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Lake Placid School super staying despite calls for resignation

Former principal: I’ll vote no on budget in protest

Former Lake Placid Middle/High School Principal Robert Schiller hands Lake Placid Central School Board President Phil Baumbach a petition of almost 600 names of people who are demanding that School Superintendent Randy Richards resign during the Feb. 21 meeting. Richards, seen at the far right, had admitted to and apologized for using inappropriate language when referring to female employees.

Former Lake Placid Middle/High School Principal Robert Schiller hands Lake Placid Central School Board President Phil Baumbach a petition of almost 600 names of people who are demanding that School Superintendent Randy Richards resign during the Feb. 21 meeting. Richards, seen at the far right, had admitted to and apologized for using inappropriate language when referring to female employees. Photo by Andy Flynn.

•BOCES technology spending that is more costly to the district;

•the use of BOCES services that are more costly and cannot be administered locally;

•the posting of possible staff cuts using exact salaries without any prior communication with individuals involved;

•and the removal of competent teachers from positions of districtwide importance.

Schiller’s comments received a standing ovation.

About 70 people attended the April 17 School Board meeting. Attendees repeatedly applauded the individuals addressing the board.

Judy Waldy, a parent, told Richards that she is “extremely appalled” by his previous comments and behavior.

“It is not acceptable to me in any way, shape or form, and I am embarrassed that you are our superintendent,” Waldy said. “Shame on you! I’m asking you to step down for the good of our children.”

On April 19, Richards told the Valley News he expects to stay on the job through the end of his contract, which expires in the spring of 2013.

Erenstone vs. Richards

Jeff Erenstone joined Schiller and Waldy in calling for Richards’ job.

“I wanted to use this upcoming vote as a referendum against Randy Richards — vote no to Randy and overwhelmingly take him down — but I’ve had some good conversations and cooler heads prevailed,” Erenstone said. “You need to terminate him because he’s sending a message that it’s OK to bully.”

“Vote this budget down, go anti-Randy Richards, and the kids will suffer,” Richards responded. “It has nothing to do with me. It’s for your kids.”

Erenstone used his time at the podium to question Richards’ math, his competence, and his integrity.

A press release stating that $500,000 must be sliced from school expenditures if the School Board’s proposed budget fails to win voter approval and a contingency budget is enacted was at the center of the Erenstone-Richards debate.

Richards said the $500,000 figure comes from adding the amount already trimmed from the budget and the $246,000 that will need to be cut if a contingency budget is adopted.

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