germantownjournal

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Kay’s Blog 7-12-12 Replacement Petitions Gathered, School Board Meeting, New Farmers Meeting

Yesterday was very busy for me, since I spent the day chasing after signatures on a petition for Democratic Delegates to the Judicial Conference.  The Judicial Conference is held in lieu of  a primary election to determine the Democratic and Republican candidates for Judges, a bow to the notion of  keeping partisan politics out of the process. The petition that we had circulated throughout the County had a technical error and, consequently, new replacement signatures were needed within a two-day window of opportunity.  Across the County Town Chairs sought the needed names and I am told this morning that our effort was a good one.  Germantown provided 31 signatures out of the approximately 300+ that were needed from Columbia County.  Thanks to all of you who made it possible.

There were two meetings last night.  The Library held an event featuring New Farmers in the region. My husband, Chuck, attended and was very pleased with the turnout.  There was a brief presentation,  followed by an informal Q& A among those attending. Most of the new growers were producing  vegetables in an organic way.  There was a lot of discussion about the way large Agribuniness companies had co-opted the FDA’s guidelines to allow many more non-organic techniques be included  in the official “organic” label.  it was pointed out that the Board that decides such things was heavily weighted toward large Agribusiness and little interest in small farming’s organic standards.

This topic was covered in-depth in a New York Times article of July 7th in the Business section:

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/07/08/business/organic-food-purists-worry-about-big-companies-influence.html?pagewanted=all

The School Board held its first meeting with the newly elected members, Ron Moore and Faydra Geraghty beginning their service.  The Board was reorganized to place Eric Mortenson as President and Ron Moore as VP, displacing Lynn Clum as President. Later in the evening there was an effort made by the new members to re-instate to a full-time status a few of the jobs that had been trimmed in the new budget. This caused some concern among the other Board members and the audience. Ralph DelPozzo, a Board member, has a potential conflict of interest since his own son is one of those who would benefit from such a change. If he recused himself from the vote there may be a stalemate vote of 3 vs 3, resulting in no change. The decision was tabled for a vote next week at a special meeting. The conflict of interest has been an issue known, but not discussed, for some time but to my knowledge has never been directly brought up before.

Chuck and I are looking forward to a quiet weekend–no family or guests coming, as far as we know!

Kay Abraham 537-5404

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