Not getting nominated for the role of president of the New Paltz School Board isn’t sitting well with Diana Armstead. At the October 6 board meeting, Armstead for the second time expressed dissatisfaction with how that process unfolded this year. The last time the focus was conversations different board members had with one another leading up to the reorganizational meeting in July, but this time Armstead talked more about the seating arrangements at the board table for that meeting. The fact that Bianca Tanis and Brian Cournoyer — who were selected as president and vice president at that meeting — were seated in the center of the table sent a signal that the decision was already made, Armstead believes. Tanis maintains that Sandra Ermo, the district clerk, was responsible for choosing which name placard to put in front of each seat. Ermo was not present at last Wednesday’s meeting.
Armstead insinuated that the leadership slate was selected outside of the meeting, but Tanis denied that. “There was never a full board discussion.”
Glenn LaPolt, the most recent former president, reiterated the position that the process has been the same for many years. LaPolt sought guidance from Cournoyer and Michael O’Donnell, both former presidents, when preparing for that meeting. “There was nothing improper about it,” LaPolt said.
“You have to show interest,” said Teresa Thompson, by asking a colleague for a nomination. “I never have,” Thompson added, out of an awareness of the additional responsibilities. Armstead admitted that no such request was made of any other trustee.