level experience as a principal—so necessary to competently run a school district. How and why could this happen?

I believe Miglino’s goal was always to have "absolute power" and he was able to achieve this by having the "boys’ club" with a five-block vote behind him. Looking back over events of the past three years, here are the events that I feel enabled Miglino to gain control:

• Dr. Agruso, past superintendent, was pushed into resigning by the power of Miglino and his boys.

• Mr. Snead (the 5th vote) was appointed as trustee filling my vacated position instead of Julio Morales, who legitimately should have been the next in line. Miglino swore in Snead over the outcries of the public attending.

• Under the leadership of Miglino, the district has had an interim finance director, an interim human resources director and until recently, an interim curriculum director. My experience tells me that having interim central office directors keeps them subject to approval by the board president.

• The community may not address a particular board member during public participation. A resident can only speak to Miglino. Community members must fill out cards in order to ask questions during public participation. All questions go through Miglino.

Miglino has all too much to say about how the Caithness money ($120,840,480 spread out in yearly payments until 2029) is spent. He takes credit for pulling the district out of a financial hole. Dr. Agruso and Dr. Faning began the process in their first year by creating a zero-based budget.

It is time for the community to take back control. Come to the board meetings and voice your concern. We need people in central office who are not interim but are there for the long haul and will be invested in education—your children’s education.

Antoinette A. Huffine

Bellport Village

Editor’s note: Antoinette A. Huffine is a former member of the South Country Board of Education. The board of education voted to remove her from the board last year.

Reprinted Long Island Advance 02/12/10

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