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Lack Of Pound Ridge Residents On Bedford School Board Remains An Issue

Members of Bedford school board at their Dec. 17 meeting.
Members of Bedford school board at their Dec. 17 meeting. Photo Credit: Tom Auchterlonie

BEDFORD, N.Y. -- The lack of Pound Ridge residents on Bedford Central's school board continues to be a local topic.

The issue, which was a raised in the Board of Education election last spring, was discussed at the school board's meeting on Dec. 17.

“There’s been some concern from Pound Ridge that they don’t have representation,” said Susan Wollin, who is the board's president.

Wollin, who has served on the board for nearly 12 years, recalled the various Pound Ridge residents who served with her, most recently Lee Goldstein and Erika Long.

Long stepped down in 2013 when her term ended and Goldstein resigned her seat later that year because she was moving out of the district, according to district records. As a result, the number of Pound Ridge residents serving on the school board dropped from two to zero in less than three months.

Last spring, Pound Ridge resident Colette Dow ran for a seat held by Mount Kisco resident Andrew Bracco. Dow was defeated, although she won in Pound Ridge Elementary School's voting district, according to results.

Wollin also noted that people can run for any seat and addressed how there is no requirement for living in a specific section of the district. She described the few requirements there are for being a candidate, which include residing in the district itself.

Wollin also recalled that there was once a "gentlemen's agreement," in which one person from each of the district's five voting districts -- the areas are co-terminus with elementary school attendance zones -- would serve, while two seats would be for at-large representation.

Two residents sued the district over the arrangement, Wollin added, and it was termed to not be legal. Wollin added, based on past legal-counsel opinion, that it would take the state legislature acting to place a restriction on who can run.

Board member Jennifer Gerken said she takes offense to the comment that Pound Ridge does not have representation.

“I care as much about what happens in Pound Ridge as I care about what happens in the town that I live in, as I care about every other school in this district,” she said.

Fellow board member Edward Reder mentioned that in the last 10 years there have only been six contested school board races, something that he called "pretty unique."

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