UPDATE: Election results available here.
Craig H. Long
Candidate for Ramapo Trustee120 Wayne Avenue, Suffern
Employment: Suffern Police Detective
Education: BA in History, Houghton College; Graduate Rockland County Police & Public Safety Academy; Graduate Suffern High School
Tenure: Lifelong resident of Suffern.firstname.lastname@example.org
Election Central: Why are you running for office or seeking re-election?
Long: I have served on the board of education for 12 years. During that time, we have been called upon to navigate significant change due to mandates from both the federal and state government. From the No Child Left Behind legislation to Common Core, APPR and now the Tax Cap, each has presented us with unique challenges that we have successfully addressed.
Locally we have significantly upgraded our buildings, grounds and technology infrastructure. We have had a complete changing of the guard in our central administration, due to an unprecedented number of retirements. We worked tirelessly to attract new talented administrators to our district and we have done so.
I have been part of a 7 member board, serving for many years as president, that has accomplished all this while continuing to maintain our excellent academic programs together with a wide array of extracurricular and athletic programs for our students. I believe I have contributed to all these successes and I would welcome the opportunity of continuing to serve our community as a member of the board of education.
Election Central: What in your personal, civic or professional experience recommends your election or return to office?
Long: I am a lifelong resident of Suffern. I attended and graduated from the district. My wife, who is a teacher in the district (and also a graduate) and I have raised our children here and have enjoyed the benefits of our excellent district.
I have always been committed to public service. As a detective in the Suffern Police Department, President of the Suffern Free Library, Board member of the Suffern High School Alumni Association, historian for the villages of Montebello and Suffern, the Town of Ramapo and Rockland County, I recognize the importance of public service and giving back, and have spent my entire adult life trying to improve the quality of life in our community.
Election Central: What would be your top three priorities if you are elected or re-elected?
Long: Excluding school districts from the GAP Elimination Adjustment legislation is my first priority. Our district has lost millions of dollars over the last few years and unless school districts are excluded from that legislation, we will lose millions more in the years ahead. We are committed to accomplishing this and will work at the local and state level with districts in our region and throughout the state to reach our objective. We must work with New York State School Boards Association and other similar state groups as well as with our state elected representatives because the sustainability of public education is at stake.
My second priority will be successfully negotiating with our employees whose 7 collective bargaining agreements will all be expiring on June 30, 2015. We will be called upon to find a balance between the needs of our employees and those of our residents. I understand that full well as I am both a public employee and a resident. The task will be a difficult one since we must do so at a time we must adhere to an unrealistic state tax cap. I am confident that if all of us come to the bargaining table in good faith, we will be successful. I have no doubts we can accomplish this.
My third priority is making sure we remain ever vigilant in maintaining safe schools for our children and staff. While we live in a safe community, we can never be complacent. Over the years our district has instituted many safety measures. As we have seen what has happened in far too many communities throughout the country, many of which have also described themselves as being safe, we must never take safety for granted. Our parents expect their children to be safe in schools and we take that responsibility very seriously.
As a parent and as a member of the law enforcement community, I will always keep my focus on the safety of our students and staff.