New Paltz Central School Board Trustee Bob Rich announced on March 21 he is resigning from his seat, effective June 30.
Rich said he made the decision to resign due to the time constraints caused by his work as a trial attorney. As his firm took on more people in recent months, Rich said the hours — now including mentoring — were more demanding, causing him to have to drop off certain committees.
Rich said the committees he was involved in included the facilities and audit committees, which focus on the necessary physical repairs to the multiple buildings in the district and examine the school district’s use of tax dollars to ensure transparency, respectively. These committees meet either once a week or every other week.
“I started dropping committees, trying to be equitable,” Rich said. “The more responsible thing was to resign.”
Rich served on the school board for six years starting in 1997. In 2010, he ran once more and has served on the board ever since.
In his time as a trustee, Rich said the board has always taken responsibility for the academic success of the district, which has been named on lists by U.S. News & World Report as one of the top public schools in the country.
“We’ve made it on these lists,” Rich said. “But, not by accident or overnight.”
School Board Vice President KT Tobin Flusser said Rich has always been a positive influence on the board as an advocate for the scholastic and extracurricular programs, and he will be missed.
“[Rich] is an extremely strong advocate for education,” Tobin Flusser said.
Rich said there were no issues other than work influencing his decision and he had a strong and cordial working relationship with the other board members.
“It’s really been a pleasure and an honor, and I mean that when I say it, to serve the kids and the district,” Rich said. “We’re there for the taxpayers, yes, but really, we’re there for the kids.”
Tobin Flusser, who is also leaving, said Rich’s resignation contributes to the fact that there will be a whole new school board in the next year.
“With four new members, there will be a change,” Tobin Flusser said. “I hope that they will continue to focus on education as the core and take significant action in developing a long-term facilities plan.”