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Letter to County Executive Edward Diana:

March 16, 2006

 

Honorable Edward A. Diana
County Executive
255- 275 Main Street
Goshen, NY 10924

March 16, 2006

Mr. Diana:

In response to your February 8, 2006 letter, please note after continuous and repeated efforts we are still not in possession of the information under discussion concerning the Siting Committee’s activities regarding the O.C.C.C. Newburgh Extension Center.  We disagree with your analysis that there has been open discussion due to the fact that we were not informed of meeting dates and not supplied the requested information from J.M.Z. Associates.

I alerted you to the difficulties in my obtaining these materials several times by letter and several times verbally.  Additionally I have correspondences with Mr. Marino, Mr. Lahey and Mr. Benton.

Mr. Pahucki, Mr. Paduch and I hereby request the minutes of all prior meetings, all reports and all informational handouts that were discussed by the committee.  Additionally, we want a listing of all dates of meetings and a record of all those in attendance.  It is regrettable that this committee did not embrace the concept of open government and that this committee chair refused me the opportunity to even ask a question in the one meeting in which I attended. 

Among our questions and areas of concern include:

  1. An analysis of the difference between a satellite extension versus a branch campus.  What legal obligations are incorporated with a commitment towards a branch campus? 
  2. A cost analysis of the difference between the two options and the costs envisioned for security.
  3. Which college departments are anticipated to be removed from Middletown and transferred to Newburgh?
  4. What expansion plans are envisioned for Middletown and locations other than Newburgh, and corresponding efforts to integrate the opinions of community leaders and citizens?
  5. The status of Orange County and Orange County Community College’s commitment to the construction of the Gilman International Studies Building in Middletown.
  6. Orange County Community College’s commitment to improve the alarmingly high school drop out rate in the Middletown Public School System by instituting the Liberty Partnership Program.  It is worth noting that recent public statistics place Middletown with the most severe problem in the county. 
  7. An update as to whether any of my suggestions for expansion in Middletown were discussed considered or ignored.  One important recommendation was an analysis of Tuckerman Hall of the Middletown Psychiatric Center to be transferred to Orange County Community College, as well as the Kleiner Building.
  8. Please provide a description and scope for services for which the consulting firm J.M.Z. Associates has been operating under.

Our frustration with the closed nature of so many of the components of this Newburgh expansion plan has been conveyed to you and others on several occasions.  All parties are fully aware of our rights to file under the Freedom of Information Act to obtain this information.  It is our duty as Orange County Legislators and as a member of the Education & Economic Development Committee to be fully informed of all details of what may be the largest expansion and investment of community college services since the establishment of the college.  We do not stand alone in our concerns. 

Sincerely,

Jeffrey Berkman                                  Tom Pahucki                                   Michael Paduch

cc:       

M. William Lahey
Anthony Marino
Michael Pillmeier
Dr. Richards
Mayor Marlinda Duncanson
Roberta Glinton
Dr. Kenneth Eastwood

 

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