Tuesday, March 05, 2013
BOE Pulls $100K Security Audit Request from RTM
An hour before tonight’s Westport Representative Town Meeting (RTM) session scheduled to consider a $100,000 school security audit appropriation request, the Board of Education said it was withdrawing the item.
Elaine Whitney: BOE will seek additional bids. Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
The decision, announced in an email from Board Chair Elaine Whitney, followed criticism from RTM members that the Kroll security firm was selected without competing bids and that Westport police were not involved in the process.
“The Finance, Education and Public Safety Committees of the RTM have expressed some concerns and, in the interest of addressing them, the Board of Education has decided to withdraw its request for appropriations totaling $100,000 from tonight’s RTM meeting,” she said
“The Board of Education will seek additional bids for an audit comparable in scope to the Kroll proposal, evaluate the proposals as soon as possible, and re-approach the RTM for appropriation as soon as practicable.”
The board chair added: “Throughout the process, it has been clear that all town and school officials are supportive of making sure that our schools are safe.
“We recognize and appreciate the input of the Board of Finance and RTM. We are all on the same team and look forward to engaging the best security firm for the Westport school system.”
She said the Town/School Security Task Force consisting of town, police, fire and school officials will continue the process of examining school buildings and identifying areas and procedures that can be improved immediately, in advance of the completion of a security audit.
“This will allow our schools to benefit from the experience and expertise of all town officials and will advance our mission of providing a safe school community,” Whitney said.
Comments: Comment Policy
Congratulations to our RTM members who had a greater sense of due process than our Superintendent of Schools, Board of Education, and Board of Finance. Our community is truly fortunate to have such a dedicated and fine body as a working part of our town government
Thank you RTM. You looked at a difficult situation and made our children and techers the focus.
Ot is sad though, after recieivng numerous emails directly from Dr. Landon regading his URGENT matter, he could not write the residents the decision to go our for competitive bids. The sign of a good leader is to be vocal and visibile even if things do not go your way. Instead Dr. Landon hid behind Elaine Whitney.
Note: WestportNow Publisher Gordon F. Joseloff is also First Selectman of Westport