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Decision No. 14,806

Appeal of DOUG COLETY, et al., from action of the Board of Trustees of the New Rochelle Public Library, Lianne Merchant, Peter Rothberg, Frederic Sigel, Thomas Leghorn, Michael Schiffres, Leslie Margot-Demus and Robert Seitz, Jr. regarding a library budget vote.

Decision No. 14,806

(September 11, 2002)

Shaw & Perelson, LLP, attorneys for respondent, Marc E. Sharff, Esq., of counsel

MILLS, Commissioner.--Petitioners, residents of the City of New Rochelle, challenge the actions of the Board of Trustees of the New Rochelle Public Library ("respondent") relating to a library budget vote. The appeal must be dismissed.

Respondent, a school district public library, conducted a vote on a proposed library budget on June 12, 2002. Voters rejected the proposed budget and a second budget vote was held on July 9, 2002. The voters also rejected the proposed budget on July 9.

Petitioners purport to represent a class of voters of the City of New Rochelle that object to the July 9 budget vote and request that the vote be cancelled.

To the extent petitioners attempt to bring this appeal on behalf of a class, class certification is denied. An appeal may only be maintained on behalf of a class where the class is so numerous that joinder of all members is impracticable and where all questions of fact and law are common to all members of the class (8 NYCRR "275.2; Appeal of Broardt, 42 Ed Dept Rep __, Decision No. 14,796; Appeal of a Student with a Disability, 39 id. 1, Decision No. 14,154). A petitioner must set forth the number of individuals he or she seeks to represent and must show that all questions of law and fact would be common to all members of the class (Appeal of Broardt, supra; Appeal of Bluemke, et al., 39 Ed Dept Rep 447, Decision No. 14,281). Petitioners have failed to meet these requirements.

The appeal must be dismissed as moot. It is well settled that the Commissioner of Education will only consider matters in actual controversy and will not render a decision on a state of facts which no longer exist or which subsequent events have laid to rest (Appeal of J.F., 42 Ed Dept Rep __, Decision No. 14,800; Appeal of Bazemore, 41 Ed Dept Rep ___, Decision No. 14,742). The July 9, 2002 budget vote was held and the voters of the City of New Rochelle rejected the proposed budget. Therefore, the relief requested by petitioners may not be granted and the appeal is moot.