School Board Trustee Angie Minew isn’t sure her car was keyed in retaliation for views she expressed at a recent meeting, but it would be “awful coincidental” if not.
On April 14, Minew said teachers were driving the opt-out movement in New York State. “The teachers’ unions are encouraging civil disobedience and shamelessly using children to fight this battle for them,” she said. After thanking teachers whom she said behaved “professionally,” Minew went on to address “those educators who feel manipulating young children to challenge parents, become civil disobedient, I urge you to take a look at what the word ‘federal mandate’ means.” She suggested “maybe take a look at your own contract, possibly take a new career path.”
The comments proved controversial, though Minew said many contacted her personally with messages of support.
Six days later, Minew was in Hershey, PA for her daughter’s dance competition when she awoke to find her car keyed. She estimated there were 70 people there from Saugerties because several teams made the trip. She said the hotel was relatively upscale and hotel staff and local police were surprised — vandalism wasn’t common there. In addition, her car was an easy mark, as the license plate has “MINEW” on it. She said eyewitnesses described the offender leaving in a silver or white minivan with New York plates.
The bill for the damage to the car, a 2006 Cadillac CTS, came to $1,438.02. That includes the repair plus repainting. Insurance covered most of it but she still had to pay the $500 deductible.
“It’s crazy to think that I was sitting in a room with someone who possibly did this,” she said. “And then possibly the same person might be at my house this summer for a BBQ, and I have no idea. It’s a cowardly act. And if it was a random act, then what can I do?”
Minew said the incident won’t dissuade her from speaking out on this and other issues. In fact, she plans to run for county legislator this year in District II, the seat now held by Chris Allen.