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Meet the Candidate: Elyse Schajer

She does not currently sit on the Brewster Board of Education.

The Brewster Board of Education election—along with the vote for the proposed 2012-2013 budget—is just days away.

Polls will be open from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday (May 15) at . The budget comes in with a 1.8 percent tax levy increase, and a 2.2 budget increase, at $84,074,419. Three spots on the Board are open. Members serve three-year terms.

The following candidates will appear on the ballotalong with the option to :

  • Elyse L. Schajer

Patch reached out to each of the individuals listed above and asked all three the same set of questions:

  • Why are you seeking a seat on the board, and why should people vote for you?
  • With three openings and three candidates, this election appears to be uncontested. Why do you suppose more people don't get involved, and what would you say to voters, parents and community members to encourage engagement around school issues?
  • What are the top issues facing the board for the 2012-2013 school year?
  • Do you support repealing the Triborough Amendment that keeps terms of expired union contracts in place until new agreements are reached? Would you support changing the state's pension systems for teachers and other public employees? If so, what type of changes would you want to see?
  • Are you in support of the property tax cap? Why or why not?
  • What is your position on the current "last in, first out" system in place that gives priority to retaining teachers with more seniority, in situations of job cuts?
  • Is there anything we haven’t asked that you would like the public to know about you or your candidacy?

Here's what Schajer, an attorney and four-year Southeast resident, said. Unlike the other two official candidates, she does not currently sit on the Board.

My name is Elyse L. Schajer and I am an attorney working in Westchester (Harrison, NY).  
I have been in Southeast since 2008, with my husband and 6 year old daughter.  
I have been following some of the difficult issues that have come across the board, particularly relating to the budget and the fact that there is not enough funding to go around.  
I had heard that there was a seat opening and that there had not been a great deal of interest with respect to the vacancy.
The Board faces difficult issues and decisions every day and they are in a tough position of not being able to please everyone.  
It is a difficult and often thankless job so first and foremost I would like to express gratitude to the selfless volunteers who make up the Board, and also the PTA and all of the other positions within the that are without remuneration.  
Many volunteers have other jobs, interests and activities in addition to their own families to care for and it is wonderful that they get involved in this way.  
It was important for me to get involved, despite my busy schedule, to give something back to the community, particularly because there has been little interest and involvement with respect to the Board.
It is my hope to engage the community to become involved and express their thoughts and ideas.  
Although there are many different viewpoints and opinions, it is important to get a feel for the community, bridge it with the recommendations from the administration, and try to explain and understand how and why certain decisions are made.
Decisions regarding the district obviously affect the parents of students and the students themselves. But it also affects the community at large.
I am hopeful that people will become more involved and interested in school matters. I know I am embarking on a difficult journey but i know that it will be a rewarding one and I hope to be able to give something back to the community and to the schools.

Click here for more information on the budget.

bob cullen May 11, 2012 at 10:44 PM
I must be really missing something, but another candidate did not answer any of Ashley's questions? Only Steve Jamor and Liz Cullen actually answered the questions. wow
CK May 12, 2012 at 05:24 AM
Look, it's going to be "a difficult and thankless job" at it is. You expect her to answer questions from Patch on top of it all? Bob, you obviously have no idea how hard this is going to be on Elyse! Cut the competition some slack!
bob cullen May 12, 2012 at 04:28 PM
I think Asley Tarr asked some fair policy questions, I don't think they were tough at all, these are issues that will have to be delt with. I would have liked to see the questions answered. Liz has a uphill battle, since her name is not printed on the ballot, but she is concerned with our school district, and the children's education. Steve and Liz were able to answer specific questions, I don't know why the other two candidates could not answer them, that is all. I give all the candidates for school board praise for wanting to step up to serve. Thank's to all.

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