May 12, 2021
Dear Friends and Neighbors,
As we move closer to the School Board election next week, I have decided to write this letter directly to the Bronxville community. While many people have been writing public letters of support on my behalf, I also want you to hear directly from me; I want to make clear why I accepted the Non-Partisan Committee’s endorsement for School Board Trustee.
Let me start by saying that while campaigning is not something that comes naturally to me, this School Board election is far too consequential to allow my thoughts to go unsaid. The school board is responsible for closely analyzing and overseeing a large and complex budget, managing an intricate number of personnel matters, creating a detailed long-term strategic plan, and maintaining and strengthening the school’s performance in every regard. The school board is a critical governing body with great responsibility. That responsibility requires considerable experience and leadership, whether that person is me or anyone else.
First, while I do care deeply about diversity, it is not all I stand for. It is why I agreed to join the school’s diversity committee and supported the Unity Walk. That said, all who know me also know that I have a deep respect for our institutions, our police force, and I listen carefully to those around me. Our opinions may differ, but we are far more similar than our differences might suggest. We are all committed to ensuring our children have an excellent education. Talk to those who know me, including the 200 people in the Bronxville community who wrote a public letter about me: people consider me to be a moderate who hears and respects the views of others.
Second, I would like to put to rest the ridiculous rumor that I am advocating that we bus in students from other places. We are accountable for the quality of education in Bronxville only, not for fixing other districts. I wish all school systems offered their students the same opportunities Bronxville affords our children, but we cannot solve that problem in Bronxville. My wife and I moved our family to this town 8 years ago for a school that is focused on the best education for Bronxville students. That is paramount and I know the people of Bronxville well enough to know they will stay focused on issues and ignore the noise.
Now, let’s get into real issues. Let me start by saying I am honored to have been selected by the Non-Partisan Committee (NPC) to be a candidate for School Board Trustee. The NPC conducts a comprehensive vetting process every year to ensure School Board Trustees will uphold the values and history of the school and be a fiscally responsible steward of our resources. Both Susan Conniff and I are committed to doing that and were selected on that basis, along with our shared experience of managing large scale capital projects and serving historically on several institutional boards. There are two open School Board Trustee seats this year and Susan and I are each running for different seats.
There are three reasons why I am running for School Board Trustee:
Academic Excellence For All Three Schools: As a parent of three children in the district I have been very impressed with the education our school is currently providing. That said, there are always opportunities to strengthen our academics. I will do everything I can to ensure that the children of Bronxville residents in all three schools receive the highest quality teaching and guidance possible. For many of us, the quality of the Bronxville School was the single-biggest factor for why we chose the Village. It is the duty, and priority, of the board to maintain, and search for ways to improve upon, that existing excellence. We have a longstanding tradition in this town of focusing on the development of our students into well rounded and well brought up young men and women. The School Board helps the Superintendent come up with and oversee programs and initiatives aimed toward this goal.
Fiscal and Budget Responsibility: The School Board sets the overall tone for the district, including setting goals and aspirations, as well as overseeing the budget and making sure that all resources are properly and carefully used. The school is a vital part of this town, and the school’s budget takes up a significant portion of our tax bills, so ensuring the school is efficiently and well run – while delivering excellence – is an important job for the board. My experience operating and overseeing large scale capital projects, running companies, and serving on many boards will allow me to be a strong steward of your resources.
Transparency: I have heard from many of you that you would like greater understanding of the school budget and how the school is run. Having witnessed the operations and the quality of the board, I can tell you that we have an excellent board and a committed set of hard-working and accomplished board members. I will work with this exceptional group of people and a school administration I greatly admire to find ways to better communicate the work of the board to the Bronxville community.
In terms of my qualifications, I hold an MBA in Finance and a Master's degree in Health Policy from Yale University. I am a Fulbright Fellow and served as a visiting professor at two universities. I will bring to the board a wealth of experience in running large complex institutions — from Wall Street to venture-backed start-ups all the way through to public companies. As a chief executive officer, I have spent many years working on budgets, strategic plans and setting direction for a wide variety of companies, non-profits, and boards. My biography can be found at a website created by my friends and I never thought I would find myself saying the following words: please visit VoteMiki.com to see that biography.
I truly appreciate the outpouring of support from so many of you, privately and publicly, for my candidacy. Let me end by saying that one of the things that makes Bronxville so special is the community involvement: involvement from our PTA, from our crossing guards, from our incredibly passionate and driven educators and administration, from our parent coaches, and from so many more. Our school is a special place because of your involvement. I look forward to strengthening my involvement by focusing on the excellence of our school and I look forward to representing you and your priorities on the board.
Editor's note: MyhometownBronxville does not fact-check statements in letters to the editor, and the opinions do not necessarily reflect the thinking of its staff. Its objective in publishing letters to the editor is to give air to diverse thoughts and opinions of residents in the community.
Bronxville is a quaint village (one square mile) located just 16 miles north of midtown Manhattan (roughly 30 minutes on the train) and has a population of approximately 6,500. It is known as a premier community with an excellent public school (K-12) and easy access to Manhattan. Bronxville offers many amenities including an attractive business district, a hospital (Lawrence Hospital), public paddle and tennis courts, fine dining at local restaurants, two private country clubs and a community library.
While the earliest settlers of Bronxville date back to the first half of the 18th century, the history of the modern suburb of Bronxville began in 1890 when William Van Duzer Lawrence purchased a farm and commissioned the architect, William A. Bates, to design a planned community of houses for well-known artists and professionals that became a thriving art colony. This community, now called Lawrence Park, is listed on the National register of Historic Places and many of the homes still have artists’ studios. A neighborhood association within Lawrence Park called “The Hilltop Association” keeps this heritage alive with art shows and other events for neighbors.
Bronxville offers many charming neighborhoods as well as a variety of living options for residents including single family homes, town houses, cooperatives and condominiums. One of the chief benefits of living in “the village” is that your children can attend the Bronxville School.
The Bronxville postal zone (10708, known as “Bronxville PO”) includes the village of Bronxville as well as the Chester Heights section of Eastchester, parts of Tuckahoe and the Lawrence Park West, Cedar Knolls, Armour Villa and Longvale sections of Yonkers. Many of these areas have their own distinct character. For instance, the Armour Villa section has many historic homes and even has its own newsletter called “The Villa Voice” which reports on neighborhood news.
Village of Bronxville Administrative Offices
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