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Thursday, April 4, 2013

BOCES At-Large, Very Large

Concerned got to thinking about the behemoth- Erie 1 BOCES. 
 A notice in the Buffalo New reveals that the proposed Erie 1 BOCES budget for 2013-14 is $103,617,612.00
Part of this budget includes compensation totaling approximately $227,000.00 for former Hamburg Superintendent and now ERIE 1 BOCES District Superintendent Donald Ogilve. 

What is most shocking to Concerned Hamburger is the simple point that the public has very little, if any, say in the budget of Erie 1 BOCES. The seven member Erie 1 BOCES Board vote on the budget, with little if any public or constituent district involvement.

Little is known by the general public about BOCES. 
And maybe a wake up call is needed. 
What is a BOCES? 
Why have a BOCES? 

BOCES is governed by a Board of Education. The method for electing members of the board are outlined by New York State Education Law, and are summarized in a policy manual of Erie 1 BOCES.  The Erie 1 BOCES Board shall consist of seven (7) members elected to represent the twenty (19) component districts within the BOCES area.(Akron Central School District, Alden Central School District, Amherst Central School District, Cheektowaga Central School District,Cheektowaga-Sloan Union Free School District,Clarence Central School District,  Cleveland Hill Union Free School District,Depew Union Free School District, Frontier Central School District, Grand Island Central School District, Hamburg Central School District, Kenmore Union Free School District, Lackawanna City School District, Lancaster Central School District, Maryvale Union Free School District, Sweet Home Central School District, Tonawanda City School District, West Seneca Central School District, Williamsville Central School District)

Members of the Erie 1 BOCES Board of Education shall serve on the Board for a term of three (3) years, commencing July 1 following election.

The BOCES policy on nominations and elections policy states:


The component boards shall be notified by February 1st of each year of vacancies on the Board to be filled at the Annual Election.

Nominations will occur by resolution of the board of education of one or more component school districts and shall be transmitted in writing to the Clerk of the BOCES at least thirty (30) days prior to the date designated by the President of the Erie 1 Board of Cooperative Educational Services for the election.

Election of the Cooperative Board members will occur on a date selected by the President of the Cooperative Board that is on or after April sixteenth and on or before April thirtieth. No component district may have more than one member on the Cooperative Board. It shall be the duty of the BOCES to encourage candidates from components not currently represented on the Board. The ballot will be prepared by the Clerk of the BOCES and mailed to each component district no later than fourteen (14) days prior to the date designated as the day of the election by the President of the Board of Cooperative Educational Services.

Each component district is entitled to cast one vote for each vacant Board position. A component board may not cast more than one vote for any individual candidate.

The candidates receiving a plurality of the votes cast are elected. Any tie vote will be broken by a runoff to be held within twenty (20) days of the initial vote.

Board members are elected for terms as indicated in Policy #1120 -- Number of Members and Term of Office.

Please note that the BOCES Policy clearly states by February 1 of each year component districts will be notified of vacancies on the BOCES Board of Education.  In reviewing Hamburg School Bored's February 2013 minutes, there was no mention of vacancies, nor was there any public statement made to encourage citizen involvement in a meaningful BOCES Board election. 

Rather, in typical Hamburg rubber stamp style, a motion was made by Cry Baby Dils and seconded by Rear Admiral Thomas Flynn,the third, to re-nominate BOCES Board members Raymond Carr of Cheektowaga, Andrew Loeb of Hamburg and Wayne Schlifke of Alden. There was no call for new blood, just a rubber stamp of the old musty members who have been seated at the top of this multi million dollar enterprise for decades. 

In reviewing the Hamburg Board Minutes from February 2012, the same stunt was pulled by the Bored.  It seems to Concerned that this kind of rubber-stamping is an infectious disease running through school boards and BOCES across the State of New York.  As citizens, each person must get their arms around the run away political machine called Erie 1 BOCES, the out of control spending of taxpayer dollars and the secret society of BOCES board members, and the district superintendent. 

Interestingly enough, the BOCES website has no mention of elections for board members.  
Why the secrecy?  If one exams the BOCES Board (link) below, and the minutes of their meetings, the rubber stamping is apparent.  

The current BOCES BOARD IS MADE UP OF THE FOLLOWING INDIVIDUALS. Most of these individuals have been serving on the BOCES Board for decades, and collectively all seven have over 100 years of service on the BOCES Board. Concerned is not sure if they should be commended for their service or question their motives in not exposing BOCES to new and diverse ideas and opinions.  In what world do people sit on Boards for over 30 years?  Where is the diversity?

President John Sherman, Tonawanda
Currently president of the Erie 1 BOCES Board of Education, Mr. Sherman has dedicated  over 30 years of service to Erie 1 BOCES. Mr. Sherman, a recipient of a Pathfinder's Award, is very active in the local community. A professor by trade, Mr. Sherman taught biology at Erie Community College.

Vice President Edward Cavan, Sweet Home
Mr. Cavan currently the vice president, has served on the Erie 1 BOCES Board of Education for more than 15 years. Mr. Cavan was a recipient of the Masters of Boardsmanship conferred by New York State School Boards Association and formally served as a member on the Sweet Home Board of Education. Mr. Cavan is the proprietor of an insurance agency, vice president of the Sweet Home Federal Credit Union, and an active member of the UB Newman Center.

Board Members`Raymond Carr, Cheektowaga
Mr. Carr, a member of the Erie 1 BOCES Board of Education for more than five years and has served on the Cheektowaga Central School District Board of Education for more than 30 years. Mr. Carr has been involved with the Erie County Association of School Boards for the past 30 years and is active with the Variety Club of Buffalo.  He is also a board member for the Erie County Industrial Development Agency.

Judith Katz, Williamsville

Mrs. Katz has been a member of the Erie 1 BOCES Board of Education for more than 30 years. Following the 15-years she spent as a member on the Williamsville Board of Education, Mrs. Katz remains active with the New York State School Boards Association where she previously served as president. Mrs. Katz was also a member of the Erie County School Boards Association for 10 years.

Andrew Loeb, Hamburg

Mr. Loeb is an active member of the community as a volunteer with the Boy Scout Council and the Greater Niagara Frontier Council.  Mr. Loeb is a board member of the Hamburg High School Finance Academy Inc. and the IRS Buffalo Federal Credit Union, and has served as trustee on the Erie 1 BOCES board since 2004.  Mr. Loeb was a trustee with the Hamburg Central School District,and was previously employed as the director of sports information at a Seneca College in Toronto.

Janet MacGregor Plarr, Frontier

Mrs. MacGregor Plarr has been a member of the Frontier Central Board of Education for more than 15 years and has served on the Erie 1 BOCES Board of Education for more than a decade. Mrs. MacGregor Plarr works for the Village of Blasdell and is active with the New York State School Boards Association.

Wayne Schlifke, Alden

Mr. Schlifke a long-standing member of the Erie 1 BOCES Board of Education, is a retired professor of engineering technology and a former member of the Depew Board of Education. He is a past president of the Erie County and New York State School Boards Association and a recipient of the Diana R. Miller Service to Education award.


Anonymous said...

I have no comment regarding the elections as long as they are helping children. What is a concern is the hefty salary of the District Supt.and the large budget. Living on a fixed income it seems that education has gone in a direction that is not benefiting students but the people at the top.

kids first said...

Benefits people at the top for sure, not just at BOCES but here in Hamburg. The administrators grab for themselves, put little effort into what they do, have high priced consultants do the work for our 3800 student school district. We can do better with less administration and more in the kids classroms. Next time the school district makes budget cuts, let it be the Supt we will be far better off.

Kids First

Anonymous said...

Why doesn't all component districts have a representive on the BOCES Board? It makes sense since they all utilze the services of BOCES and thus their tax dollars.

Anonymous said...

The Erie 2-Chautauqua-Cattaraugus (E2CC) BOCES is one of 37 BOCES in New York State. The E2CC BOCES represents all the school districts in Chautauqua County, southern Erie County, and part of Cattaraugus County, a geographical area of 1,791 square miles. During the 2010-11 school year, the E2CC BOCES provided $64 million in services to its 27 component school districts. ERIE 2 BOCES HAS 27 School DISTRICTS, ALL SMALLER THAN ANY DISTRICT IN ERIE 1, LESS STUDENTS, HALF THE BUDGET AND MORE BOARD MEMBERS. SOMEONE NEEDS TO DIG INTO DONS DOINGS AT ERIE 1 BOCES.

Frontier said...

Concerned if you go to the Frontier BOE Minutes from March 2013, they only voted on Schlifke and Carr...not Andrew Loeb from Hamburg.... Are the cobwebs growing over Frontier BOE Member Plarr? That battle ax has seen better days. We heard that Plarr doesnt get along with Andrew Loeb..dig into the BOCES Politics. WE heard Don Ogilve is not as liked as you think. Check it out, just saying.

Anonymous said...

Don is slick

Former educator

Anonymous said...

The time to get new people on boces boards has passed, but next January would be the time to find candidates...use this year to have people go to meetings and learn the ropes.

Erie2 is no better...fossilized retirees who are so far removed from actual education its embarrassing.