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With Election Day Looming, Nyack School Board Candidates Make ‘Closing Arguments’

School Board candidates discussed issues facing Nyack public schools last Thursday, May 11, on Zoom. Keep scrolling to watch the forum on video and hear directly from the candidates.

This week in the Villages Nyack school board candidates make their “closing arguments” to voters on a Zoom forum and right here on NN&V before election day, Tuesday, May 16. Plus, other local news, a weather prediction, quotes and videos of the week, a Covid update, upcoming meetings and much more. Thanks for being here!

Nyack School Board Candidates Make Their Case to Voters

Before any election, it’s important to do your homework and prepare to make an informed decision. We’re here today to help you prep for this year’s Nyack School Board election, which is coming up on Tuesday, May 16.

Think of us as a cool tutor who provides the right resources and lets you do the heavy lifting.

Below, you’ll find a video of all candidates engaging in a vigorous forum, as well as the candidates making their case directly to you through their final “closing arguments”. We also have all the important information you need to cast your vote.

Take notes. Quiz on Tuesday!

Closing Arguments

First, we have the candidates making their case in their own words.

(Editor’s note: All candidates were given the opportunity to publish 250-word-max “closing arguments”. Unfortunately, not all of them responded by the time we published this. Instead of including closing arguments for those who didn’t respond, we pointed voters to candidates’ most comprehensive posts on social media.)

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Jessica Goodman’s closing argument

Jenn Manca’s statement (from Facebook)

Jen Marraccino’s closing argument

James Marshall’s closing argument from 2020

Mike Rothenbucher’s statement (from Facebook)

Benny Vasquez’s closing argument

Next, we have the forum. All six candidates for Nyack’s school board engaged in the one and only candidates forum, hosted by the Rockland County Pride Center, to express their qualifications, plans and ideas for becoming part of Nyack schools’ nine-member decision-making body.

Nyack School Board Election FAQ

Below is everything you need to know about voting in this year’s Nyack School Board election in the form of a Q&A.

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When is the election?

This year’s election is on Tuesday, May 16. Polls will be open from 7 am to 9 pm.

Where do I vote?

There are four poingll sites where you can cast your vote:

  1. Depew Senior Center (90 Depew Ave., Nyack)
  2. Nyack Public Schools Administration Building (13A Dickinson Ave, Nyack)
  3. Valley Cottage Elementary School (26 Lake Rd, Valley Cottage)
  4. Upper Nyack Elementary School (336 N Broadway, Nyack)

To find your polling site, click here.

Who can vote?

To qualify as a voter, you must be:

  • A citizen of the United States
  • At least 18 years old
  • A resident of the school district for at least 30 days prior to the day of the vote

In order to vote in the school budget vote and board elections, voters must be registered with the Rockland County Board of Elections or Nyack School District.  You are registered if you have voted at least once in a general or school election at your present address in the past four years. 

Am I registered?

You can check by clicking here.

If not, you can register by mail with the Rockland County Board of Elections, 11 New Hempstead Road, New City, New York 10956 (845-638-5172); or online at https://dmv.ny.gov/more-info/electronic-voter-registration-application.

What if I can’t make it to the polls on May 16?

If you’re registered voter, but for some reason, are unable to vote in person on the day of the election must first complete an APPLICATION ABSENTEE BALLOT which can be downloaded here or obtained from the District Clerk by mail or in person at the Nyack Schools Administration Building, 13A Dickinson Avenue, Nyack. Upon receipt and review of the application, a ballot will be issued. Ballots must be returned to the District Clerk no later than 5 pm on the day of the vote (Tuesday, May 16).

Who is on the ballot in Nyack?

There are three open seats for the Board of Education; the seats currently held by Jennifer Marraccino, Beth Davidson and James Marshall. Davidson is now running for Rockland County legislature and won’t be seeking reelection. But incumbents Marraccino and Marshall are both on the ballot.

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The other candidates are (click names for more information): Jenn Manca, Benny Vasquez, Mike Rothenbucher, and Jessica Goodman (yes, the very same former Nyack Schools Report reporter; no, NNV does not endorse candidates for elections, but if you want to know what’s been going on at the Nyack school board meetings … check it out.)

Update: The Nyack Teacher’s Association, the union representing teachers in the Nyack school district, endorsed Jenn Manca, Mike Rothenbucher and James Marshall in this year’s election. It’s unclear what the decision-making process was in coming to this endorsement or why they favored these candidates over the others. We asked the association for more information about why they chose these particular candidates, but we did not receive a response.

Regardless of who you prefer in this race, the most important thing is that you exercise your right to vote on Tuesday, May 16!

Stay tuned and be in touch …

In other relevant news:

  • We’ll hopefully have more on this soon, but New York City is planning to bus recent asylum-seeking immigrants to surrounding suburbs, including Rockland County. Officials have made moves to block the influx of immigrants, while local advocacy groups have shot back against what they perceive as anti-immigrant sentiments and language. [Links to lohud coverage]

Quote of the week:

Desire is great, but knowledge is even more important; since we are putting the education of our children in your hands, then it means you should know something about education in order to be in this particular position.Wilbur Aldridge (saying he was speaking as the “mouthpiece” for Hazel Dukes, a national board member of the NAACP, at the school board candidates forum last week) discussing how qualifications should be the most important factor in determining school board members.

Videos of the week: Go Lax Girls!

Woohooo! Go Redhawks!

ICYM NNV’s weekly features: Bill Batson’s latest “Nyack Sketch Log”; Mike Hays’ most recent “Nyack People & Places”; and our coverage in last week’s “The Villages”; Our latest Nyack Schools Report. If you haven’t read it yet, please check our vision for the future of Nyack News & Views and how you can help build our coverage and capacity.

Weather prediction (through May 20)

Looking good! Mostly sunny and clear, with temperatures gorgeously moderate (60s to low 70s) into the weekend, with a chance of rain on Saturday. [Click here for the National Weather Service‘s latest 7-day forecast for the Nyack area.]

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Covid Update! (threat level: still “low”)

According to CDC data of recent hospitalizations and cases, Rockland’s community threat level of Covid-19 is now considered “Low” after spending 6 weeks over the holidays in the “high” range and then dropping to medium throughout January. With a low designation, the CDC recommends getting tested if you have symptoms or have contact with someone who tests positive. Otherwise, live your life.  (CDC stats updated 5/14/23)

Village updates

Nyack

  • Here’s the list of all upcoming meetings posted for the Village of Nyack.
  • If you could use help paying your water bills, click here.
  • Drop off humanitarian aid for victims of the war in Ukraine (including first aid, painkillers, blankets, baby food, diapers, non-perishable food, antibiotics and more, at Village Hall, 9 N. Broadway (or at the Orangetown town hall, 26 W. Orangeburg Rd.).

Upper Nyack

South Nyack

  • Due to reader request, we have re-added South Nyack, which dissolved as an official village earlier this year. Please send us info about what’s going on in South Nyack at info@nyacknewsandviews.com.

Orangetown

Clarkstown

  • The Technical Advisory Committee, which “evaluates the technical adequacy of land development applications and decides their readiness for Planning Board review,” meets most Wednesdays, including this Wednesday, from 10 am to noon, in the town hall’s Historic Map Room.
  • For a calendar list of all Clarkstown meetings and events, click here.

Other Local Updates

South Nyack advocates have filed a petition with the town of Orangetown seeking to show support for a new Elizabeth Place Playground — the grassy play area and dog park just south of 87 and right off the Esposito trail. After South Nyack dissolved in March, the town found the playground equipment at Elizabeth Place was unsafe and not compliant with ADA regulations and removed it. A new ADA compliant park has been proposed and advocates want to see the proposal approved and implemented. Click here to read and/or sign the petition.

Nyack Schools

Check out our latest Nyack Schools Report, a new regular feature we will post bi-monthly.

Find out what else is going on in Nyack-area schools at Home Page – Nyack Public Schools (nyackschools.org)

Rockland-wide

A rare polio case was recently discovered in Rockland County last summer. Here’s some info on how to protect yourself:

  • New Yorkers can pre-register for a free polio vaccination appointment here or call 845-238-1956 to schedule. Walk-ins will also be accepted.
  • Vaccines are also available through local healthcare providers, including Federally Qualified Health Centers.
  • For more information on polio including symptoms and spread, visit NYSDOH’s page here.
  • New Yorkers can learn more about the polio vaccine available in the U.S. at CDC’s page here.
  • The Reviving Rockland Restaurants Grant Program will reimburse businesses between $5,000 and $25,000 for past expenses or fund future expenses for eligible outdoor dining COVID-19 mitigation equipment. Eligible entities include restaurants, food stands, food trucks, bars, saloons, lounges, taverns, bakeries, delis, cafes, breweries, wineries, and other similar places of business. For more information and to download an application visit rocklandgov.com.
  • Fill out this survey to help the county provide better digital services.

Connect with Nyack News and Views

Note to readers: We want to hear from you and welcome your input! What do you think we should be covering in your Rockland County village? Let us know at info@nyacknewsandviews.com. Send us story ideas, issues to investigate, letters, reviews, photos, videos, feedback and news tips. And read about our vision for delivering high-quality, hyper-local journalism and how you can help us fulfill our mission going forward.




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