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 16th, 2022

Vote in School Board Elections – Smear Campaign Against Lori Orestano-James Deplorable

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.

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

I was speaking with Tammi Chaboty who is seeking a position on the Tri Valley School Board and she told me one of the reasons she was running was because of the need for more social workers and more programs for our children. “Covid had a tremendous impact on our children and our schools need to do more to help them deal with these issues and others.”

Lori Orsetano-James has been the President of the Monticello School Board for the past several years. She is up for reelection Tuesday for her nonpaid position on the school board.

It is very disturbing to see the hate and smear campaign that has been organized against Lori in her reelection efforts.

Lori Orestano-James is one of the most respected hardworking volunteers in Sullivan County. She is always there for us with her commitment and dedication always speaking out for those who cannot speak for themselves.

Now, a group of people are trying to destroy her reputation because of their self-serving agendas. They want to throw out all the good Lori James has done with the bath water. It would be deplorable if they succeed.

When we hear or read something, it is our obligation to know both sides and look for the facts before placing judgement.

What I, and so many others know, is that Lori Orestano-James has been and continues to be a great community servant to us, our students, and our community.  She has dedicated her life to the betterment of our community and always with pride, dignity and respect for all.  So, at minimum, we need to look at the evidence of record and verbiage of response to make an informed decision.

Sadly, incumbents are caught between a rock and a hard place when it comes to responding to certain accusations.  The way it works is once an issue is personnel in nature, no Board or it’s members can speak to it.  That is why you are hearing silence.  That is why we need to read between the lines.  That is why we need to trust a proven record.  Then weigh the FACTS, not the hearsay, and make a decision.

While it is true that someone got up at a public meeting and spoke – It was only his side of the story.  And, as we know, there are always two sides to every story.

So, I would like to share evidenced facts with you of what I and so many other know about Lori Orestano-James and her accomplishments on our behalf.

Lori Orestano-James is known for fighting for what is right, even if is not popular.  She has a lifetime track record of caring for our students and community. During her time on the Board of Education, the Monticello Central School District has seen substantial reduction in the tax levy.  This year the tax levy is ZERO percent with NO CUTS to program for students, layoffs of faculty or staff, or use of American Rescue Plan funds.  That occurred because of leadership insisting on long term financial planning and financial oversight – a key responsibility of any elected official.

In addition, there were shifts of administration and resources to better serve the students and the community. The Capital Building Bond Project is nearing completion.  It took a bit longer to complete than expected due to COVID hold ups that everyone felt, but the project is scheduled to come in slightly UNDER BUDGET even with inflation and COVID cost increases. She has worked and advocated with Senator Mike Martucci and Assemblywoman Aileen Gunther to ensure Monticello Central School District receives its fair and full share of state aid. Aren’t these the types of efforts that we as taxpayers always say we are seeking?

Not to mention all of the school and community organizations and committees she actively serves on.  All places where she advocates regularly for our students and us. She is always accessible to listen to concerns and direct them appropriately for solutions. Lori has always been there for us!

This is not about who you like better. This is a matter of who has the proven track record.  Is everything perfect right now? No.  It takes time to make solid, sustainable change. But, the ship is moving in the right direction. Don’t allow a story in which you may only have one side deter you from supporting the person who has dedicated her life to our students and community. Ask yourself, do you know the full story – from both sides?  And if the answer is no, then vote for the person with the record of growth in a positive direction and give Lori Orestano-James your support so she can continue the great work she does for the students and the community.

Lori Orestano-James stresses “Great Schools Make Great Communities.”

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 Information:


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.


Voting will take play in the Liberty High School Gymnasium.


School Budget Vote in High School Library


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.


Tri-Valley High School Gymnasium on Route 55 in Grahamsville


JSHS Gymnasium

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 in the “MOUTH THAT ROARS” Column in THE SULLIVAN COUNTY POST.

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