The Board of Finance unanimously supported a request from the Board of Education to fund a security audit for the Westport School system that will evaluate school facilities and operations as well as bus operations.
“The last time that we had a comprehensive audit was about five years ago, and in light of the recent tragedy and the amount of time that has elapsed (since the last audit) we would like to go ahead and proceed,” Board of Education Chair Elaine Whitney said.
Prior to the Board of Finance public hearing at Westport Town Hall Wednesday night, the finance board went into an executive session primarily to discuss school security.
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“This is a result of the unspeakable tragedy just a few weeks ago in the neighboring town of Newtown,” said Board of Finance Chair Avi Kaner.
The $50,000 will be used to seek out an expert firm in an expeditions manner and to complete a comprehensive analysis of Westport school buildings, school and bus operations, according to Whitney.
Kaner said there was a desire to approve the matter expeditiously because it will also have to be voted on by the RTM (Representative Town Meeting) and Board of Selectman.
“If we vote in the positive you can at least get the wheels rolling in identifying a consultant and the scope, and refining, perhaps, a dollar amount as well,” Kaner said.
Whitney said the Board of Education intends to organize the audit ahead of time so that the assessment can begin immediately if it is approved by the RTM and Board of Selectman.
At the beginning of the meeting, Kaner expressed his appreciation for the Board of Education and Superintendent of Schools Dr. Elliot Landon.
“As a Westport resident and as a parent of three children in the school system, I thank the Board of Ed. and Dr. Landon for what they've done as well as the interim measures they’ve taken subsequent to Newtown,” Kaner said.