Mouth That Roars

Bill Liblick has made a name for himself of National TV Talk Shows where he spouted his outspoken views from the front row. Now he offers you his opinion every week in the "MOUTH THAT ROARS" Column in the Sullivan County Post.

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May 15th, 2016

School Board Elections Tuesday

Sullivan County school districts will be holding school board elections this Tuesday. These elections often go unnoticed by the general public even though they have tremendous impact on how our children receive their education.

School Boards control every aspect in running our schools including hiring superintendents and other administrators. They set budgets that ultimately decide what we will pay in school taxes.

A small portion of a school budget is controlled by a district, while the State of New York mandates and sets certain requirements and criteria.

Despite all the state aid a school district might receive, taxpayer’s still need to foot the bill to balance budgets.

On Tuesday, not only will we have the opportunity to elect members to the school board, but we will also have the opportunity to approve or disapprove proposed budgets for our school districts.

School Boards are an important part of education across the country. They are the principal democratic body representing all the public in educational matters.

It should be noted that it is not a prerequisite for those sitting on a school board to have children attending public schools.

The big issues in all of our school districts in all likelihood revolve around educating our children while balancing budgets.

I was speaking with Matt Dewitt who is seeking a position on the Liberty School and he told me one of the reasons he was running was because of the graduation rate. “We need to do more to educate and motivate our children. A 60 percent graduation rate is just not good enough.”

Indeed, we need to do more to uniformly educate our youth, consolidate purchases, and find avenues to cut cost. Often our tax dollars go more towards administrative salaries, than to educate our youth. 

There is something very wrong when our school districts are shelling out an average of $140,000 per year to pay superintendents and other administrators to run schools, while our teachers, elected officials, and other governmental bureaucrats earn salaries far less than that.

Our school boards are responsible for hiring their superintendents, administrators, and budgeting items. The time has come for all of us to take an honest look at the educational system in Sullivan County.

Perhaps we need to look into a centralized Board of Education.

Although our County Legislators and other elected officials can take positions on our public schools in Sullivan County, they really have little say. The power lies with each local school district. 

Our school boards throughout Sullivan County should sit down and discuss alternatives to find ways to make our educational system work more effectively and efficiently. 

We must all acknowledge that we need a new and increased direction when it comes to educating our youth. With illegal drug use, gangs, and lack of family structure all too rampant in Sullivan County, our schools unfortunately now have a heavier burden placed on them by society. 

With resort destinations coming to Sullivan County there is a need to make certain that our schools are attractive to potential homeowners.

Lori Orestano-James who is running for a position on the Monticello Central School Board told me that her slate of candidates is running with the slogan that “Great Schools Make Great Communities.”

Orestano-James said, “If people are going to move to Sullivan County with their families we must ensure that we have the best schools and provide our children with the best education so they can excel in the future.”

Those elected to school boards are hardworking volunteers who are truly concerned about our children and their future. I have nothing but praise for those dedicated individuals.

Just like in any election, voter turnout will determine who gets elected. Please vote on Tuesday, and good luck to all the candidates.

Below is a list of the School Board candidates and Voter Information:


Three positions are up and candidates are running to fill a particular individual position.

Ellen Nesin and Jennifer Kelly are not seeking re-election.

Two popular Sullivan County names – Lori Orestano-James and Steve Kurlander are battling it out for Nesin’s seat.

John Kiefer and Matthew Sheiner are looking to fill Kelly’s seat.

While incumbent Stacey Sharoff is running for re-election, Jim Contrys and Kamal Elsayed are looking to oust her.

Where to Vote:

  • District 1: Thompson – Robert J. Kaiser Middle School: Breakey Ave., Monticello.
    • District 2: Bethel – Duggan Community Center: 3460 State Route 55, White Lake.
    • District 3: Mamakating – Chase Elementary School: 28 Pennsylvania Avenue, Wurtsboro.
    • District 4: Rock Hill – Rock Hill Fire Department: 61 Glen Wild Rd., Rock Hill.
    • District 5: Forestburgh – Forestburgh Town Hall: 332 King Rd., Forestburgh.


Voters will also select from eight candidates to fill three open seats on the Liberty Board of Education. The candidates, listed in ballot order, are: Andrew Kavleski, Rachel Reeves-Graves, Philip Olsen, Matthew DeWitt, Anthony Covington, Timothy Burke, Cindy Prince, and John L. Nichols

Voting will take play in the Liberty High School Gymnasium.


School Budget Vote in High School Library


Sullivan West

Incumbents Ken Cohen and Rose Joyce-Turner are running unopposed.

Seeking the seat now held by Joan Glase is Klu Padu and Juliete Gaebel.


Delaware Youth Center (District 1) on Creamery Road in Callicoon, the Sullivan West Elementary School’s 1938 gym

(District 2) on Schoolhouse Road in Jeffersonville, or the Tusten-Cochecton branch of the Western Sullivan Public Library

(District 3) on Bridge Street (Route 52) in Narrowsburg.

For more information contact the district at 845-482-4610, ext. 3000, or visit


Lori Schmitz is seeking reelection while Incumbents Cathy Russo and Janet Dymond are not. Keri-Ann Poley and Erin Mentnech are also running.


Budget Vote

Amador Laput, Allyson Wagner, Adam Gingold, and Joana Dutcher.



Tri-Valley High School Gymnasium on Route 55 in Grahamsville.


Bill Liblick has made a name for himself on National TV Talk Shows where he spouted his outspoken views from the front row. Now he offers you his opinion every week in the “MOUTH THAT ROARS” Column in THE SULLIVAN COUNTY POST.

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