Editor's note: Patch has offered all three candidates (, and ) for the one contested Sachem Board of Education seat the opportunity to tell residents in their own words why they are the best choice. The following was submitted by Jon Siegel. A full voters guide to Tuesday's budget vote and board election will appear on Patch Monday evening.
Dear Sachem residents,
My name is Jon Siegel and I am running for the Sachem Board of Education. I am a lifelong Sachem Resident, class of 1986 graduate, homeowner, and parent of three children who attend our schools.
I am also like the majority of you, tired of watching our children’s educational opportunities be reduced and our home values decrease as we struggle to stay in this community while board members such as my opponent [Douglas Duncan] continues to hold our children’s educational experience hostage by constantly raising the school district’s budget and most recently choosing to totally disregard New York State’s tax cap law by voting to approve a budget that is almost twice the allowable limit with no added value to our children or the community.
I am also a former Board of Education trustee who during my tenure provided three years of zero percent tax increases, reduced the overall budget by $2 million, and championed for new playground equipment for all of our elementary schools while the students of the district enjoyed reaching their highest level of academic achievement to date.
I am an independent who unlike my opponent has never taken any financial support from any special interest groups or made any backroom deals for their support. I have and will continue to run as my own person and vote the way I believe the community would want.
As a businessman and parent I also know the role of a board trustee is not to be spent strolling through the hallways of the district attempting to manipulate the administrators. It’s also not an opportunity to make personal profits from any of the districts' buildings or fields, something others do not seem to agree with. The role of a trustee is to ensure that all of our students receive a quality education with appropriate opportunities at a reasonable cost to the community, nothing less should be accepted.
Together on May 15, let's take the first step in achieving what our children and community deserve, electing someone who will put our interests ahead of their own. Vote to elect me Jon Siegel to the Sachem Board of Education!