The Topic is Local School Board Autonomy and the Rise of the “Local Rule” Movement in the Greater Western New York Region. The Meeting Will Feature Newly Elected First-Time School Board Officials From Across the Region.

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Chris Carosa, publisher of the Mendon-Honeoye Falls-Lima Sentinel has announced that his paper will host a Greater Western New York (Virtual) town hall meeting on Wednesday, August 3^rd beginning at 7:30 PM to discuss the topic of movement towards local school board autonomy within the Greater Western New York Region.

Nearly a dozen members of the Western New York District of the New York Press Association are co-sponsoring this third in a series of virtual meetings, including the Mendon-Honeoye Falls-Lima Sentinel, the Akron Bugle, the Alfred Sun, The Batavian, Neighbor-to-Neighbor newspapers (including the Arcade Herald, the East Aurora Advertiser, the Springville Journal, Warsaw’s Country Courier, and the Franklinville Mercury-Gazette), and the Johnson Newspaper Corp’s Western New York papers (The Daily News and the Livingston County News) and Niagara Frontier Publications (Island Dispatch, Niagara County Tribune Sentinel).

The event is free and open to all residents of the Greater Western New York Region. Like previous Greater Western New York Town Hall Meetings, it will feature three 30-minute segments: Keynotes, a Panel Discussion, and an open forum.

This is the fourth in a series of public Town Hall meetings. More than three hundred people have signed up in advance to attend these events over the past year. Those interested can sign up by going to to register.

Scheduled to present keynotes and appear on the panel are Mark Kless, newly elected member of the Pioneer District School Board in Cattaraugus County, Jim Michalek, newly elected member of the Iroquois District School Board in Erie County, and Mark Buonaugurio, newly elected member of the Greece District School Board in Monroe County.

These men represent but a small portion of the number of newly elected school board members within the Greater Western New York Region during the 2022 election cycle. They each ran different kinds of campaigns but they appear to share a similar philosophy that has been gaining popularity recently.

This is not a debate, but a town hall meeting, which means the audience will be able to participate. While produced in a virtual studio, the event will be broadcast on the Zoom platform so it will be easy for interested people to join in. After listening to the three keynotes, attendees will have 30 minutes to ask the speakers to clarify and amplify their statements. After that, the attendees will break out into separate rooms based on their county of residence, further discuss ideas on what they believe school boards can do right now, before coming back to the main meeting and voicing their preferred choices.

For more information, contact Chris Carosa at (585) 733-4553 or by email at

To participate in the event, go to to register. The event is free and open to all residents of the Greater Western New York Region.

The Greater Western New York Region comprises the 17 westernmost counties of New York State and was formally defined by the Treaty of Hartford on December 16, 1786 with the creation of Preemption Line. These counties include: Allegany, Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Chemung, Erie, Genesee, Livingston, Monroe, Niagara, Ontario, Orleans, Schuyler, Seneca, Steuben, Wayne, Wyoming, and Yates.

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