School board member erupts at end of meeting


POUGHKEEPSIE – The meeting of the Poughkeepsie City School District Board of Education on Wednesday night erupted during board member comments at the end of the meeting.  Board member Debra Long was harsh in criticizing her colleagues and Superintendent Dr. Eric Rosser.

Long is running for the first ward seat on the city’s common council.  Angered by what she says are conversations by board members regarding her replacement on the school board, Long called herself “The realest one up here,” and announced that she was no longer seeking the common council seat.  “I’m pulling back from the common council because I’m going to sit here until my term is done.”  Long continued, banging on her desk and said, “I’m staying because the board don’t want me!”

Long also said that her dissatisfaction with the district is leading to her withdrawal of her children from the district.  “I’m taking my kids outta here – okay – because I’m tired.”

In addition to chastising the entire board, she singled out school board President Dr. Felicia Watson.  Long expressed concern that Watson withholds information from the other board members and considers it “governing.” She said the board “don’t govern because we have a controlling board president who is in conversation with the superintendent all day every day, and that is not governing – and it has to stop.”

Long retracted her statement about withdrawing from the common council race when contacted on Thursday morning.  “I just wanted to put them (board members) on notice that I am not happy with the way things are being done,” also telling Mid-Hudson News “I am still running for the common council.”

At the meeting, Board President Watson fired back, saying, “I do not speak to Dr. Rosser every day,” and was then interrupted by Long.  She tried to continue her response and was eventually able to say, “My life and my actions speak for themselves and I will not dignify allegations and lies to substantiate who I am as a human being.”

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