Sunday, Sep 23rd

Last updateSat, 22 Sep 2018 2pm

You are here: Home Content Parenting League Asks for More Democratic Bond Planning Process
first
  
last
 
 
start
stop
Scarsdalians Steal the Show at the 2018 Emmy Awards

Scarsdalians Steal the Show at the 2018 Emmy Awards

Phones all over Scarsdale lit up at 9:33 pm on Monday night 9-17, w...

School Lunch Program Debuts to Mixed Reviews

School Lunch Program Debuts to Mixed Reviews

Despite months of planning, collaboration with parents and teachers...

Bronx River Books: Now Open in Scarsdale Village

Bronx River Books: Now Open in Scarsdale Village

Jessica Kaplan and Mark Fowler of Bronx River Books Like many of you...

Police Report: Jewelry Stolen During Sylvan Road Burglary

Police Report: Jewelry Stolen During Sylvan Road Burglary

Burglary: On Sept. 14, a Sylvan Road resident reported her house ha...

first
  
last
 
 
start
stop

League Asks for More Democratic Bond Planning Process

timeimageThis statement was read to the Board of Education at their September 25, 2017 meeting by Mary Beth Evans, Chair, LWVS School Bond Study Committee, and Linda Doucette-Ashman, Co-President, LWVS and sent to Scarsdale10583 for publication:

To the Board of Education:

The League of Women Voters has been dedicated since its founding in 1921 to the ideals of the democratic process. As a nonpartisan political organization whose core mission is to promote the informed and active participation of citizens in government, the League of Women Voters of Scarsdale has a long history of studying and commenting on local government engagement of community input into the decision making process.

While not without precedent, it is unusual for the League of Women Voters of Scarsdale Board of Directors ("League Board") to issue statements in advance of a League member consensus meeting; however, after discussion, we determined that the following major concerns about the current School District facilities bond process do warrant a League Board statement at this time:

• The School District has made available to the public an extraordinarily large volume of data during six public meetings over the past four months; yet, this information has neither been presented in a digestible format, nor has it remained constant, with plans and priorities, and even the numerical ranking and definition of priority work items, subject to change from meeting to meeting.

• At the same time, the community has yet to be provided with a framework for understanding what our school buildings need in order to preserve and enhance a high quality Scarsdale education.

• The community also has not been provided a clear statement of the School Board's overall objective for this bond as it relates to the quality of our schools and Scarsdale educational values.

• Meanwhile, major bond related decisions have already been made over the summer with insufficient opportunity for public input and insufficient School Board deliberation to fully inform the public in a manner that allows the community to engage, question, challenge and/or support the School Board's educational rationale and fiscal assumptions.

• In addition, a compressed schedule of School Board-directed building and District-wide committee meetings, which did not begin until this month, does not allow sufficient time for the School Board to consider and respond to possible committee recommendations for substantive changes to either the proposed Greenacres School renovation and addition plan or the proposed uses for the remainder of the bond before the October 16 statutory deadline to issue a final bond resolution for a December 2017 bond vote.

• Moreover, given the short amount of time and the absence of School Board meetings between now and October 16, members of the community may reasonably assume that there is no opportunity to significantly modify either the Greenacres School proposal or the proposed uses for the remainder of the bond.

• Finally, although the public was told back in May that there would be a "full blown bond package" and public "forums" in September, a "December 2017 bond vote" timeline now appears to be driving a process that does not allow time for the community to weigh in on a complete bond package before the School Board would need to adopt a final bond resolution.

The League Board maintains that rather than allowing a goal of a particular bond vote date to determine the extent of community participation, a goal of maximum community engagement and input into the bond decision-making process should be a School Board priority in deciding the bond timeline.

In order to develop a school bond that is a product of a District-community partnership, the School Board should proactively encourage such partnership by ensuring the final bond proposal accurately reflects community values and priorities. We further maintain that regardless of the extent of community input since the start of the bond process in 2014, the community has not had sufficient opportunity to weigh in on whether the current iteration of the proposal released to the public September 11 accurately reflects community values.

We also note that as elected officials accountable to the public, members of the School Board should allow themselves time to deliberate fully and openly on all aspects of the bond proposal in order to give the public both insight into their decision-making process and opportunity to weigh in on their deliberations.

We therefore recommend that the School Board:

1) Set a bond vote date that prioritizes community participation, allows for a more deliberative School Board process, and involves the School Board's proactive engagement of the community's input; and
2) Immediately address issues of community engagement by adding multiple dedicated meetings for public presentations and community feedback to ensure the School Board's final decision is guided by community values and priorities.

Thank you for your consideration.

Sincerely,

Linda Doucette-Ashman and Janice Starr, Co-Presidents
Mary Beth Evans, Chair, School Bond Study Committee
League of Women Voters of Scarsdale

Click here to see additional questions from the LWVS raised at the 9-11-17 meeting of the Board of Education.

BLOG COMMENTS POWERED BY DISQUS

Good Work

SETTING

Firefighter Sworn-in and Others Honored at SFD Ceremony

Firefighter Sworn-in and Others Honored at SFD Ceremony

Nicholas Konicoff and Fire Chief Seymour One new firefighter was sworn in and nine career firefighters and one volunteer firefighter were ...

Read More

Around Town

SETTING

Ladies Who Lit to Debut at JCC

Ladies Who Lit to Debut at JCC

Edgemont’s Stephanie Risa Balkin, the new director of Arts & Talks programs at the Jewish Community Center of Mid-Westchester, is wor...

Read More

Neighborhood News

SETTING

Bronx River Books: Now Open in Scarsdale Village

Bronx River Books: Now Open in Scarsdale Village

Jessica Kaplan and Mark Fowler of Bronx River Books Like many of you, we were so excited to find that Scarsdale’s new independent bookstor...

Read More

On Our Minds

SETTING

Seasons Kosher Grocery Files for Bankruptcy But is Still Expected to Open a Larger Store at the Golden Horseshoe in October

Seasons Kosher Grocery Files for Bankruptcy But is Still Expected to Open a Larger Store at the Golden Horseshoe in October

Despite filing for Chapter 11, Seasons Supermarket is still expected to open at the Golden Horseshoe Shopping Center in October. The shop...

Read More

On Our Radar

SETTING

Hamilton Author Ron Chernow Coming to a Town Near You

Hamilton Author Ron Chernow Coming to a Town Near You

With the construction at the Scarsdale Library, many Scarsdale residents are heading over to the White Plains Public Library to access re...

Read More

Parenting

SETTING

Skolnik Promoted to Director of Content at NYMetroParents

Skolnik Promoted to Director of Content at NYMetroParents

NYMetroParents, the parenting division of Davler Media Group (DMG) encompassing eight print magazines including Big Apple Parent and the ...

Read More

Village Voices

SETTING

Gas Leak Shuts Down Post Road

Gas Leak Shuts Down Post Road

At 9:30 am on Monday September 17, workers who were repaving the Post Road in Scarsdale, struck a gas line causing leaks to homes on Evon...

Read More

Shout it Out

SETTING

Board of Trustees Report Repaving, New Gas Lines and New Stores in the Village

Board of Trustees Report Repaving, New Gas Lines and New Stores in the Village

This week’s Scarsdale Board of Trustees’ meeting was largely positive and brief, in contrast to the miserable weather that has taken hold...

Read More

School News

SETTING

SHS Class of ’19 Gets Their Chance to Chalk

SHS Class of ’19 Gets Their Chance to Chalk

The SHS Class of ’19 particpated in one of the rites of being a senior. On Friday September 14, Scarsdale High School seniors crowded aro...

Read More

Schools

SETTING

School Lunch Program Debuts to Mixed Reviews

School Lunch Program Debuts to Mixed Reviews

Despite months of planning, collaboration with parents and teachers and the best of intentions, the Scarsdale School administration found...

Read More

The Goods

SETTING

Scarsdalians Steal the Show at the 2018 Emmy Awards

Scarsdalians Steal the Show at the 2018 Emmy Awards

Phones all over Scarsdale lit up at 9:33 pm on Monday night 9-17, when a former resident became the surprise star of the Emmy Awards show...

Read More

Real Estate

SETTING

A Promising Start to the Fall Market

A Promising Start to the Fall Market

Sales:
21 Windmill Lane
Colonial designed and built by Scarsdale's most prominent builder with six bedrooms, 5.5 baths 6190 square feet fee...

Read More

Today's News

SETTING

Police Report: Jewelry Stolen During Sylvan Road Burglary

Police Report: Jewelry Stolen During Sylvan Road Burglary

Burglary: On Sept. 14, a Sylvan Road resident reported her house had been burglarized sometime between 7 p.m. and 10 p.m. The perpetrator...

Read More

Arts and Entertainment

SETTING

Create Culinary Memories At Donjito Tacos And Tapas

Create Culinary Memories At Donjito Tacos And Tapas

As new restaurants pop up frequently in Mamaroneck, I seem to be visiting this diverse community frequently. Most recently, there was Sof...

Read More

People

SETTING

Former Scarsdale Mayor Beverley Sved Passes Away at Age 74

Former Scarsdale Mayor Beverley Sved Passes Away at Age 74

Beverley Sved, (1944 - 2018) former Mayor of Scarsdale, died unexpectedly on the morning of September 22nd of a ruptured aortic aneurysm ...

Read More

first
  
last
 
 
start
stop

Programs for Scarsdale Kids