Monday, May 28th

Last updateSat, 26 May 2018 9am

You are here: Home Content Parenting League Asks for More Democratic Bond Planning Process
first
  
last
 
 
start
stop
Students Find Creative Ways to Ask Their Dates to Prom

Students Find Creative Ways to Ask Their Dates to Prom

The Scarsdale Senior Prom is just days away. The big night is Thurs...

Julius Reich Pleads Guilty to the Stabbing Death of his Wife, Robin Goldman and More from the Scarsdale Police

Julius Reich Pleads Guilty to the Stabbing Death of his Wife, Robin Goldman and More from the Scarsdale Police

Julius Reich Westchester County District Attorney Anthony A. Scarpin...

Teen Drives Jeep Into DeCicco's

Teen Drives Jeep Into DeCicco's

DeCicco's was hit hard by a Jeep, midday on Monday. Just before noon...

College Admissions Panel Debunks Myths, Answers Questions Surrounding the Admissions Process

College Admissions Panel Debunks Myths, Answers Questions Surrounding the Admissions Process

The Nine Panelists College Admission: the Myth, the Hype, and the Re...

SHS Alum Andrew Weber Speaks on Countering Weapons of Mass Destruction

SHS Alum Andrew Weber Speaks on Countering Weapons of Mass Destruction

Associate Village Justice Cindy Dunne and Andrew Weber The League of...

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

Smart Parking Meter Test Results In, Village to Evaluate Mobile Parking App

Smart Parking Meter Test Results In, Village to Evaluate Mobile Parking App

You may soon be able to use a state of the art parking app to feed the parking meter, making the need for a roll quarters a thing of...

Read More

Around Town

SETTING

Scarsdale Forum Celebrates New Officers and Endorses Study on the Feasibility of a Dog Park

Scarsdale Forum Celebrates New Officers and Endorses Study on the Feasibility of a Dog Park

Outgoing Forum President ML Perlman shares a laugh with incoming President Jon Mark. The Scarsdale Forum celebrated their former leaders a...

Read More

Neighborhood News

SETTING

Teen Drives Jeep Into DeCicco's

Teen Drives Jeep Into DeCicco's

DeCicco's was hit hard by a Jeep, midday on Monday. Just before noon on Monday May 21, there was the screech of brakes, the sound of break...

Read More

On Our Minds

SETTING

Scarsdale Baseball and Lacrosse Seasons Come to An End

Scarsdale Baseball and Lacrosse Seasons Come to An End

Scarsdale’s baseball and lacrosse teams both suffered devastating losses this week, marking the end of a good season for both teams. The ...

Read More

On Our Radar

SETTING

Sign Up Today for Curbside Food Scrap Pick-up

Sign Up Today for Curbside Food Scrap Pick-up

New Service: Curbside Food Scrap Pick-up

Starting the week of June 4th, the Village of Scarsdale will begin curbside residential food scra...

Read More

Parenting

SETTING

College Admissions Panel Debunks Myths, Answers Questions Surrounding the Admissions Process

College Admissions Panel Debunks Myths, Answers Questions Surrounding the Admissions Process

The Nine Panelists College Admission: the Myth, the Hype, and the Reality , presented by the SHS Guidance Department on May 10th, gave pare...

Read More

Village Voices

SETTING

Gun Violence Awareness Day Declared Plus More From the Village Board

Gun Violence Awareness Day Declared Plus More From the Village Board

The Scarsdale Board of Trustees with Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America Tuesday's meeting of the Scarsdale Board of Trustees was ...

Read More

Shout it Out

SETTING

Students Find Creative Ways to Ask Their Dates to Prom

Students Find Creative Ways to Ask Their Dates to Prom

The Scarsdale Senior Prom is just days away. The big night is Thursday May 31 at the VIP Country Club in New Rochelle. Continuing a Scars...

Read More

School News

SETTING

Scarsdale Assistant Superintendent Drew Patrick Earns Doctorate and Wins Award

Scarsdale Assistant Superintendent Drew Patrick Earns Doctorate and Wins Award

Dr. Andrew P. Patrick (Center) Receiving His Doctorate and Award On an evening when tornadoes touched down nearby, Manhattanville College ...

Read More

Schools

SETTING

BOE Talks Security, Sustainability

BOE Talks Security, Sustainability

Soon after yet another school shooting tragedy, the Scarsdale Board of Education opened this week’s meeting with an all too familiar expr...

Read More

The Goods

SETTING

Letter to the Editor: We Support the Non-Partisan System

Letter to the Editor: We Support the Non-Partisan System

This letter was sent to Scarsdale10583 by Rita Golden and Barbara Jaffe:

We would like to correct any misunderstanding that may have arise...

Read More

Real Estate

SETTING

Big Home Sales and More Houses to be Razed

Big Home Sales and More Houses to be Razed

1 Hickory Lane Are the prices of historic homes on the decline? Check out this sale. 1 Hickory Lane, a historic 8,643 square foot Tudor ho...

Read More

Today's News

SETTING

Julius Reich Pleads Guilty to the Stabbing Death of his Wife, Robin Goldman and More from the Scarsdale Police

Julius Reich Pleads Guilty to the Stabbing Death of his Wife, Robin Goldman and More from the Scarsdale Police

Julius Reich Westchester County District Attorney Anthony A. Scarpino, Jr. announced today that Julius Reich of Scarsdale pleaded guilty to ...

Read More

Arts and Entertainment

SETTING

The Tantalizing Taste of Thai Food at Little Thai Kitchen

The Tantalizing Taste of Thai Food at Little Thai Kitchen

Eating in, takeout and delivery are the many options offered at Little Thai Kitchen, conveniently located on the Popham Road Bridge at th...

Read More

People

SETTING

Sue Silver Says Goodbye After 43 Years at SHS

Sue Silver Says Goodbye After 43 Years at SHS

Mr. Vermes (Left) and Sue Silver (Right) on Halloween Throughout her 43 years at Scarsdale High School, Sue Silver has been a prized teach...

Read More

first
  
last
 
 
start
stop

Programs for Scarsdale Kids