CHAPPAQUA, N.Y. – Chappaqua’s message to Putnam/Northern Westchester BOCES was apparently heard loud and clear.
The district’s Board of Education had twice voted down a hefty capital project plan over concerns about the Boards of Cooperative Educational Services' lack of transparency, accountability, and long-term planning. Changes made by the organization since its last vote Oct. 2 were enough to earn a unanimous ‘yes’ vote from the board at Wednesday night’s meeting.
“We attended a meeting after our ‘no’ vote, [Board member Jeffrey Mester] and I, a meeting with BOCES and the two other district’s that voted no,” said Board President Victoria Tipp. “Out of that meeting came two suggestions that BOCES has actually implemented.”
In response to suggestions from Chappaqua and the two other districts – Brewster and Mahopac – BOCES has created two separate advisory committees to give the district’s more oversight and control in the organization’s daily operations.
The first is called the Facilities Advisory Committee, which will serve as an oversight committee. It will be comprised of representatives from all 18 components districts that make up BOCES. The other committee is the Future of BOCES committee. It will also be comprised of district representatives and will focus on long-term planning.
“At this point, I feel we can’t go back and change what’s happened in the past,” Tipp said. “We can’t change how things were being done, but we can be part of the process to make sure that things are done in a way that best serves the districts in the future.”
BOCES's $16.9 million renovation plan requires unanimous approval by the 18 districts that use the facilities. The project would build a therapy pool, replace HVAC units, and replace and repair roofs. The proposal calls for Chappaqua to contribute $1.2 million to the repairs over a five-year period.