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Rye Schools, Council Demand Mandate Relief

RYE, N.Y. -- Rye City School District along with the Rye City Council have signed and submitted a joint resolution to Albany demanding "meaningful" mandate relief be enacted in order to ease the burden of districts and municipalities bound to the 2 percent tax levy cap.

The board of education reviewed and edited the draft of the resolution at its Wednesday meeting last week to make the language stronger. Among the changes was the switch from a "request" of the governor and legislature to provide mandate relief to a "demand."

Council member Laura Brett said that it is important to explain to members of the public what mandate relief really means.

"When we are talking to people who may or may not be aware of what it is we all need to be more specific," Brett said. "There are a lot of laws in the State of New York that we have no control over, that's what people don't understand, that's what mandate relief means. I encourage everyone to talk civically about what (they) feel is tying our hands on a budgetary level."

Rye City Superintendent Ed Shine said that the district has information on its website explaining unfunded mandates.

Board of education member Ed Fox supplemented Brett's comments by reminding members of the public that at November's elections many state legislators and leaders who vote on mandate relief and other issues are up for re-election.

"People need to vote for people who are going to say no to special interest," Fox said. "We all become the face of that and we are all forced to do the legislators’ bidding in becoming the bad guys. It’s incumbent upon all of us of to remind the constituents of the dark side they don't see."

The resolution has now been turned over to the city's state representative officials to be distributed amongst state officials in Albany. To view the resolution visit Rye City School District's website.

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