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No Spring Sports Season for Seaford Middle School

Fundraising efforts to restore cut spring middle school athletic teams fall short.

Despite tireless fundraising efforts from dedicated parents, the spring sports season previously cut from this year’s budget will not be restored.

The Save Seaford Sports Committee fell around $40,000 short of what was needed to fund the middle school spring sports by Thursday's deadline set by the district. The organization had previously raised enough funds the Seaford Middle School winter sports teams through numerous fundraisers including car washes, garage sales, comedy nights, raffles and parties. 

“Unfortunately, we were unable to raise enough money to restore spring sports,” said Save Seaford Sports co-president Ann Lynch in an e-mail sent Thursday announcing that the spring athletic season could not be salvaged. “Our fundraising was successful, but we did not raise enough money to meet our goal.”

Price said that the committee will wait to allocate funds raised for the spring sports season until after the budget vote on May 15. Seaford has been operating on a contingency budget this year after voters rejected proposed spending plansand . The Seaford Board of Education has been holding budget workshop meetings this month and is scheduled to adopt a spending plan proposal by mid April. 

Chris Wendt March 24, 2012 at 02:33 AM
Your school district cannot declare bankruptcy. For starters, you are not bankrupt. Secondly, your school board has the authority to levy taxes under the State Constitution, even if you do not pass the budget. You may not like your school board, but I assure you, they are no joke. They are all you have to steer your course out of the financial difficulty in which your school district presently finds itself. They are responsible for the education of YOUR children. Your teachers? People, your teachers are the very people who deliver that education to YOUR children. Everybody over there in Seaford had better settle down, get to work, and start pulling together. "A house divided against itself cannot stand." (Mark 3:25 & Abraham Lincoln's nomination acceptance speech, 1858) I sincerely wish all of you a good result with your budget and with your budget vote. My wanting that for you, over there in Seaford, is no match for you guys beating up on each other on this comment board. Please reflect upon how your in-fighting makes you look to your own townsfolk, and to the rest of us, out here on the blog-sphere.
Wayne Smith March 24, 2012 at 11:06 AM
Just to take stock: I don't see how things are going to change all that much until the budget year that begins in July 2013, which is when the current teachers' contract will have expired. For whatever the reason might be - and I really don't know what it is - Seaford hasn't been able to renegotiate its labor contract as has been the case with other districts. Meantime, there's really no dialogue of which I'm aware that contemplates the kind of restructuring moves that would yield sizable savings - whether that might mean consolidating with another district, significantly increasing class sizes, sharing services with other districts, etc. I'm not challengng that per se, I'm simply making an observation. What we've seen over the course of the last few years is a Board that has struggled to make ends meet by essentially eliminating or reducing anything beyond core curriculum. Middle school sports was another casualty in what has been a long string of programs and activities that parents wanted, that kids wanted, that got cut out of the budget. I'm not saying people don't have a right to be mad - they most definitely do and I'm most definitely in that category. But then the question becomes what do you - you know, besides dip into the scotch? For whatever it's worth, my take is that with elections approaching, we need to bear in mind that whomever we elect will vote on the next contract. My vote will be predicated on how any candidate stands on this issue only.
Chris Wendt March 24, 2012 at 12:44 PM
Sam, the Seaford Board of Education, as is the case with all 700 Boards of Education in NY State, does NOT and CAN NOT stop automatice pay raises for teachers who are on a step-increase compensation plan. Wantagh attempted to stop those raises, we did stop paying them when I was President of the Wantagh BoE. The union brought us up on charges and won their case before the PERB (Public Employee Relations Board). In order to stop paying automatic raises to teachers anywhere in NY State, the State Legislature and Governor would have to repeal the Triboro Ammendment to the Taylor Law. Read about this here: http://www.stopthetaxshift.org/employee-relations/25-triborough-amendment Instead of ranting and blustering about your school budget, on here, you should get together and lobby State Senator Fuschillo and Assemblyman McDonough to repeal the Triboro Amendment. I apologize for being so pointed in my remarks, but, it is in everyone's best interest if the situation is properly understood, and that realistic (lawful) expectations are set for your school board, for your school budget, and for the homeowners and taxpayers of Seaford...Wantagh...or anywhere on this island or in this state.
Lorraine DeVita March 24, 2012 at 01:45 PM
Correct me if I am wrong here Chris , but one of the problems Wayne is our legal representation does the negotiation as they had done with the PAST contract. It would be interesting to see what other contracts they have negotiated across LI for what SD's and see what those contracts look like. If a boiler plate then I have questions, If each is stand alone and PRO SD then I look to point fingers at the people who APPROVED the contract and as Wayne stated develop a BOARD that has the ability to be extremely stingy for lack of a better word and who will tear that contract apart line by line to insure this district doesnt get taken for another ride. Just understand becaseu of a little law called the triboro amendment ,IF there is no concensus of agreement on the contract in 2013 the Union by law will be under the current contracts stipulations until an agreement is reached by both sides. . So the negotiations will be intense. We need to insure our legal representation in those negotiations is strong and FIRM and the Board has the fortitude and is comproised of people equal to the task.
Chris Wendt March 24, 2012 at 04:47 PM
There can be no "problem" with a district's legal representation, especially if the BoE reappoints them year after year. The law firm doesn't establish the objectives, the Board owns the objectives. The law firm decides the tactics and they share in the development of the strategy with the Board. Its the law firm's tactics to implement the joint strategy for attaining the Board's objectives. At the end of the process, the lawyers present the final positons of their respective clients (Board and Union), and both parties compromise on their own objectives and settle the contract. Usually the success of negotiations hinges on the tactics. Sometimes on strategy, and occasionally on the objectives which define success or failure, but recognizing there are no unilateral, hard-and-fast demands that cannot be compromised in negotiations. 'Take-it-or-leave-it' bargaining, or "Boulewarism", is not lawful. The Wantagh BoE and the WUT became most successful when they radically changed tactics, excused their lawyers from the bargaining table and engaged each other in face-to-face discussions, leaving the lawyers to write-up the memorandum of agreement after the hand-shake. Firmness and fortitude are interesting sound bites, but not the stuff of real negotiations. Remember, in addition to hiring the Superintendent, setting the budget, and estalishing policy, the Board is also the employer of all your teachers. There is a relationship there. It should be a healthy one.
One Day Off March 24, 2012 at 05:09 PM
NASSAU COUNTY has continued the ordered pay freeze for an additional fiscal year. Probably we will see lay off and more jobs cut. Folk in private sector go to work glad to be employed. Dont worry Seaford UFT your all off a week in 2 weeks, and then suffer thru May until the TEN WEEK respite kicks in. YEA lets give em all raises??!!!! Poor Kids suffer. Shame. The Board has to resist giving a nickel raise to anyone and then MAYBE the budget will pass.
Lorraine DeVita March 24, 2012 at 05:11 PM
Chris, In light of the fact that Wantagh "excused" the their legal team. sometimes the legal teams on both sides get in the way, making and citing as you have refered in the past- legal opinion , but not actual law. You are most correct when you state both sides need to be in a relationship might i add that relationships needs to be EQUAL to be as you state HEALTHY.. Sometimes as we have seen with Gov. Cuomo, you DO need to be FIRM and stand firm on a take it or leave approach which then FORCES the negotiations to be open to more discussion. I have been at negotiation tables with unions and it isnt pretty, they do not like compromise regardless of the industry nor do they EVER want to make concessions or back down unless faced with consequences.the triboro amendment ties our hands when it comes to public employees and equitable anf fair negotiations . Employers of those unions walk into a negotiation with one hand tied behind their back . you also need BOTH sides to comprehend and concur that there are problems that need to be addressed. When one side refuses to acknowledge that a problem exists then your OTHER hand is being tied also.. you also need buy in from both sides that solutions need to be found that are acceptable to all, the ALL in this case should refer and include the taxpayers. Fiscally sound and responsibile soultions that enhance the overall educational quality while not breaking the backs and robbing the wallets of the taxpayers.
Lorraine DeVita March 24, 2012 at 05:27 PM
Understand teachers as public employees have little or nothing to LOSE in the negotiation process, it matters not to them that their own members maybe laid off or that the quality of education and the welfare of their students will be compromised becaseu by LAW aside form not being allowed to picket , they will just go along with the exisiting even (though expired) contract. Especially in light of them knowing in advance that their employer will be looking and asking for concessions and cuts. As one previous post stated we need to strongly address the appeal of the triboro amendment to allow all sides a fair and equitable negotiation.. NYS is the ONLY state in the country with this ridiculous law. It has given all Public Unions a huge upper hand and has given the employers, us, NOTHING . As taxpayers we have no lobby. Our supposed lobbyists are our elected officals , are all more effectively lobbied by the unions $$$ then they are by our collective voices. Money talks in Albany and as taxpayers we do not have a unified united front nor the $$ to make anyone listen and then ACT> . the only recourse we have is our VOTE.
Chris Wendt March 24, 2012 at 11:35 PM
The Board has already dispensed the nickels and are now obliged to live up to the contract with the teachers union at least for next year. In case you were not following this discussion, there is a law and now a binding precedent which prevents school districts from freezing teacher pay. Now, putting aside the name calling and ending the unproductive blame game, the Board could conceivably engage the teachers union in concession bargaining, and maybe reach some beneficial agreement, as was the case in Sachem recently. That would require a significant commitment of political capital and 'face' by the Board members, two of whom are brand-spanking new to all of this. I suspect the new members hold the key to possibly making something happen over there. They have the least to lose, the least invested of themselves so far. As far as the Seaford budget goes, the chips are down and all the breaks have been going against the Board, and against the taxpayers. I know that if I were on that Board (I am not) that I would make a suggestion that they aver another big fight in the community, and figure out what their contingent budget would look like, then adopt that as their budget to be voted upon in May. In that scenario, there would be no voting down the budget, other than just some numbers in Newsday the day after the vote. But the budget would be a done deal and you could all move on from there, not happy campers, but, not at war with yourselves, either.
Chris Wendt March 25, 2012 at 11:16 AM
I would not doubt that taxpayers from Merrick to Massapequa would wholeheartedly support a repeal of the Triboro Amendment. But, let's not forget that the Triboro Amendment did not create and pass itself nor sign itself into law. There were the legislature and governor who brought about the Triboro Amendment, and they are the same people who would have to repeal it. Why haven't they appealed it, or even tried to? Well, the flip side of the Triboro Amendment and the Taylor Law is that teachers and police officers are prohibited from striking. In the case of police everywhere, and especially for teachers in the Big 5 Cities, strikes could be disastrous. Out here on the Island, a teacher strike would actually be a very good thing, as any school board that confronted a teacher strike could immediately replace the strikers with permanent replacements, you know, those hopefuls whose resumes by the thousands flood LI school personnel offices every year. But it would be difficult for the Legislature to carve out an exception for suburban teachers, while still preventing city school teachers and police officers anywhere from striking. Difficult, but maybe not impossible. I alluded to potentially massive voter support for repeal of Triboro. But in order to amass that support, someone in each community from Merrick to Massapequa will have to pull people together for meetings, and then engage Senator Fuschillo in discussion about sponsoring legislation to get it done.
Lorraine DeVita March 25, 2012 at 02:58 PM
Chris, By amending the Triboro amendment to exclude all employess who are not service/support/safety related such as police would greatly change the landscape of negotiations and finances in this state especially as it pertains suburban and rural SD's. . It would remove the noose around the school districts necks and even the playing field. I am also quite sure Mayor Bloomberg would Welcome any opportunity to insure NYC has the ability to negotiate on a more even plane with the City Teachers Union as would probably the other Major cities in the state. I would even go so far as reclassifing ALL Teachers relegating them to the same UNION status as private employees who belong to non public unions ie CWA IBEW. . BUT that is pipe dream !
Lorraine DeVita March 26, 2012 at 02:15 AM
Chris, According to the new 2% reg's I may be mistaken but i think- IF a budget is voted down TWICE the "contingency" budget is a 0%. tax increase. The district would have to operate at the same fiscal amount in 2012-2013 as they are doing now in the 2011-2012 budget. That while it may appease some, it would be a HORRIBLE consequence for the community and more importantly cataclysmic for the STUDENTS. So i feverently hope that this board understands that they bascially have a VERY difficult task in getting THIS community to buy into ANYTHING OVER 2%.. It is going to be a harder sell then last year I fear. Especialy in light of their lack of commnication and transparency with the MS Sports organization and the SD's refusal to address discrepencies with athletic fund allocations.. They certainly are not making it easier to buy into anything they say because of their inability to answer certain financial issues in a straight forward direct manner showing a lack of transparency and an unwillingness to communicate. effectively .They now have an given themselves as even GREATER credibility issue.
TJ KOERNER March 26, 2012 at 08:17 AM
@frustrated-seaford-resident Yea but think how much more your taxes would have gone up if we passed the budget. If they put out a reasonable budget people would vote yes but when you put a 9% increases when most schools put a 3% increases yea people are going to vote no. Seaford needs to bring it back about 10 steps. I wish I could ask for a 9% raise twice and the boss says no and than I only get a 8% raise like the Seaford budget. It's a joke
TJ KOERNER March 26, 2012 at 08:25 AM
@ chris-wendt The BOE is the one who got us in this mess in the first place. I agree the well has run dry.
TJ KOERNER March 26, 2012 at 08:34 AM
If the board would have put up a 2% increases last year it would have been voted YES, but they needed to put up a 9% increes twice and that's why it was voted no. I wouldnt mind running for the board, we need some new faces on it.
Lorraine DeVita March 26, 2012 at 12:03 PM
TJK, The current remaining Board members, Rich& Brian Voted No on the Increases during the last and exisiting contract. You can personnaly thank Mr.S, Mr. D and Ms. H. your neighbors in Seaford for throwing this communitys financil future under the wheels of the Unions Mega Bus. .Mr. S. and Mr. D. have since resigned from the Board. each citing different reasons, one left in a huff, the other cited "business reasons" but both vociferously voiced their disgust at the community for failing the budget. Ms. S. was voted out ,but before she left, in the final few days of her trustee seat ,her final coup de grace was to vote FOR the increases for the teachers during a very hasty and contrived near secret board Vote. Leaving Rich , Brian and the then newly elected Bruce to deal with the fall out and consequences the other members left as their legacy to Seafords students and community. We also got one hell of football field , a new music wing and a swell feel good day thanks to the "departed three".
BeeKay March 26, 2012 at 12:32 PM
@ TJ, I'm not sure if you are a regular attendee at the meetings, in particular during the budgeting process, but if not the reason why Seaford was hit with a 8.99% tax levy increase last year was mostly a result of several factors. The state cut aid drastically, and most districts had a Fund Balance, or reserves, to help offset the cuts without increasing the tax levy drastically. Seaford has one of the lowest, if not THE lowest, reserve balances in the county and was unable to "dip" into these funds because doing so would lower their bond rating. They also lost the income from the Seaford Ave school which BOCES had been leasing. In addition, but I could be wrong, I believe the 2007 bond payments kicked in. This created a Perfect Storm of sorts. They have cut a good amount of programs, I believe cut all chairperson positions (except SpEd and PhyEd), and as we know, MS sports. Unfortunately the contract is just that, a contractual obligation. Hopefully the board and Union could work something out. It is easy to blame the union, but nobody here is involved with the negotiations and we don't know if BOTH sides are cooperating with the other. The bottom line is we all should become informed before casting our votes. Definitely go to meetings, become informed of what the budget encompasses, and then vote NO if you truly feel they could do better. I don't the rational in voting NO to "stick it to them". BoE meeting this Thursday, 7:30 at the Manor. Have a good week
Lorraine DeVita March 26, 2012 at 12:38 PM
Before anyone in this community Starts a campaign to Vote No on a budget that we havent even gotten the numbers on, I STRONGLY suggest we give the current board a chance to detail in a very transparent manner the numbers, allowing us the taxpayers to make an INFORMED decison. Last year we had a huge increase & what wasnt helpful was the unions ploy to seed a seat on the board, nor did the Union conceed to any give backs.That combo in & of itself was HUGE smack in the face to the community and the students.Causing as much if not More outrage then the budget itself. This year hopefully our teachers "will see the light" , recognize that their actions Greatly impact the future of this community as other Unions and their peers have in the SD's across LI and the state. We need as voters to be especially vigilant as to WHO we place on the board for the two seats up for grabs. especially as it will impact the negotiations coming up. We also need to QUESTION in depth the numbers submitted to us for the budget. Hopefully Mr Conboy has learned from his initiation by Fire as his first year comes to close, has taken heed ,cleaned house & has learned sometimes you "Do need to walk softly but carry a big stick" Accountability is something that needs to addressed with specific individuals on his staff. ITs HIS watch we are under now. For the sake of the students and the community I hope he gets it right THIS year and is not once again left shaking his head in shock at the outcome.
Lorraine DeVita March 30, 2012 at 01:01 PM
Before anyone goes jumping up and down fist pumping with a proposed 400k additonal aid to this School district in the new state budget, I fervently hope the board and administration dont go on Neiman Marcus spending spree when we are still at Walmart/KMart levels , mindful of their fiduciary responsibilities to BOTH the community and the students . Also realizing that planning for the future is AS important as spending indiscrimantly if not more so. Actually their job just got HARDER not easier. How to insure measuarable cuts are made that evoke and promote quality, exhibit thoughtful restraint and lay a footprint for the future. As an aside how the HELL did Wantagh get almost more then TWICE as much additional funding. Can we hire their bean counter to moonlight for us? Hopefully the difference is their all day kindergarten funding which is SORELY needed in Wantagh..
BeeKay March 30, 2012 at 03:26 PM
@ Lorraine - I was at the meeting and BC explained that with the additional aid, Seaford can now raise their tax levy up to 2.93% without needing a supermajority in favor. He cautioned against this, and most BOE members seemed to agree, that doing so would not be wise. A 2.93% tax levy increase would cover a "roll-out/roll-over" budget and include the same programs as this current year (it seems MS sports won't be around for at least another year). BC suggested they work towards somewhere between 2 and 2.93% and threw out 2.5% as a scenario. With a tax levy increase of 2.5%, the roll-out budget would need to be trimmed by 159k. In addition, he emphasized that if the district were to go below 2.9% (their max allowable increase), the difference can be applied to next year, so at 2.5% they would have an additional .43% to use next year. It appears that BC is concerned primarily with multi-year planning and solidifying the district's finances. I left around 10 so I'm not sure what was discussed after then.
Chris Wendt March 30, 2012 at 03:48 PM
The good citizens of New York were led to believe, by the various good offices of the Legislature and our heroic Governor, with the complicity of the media, that OUR tax concerns would be addressed by a "TWO PERCENT TAX CAP". Sure, there is a messy, stupid formula to make 2% equal 3%, or 2.93% or 2.5% for school districts that just cannot get a grip on controlling their spending. But you know what? The good citizens who are being taxed to death aren't interested in hearing about some stupid magical formula or any exceptions and exemptions that try to falsely make 2.93% equal "TWO PERCENT". What equals two percent? Two percent equals two percent, that's what. You know what else? The stakes are much higher this year than ever before, because if the school budget fails this year, the allowable spending increase for next year (2012-13) is ZERO PERCENT! That spending freeze, right there, could provide a strong motivation for anti-tax activists to try very hard to defeat any budget that exceed the TWO PERCENT TAX CAP. So if cutting $159K would resuilt in a 2.5% tax hike, then cutting $350K would probably hit the TWO PERCENT TAX HIKE right on the head. Cutting a school budget by $350K is NOT ROCKET SCIENCE! You can do this!
bobby v March 30, 2012 at 04:01 PM
Actually BC said one MS season would be in budget not sure which on
BeeKay March 30, 2012 at 04:30 PM
@bobby_v...yes, being a roll-out budget, identical to this year's, it would probably be the fall season once again.
Lorraine DeVita March 30, 2012 at 04:56 PM
there are serious concerns we all must address- Are we SAVING the .43 for increases in next years teachers contracts? Not having been to the budget advisory meetings i am asking if line items were addresses in detail. If it says (hypothetically) that the athletics department line item number is 600k is there a minutely detailed breakdown that adds up to that 600k- are ALL athletic costs under that single number or are they scattered around under different line items to confuse the masses? Band camp- now really people its a CAMP , has it been x'd off the budget or are we still paying ? and WHY are we still paying? Scope- What exactly are they paying the district - they charge per child dont they they make a profit? Why cant we reap some those $$'s and ask them to EXPAND there offerings on the k-5 level to include computer club etc. taking the onus off the district it seems rather redundant to have an after school program BOTH by the school and by a separate entity that charges.
Lorraine DeVita March 30, 2012 at 05:10 PM
One Season for MS sports? what about taking line items EQUALLY out of the entire k-12 footprint- Why single out one group ? thats very discrimnitory isnt ? Perhaps the Viking VOICE could be a CLUB like most other HS papers, or Stock trading could be a club or some of the boutique electives that arent core focused and turn them into clubs instead of classes.. Save on salaries, cut down # of teachers while increasing their abiltiy to pad their salaries with club stipens.. There are a MYRIAD of ways to address this, And while I applaud BC for looking long term I question is he looking long term for contract negotiations or long term in turning this district aorund? There's a difference. They are definitely NOT synonomous. 2% is a figure this community has in its head. and with NUMEROUS other districts coming in UNDER the 2% mark this is STILL going to be a hard budget to pass. especially since they continue to ignor other Sacred cows and patronage and nepotism issues ...Credibility is something this board and this administration is going to have to work hard to acheive. Transparency& accountability are no longer just buzz words .. If we cut 20% of the boutique electives that are not CORE mandated on the HS level, INCREASE classroom time for core curriculmn by 10-15 minutes to make up for the loss of the electives go from 9 periods to 8 within the same hourly footprint . We could save MORE then the 350K in under 5 minutes without BLINKING..
Wayne Smith March 30, 2012 at 05:17 PM
Chris - You're right they can, but having witnessed some of this discussion last night, my sense is that they won't. I would also agree that it would be a mistake to underestimate the extent to which there could be an unfavorable reaction to anything over 2%. As in previous years, the board is focused on the critical need to "communicate" with the community when it comes to the budget, presumably especially as this relates to raising taxes by greater than 2%. There was much the same concern expressed last year, as I recall, and there was some self-blame for having not communicated effectively when the budget was defeated. In some ways though I think the board blamed itself too much. The problem I see is that you really can't communicate effectively if people aren't listening. And at this point, many in the community just won't.
Lorraine DeVita March 30, 2012 at 08:20 PM
What this community needs to see instead of the traditionaly confusing convulated PIE chart BS is the ACTUAL line itemized budget.all 500 lines of it.. Just lay it out there for all to see and then allow US to ask specific & pertinant questions, give us honest straighforward (non ALDRICH) answers , so we the taxpayers can make a truly informed decision on whether or not we feel this is the best budget you could have presented this is int he best interest of the students and the community. IS that TOOOOOOOO much to ask? .. NO pie charts no mumbo jumbo , no misdirection, no sarcasm, no beating around the bush.Be PREPARED. please insure every person responsible for budget numbers submission is there to answer directly , which means, directors, chairs, managers, etc. for further clarification if needed. We need to fully comprehend what you plan on doing with every last dime of our money.. in detail..and why... Thats transparency,thats open honest communicaiton with the community . Equally as important .Its imperative you LISTEN to your community. It is KEY that you.hear what they have to say and understand why they are saying it..
ap April 03, 2012 at 01:11 PM
The community has lost faith and trust with the board and administration. The only way to regain is thru communication. Show everyone exactly what things cost line by line. Let the community be fully informed on what they lose if they defeat a budget. Show the community you are putting the kids needs and education before waste, raises and over staffing, The parents will pay more than the 2% for our kids but we will not allow the board ad administration to cut from our kids (20% of budget) and continue to fund the 80% ( salary, benefits and retirement). Once again decisions of 2010 contract negotiaion comes back to haunt us. Are you listening board members and Mr. Conboy? Can I be more clear?..
Lorraine DeVita April 04, 2012 at 03:00 AM
T<R<A<D<I<T<I<O<N = 2.5 TAX LEVY by the board on 4.3.2012 You can cut just about anything in Special Ed, Technology , Elementary school,and while ir troubles him deeply all these cuts HE WILL NOT TOUCH BAND CAMP !!!! He knows WE Value our Traditions and he is the keeper of everything SEAFORD holds near and dear. .. Except one small wee fact. Mr Manzo Made everyone PAY for band camp and their uniforms BC ! Selective memories produce selective traditions is seems ! Tradition! eveyone hold hands now and sing - :If I were a rich man: .. BC.s theme song
Lorraine DeVita April 04, 2012 at 11:35 AM
If I were a rich man, Yubby dibby dibby dibby dibby dibby dibby dum. All day long I'd biddy biddy bum. If I were a wealthy man. I wouldn't have to work hard. Idle-diddle-daidle-daidle man.

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