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Senator Johnson Hit With More Broken Promises on Grant Funding

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Taxpayer headacheFunding for Late Buses for Catholic Schools Another Lie

Taxpayers are left paying the bill as empty promises from State Senator Craig Johnson continue to victimize the Floral Park, Elmont, Franklin Square, Stewart Manor and New Hyde Park communities.  Local school districts continue to scramble to recover from promised but never delivered grant funds that were announced by the scandal tainted Senator but never came.

The empty promises of the Senator have resulted in districts having to use funds to plug holes that the Senator has created.  The result of Johnson’s failed promises according to school district sources in multiple communities has, “been frustrating and maddening. Here’s a guy who promises but never delivers. We never had these kind of problems until he showed up.”

 

Elmont.org can report exclusively that specifically the Sewanhaka High School District, Elmont, Franklin Square, Floral Park, Port Washington and other schools in the 7th Senatorial district as well as Libraries in Elmont and other adjoining communities have been made such grant promises well over a year ago but have not received the funding. If fact, the Johnson promises have resulted in letters being sent to districts saying that the grant funding has indeed been cancelled.

“This guy is a like a deadbeat dad who says he’s gonna pay the child support but skips town right when you need it,” said a prominent Elmont PTA leader.

In Floral Park, an active Village leader noted, “we’re still waiting for the hundreds of thousands of dollars he promised us years ago. Our advice to parents is don’t hold your breath. This guy is all talk and no action.” The Village has been promised hundreds of thousands of dollars for infrastructure projects that never came.

The Senator Johnson scandal with grant funding is being pointed to as a significant contributing factor as to why there was no Summer School for school district pupils. “When you have to pay for the Senator’s lies to the taxpayers, his cuts to school aid, his MTA tax, his taxes and fees, then this is what happens,” fumed a Sewanhaka High School parent.

School Superintendents pointed to another Senator Johnson promise that was failed to be kept when the MTA payroll tax was passed. “This guy was the deciding vote. He said that we would get the money to plug the hole. He lied again. What can I say,” quipped a school leader with intimate knowledge of a prominent North Hempstead School budget.

In fact, the grants have become a community joke in some school districts. One Superintendent, Warren Meierdiercks, of the Sewanhaka Central High School District, has remarked repeatedly, “no grant money has come in from the Senator.” Meierdiercks injects his well known deadpan humor when he jokes with PTA leaders that, “the grants are like what Norm from Cheers used to say, it’s in the mail.”

The Elmont Union Free School District has also been promised hundreds of the thousands of dollars from the Senator over a period of years that has never materialized. “We don’t believe him anymore. He comes to the schools hands out cheap school supplies with GYO and treats the community like we’re stupid. Everybody is on to this guy. The Library was promised, the American Legion, the Fire Departments. The only person who wasn’t promised money from the Senator were the people that are paying his tab everyday, you know, the taxpayer!”

Grant funding, like candy to a child, was dangled in front of school leaders this past year. as a sort of hush money from the Senator to calm the fears of school districts as the Senator voted for the MTA tax and dozens of new taxes on homeowners and school districts. The only difference is that none of the money has come to the schools.  One grant item that continues to infuriate school leaders and community members is that of Parochial Late School Buses for Catholic Schools in the greater area.

“The late buses were cancelled as a result of cuts being made to the budget. Parents were rightfully upset and showed up at Board meetings to get the buses back. Senator Johnson’s staff promised us the money and his Chief of Staff Rafe Lieber said it was a done deal,” said a Catholic School parent intimately involved in the issue.

Johnson, then made a community show out of his unannounced visit to a School Board Meeting and declared that he was giving the money to the district.  Catholic School parents were pleased that the funding would save the buses. The problem was there was no check and it still hasn’t come.

“I’m embarrassed. This guy said he gave the money. There was no money. Kids went without in the district and we have him to thank for it. Trust me, this is an issue that people will never forget. School clubs were slashed. Funding for sports was cut. No Summer School. Then this politician shows up and takes more from them on an empty promise,” noted an angry New Hyde Park High School parent.

Since that time, Board Meeting after meeting, residents have stepped up to the microphone to ask where the money is. The reply from the School Board is that they don’t know. So, as a result, school district insiders have told Elmont.org that the funding for the late buses has come directly from the taxpayers. No grant funding came from the scandal plagued Senator.

Elmont.org can also report that the funding to continue to the late buses came directly from funding that was earmarked for the students attending the Sewanhaka Central High School district.  In order to keep the buses running, money had to be used from the district’s coffers. This year, the monies were built into the school budget.

“The bottom line is that parents who work hard, play by the rules, have their children in schools like Floral Park Memorial and Sewanhaka had to pay for this politician’s broken promise to the community? How about the money that was going to Floral Park Bellerose School? We had to pay for his promise there too,” said an active Floral Park PTA member.

Senator Johnson continues to walk around communities and promise grant funding to communities. If you have a story about the Senator’s “money promise not kept,” tell us here at Elmont.org!

Last Updated ( Friday, 03 September 2010 10:21 )  

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