This story relates to how far a group of locally entrenched politicians might go to retain their office. Now just imagine the lengths that the Obama administration would be willing to go!
Update Tuesday morning May 15th: I received the following comment on this article, and would like to take the time to rebut it here:
Comment: "I'm a supporter of josh but this is a very skewed and inaccurate piece. First of all, it's Doctor Hankin. Whether or not you believe she is entitled to the amount of money she obtains, she worked hard to earn her degrees. Also, you fail to give examples of "important events" that Dr Hankin has missed, and you seem to have missed the boat on Josh's campaign. There is so much more to his platform than bringing down the superintendent of the district, for the school board has many more roles besides signing the contract for her pay."
My response: "In the first place I meant no disrespect to the hard earned doctorate of Dr. Hankin so let me say that anywhere it is missing please assume that Dr. is there.
In the second place there have been multiple events she has not appeared at but one in particular sticks in my mind that was a language honors presentation for some of the best students at Syosset High School. If a school superintendent is not there to celebrate some of the best students that the district has to offer, then what exactly is her role? I will agree that more should have been listed rather than a blanket accusation.
Third, I admire her negotiating skills that led to the compensation package she receives. While I admire it I don't think that the residents should have to pay for it.
Lastly I was an event at another school district where former basketball star and recovering drug addict Chris Herren was speaking about the dangers of ever getting started with illegal substances. The districts superintendent was present and spoke as well. I remember that night speculating in my own mind whether Dr, Hankin would have been present at the same type of event if it were held in the Syosset High School auditorium. I am sure you can guess the answer I came up with."
Something smells funny in Syosset, New York the night before the school board elections are scheduled to take place!
For informational purposes only, the Syosset Schools Superintendent Carole Hankin has the fortunate distinction for her, and dubious distinction for the residents of the town, of having the highest salary plus benefits of any school superintendent in New York State.
On the other hand, running for the school board in tomorrows election is an 18-year old by the name of Josh Lafazan who happens to be of the opinion, as are many in the town including myself, that Ms. Hankin is grossly overpaid with salary and benefits of close to $550,000!
While his chances of winning up until now may have been questionnable, events that took place this afternoon will hopefully boost his chances and bring him home a victory in tomorrows election.
In what appears to be nothing short of a classic smear campaign (although unlike President Obama I am willing to wait until all of the facts are in before coming to any firm conclusions), the father of the young Mr. Lafazan has been accused of unlawful removal of a list of names from Syosset School offices.
Versions of the story differ depending on who is telling it, but what happened after the alleged incident appears too much of a coincidence to actually be one, particularly occurring on the night before votes are going to be cast.
Automated phone calls go out
This afternoon at about 3:00 PM an automated phone call went out that told a story of the candidates father going into the Syosset School offices, removing some list, being told to stop, then running away to his car, then being chased by school security and when they lost him reported to the local police who set out to find and one would suppose arrest him.
If the older Mr. Lafazan did something that he shouldn't have done it's a problem but the tone of the call, made he night before the election, was made to sound as if mothers should bring their kids inside the house because a deranged madman was on the loose.
Or that an armed roving mob was terrorizing the towns residents and cover needed to be taken immediately.
For what Mr. Lafazan is alleged to have done an automated phone call being blasted to town residents seems strangely like overkill with the ulterior motive of discrediting the candidate.
To review, on the one hand you have a candidate who is young, ambitious and who wants to fight the status quo in a school district that most likely would have a better use for scarce resources than paying a school superintendent over a half million dollars a year.
A superintendent who in my experience has not made herself available or present at some fairly important events that at a minimum she most certainly should have been at.
This candidate would be a fresh voice who might pose a risk to the rubber stamp environment that has existed before him.
On the other hand you have a slate of candidates who have no desire for anything but the status quo to remain!
The moral of the story? I will vote for "hope and change!"
Whatever the endgame that was envisioned by this call may end up backfiring as I believe other residents such as myself who may not have bothered turning out, will now and vote in support of this young man who wants to instill "hope and change" for the town.
And "hope and change" is a phrase that most of the constituents in this town can definitely get behind (as one of the few conservatives believe me I know).
I will get out and vote tomorrow and my vote will be cast for Josh Lafazan. Even if in some unbelievable way there is any truth to the story which I highly doubt, that is in no way a reflection on the candidate.
Update May 16th: The young candidate won the local election in a landslide with close to double the votes of his closest competitor!
This will hopefully be a harbinger of the result that will emerge from the over-reaching and smear campaign tactics of the Obama administration come the November general election!
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