CRAVE endorses Becker and Hemsptead

To the Editor:

The Altamont Enterprise dated Thursday, April 25, 2019 has an article concerning the Berne-Knox-Westerlo Board of Education’s approval of bids at a special meeting held on Monday, April 22, totaling $17.5 million for work on the district’s $20 million capital project.

This totals more than $1 million over target. Specifically, how will this work be accomplished without raiding reserves or increasing the taxpayer burden?

In our letter dated Dec. 3, 2018, we requested that the president of the school board and superintendent honor the provisions of the BKW Board Member Handbook revised September 2018 namely: the Capital Project Focus Group.

In 2017, the BKW School Board enacted a committee of five community members whose names were provided by each board member.

The Citizens Review for Academic and Vocational Excellence group expect BKW to honor this provision of the approved handbook for each of the current duly elected board members.

Subsequent to this request, the BKW superintendent and president of the school board requested a meeting with our committee. The following attended on Jan. 9, 2019 at 2 p.m.: Ed Ackroyd, Richard Umholtz, Phil Stevens, and Walter Galicki.

It was mutually agreed to include this issue on the next school board agenda for further consideration. Our request was not approved. We expect these guidelines from the handbook that are in place should be followed by all board members. However, the president of the BKW School Board did not support the new board member’s rights to select a community member to be part of the capital project focus group.

In addition, there is concern as to the increase projected costs of the future staff benefits package. Specifically, how will BKW cover the potential overruns for capital and operating costs?

The Citizens Review for Academic & Vocational Excellence is endorsing Robin Becker and Mackenzie Hempstead.

Ed Ackroyd

Richard Umholtz

Walter Galicki


Editor’s note: The Citizens Review for Academic and Vocational Excellence is a self-appointed committee.

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