Spring Valley, NY – Criticism Of East Ramapo Treasurer’s Appointment

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    Spring Valley, NY – Members of East Ramapo’s public school community took the podium to criticize the Board of Education’s decision to appoint a new district treasurer and to pay him $25,000. for what had been an unpaid post.
    Earlier this month, the board voted 5-2 to appoint Israel Bier of Monsey a former school board member as treasurer, replacing James Rose.

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    Some questioned why the board had created a new paid position, why others hadn’t been invited to apply for the treasurer’s post and why there had been so little public discussion by the board on the issue.
    “You have an obligation to search for the best qualified person possible. This position should have been opened up to allow members of the public a chance to apply, and their qualifications reviewed by all members of the board,” said May Neils, a vice president of the East Ramapo PTA council.

    Kalman Weber of Monsey, head of the Southeast Ramapo Taxpayers Association, spoke in favor of the board’s decision. Bier, he said, has “an encyclopedic knowledge of education law” and worked for more than 20 years at an international bank.
    Weber questioned whether criticism of the board’s appointment of Bier stemmed from “open discrimination.”
    After the meeting, Weber, who described himself as an acquaintance of Bier, elaborated on his statement, saying that it seemed like some in East Ramapo, oppose Bier because his dress is that of a Hasidic Jew. Seven of the nine school board members are from the religious community.

    Martha Lerner-Iglody, the president of the East Ramapo PTA council and a critic of Bier’s appointment, later dismissed Weber’s claim, calling it “way out of line.”
    Parents are concerned about how Bier’s appointment will affect the school district, she said. “It has nothing to do with what he looks like,” she said.


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