YONKERS, NY – March 21, 2014 — Continuing efforts to increase financial accountability and transparency, the Yonkers Board of Education’s (YBoE) Policy Committee has announced plans to draft suggested changes to Board Policy Series 6000, Fiscal Management. The recommendations will include adjusting the timeline for submitting the YBoE’s annual proposed budget to the City, enlisting membership of the City Council Education Chair to the Audit, Budget and Finance Committee, and increasing collaboration with the City’s finance staff.
“We believe that changes to the District’s fiscal management should be made through Board policy not through legislation,” said Board Vice President Steve Lopez (top left), who chairs the Policy Committee. “Therefore, we have committed to instituting policy changes that offer transparency and accountability while creating a cooperative venture among representatives from the District, City, County and State.”
The committee’s focus reflects the Board’s commitment to engage stakeholders in the District’s decision-making processes. The Board’s five committees – Facilities, Instructional Affairs, Legal AdHoc, Policy and Audit, Budget and Finance (ABF) – hold meetings in public and encourage interested parents and citizens to attend. The community is also encouraged to attend the Board’s Workshop Meeting, during which trustees review and inquire about upcoming resolutions.
Board President Dr. Nader J. Sayegh, Esq.,(top right) noted, “The Board has unveiled several measures to increase cooperation in the budget process, including the enactment of the current Inter Municipal Agreement.”
President Sayegh said that the ABF Committee Meeting on March 11 exemplified the open dialogue among external auditors, City of Yonkers finance staff and the YBoE finance staff. “For the first time, we were actually talking the same financial language; we agreed on what the deficits were and what shortfalls existed. This kind of collective conversation makes it easier to move toward solutions,” said President Sayegh.
The members of the Board Policy Committee are Vice President Lopez, Chair, and Trustees Trevor Bennett and Judith Ramos Meier. Dr. Sayegh, as president, is ex-officio member of all Board committees.
The next Policy Committee Meeting, originally scheduled for Monday, April 7, has been rescheduled for Monday, April 14 at 5:00 p.m. on the fourth floor of the Yonkers Board of Education building, One Larkin Center. The topics will include Board Policy Series 6000, Fiscal Management, and 7000, Facilities Development. The community is encouraged to attend.