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Greenburgh Mulls Changes to Scholarship Process

GREENBURGH, N.Y. – Citing a need for the fair and unbiased distribution of financial aid, a community advisory council has suggested the town adopt a single policy for its scholarship applications.

The Greenburgh Citizens Advisory Commission has outlined a process for children and adults to apply for financial help for community activities, like town summer camps and nutritional programs.

Last month the commission advised the board to consider adopting the policy into law, creating what they called a standard of consistency that would ensure fairness when the town is doling out scholarship funds.

“What permeates everything that this commission is trying to do is fairness,” Chairman Alan Hochberg told the board at a recent work session. “If you live in one community or another community it’s the same standard and it’s enforced the same way.”

The advisory group, created as part of Greenburgh's Budget Oversight Commission, said their proposal wouldn’t significantly change the process for applicants. What it would do is create a local law so “there is accountability and every commissioner would have to know they are accountable for approving something,” Hochberg said.

If passed by the board, the law would apply to any town programs where scholarships are granted – whether it be in the parks and recreation department, library and even the nature center.

Right now, there is no consistency, the report said, as each department reviews applications by its own standards.

“We do not want to limit the departments but there should be structures in place to ensure policy is being administered fairly to all individuals in the town,” said William Bland, co-chair of the parks and recreation subcommittee.

The current application process is expected to remain in place through the remainder of 2012, with any changes taking effect during the 2013 scholarship application process.

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