Bedford School Board: Contested Elections, Seat Swap

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Colette Dow
Colette Dow Photo Credit: Tom Auchterlonie
Edward Reder
Edward Reder Photo Credit: Daily Voice File Photo

BEDFORD, N,Y, -- Two of the three Bedford school board seats up for election in May will be contested. What is notable, however, is who is running for the third, uncontested seat, as board Vice President Eric Karle and colleague Edward Reder are doing a seat swap, where they will run for the seats that the other currently holds.

The result of the seat swap means that Reder, a Mount Kisco resident, will run for a full 3-year term while Karle, who also lives in Mount Kisco, will run uncontested for an unexpired term that goes from May 21 to June 30, 2015.

Reder was appointed by the school board last September to fill a vacancy left by Lee Goldstein, Daily Voice reported at the time. He will face a rematch against Brian Sheerin, who also vied for the vacancy.

Sheerin, a Bedford Corners resident who works in real estate, did not intend to run against Reder, he explained in an interview, as he initially did not know who his opponent would be. He is also concerned about the strength of the school district's curriculum and about Regents and SAT performances. Sheerin has two kids enrolled in Fox Lane Middle School.

Discussing his decision, Karle explained that he wanted to serve more but was unsure about whether to do so for three years. He does not rule out running for another full term, however. The seat will be up for another election in May 2015. First elected in 2005, Karle is among the longest-serving board members. Asked a question about whether the district is overall in the good place, Karle replied that it is in a best a place that it can be at this time. He acknowledged the district's financial situation but is also optimistic.

Meanwhile, incumbent Andrew Bracco, who is a Mount Kisco resident, will face a challenge to his seat from Pound Ridge resident Colette Dow. In an interview, she described her background, which includes serving on the PTA for Pound Ridge Elementary School (PRES) and owning the Pound Ridge School of Dance.

The election is scheduled for May 20 from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m., with polling places being at each of the district's five elementary schools. The proposed 2014-15 budget will also be put to a public vote on that day. Election details are on the district's website.

A League of Women Voters candidates' forum is scheduled for May 1 at 7 p.m. at Fox Lane Middle School's Little Theater.

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It is important to put out that Andrew Bracco is the CFO of Planned Parenthood/Peconic.
For some reason, this fact is ignored in press reports.
Why does the country's largest abortion provider have a seat on the Bedford School Board?

I believe he was appointed to the BOE, not elected, as is the case for Mr. Reder. Mr. Bracco is also married to the Director of Neighbor's Link in Mt Kisco, so that may have been a plus when it came to him getting the appointment.

Make your way through our community and see what reaction you get from people when Colette Dow's name is brought up. Smiles all-around. She is one of the most popular residents we have because of her generosity, spirit, smarts and ability to work well with others. And Colette is a doer. Many of us are amazed at how she packs it all in each day.

I'm guessing that Tom had space limitations for this article, so allow me to share some more of Colette's resume. She was appointed to the Town of Pound Ridge Recreation Commission in 2013, was elected as the Treasurer of the Pound Ridge Business Association in December 2013 (as Ruth highlighted) and she's been the Treasurer of the Pound Ridge Theater Company since 2007.

Colette is a religious education teacher, was a member of the Environmental Steering Committee that spearheaded the inaugural Go Green Day in Pound Ridge on April 26th and, as a member of the Pound Ridge Partnership, has participated in Pound Ridge PRIDE Days and Harvest Festivals.

Colette is a member of the Board of Trustees of St. Bonaventure University. She is chair of the Board’s Finance Committee, a member of the Investment, Academic Affairs, Development and Athletics Committee. She was a member of the School of Business Capital Campaign Steering Committee that raised over $10 million during the recent recession to build a state of the art School of Business building. She believes passionately that it is part of her responsibility as a trustee to connect with the students which is why she participated in a service trip with 50 SBU students in January to help those in need in some of the poorest communities in Freeport, Bahamas and has been mentoring two groups of students on campus since November 2013 in the completion of their legacy projects.

Colette’s professional experience includes nearly 10 years at a public accounting firm and another approximately 10 years through May 2007 at a large investment bank where she held various global management positions, including Managing Director and Chief Operating Officer of the Global Fixed Income, Rates & Currencies Division and, from June 2005 until May 2007, Managing Director and the Chief Operating Officer for that bank’s internal alternative asset management business, where she was responsible for managing operations, human resources, technology, and treasury globally.

From 2008 through August 2012, Colette became a Founding Partner, Senior Managing Director and the Chief Operating Officer of a financial services holding company located in New York City, and a Manager and the Chief Operating Officer of its wholly-owned registered broker dealer.

In October 2012 she founded the Pound Ridge School of Dance. The dance studio is right here in Scotts Corners.

This is exactly the type of person who should serve on the school board.
And... last time I checked, Pound Ridge has no representation on this board.

The BCSD would be lucky to have her.

Colette Dow is also Treasurer for the Pound Ridge Business Association. She has demonstrated a real understanding for budgeting and handling finances in a responsible way. Her business experience would be invaluable as a member of the Board of Education. An enthusiastic volunteer in the community at many levels, Colette has an intimate knowledge of the day to day needs of our children. She would be a tremendous asset and a much-needed representative of Pound Ridge to the Bedford Central Board of Education