Letter to the Editor: Briarcliff School Bond Issue

Dear Briarcliff neighbors,

On May 18th we have the tremendous responsibility of setting the course for the Briarcliff Manor Union Free School District for the coming years.  The school board and administration have decided to place a bond before the voters for their consideration. The projects included in this bond are the culmination of a substantial process led by the board of education, district administration, teachers, community members, and parents.  This process started with a Facilities Study prepared by a third-party architecture firm that outlined recommended and prudent projects totaling $63 million. Through the diligent work of the members of the Facilities Planning Committee, that extensive list of work was whittled down to a $26 million project consisting of items that must be addressed now.  Some of this work is long overdue, some is necessary right now, and some is set out to pave the way toward Briarcliff’s future.

I am sure we will find ourselves facing noise from the perennial naysayers.  They will make arguments made many times before.  They are baseless.  Investment in the district’s facilities has been delinquent for many years and it is primarily driven by the annual pressure applied by the same small group of community members. I can’t say whether these folks just want lower taxes, no matter the cost, or whether the welfare and success of our students is not of their concern. What I can say is their continued pressure on the finances of this district, often applied with twisted facts and figures pulled out of thin air, puts the district in a difficult position. The success of this proposal is critical to the education and safety of our kids. The board and administration asked the Facilities Planning Committee for a consensus proposal, a compromise of what is needed and what will set us on a steady course for the future. This proposal is indeed a compromise, a dirty word in the public sphere today. The opposition in our community seems to hold up the mantra of so many of our state and national representatives. If it’s not a law, plan, proposal that is aligned to their point of view they oppose it at all costs. Surely there were members of the Facilities Planning Committee, administration, and school board who wanted to do more than $26 million in work, but all of these folks worked together to compromise and propose a reasonable, fiscally prudent plan that will not raise taxes. I urge you to support it.

Please visit www.BriarcliffBEST.org for voting information, photos of existing conditions at our schools, and more of your questions answered.

Thank you,
Chad Woerner
Director – Briarcliff Excels with Sensible Taxes (BEST)


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About the Author: Alain Begun