Monday, November 23, 2015

Learn About the Proposed HCSD Capital Project

This morning, in response to yesterday's post about the capital project being planned by the Hudson City School District, Maria Suttmeier, HCSD superintendent, contacted Gossips to provide the following information:
While the project is still in its early developmental stages, the BOE is committed to complete transparency and welcomes input from all interested stakeholders. As such, anyone interested in learning more about the rationale for and scope of the project is welcome to attend the public BOE meeting this evening at 7:00 in the Junior High School Library. There will also be multiple opportunities for the community to meet with the district regarding this project once we are through the initial discussions regarding the scope of work. I will also be dedicating my December column that appears monthly in both the Register Star and Columbia Paper to this topic. 


  1. This post by the Superintendent demonstrated several disturbing traits. First, it clearly states that this effort is being communicated to the community in the same fashion as any previous undertaking. If you want to know anything about what we are doing that affects the community then come the the BOE meetings. What this is stating is that she will not make any effort to actually go to the community and discuss what the potential selling of John L. would do to the parents and children of that neighborhood. That's just beneath her.

    The second issue is the inference that this process has just begun is at the very least a falsehood. The decision to get to this point of the process had to involve months of planning and discussion. I am sure that most readers remember the story that was reported in the Register Star which mentioned the selling of John L. about 2 years ago. This was emphaticly denied by Suttmeier at the time and now it's being preferred by the district.

    Her "column" is the extent of the comminity involvement sought by the BOE and Suttmeier. Her "column" will inform the parents of what the district is going to attempt to do. That's all you need to know.

    The third, and possibly most disturbing aspect of this leaking of information, is the timing. Suttmeier's compensation package of over $210,000 was the first priority. What's best for the students came well after. In fact, this information was not put forth by Suttmeier and the distrcit in a community manner. It was mentioned at a BOE meeting. Suttmeier could have mentioned the proposal her "column" before the information was leaked. Only now is the Superintendent and BOE "transparent."

    JoAnn Z.

    1. Hi JoAnn,

      My name is Meghan, District Communications for HCSD, and I just wanted to clarify some things you mentioned.

      While attendance at BOE meetings is encouraged, these meetings (and Sup’t Suttmeier’s monthly column) will not be the extent of community involvement sought by the district, nor will they be the only opportunities the community will have to receive information and provide input regarding the proposed capital project. The assumption that no efforts will be made to engage the community on issues concerning the capital project, in which the potential sale of JLE is just one aspect, is false.

      As of right now, there are two “community conversations” scheduled to take place after Thanksgiving recess. There is an announcement posted on the district’s homepage (, and more announcements will be broadcasted via social media, the electronic sign in front of the high school, flyers, letters, and other means.

      We understand that big projects like new athletic fields or selling a school building will have a variety of impacts on different groups. The community conversations mentioned above will include feedback questionnaires so HCSD knows exactly what concerns, areas of confusion, etc. exist. Issues cannot be addressed effectively if we don’t know the community’s point of view. Community feedback, positive or negative, is highly encouraged. Your input is an absolute necessity!

      HCSD is also planning public presentations at already scheduled meetings of various community groups. Groups can also request a public presentation. A list of public presentations will be made available on the district website (I am in the process of creating a new section to be devoted to capital project information, updates, and resources, so please stay tuned).

      In addition to feedback surveys, please feel free to submit questions, comments, ideas, concerns, etc. in a private message to our district’s Facebook page ( You can also send us a Facebook message to request a public presentation, or you can email me directly (

      I hope this has given you more confidence in HCSD and the BOE’s committal to community engagement and transparency.

  2. Meghan,

    Please dont concern yourself with "clarifying" anything to me. The actions of her past endevors speak for themselves. The community understands completely. The joining of community organizations and then never going to meeting is just an example. The lies to BOE about personnel. It's all about appearances and always will be with the Superintendent.

    So it seems that "District Communications" includes the Gossip column now? What does that suggest?

    It's also interesting that Suttmeier made the intial attempt at explaining their arrogance on this site. Is she too busy now to answer comments?

    How much is BOCES charging the district and community for your nicely written responses? Perhaps the most interesting aspect is that 90 minutes after the post was made here a new website entry was on the school site.

    There's no understanding of the community at all with Suttmeier. Unless you're talking about a certain bar.

    Joann Z

  3. Reading this one might get the impression that Mr Galloway had prior knowledge of the (possible) closing of JLE.

    How could that be?