Rye Neck Schools Bond Goes Down by 17 Votes


rye neck high schoolThe Rye Neck Board of Education is expressing “disappointment” with the narrow defeat of its bond proposal Thursday, that would have provided additional space and enhanced instruction areas in the District’s four schools.

The measure failed by 17 votes.

“Our research concluded that basic infrastructure needs, growing enrollment of our district, and commitment to contemporary instructional environments demanded a comprehensive facilities approach. However, we respect our community’s reaction of the project, and will consider other options to meet these challenges in the coming months,” says a message on the Rye Neck Schools website.

 $35.5 million would have renovated media centers at the elementary schools and added new classrooms at the middle and high school and a new science center.

According to reports, the annual tax costs for a home with an assessed value of $10,000 would have started at $35 in 2017-18, incrementally increased to $377 in 2020-21, and then gone down to $288 in 2022-23. The district was expecting a state reimbursement rate of 13.6 percent.

18 thoughts on “Rye Neck Schools Bond Goes Down by 17 Votes

  1. It’s not just about Bellows field. The taxes are ridiculous. We already have good schools. We already have other bonds to pay off. Forty million dollars is crazy! You could build a whole new school(s)! Plus, the land is leased at the MS/HS; it’s not even our land. The teachers are going to need raises in their next contract. Not everyone in Rye Neck is well off! I am glad Mustic is leaving, because he does not listen to anyone. Our school district is not a good community partner. They will not even let the girl/boy scouts meet at the schools.

  2. This was a vote AGAINST another increase in our already sky -high taxes, the second highest in the county accdg to Westchester Magazine. Were the proposed improvements really necessary? Or just another way to spend other people’s money? $40 million is a huge amount of money – and for ine of the smallwst schools in the county. Not every family here benefits from the school system. But we all pay ridiculously high taxes and our property values will suffer if the taxes keep going up.

  3. Rye Neck’s BOE and superintendent just do not get it. You can not lie to people in a previous bond vote to get yes votes and simply expect people to forget about such lie and vote for a new bond. We were lied to about Bellows field and until that field is open to the public full time, I and many other folks will not even consider voting for any proposed bond. OPEN BELLOWS FIELD NOW!

  4. This was a vote AGAINST another increase in our already sky -high taxes, the aecond highest in the county accdg to Westchester Magazine. Were the proposed improvements really necessary? Or just another way to spend other people’s money? Not every family here benefits from the school system. But we all pay ridiculously high taxes and our property values will suffer if the taxes keep going up.

  5. Harold,

    By the by, I fully agree with your analysis of why the bond failed. As to assessed v. market value issue, the Village of Mamaroneck works on a 100% assessment valuation system, thus in the Village at least, there is no difference between assessed value and market value.

  6. What kind of “report” sites the tax implications of bond as it pertains to a house assessed at a value of $10,000 ? Is this a joke? The only reason you would use an absurdly low assessment value in such a report is to try to make it look as if the property tax implications of such bond were small when in fact they were quite substantial. Exactly how many properties in the in the Rye Neck school district are assessed at a value of $10,000? Exactly zero. The median home price in the Rye Neck District is approximately $700,000.

    • I am a Rye Neck parent and I have discussed the bond with many other parents. The bond didn’t pass for two reasons: 1) Parents were betrayed with the last bond. District leadership failed to disclose they wouldn’t be allowing residents to use the Bellows field after parents paid millions to renovate it. Complaints by parents after the fact fell on deaf ears. 2) Parents had zero input into the current, almost $40,000,000 bond. I don’t know how a school district can expect parents to pay for a $40,000,000 bond and not include them in the process from the beginning.

      I hope the new superintendent learns from this bond vote. This isn’t a dictatorship. Betray and ignore parents at your own risk.

      I must say it’s a shame RNSD leadership wasted this opportunity to make these improvements. Every parent I spoke to was 100% for the improvements and didn’t consider the cost to be an issue. It was simply the arrogance of RNSD leadership that defeated the bond.

      • Harold – I am the VP of the Daniel Warren school in Rye Neck and went to the school myself. I have never ever heard your name before. What grade are your children in? It is interesting how people can comment and not leave their names. It is unfortunate that you did not come to one of the many, many meetings that were held to discuss the bond. I would think a person with such strong opinions would have been willing to share them in person rather than a comment section online. Interested to hear back about your children and history at Rye Neck…

        • Dear Ms. Grolle,

          First, I was unaware the our schools had “vice presidents”

          Second, no one who skipped the meetings to “discuss” the bond missed a thing. I attended several and such meetings were not “discussions” in any sense. In reality, the meetings were nothing more than a one-sided effort to press forward pro-bond propaganda. No one was permitted time to raise actual objections to the bond. Instead the only thing permitted was to ask “questions” and if such questions suggested that the bond was anything less than wonderful, they were met with non-answers or disingenuous answers.

          Your side, the pro-bond side, had every resource and advantage at your disposal, including slick videos, innumerable District wide mailings and unfettered access to the District web site to push your agenda. The anti-bond side had no budget, no District wide mailings, no videos, no web site etc. and, yet it won with real grass roots support and your side lost despite having every material advantage. I imagine that is embarrassing to you, but get over it and stop blaming people for choosing not to be fooled by an expensive propaganda campaign into recklessly spending $35 million dollars. People are entitled to have and express strong opinions in any forum they like, even if those opinions do not match your own or those of Rye Neck’s administration.

        • Gloria,

          You are a “VP” on the executive committee of Rye Neck’s PTSA which worked in collusion with Rye Neck’s BOE and superintendent to do everything possible to suppress real debate on the bond. There was no discussion on the bond at the “meetings” you speak about. Such meetings were nothing more than an propaganda effort to “sell” a ridiculous $35 million dollar boondoggle to Rye Neck’s already over taxed voters. Thankfully Rye Neck’s voters are far smarter than you and the PTSA gave them credit for.

          Your side had every advantage in the vote on the bond, including slick videos, limitless use of the school district web site, numerous district wide mailings etc, and you still lost. The no side on the bond had nothing other than grass roots support and won. Its victory should be a lesson in Rye Neck’s civics classes.

          Rather than investigate Harold’s kids or where he went to school, why not address the substance of his points? For example, why not tell everyone in Rye Neck why the PTSA has not done a thing to force the reopening of Bellows field to our kids?

          • Dear “Rye Neck”-

            First, please note that while I did state my position on the PTSA in the interest of being forthcoming (which I see is NOT a trend here) – my opinions expressed on this thread and this website are my own and in no way represent the PTSA or any other organization.

            Second, I would hardly call one question an “investigation”. I simply asked who this person is in relation to what he seems to deem himself an expert on. I never asked nor do I care where he went to school. In a community this small, I would imagine that it would be near impossible to have children in the district and NO ONE knows you and yet that seems to be case with your friend Mr. Block.

            Who’s name shall I give at the next meeting (I’m sure I will run into Mr. Block there since he goes to all of them too) about who is requesting, I’m sorry, demanding that the private fields at our school that are for our children’s use during school hours be open to the public like a park? (Mamaroneck has 14 public parks by the way, the largest of which is over 44 acres. I have the list if you need it.) Is your first name Rye and your last name Neck?

            It is extremely difficult for me to take anyone seriously who is not adult enough to give their real name. Without standing behind your own name, you have no substance. Right Mr. B? I’m pretty sure it’s a B…

            • Ms Golle,

              As you can see from the other comments you are clearly a minority on this board as you were on the bond vote. You are a shill for the RNSD leadership. Your anger towards the parents on this board make me wonder how you can be a “VP” of the PTSA in the first place. As a “VP” of the PTSA you should be representing the PARENTS not the administration. The outrage of the parents was clear in this bond vote and you appear to be completely clueless about this outrage despite being the “VP” of the PTSA. Minimizing the Bellows field issue by telling the “Rye Neck” poster that “Mamaroneck has 14 public parks by the way” shows how out of touch with the community you are. This bond vote should be a wake-up call to you and the administration.

              • Mr. Block – back again! Can’t believe I haven’t seen you at pick up yet!

                I am not angry at all. Amused slightly, but not angry. I am a concerned citizen who has every right to express their opinion even if it is the minority on this particular thread.

                You remind me of another Rye Neck parent who often hides behind a computer screen and never shows their face. It is interesting that anyone who disagrees with you is somehow unintelligent (clueless I think you called me) or afraid. It’s like you want to be a bully but you’re really a coward who can’t be out in the real world. I don’t like bullies, or cowards for that matter. I can and do respectfully disagree, and I would be happy to discuss it in person with you. Oh wait…you don’t do that.

                The sad fact is that the same people who were complaining for close to an hour about not wanting to walk around the block (you remember that from when you were at the meeting right?) are the same people who will complain when their high school students do not have access to the state of the art accommodations that other districts will have. It’s a vicious cycle that won’t end as long as there are people like you furthering their own agenda.

                Did you vote for the members of the school board? You know they are elected right? You know that they are parents, you know they are as invested in the school as any parent if not more because they actually take time to volunteer.

                What do you volunteer for at Rye Neck? I would think someone who is so in tune with the pulse of the community as you claim to be would be volunteering to serve the school and your children (Child or children? You didn’t mention…) in some way.

                I would be interested to hear your answer to one of my questions although we both know you don’t have any answers that you would actually post. So you can come back with another rant about you and all the parents you claim to represent as I am sure you will. It doesn’t matter, cowards don’t ever matter.

                Have a nice day.
                GLORIA GOLLE (real name)

                PS – VP actually IS real, it stands for Vice President so it shouldn’t be in quotes…I know “real” is not a big issue for you but just an FYI.

                • Ms Golle,

                  I don’t care to have this discussion devolve. I think the bond vote speaks for itself and I will simply restate my position. I believe the bond failed because the RNSD administration didn’t, and still hasn’t, addressed the concerns of parents regarding access to the Bellows field. Many parents felt, and still feel, betrayed and ignored. On the current bond the RNSD administration should’ve had more parent input from the beginning rather than simply inform everyone of the finalized bond and have it be a “take it or leave it” proposition. I think the RNSD administration has been taking parents for granted and this bond vote should be a major wake up call.

                  I’m all for the majority of improvements that were in the bond by the way. I think there should be a new bond and I think it would easily pass, provided: 1) Parents are taken seriously regarding access to the Bellows field. There must be some compromise regarding access to the field by Rye Neck residents, and, 2) There should be a committee of parents involved in the new bond from the beginning. Parents should be well aware that the committee exists and should be able to provide input and get updates through the committee.

                  I think many parents went into this bond vote with the attitude “Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me.” Now the RNSD administration has to deal with that. Hopefully they will take the concerns of parents more seriously going forward.

      • Gail is right, Harold. The assessed value in the Town of Rye/Village of Mamaroneck is at 100% of market value. The City of Rye is not, but that refers to a fraction of Rye Neck. Gail is absolutely correct about the tax effect on homeowners in the Town of Rye/Village of Mamaroneck — the school board underestimated the tax impact. I would guess that was done deliberately. And yes, the effect of the Bellows bond did impact this vote, but the ever-increasing high taxes, plus the fact that we have other bonds outstanding to pay for, plus the fact that the school board never solicited homeowner input, PLUS the fact that the taxes go up every year (although the cap has helped somewhat), PLUS the fact that they barely notified any of us about this bond….the signs went up and then the vote was shortly thereafter. I had to hunt to find the financials on this vote because they neglected to send any real financial info out to us. In New York, we spend more per student than any other state, and yet the results we achieve are far less (in the students’ performance). You can’t just throw money at the problem. Address the issues the way a business would address its problems — they wouldn’t just spend, spend, spend.

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