Last week’s edition included an article regarding BCA endorsements of school board candidates. While the author’s byline clearly indicates her role as a Director of the Birchwood Civic Association (BCA), nowhere within the body of the article does it mention that the endorsed candidate for Syosset School Board is an active member of the BCA, no less the immediate Past President. These political endorsements, from whomever the source, demand careful scrutiny and disclaimer language.
While it may well be the author, and not your paper, endorsing the candidate, some mention of the connection between the author and candidate should have been made. Again, while your paper may not be making the endorsement because a staff member did not write the article, nonetheless, it appears as a political endorsement under the banner of a newspaper. In this case, there is no indication anywhere within the article that it does not represent the paper’s endorsement.
I was honored to receive an endorsement from the BCA for Syosset School Board candidacy (election May 20th). As indicated in my declination email to BCA President Chipkin, I applaud the work of civic associations in fostering a spirit of community cooperation by promoting the general welfare of residents and believe civic associations should be an integral part of every community. Volunteering on behalf of the community is the reason I became involved in civic and PTA associations over 20 years ago.
In no manner does my declination of this endorsement reflect any lack of independence. Anyone in my situation, with close and long-standing professional relationships, would never put themselves above two valued colleagues (Michael Cohen and Laura Schlesinger), who are equally responsible for the very accomplishments that earned me this endorsement. Michael, Laura and I have worked collaboratively over the years to achieve so much for this community, ranging from fiscally responsible budgets to continued excellent educational opportunities for all students and the brightest future for all stakeholders.
Candidate, Syosset BOE 2014