Wednesday, March 20, 2013

To Run or Not to Run, That is the Question

I wrote this email in response to a voice mail I received from Tom Auchtermonie, the editor of the Chappaqua/Mt. Kisco Patch.  Both he and Christine (New Castle NOW) asked about my plans to run again.


Thank you for calling.

That announcement put out by the LWV and the PTA regarding their April 2nd meeting is accurate.  They contacted me over the weekend to see what my status was, and I was ok with them sending out what they sent out.

I still have not run or not. They may have used the word "announced" which I prefer, but either way, I am still weighing the decision.

Serving on the Board for the past six years has been very rewarding for me and hopefully a positive for the district and community. There are many many factors both personal and school related that go into making this decision. 

I happen to think for a myriad of reasons that the district is at a critical crossroads as to the direction it takes.  While the budget issues that dominated my first terms are still there and will likely remain for years to come, I am very comfortable with how we have faced and will continue to face the pressures on the district in that regard. Negotiations with 3 of our 4 bargaining units have shown that the district and its units are trying to be true partners. 

I think, rightfully, that the focus going forward after this year's budget, will be a fight for the soul of the district.  By that I mean with a relatively new Superintendent, with new principals at Grafflin, Roaring Brook and Horace Greeley, with many many state and national mandates, the district has to decide who we want to be, what our mission will be going forward and how do we get there. It is going to take strong leadership to steer the district toward our goal. [Edit: Upon reread, I want to make it clear that I think we have that strong leadership in the district currently.]

Hopefully, one of the bi-products of Tim Bloom's open letter to the administration is a two way conversation between the district and the community about what we want, who we want to be, and how we accomplish those goals.  While I gave a general response on my blog,10514 Musings, I think it is important that the district, the board and the administrators have an open and frank discussion with the community about the future of this district. We need to find a shared vision, not an imposed one.

I think that being a Board Member for the next 3 years is going to take a significant commitment of time and energy.  It is why I hesitate. Whether I run or not, I strongly encourage members of the community to step up and make that commitment.  

I hope to make my decision shortly.  When I do, of course, I will let you and The Patch readers know.


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