BROCTON - The Brocton and Westfield Boards of Education have selected a consulting firm for a centralization study.
Two firms had answered the request for proposal. The boards decided to interview both.
In both cases, the interview consisted of a series of questions, asked alternately by members of the Brocton and Westfield boards. The questions were developed specifically for the interview after earlier meetings clarified what was important to both boards.
One area of concern was whether a firm could understand small rural districts. Other questions dealt with how the firm saw the roles of the two superintendents, the boards and the faculties would play in the study.
In their answers to questions posed and in their presentations both firms stressed the job of the consultant was to present the data, not advocate for or against consolidation. Both noted the importance of communicating to the communities involved, employing a variety of means.
After an executive session, the boards returned to open session and awarded the project to the Western New York Educational Service Council at a cost of $35,000. The boards further authorized the group to begin the study. Both boards passed the resolution unanimously.
Before adjournment, each board president spoke in public about the reason for the selection.
"It is safe to say that their proximity with us and the work that they have done in the area (was the reason for selection). They are personable, knowledgeable, and I have no doubt they will do a good job," said Jeffrey Greabell, Westfield board president.
"From my point of view three of the four members of the team live in Chautauqua County. They can identify with us," said Thomas DeJoe, Brocton board president.