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Westchester County, NY May 17, 2011 Election
Smart Voter

Why are you running for school board trustee and what qualifies you for the position?

By Robert Andrew "Bob" Cox

Candidate for Member, Board of Education; New Rochelle City School District

This information is provided by the candidate
Why I am running and what I can bring to the board.
I am running for school board trustee because first and foremost I want to preserve the many excellent programs offered in our school system, to make sure our teachers and staff are fairly compensated and that staff, students and parents are treated with respect. I want to build on the work that has been done over the past two years under current Board President Sara Richmond to increase access to school board meetings and, in particular, the budget process. While I have had my differences with Ms. Richmond, there is no doubt that she has done more in her time on the board than any of her predecessors to make the school board more accessible to the public. I have a well-established track record on advocating for open government and transparency and fully intend to continue what she was begun.

Given increases in unfunded mandates, rising health care and pension contribution costs and declining real estate values I am concerned about the continued financial viability of our school system. After careful review of budget documents and audited financials going back over the past decade, I am convinced that the administration has not done their best to make school spending clear to the board and the public. I intend to take up a suggestion put forward by school board member Jeffrey Hastie during his campaign two years ago, to create a "kitchen cabinet" of New Rochelle residents with strong backgrounds in finance to provide an independent, annual review of the school budget to better equip board members without a strong financial background to sift through the information and focus discussions at the annual budget meetings

Over the past twenty-five years, I have started-up and run businesses, hired and fired employees, negotiated and signed hundreds of contracts, dealt with immigration issues for employees, run a corporate board as Chairman and served on other boards. I have extensive technology and new media experience which will be beneficial to the district as the board is often asked to consider multi-million dollar investments in technology.

After graduation from Notre Dame, and prior to and during my time at the University of Chicago, I worked as a foreign exchange and bond trader where I developed significant experience with complex financial structures. After graduation, I worked as a management consultant for major financial services companies and governments in Europe, Asia and North America which ultimately led me into the world of technology, especially Internet technology.

As a social media strategy consultant, I have advised major corporations and lectured at major universities, prestigious media conferences and media institutes. Perhaps my two most interesting experiences are having done consulting work for Tony Snow who was Press Secretary under President George W. Bush and working on Sandra Day O'Connor's Conference for a Fair and Independent Judiciary where I had the opportunity to meet with most of the members of the U.S. Supreme Court.

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