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SUPERINTENDENT IS GETTING A RAW DEAL

As a longtime member of the West Seneca Board of Education, I would like to comment on the recent controversy regarding Superintendent Richard Sagar.

As a son and son-in-law of veterans who served during World War II, I believe very strongly in the liberties that have been paid for by the blood of our fathers and the tears of our mothers. When a person is unjustly accused and denied his constitutional rights, that is wrong.

Last spring, several concerns were expressed about Sagar's visits to classrooms, which were encouraged by the board. Because we have an obligation to provide a proper work environment, a decision was made to ask our counsel to investigate these concerns.

After an eight-day investigation, it was determined that Sagar was innocent of any wrongdoing. In fact, he was only following the instructions given to him by the board, which mandated that he be visible in the community and in the schools.

This practice made some people uncomfortable, since it made them accountable to their boss. With a $74 million budget, I want accountability, and a reasonable assurance that these precious taxpayer dollars are spent efficiently.

Since arriving in October 1994, Sagar has spearheaded many major accomplishments, such as the complete reconfiguration of our seven elementary schools, the creation of all-day kindergarten, block scheduling, looping in the middle schools, career academies in both high schools and a nationally recognized technology program.

Fiscal stability was recognized by the passage of our budgets with minimal or zero tax increases, all done while increasing services. The financial community recognized our school district by assigning West Seneca the highest bond rating in Western New York.

In return for his good work, the board has chosen to destroy a good man's reputation and cause terrible anguish to his family.

I have made several motions to have the actions of the board, certain administrative staff members and our counsel reviewed by the commissioner of education. Each motion has failed for lack of a second. What are some of my colleagues attempting to cover up? We need to know the complete truth.

HOWARD AVNET

West Seneca

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