Sunday, June 12, 2016

The CCSD $42.5 million Bond

First, the usual disclaimer.  I am writing as an individual and as an individual school board member with his own ideas and opinions.  I do not speak for the Chappaqua Central School District nor do I speak for the entire Board.  I speak for myself only.

The tl;dr is that I support the proposed bond and I am asking you to support it to.  I ask that you go to Horace Greeley High School on Tuesday June 14th and vote yes.  Vote yes for the students, vote yes for the community, vote yes for youth sports, vote yes for education.

Having said that, while I support the bond, I am not ignorant to the fact that this is not a perfect bond. Know that the initial "wish list", the list of all the projects both infrastructure and educational started at around $55 million.  However, the Board of Ed, in its charge to the administration, was very clear that any bond proposal would have to be tax neutral.  That is, using various offsets, the maturing of existing debt and cost savings would have to pay for the bond.  The board was adamant that it would only put a bond before the voters if it was not going to increase taxes in and of itself.  It won't.

What doing the bond now does for the district is it gives us financial flexibility and improves our facilities.  The district has spent years driving the curriculum towards this point and years working with our teachers through professional development including during the summers to train them so that we can take advantage of collaborative education.  Now, we need the facilities to catch up with the research and training.

What this bond does is support education and support the youth in our community.  As it turns out, by supporting education, by working to remain at the forefront of education and the latest research and thoughts on successful education, we help support property values in the district.  Maintaining our infrastructure and improving our fields to be on par with virtually every other district in Westchester also helps property values.

I could go on for a while, but my former fellow Board Member, Gregg Bresner wrote a letter to his friends and neighbors and to the community that I think sums it up much better than I could.  I support the bond.  Vote yes on June 14th.

I copy his letter here.  (Any formatting errors are mine.  My knowledge of html and embedding documents is limited, but I try.)

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