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Congers Elementary Bond Approved by Voters

Voters approved a $6.5 million plan to repair Congers Elementary School by more than 1,000 votes. 

The final count was 3,411 "yes" votes and 2,362 "no" votes, district officials said. 

Support for the bond varied greatly among the election districts. Only in Election District 2, at Lakewood Elementary School, did the 'yes' votes outnumber the 'no' votes —but the majority there was enough to carry the whole district.  

In unofficial results:

  • Election District 1, North Clarkstown High School — 560 "yes" votes and 1,107 "no" votes
    Election District 2, Lakewood Elementary School — 2,126 yes, 127 no
  • Election District 3, Link Elementary School  437 yes, 664 no
  • Election District 4, West Nyack Elementary School — yes 288, no 464 

Clarkstown school officials proposed the $6.5 million bond proposed for repairs to the now closed Congers Elementary School. The bond would cost the average homeowner $26 yearly. The homeowner costs for the bond are based on an average assessed home value of $140,000 and approximate market value of $440,000. 

Reconstruction of the original 1927 building gym walls would cost $1,586,753, district officials said. It would involve removal and reconstruction of the south and west side gym walls and structural repair of the east side gym wall. The reconstruction of the original 1927 north and east side exterior walls would run $3,056,202. 

Removal and reconstruction of the north and east wall sections of the original 1927 building requires roof replacement at a cost of $933,604. The roofs on the 1956 and 1970 sections of the building would also be replaced.

Installation of ADA accessibility upgrades for the main school entrance, main floor bathroom facilities and one main floor mid-corridor ramp carry a price tag of $350,000.

Window replacements in the portions of the building constructed in 1956 and 1970 are expected to cost $573,441.

School Superintendent Dr. J. Thomas Morton proposed a redistricting plan for Congers students that would transfer them to the New City and Lakewood elementary schools whether the bond passed or not. Congers’ approximately 300 students have been attending classes in the former St. Augustine’s School in New City since mid-October. 

His proposal to the school board would eliminate eight teaching positions because it will reduce the number of elementary classes. Under the superintendent’s recommendation they would become part of the general student body at the two schools. 

The bond proposal sparked a lot of discussion on Patch:

About the overall quality of the district

About state aid

On various people's opinions

On the taxpayer cost
Clarkstown Dad February 07, 2014 at 06:54 AM
Yeah the only one doing any bashing was Malgeri .... figures ... piece of work. I wish people would wake up but it did take me years to figure it out.
bardoniaparent February 07, 2014 at 09:04 AM
I watched this bond and the words used by many in Congers. I was told by more than one friend from Congers what was discussed openly in Congers but not exactly written on the internet. People hinted at it but didn't come right out and say it. I am talking about the fear of who might want the Congers school and the property. I learned more than I ever cared to about some people I live near. As much as people from Congers will deny it, anti-semitism is very real. I didn't see a single person supporting the bond take any offense to any of the fear spread about "new" people coming into our community. These people turned a blind eye to it. Sure, the bond passed, But we all know who the "new" people are, why not just come right out and say it? I have been sending some of those blogs and comments to the ADL. I want to see what they think of them.
ADK February 07, 2014 at 09:46 AM
Bardoniaparent, I must respectfully disagree...there is a huge distinction between anti semitism, and not wanting ones neighborhood to be irretrievable changed. I have little doubt that middle class suburban African Americans wouldnt want the Bloods and Crips moving in for example, or Christians from Congers wanting Fred Phelps and his lunatic fundamentalists from Kansas deciding to take up residence in the area. Do these groups have the right to live wherever they want? Absolutely... but it doesnt mean that the current neighborhood has to embrace it.
bardoniaparent February 07, 2014 at 10:33 AM
I understand what you are saying, ADK, but I respectfully disagree with you and I am not the only one from Bardonia who thinks this.
Watchdog February 07, 2014 at 10:48 AM
The lack of diversity in New Square is appalling. Obviously anti Christian?
Watchdog February 07, 2014 at 10:59 AM
New Square needs an Affirmative Action Housing Plan to attract a diverse population. Very odd that it surrounded by Haitians and Hispanics but none are allowed to live within their borders. Sounds really Racist
Watchdog February 07, 2014 at 11:01 AM
All Towns and Villages in Rockland have a really diverse population except for those controlled by Hasidics
Stacey February 07, 2014 at 11:21 AM
Calling Congers residents anti-semitic in public is a serious accusation. I am not sure anyone here would relish the idea of a neighbor moving in that would irrevocably change the fabric of their neighborhood. We see residents rally all the time against entities moving in they feel are not beneficial to their communities--whether it's a factory that will spread pollution, a big box store that will bring traffic or a school (religious or secular), that will route buses and congestion to a residential area. This does not make me someone who is anti-commerce or anti-semitic. It makes me a person with an opinion about what's best for my neighborhood. Alleging that anyone is anti-semitic without proof besides "he said, she said" is inflammatory and dangerous. So I’d urge you to think through your decision to call the ADL. After one too many calls, they may stop answering the phone.
Myles P February 07, 2014 at 11:48 AM
WOW Stacey I was going to say almost the same thing! You all should be ashamed of yourselves. This vote was won because Clarkstown has passion for their kids and passion to keep their buildings in their grasp. You are now calling ALL CONGERS residents anti-Semitic bc "you heard" someone say they didn't want 'the new people' to buy the property. That is an abomination. If the person "you heard" say it, felt a certain way, what gives you the right to make an assumption that everyone in that Congers feels that way too? SO if one of my neighbors said " I don't want the 'new people' to buy the piece of land off South Mountain road and I will try to stop it" then myself and all of my neighbors are anti-Semitic?? Im disgusted to live in New City at this point. I really hope some of my faithful neighbors/friends will stand up and take action against anyone in New City, Bardonia, West Nyack, Nanuet and Congers who speaks of anti-Semitism after an "I heard" conversation. Its the game of telephone. Unless you didn't hear it out of the horses mouth (and even IF YOU DID) your calls to ADL are an obvious attempt to divide a town even more. Deplorable. Find something better to do with your time. Also @Karen the issue you have is with the signs now?? When will your complaining stop? They were trying to get the word out about the Vote. Why didn't you put up Vote No signs throughout New City, Bardonia and West Nyack?? Because you weren't made aware of the vote?? I have seen you posting on a FB page about the vote for about a month beforehand. So why didn't YOU take the initiative to get the "NO" word out? You play a nice blame game on everyone that did what they were supposed to do in order to get there point across but yet you did nothing. Did you contact Morton or the district and ask why they didn't send out mailers to all tax paying citizens? Did they answer you?? If you hadn't received one in months prior to the vote why didn't you send them out like the Congers people did?? Maybe, just maybe, myself and lots of my friends would've voted NO if a campaign with facts had been put into effect by the "NO" vote supporters. But that didn't happen. I based it on all the information I collected myself through the district and research. And I am proud to say that everyone I shared this info with VOTED YES. Now move on and find some other people to pick on.
Clarkstown Resident February 07, 2014 at 11:52 AM
This has become completely crazy...Congers, New City, West Nyack, and even Bardonia have always been mutually supportive of each other. Our fire departments and ambulance corps rely on one another for their first mutual aid calls; our little league teams play together; our kids attend FFMS & the High Schools together. Our families worship together at churches & temples. The way these posts read, you would think these hamlets are at war against Congers. The residents who have used derogatory names and insulted the Congers residents should be ashamed. I fought the archdiocese regarding closing St Augustine's in New City - I thought the empty building was detrimental to the town...does that make me an anti-Semite? No, it makes me someone who thinks abandoned buildings are a sign of community decay. Bardoniaparent, If the people you "know" suggested their actions were based on the feared the influx of religious groups, then I suggest you associate with a better class of people. That is not representative of this town as a whole. You apparently have very little familiarity with the diversity of Congers. There is NO border crossings on the causeway or on Old Mill Rd. Many of the people living in Congers grew up in New City or West Nyack, and many New City & West Nyack residents grew up in Congers. There are grandparents who have grandchildren living & attending schools across Lake DeForest from them one way or another.... I honestly feel that anyone who really grew up in Clarkstown & has chosen to raise their children here understands this. 0ver 1,000 voters who are not from Congers who supported this school. Our volunteers, our first responders have each others backs...the fact that we are not able or willing to do that for our children is seriously disturbing. I am one of the proud Clarkstown residents who DID cross the causeway & moved to Congers. I love the small town/neighborhood feel of this hamlet. I pay more in taxes here than I did in New City (surprisingly Congers families are not living in trailer parks as some posts insinuate); I did not become an anti-Semite; and I would never support closing a New City school because it is the "easy" thing to do. I DID vote YES to the Congers bond...and I WILL vote YES to fix the other schools. Every parent in Congers that I speak to knows the heartache associated with redistricting & school closings, they wouldn't wish that upon anyone. We should be standing together, trying to find solutions to our budget issues. We need solutions that are fair to all the amazing, unique communities that exist within Clarkstown. This isn't going to be easy. There ARE going to be cuts that affect ALL of us. The name calling, the threats of boycotts, the cries of "it wasn't fair" are not the actions of the majority of good, decent that live in my hometown...New City. So if you feel you lost the "battle" of the bond, I suggest you move on & join the rest of the residents of this district as we prepare for the budget war.
Myles P February 07, 2014 at 12:04 PM
WELL STATED CLARKSTOWN RESIDENT!! Bravo from someone on the other side of the causeway!!!
idontknowbut February 07, 2014 at 12:38 PM
http://newcity.patch.com/groups/politics-and-elections/p/congers-residents-oppose-variance-for-oversized-house
Clarkstown Resident February 07, 2014 at 01:11 PM
idiontknowbut, except for the obvious and extremely weak attempt to label an entire community as anti-Semitic, I can't imagine the purpose of your post on this thread. The builder of 127 Lakewood was a gentleman many of us recognize as a reputable builder - he put many very nice homes on Sterns Pl. in Congers. I live in relatively close proximity to that lot and my concern was with the SIZE of the house. We have zoning laws for a reason. Three to four variances on a non-conforming lot is unacceptable. There was no "hardship" associated with this zoning change request, it was an attempt by a builder to maximize his profit. Stop trying to cast an entire community in a bad light. There will always be a few people in every group who will make stupid, biased statements, apparently you are are that person in YOUR neighborhood. Learn the law, and stop the hate mongering. In order for the BOA to determine that an "undue hardship" exists, an applicant must meet all four of the following statutory criteria: · it is impossible for the applicant's land to yield a reasonable return without the variance, · the need for the variance is due to the unique circumstances of the property and not to the general conditions of the neighborhood · granting the variance will not alter the essential character of the locality, and · the hardship is not the result of action taken by the landowner or a prior owner.
SamS February 07, 2014 at 02:11 PM
As someone who is Jewish I find it offensive that people try and label others anti-Semites way to easily. I'm not going to deny that there are probably people in Congers new city Bardonia West Nyack all of Clarkstown that are anti-Semites or have anti-semitic feelings but there are many many that don't. Again that's a dangerous path to go down. So many on this page have been so hateful towards each other threatening boycotts accusing people of breaking the law and labeling them as discriminatory. The behavior shameful.
Almond Joy February 07, 2014 at 04:05 PM
@SamS I agree! A few of the posts in this thread actually frightened me in the manner in which they were said! I'm hoping people are making sure to watch these threats and accusations on these blogs and media pages very carefully. I for one have alerted a friend I think may be being targeted. These are serious accusations and throwing them around so carelessly could be dangerous. We have to remember we are all human beings. Mothers and fathers to children who may actually be FRIENDS one day. Imagine how awkward taking prom pictures will be if we are standing next to the very parent who is blogging hatred. Are we going to have parents tackling each other on a soccer field one day over this? Clarkstown resident is right! Let's stop pitting communities against one another. I think we all want what's best for our children but coming together is the way to do that. On the bright side, I do think it's fantastic that the board meeting last night was packed and we are paying more attention to the issues that need to be addressed within the district. If this interest keeps up I have no doubt that all of our children will have the best education and opportunities possible. As Lanave said last night. Let's move on!
Twix February 07, 2014 at 05:13 PM
Well said Almond Joy!
peajay February 07, 2014 at 05:46 PM
In the interest of moving forward, which is what we all should be focusing on now regardless of which way we voted, did the board say anything about when redistricting might take place? I was unable to attend last night's meeting, but I am anxious to know when parents will be notified if their children will be switching schools. Obviously, the Congers children will need to be placed in a new school this September, but does anyone know if others will be redistricted beginning in September?
MilkyWay February 07, 2014 at 05:54 PM
A new one! IdontknowBOB....I mean idontknowbut....I'd love to know exactly how many email addresses you actually have ;-)
Myles P February 07, 2014 at 06:13 PM
Congers240 that was priceless. Maybe they will see how ignorant they sound now:)
Overtaxed February 07, 2014 at 08:59 PM
Maybe as ignorant as you know who is going to buy our building? Or maybe as ignorant as saying kids will travel unsafe distances through hills and canyons over the causeway to get to the dreaded new city? Or as ignorant as making everyone think that if the historic 100 yr old school closes everyone's property would be worthless! You mean that kind of ignorant???
Rory Bradley February 07, 2014 at 11:42 PM
Let me first say that I have never been more proud to be born, raised and currently living in Congers after Tuesday's vote. Congers had a massive turnout, in which we not only voted yes, we screamed, yes we want our school fixed, yes we want our kids back there, and yes we want to keep a school in the middle of our hamlet! And a huge thank you for our many neighbors in the rest of Clarkstown for coming out and voting yes. Without the yes vote in New City, Bardonia and West Nyack, the bond would have failed. However, I am shocked at some of the comments that have been written about the people of my hamlet. Taxestohigh. You are calling for a boycott of congers businesses because our business community did the right thing and stood by their patrons and community and put signs up supporting the bond. Well, you know what, 94 percent of their patrons did indeed support the bond, I would call that a smart business move. Also, based on your insuluts and slander about people from congers, it is unlikely you socialize with anyone from congers, let alone patronize the businesses here. You are telling your neighbors to boycott? Well you also called on your neighbors to vote "no." Look where that got you. Apparently your neighbors didn't listen to you, they most likely didn't vote. So your call for a boycott is futile seeing that your neighbors see you as a lunatic and avoid you at all costs. Clarkstown dad. You win the gold medal in what it is to be classless. . I understand from past blogs you don't want to put your name as congers moms had threatened you at a boe meeting. I totally get it. When my neighbor packs her kids in her minivan to bring her kids to baseball, to Mass or the dentist, I hide behind the bushes in fear of her. Seeing you called me and my fellow neighbors, animals, hooligans, self serving and God knows what (I don't have the patience and time like other people to scroll up or go to other blogs and give exact times, dates, the temperature at the time etc..) I hope you don't teach your children to be as disrespectful as yourself. You are truly a pathetic and sad person, and for someone who won't post their name for fear of the congers moms, your a sad existence for a man. Your wife must be proud... I don't even know why I bothered entertaining you sad cases, as you are more than likely the same sad person. Friendly advice. It is likely that what you have wanted and what many on the clarkstown parents to destroy our scho...or to save our schools facebook page have advocated before the bond passed, and that is the boe closing schools. I truly hope that doesn't happen as I wouldn't want the people of little tor or strawtown etc going through what congers went through. However, calling us animals, low tax base, bigots, hooligans...I can't keep track might not be in your best interests. Quite possibly in the near future, you might need my vote when it comes to your kids school. Us animals might not be too sympathetic to your cause if you keep slandering a population who turned out 2300 votes... Just a word for the wise. Good night.
Clarkstown Dad February 08, 2014 at 09:26 AM
Rory maybe you need to read my posts a little closer as I never said they threatened me. At the risk of being redundant, it is when I hear people yell out to others (yes I said others) that "we know where you live and where your children go to school" that I am concerned about my kids hence saving my identity. I am not concerned for myself especially against animals who suggest harm to children. If you do not feel people who threaten children are animals then so be it ... and if you were one of them ... then yes it would refer to you as well. Also the words "low tax base or bigots" were never said or written by me so again you need to read more closely or is this misinformation intentional? Lastly I do not expect Congers to support anything for the district outside of Congers. Historically I'm told they always vote no whether its on a bond or budget so I won't hold my breath. So based upon the prior and what has already happened (which I will not elaborate on) there is a "segment" of Congers that are animals, hopefully only a small one.
Hilary Jordan Kunz February 08, 2014 at 11:07 AM
Rory your post was spot on. Clarkstown Dad reiterated his spinelessness in his own reply... "other people were 'yelled' at and I am concerned about my kids". The disgusting spin he has put on this event is proof of his cowardice. ANYONE who has viewed that farce of a board meeting (this animal was home with a sick child) can see that those statements were made when parents were implying that those against fixing CE were not being affected by the school closing, due to the locations of their homes and neighborhood schools. There were NO threats made. But unfortunately we are wasting our efforts with this individual. His own statements "historically I'm TOLD they always vote no" lead me to believe he's not from here...he doesn't understand the value of a united Clarkstown, he has no idea of who makes up our community. I personally will support ALL the schools in Clarkstown in the next bond or budget vote, as I always have. But Rory you are right...there were 2300 other voters who may not have kids in the system, who may not have attended an elementary school "across the causeway"...who may not feel so sympathetic after having been falsely accused of everything from being anti-semitic to buying votes with candy. I don't believe that this hateful person is representative of all our Clarkstown neighbors, in fact I KNOW he's not. Over 1000 non-Congers residents said "YES" to the bond. Many others didn't care enough about $26 a year to come out and vote against it. There are bad apples (I will not lower myself to refer to other people as animals) in every hamlet, every community, every town...unlike you and I Rory, Clarkstown Dad has to look no further than the closest mirror to find one in his neighborhood. I would like to make a joke about him "holding his breath" but he might get scared again and think I'm threatening him...after all I am a Congers Mommy!, LOL
Clarkstown Resident February 08, 2014 at 11:27 AM
The comments by Clarkstown Dad are the exact problem I noted in my earlier post. Who are these people who really believe that there is a moat around Congers? Our community consists of many people who have previously resided in New City, West Nyack, etc. And many of our neighboring hamlets have residents who are proud to have been raised in Congers. Your words are hateful & divisive. I can't imagine that you are someone who was raised and educated in Clarkstown. After much prodding, I watched the board meeting where you have in this post and referenced "children being threatened".... I have to honestly say that I don't see that...I'm not going to call your a coward or spineless, because I don't know you...but it does seem that you are a little overly sensitive. Instead of looking for problems that don't exist, maybe you need to realize that your words & attitude are the problem. The bond has passed, CE remains part of the CCSD...why are you so angry? This can't be all about $26.
Overtaxed February 08, 2014 at 11:54 AM
So here we go, two people already threatening that the congers voters won't come out for other schools. I knew that was coming. Although I doubt it will be much of a threat with the history of congers voting, outside of this vote, which I would have to admit was impressive. As I've said only about 440 people could bring themselves out in May to vote for a budget that was for the whole district. Oh those long lines at Lakewood? That was because so many congers residents had to register because they never voted or hadn't voted for 3 yrs. so please stop with threats.
Clarkstown Dad February 08, 2014 at 12:32 PM
Hilary, Hilary .... based on what I hear from your neighbors your comments are of little concern to me any more .... and you just might be one of those people screaming at prior meetings. ClarkRes ... correct you do not know me and you do not know what information I have. Of course its not just about $26 as you say .... but a large part is the total financial picture and how it will affect the district. As I've said before I hope we don't look back on this vote 5 or so years from now and realize it was a mistake.
Hilary Jordan Kunz February 08, 2014 at 01:45 PM
Really CD? Did you actually lower yourself to speak to the "animals" who live in Congers? When you did so, did you identify yourself as, or acknowledge that you are the very vocal, and very frightened Clarkstown Dad who has campaigned against their children, their school and their community? Nope, didn't think so. I'm amused that I was ever a "concern" to you...that's laughable, and once again secures your position as a drama queen. (maybe your mommy should have taught you that not every thing is about you...). And No, I have never even spoken at a board meeting, I prefer to just observe the disfunction. I don't expect everyone to agree with me, or even like me...honestly I don't care. But at least I have the courage & conviction to stand up for what I believe. You have no credibility. Overtaxed, I believe I clearly stated that I WILL support any budget that benefits the entire district.I have personal interests in a number of Clarkstown schools, and I truly care about the CCSD. My point was that the Congers bond vote is over & in order to garner support from a community that is currently "super-engaged" it may be beneficial to the entire district if the slander of an entire community stops.
AnnieRose February 08, 2014 at 06:26 PM
I'm curious ...when a poster uses aliases to comment, does the poster use various props to stay in character..for instance, A baseball hat , a different tee shirt, a pair of pantyhose?
Really Weird Kid February 09, 2014 at 09:58 AM
Robert, you can't sue the Patch because someone uses your initials. No law has been broken, you sound like a baby. Maybe you take this blogging a bit too seriously. People don't post using their real names so they can hide. Congers240, I would guess he has something to do with Congers Auto Spa at 240 Congers Road. You accuse posters of being people you now have a problem with. Slow your roll and realign your perspective on what is said and who is saying it. Like my name here, it's meant as a joke, using your initials. I don't think anyone thinks this is you (-; enjoy your day
Myles P February 09, 2014 at 11:00 AM
Oh this gets better every day!! The same guy who rips apart a bunch of politicians for suing is now looking to sue bc someone is blogging responses to him!!! You can't make this stuff up. I hope he realizes how many people actually have screen shots, Facebook posts, messages and emails where he doesn't look like the upstanding citizen he claims to be. Good luck with the lawsuit, you will need it!!

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