At least one Tuesday a month, you'll find Rob Seiden sitting at the dais alongside other members of the Port Washington School Board. But Seiden also wears a different hat, as part of the Port Washington Legislative Reform For Students and Taxpayers Task Force.
Patch caught up with Seiden to learn more about the Task Force, why he believes it can help local taxpayers and students alike, and what's so important about Tuesday's 7:30 p.m. meeting at the .
For those who don't know, what is the Legislative Task Force. What's its mission?
The Legislative Task Force of the Port Washington School District is made up of community members and school board members. The goal of the task force is to effectuate dramatic and transformational change by mobilizing the masses of local residents in a unified effort to force the state leaders to change the unjust laws that harm school children and taxpayers year after year. Only through overwhelming revolt against these unfair laws will we ever have a chance at repealing them. These laws are costing schools and tax payers millions each year.
You've spoken about a rally at Hofstra University on Thursday, March 24. What's the plan?
Our efforts in Port Washington are being coordinated with many other communities around Long Island and New York state. Over the next several months, our aim is to reach a critical mass and sufficient momentum to get the undeniable attention of our state leaders so that they can no longer ignore the will of the people, and they stop giving in to the special interests that have them in the palm of their hands like a snake charmer manipulating them with money and favors.
What's the big meeting about on Tuesday – who should attend and why?
The task force is meeting tuesday at the Port Library to mobilize the community to action. The time has come to stop talking and start acting. The Albany budget will be approved soon and the time to act is now. We will inform the community of what the key issues are, answer their questions, explain upcoming key dates for rallies and other acts of planned grass roots advocacy. Our battle ahead is no small task. But, we are fighting for our future and our kids future. For too many years, the unfunded mandates and unjust state laws have cost Port Washington –and most other communities – millions of dollars. This money could be used for school kids or used to reduce taxes for the community members.
What kinds of unjust laws?
Some examples of these laws are the New York State bus law that requires buses to be paid for even though there may be only one child using it. This law alone, if changed, would hurt no one and would save Port Washington over $1 million dollars. The same with the Wicks Law, which requires districts to use four contractors for every construction project. This is an outdated law that has been removed from 49 states in America but still stays on the books in New York State and costs taxpayers millions for every large construction project to repair roofs or repair school facilities.
Who will be at this meeting?
We expect to have guest speakers on Tuesday and to have a great turn out. Coffee and dessert will be served.
The Legislative Task Force of the Port Washington School District will meet Tuesday evening at 7:30 p.m. at the Port Washington Public Library.