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Pascack Valley School Board Approves Some Contracts, Holds Others

The Pascack Valley Regional Board of Education has been reviewing the costs of its professional services.

The Pascack Valley Regional Board of Education unanimously approved six professional services during their meeting Monday, but decided to hold off voting on three others until their next meeting.

School board members previously said they wanted to investigate their options for potentially lower-cost services.

The board approved its insurance agent, dental insurance, third party administrator for tax shelter plans, environmental consulting services, bond counsel and financial advisors. All the approved professionals previously held contracts with the district.

Board President Bertram Siegel said the board would wait until their next meeting to vote on an auditor/accounting firm, board attorney and architect.

Board member Adam Silverstein said the district could save about $33,000 by choosing different professionals than those currently contracted with for the remaining three services.

"I see it as a chance to reinvest in education, in athletics, in afterschool activities," Silverstein said.

Pascack Valley High School PFO Co-president Joan Fisher-Delia and Hillsdale Councilman Jason DeGise both also spoke in favor of the board using sending out a Request For Quotations (RFQ), the same process used by local governments.

"The process works," DeGise said.

Board President Siegel said the board had requested a comparison of costs from the district's business administrator, Yas Usami, as one of their first projects of the year. 

Usami said he compared the costs of professional services with other school districts in Bergen County.

Siegel noted that they were happy with the level of service previously provided by professionals, but the potential savings were "a matter of concern."

"It is not the desire of this board to spend money unnecessarily, but of course we are mindful of the quality of the service we have received," Siegel said.

Have a question or news tip? Contact editor Jim Leggate at Jim.Leggate@patch.com, or find us on Facebook and Twitter. For news straight to your inbox, sign up for our daily newsletter.

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