Fate of Glynn portrait hangs on school board’s decision

KINDERHOOK–At last week’s meeting the Ichabod Crane Board of Education tabled a motion to make clear the ownership of a portrait of Martin H. Glynn, which is on loan from the school district to the Village of Valatie. Board members wanted to make sure the wording in the motion that “the village agrees to properly maintain the painting and to provide appropriate security for the painting, both with sufficient specialization as this historical painting warrants” is specific enough to protect the painting.

Board member John Chandler pointed out at the January 6 meeting that the motion also includes language that says the painting is owned by the school district and the district can require the village to return if the school board wants it back. The motion reads: “Ownership of the painting shall remain with the district and the district may retake possession of the painting at any time, for any reason, in its sole discretion.”

The portrait of the former governor and Valatie native now hangs in the Martin H. Glynn Municipal Building. The village and town boards jointly bought the former school building for $1 from the district when the district closed what was then the Martin H. Glynn School a few years ago due to declining enrollment. The town and village moved their offices into the building on Church Street in the village, along with the town court and a county sheriff substation.

The painting, which hung in the building when it was school, had been moved to the high school at the building closed but the mayor of Valatie asked for the school board for the painting in the summer of 2013 so it could be displayed outside their offices during a celebration to rededicate the building. At a board meeting in 2013, Village Historian Dominic Lizzi said, “The portrait was given to the people of Valatie, as I understand.”

The Village Board recently sent a letter to the district with a resolution to make the village office the painting’s permanent home. The school board then had the district’s lawyer revise the resolution from the village. “It would be nice if we were all on the same page,” ICC Superintendent George Zini said at the last school board meeting. Once the board has clarification on the maintenance and security of the painting, the Board of Education plans to adopt the motion and send it to the village of its approval.

Also at last week’s meeting the board heard from the English Language Arts (ELA) and Social Studies departments about their programs in kindergarten through 12th grade. Both high school department chairs said to teach all the electives they hope to offer, they need more teachers.

ELA Chair Connie Melone said that in the 1980s the district had 11 English teachers, in the ’90s there were 8 and now there are 6. She said that she understood why the board made cuts but that there were classes once offered that the teachers would like to see come back to the district.

“It would have a significant positive impact,” said high school social studies teacher Patrick Sanger of adding a teacher to his department. He talked about class sizes in the high school, saying that smaller class sizes would greatly help with “how much time I have to spend with a student.”

“I think you both need additional colleagues,” said board member Bruce Naramore after the presentations.

During the public comment section of the meeting the board heard again from residents about the proposed veterans tax exemptions that the district can offer if the board passes a motion for the exemptions by March 1. The board held a public hearing about the tax exemption and the impact it would have on residents in the district.

At their last meeting in December the board passed a resolution to write to the state legislature asking lawmakers “to reexamine and amend Real Property Tax Law Section 458-a to equitably provide and fund the Alternative Veterans Exemption as applied to School District taxes.”

Resident Pete Woodward gave the board information about what other districts in the area are doing. Germantown and Pine Plans have adopted modified exemptions in their school districts.

Bob Cramer, another resident and veteran, said that he was disappointed in the board for sending the issue back to the state. “I’m only asking you to do your job and put this up for a vote,” he said at the meeting.

The board will hold a special meeting on Tuesday, January 20 at 7 p.m. in the high school library.

To contact reporter Emilia Teasdale email

 

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