Thursday, July 07, 2011

Morris Kohn, new East Ramapo school board chief, stresses unity 

The East Ramapo Board of Education voted Wednesday night to tap Morris Kohn as president during the district's annual organization meeting.

Kohn, a Spring Valley resident, was first elected to a three-year term in 2009 and is considered a member of the board's six-person ultra-Orthodox/Hasidic Jewish community voting bloc.

But in his first public comments as president, Kohn struck a note of unity and pledged "to do everything to keep this board unified." He takes over for former president Aron Wieder, who did not seek re-election.

Newcomer Daniel Schwartz of New Hempstead was elected vice president.

During the hour-and-a-half meeting, the board worked through a laundry list of personnel items.

That included reappointing Catherine Russell as district clerk and executive assistant to Superintendent Joel Klein at a salary of $68,654. Israel Biera was re-appointed district treasurer at a salary of $33,765.

The board also voted 6-3 to keep Albert D'Agostino, of the Long Island-based law firm Minerva and D'Agostino, as the school district's attorney. He is paid at a rate of $250 per hour and $125 per hour for travel.

Member Stephen Price voted against the reappointment, and said the board should look for a law firm in Rockland to cut travel costs.

He was joined by members Suzanne Young-Mercer and JoAnne Thompson. Members Moshe Hopstein, Moses Friedman, Eliyahu Solomon and Yehuda Weissmandl voted to reappoint D'Agostino, as did Kohn and Schwartz.


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