When thinking about the upcoming school budget vote, Hanlon's Razor often comes to mind. Because we don't like to attribute either malice or stupidity to our school district leaders, the aphorism can be restated: "Some bad things happen not because of people having bad intentions, but because they did not think it through properly."
First, we learned that only people who had voted in school district elections in the past four years would be receiving an absentee ballot for this year's budget vote and board election. For the past eight years, the people who showed up to vote in school elections have dutifully passed the proposed HCSD budget, so, if only those people receive absentee ballots, the chances the budget will pass are pretty good. Limiting the number of voters in this way may appear to be a way of predetermining the vote. That's the bad intentions spin.
At the same time, we were assured that voters who suspected they were not on the HCSD poll list could contact the District Clerk. In the past couple of days, Gossips has heard from several readers that email address provided on the card sent out last week and on the absentee ballot application does not work. Anything sent to firstname.lastname@example.org, gets the response: "The address you sent your message to wasn't found at the destination domain." It's been discovered that you need to send your application to email@example.com. Bad intentions or just a snafu? To be safe, it seems best to use the U.S. Postal Service to submit your application, but do it now. Absentee ballot applications must be received by June 2--that's Tuesday.
A reader commented that she had called the District Clerk at 518 828-4360, ext. 2100, to confirm she would receive an absentee ballot and was told that "ballots should be received in the next couple of days." Let's hope they arrive before June 2, so that people who do not receive a ballot can still request one. If you think there's a chance you are not on HCSD's poll list, download an application here and mail it to: Leslie M. Coons, District Clerk, Hudson City School District, 215 Harry Howard Avenue, Hudson, NY 12534.
What's happening now, which has the appearance of trying to limit the pool of voters to the people who have approved school budgets in the past, reminds me of something that happened in 2011, when HCSD voters rejected the proposed $41 million budget. Then, in a kind of reverse of what appears to be happening now, Jeff Otty, the late husband of the current board president, Carrie Otty, tried to minimize the significance of the vote against the budget by pointing out that only 18 percent of those eligible to vote had actually voted.
COPYRIGHT 2020 CAROLE OSTERINK