Jenny Emery and her husband, Dave, have lived in Granby since 1982, raising three proud graduates of the Granby Public Schools. Jenny spent her career with a large international consulting firm, where she led the Public Entity Risk Management practice, helping groups of towns and schools collaborate to
protect the public, students, and employees from risk, and save taxpayer dollars through innovative not-for-profit insurance pools. The role required the development of a deep understanding of the challenges of balancing the need for investment in public services with the fiscal discipline taxpayers demand and deserve. For the past 8 years, she has applied this expertise in her service on the Granby Board of Education, including as chair of the BOE’s Finance Committee, and service on the Capital Projects
Priority Advisory Committee (CPPAC). Specific related contributions during her tenure include:
- Identifying and encouraging the use of excess reserve funds to help the Town and School meet Board of Finance budget guidelines while still funding innovative programming
- Serving on BOE negotiating teams for teachers, administrators, and support staff, with a special emphasis on implementing cooperative changes in employee benefit plan changes to control the rise in health care costs
- Defining and advocating for innovations that can reduce otherwise-fixed operating costs, such as the planned solar installation intended to reduce annual operating costs by over $350,000,annually.
Jenny’s career experience with literally thousands of local towns and schools across the country, and her eight years serving on Granby’s BOE, have instilled a strong belief in the alignment of progressive policy actions and fiscal discipline. Serving on the Board of Education requires problem-solving pragmatism, as the demands of the local constituents – with and without children in the school system – are balanced
with State and Federal mandates. The addition of pre-school services within the Granby’s schools is one example. Mandated to provide these services to children with special needs, investment in a pre-school for all Granby children allows this mandate to be met at a much lower cost than would sending children out-of-district, and allows the development of higher quality services designed to fit the Granby culture. Granby’s BOE has a reputation for working with its administrators to develop and implement forward-
looking solutions like this that serve children, families and taxpayers optimally.
As a fiscally disciplined progressive, Jenny looks forward to continuing to serve Granby, with a special focus on some key challenges we face in the next four years.
- With the transition to a new superintendent, the “business side” of running the schools effectively within the three-board structure will be challenging. Jenny has embraced and expanded on the good working relationship between the BOE and Board of Finance and looks to play a key role in continuing this, in support of the new Superintendent.
- Jenny played a key role in advocating for the passage of the two school-related bond referendums; the school improvements and the solar array. But voter approval is only the first step, and she looks forward to providing active oversight in the effective implementation of these important projects.
- The State’s fiscal problems, coupled with Granby’s residential tax base, will be an increasing challenge. Jenny believes continued expense management is only a part of the solution; developing new sources of revenue to support the highest quality public education of children, here in Granby, is critical. This means attracting more students (and the related revenue) from other towns in the short term, and “winning” in any regionalization movements that emerge.
Jenny looks forward to support from the Granby community so she can continue her service in all these areas, and more, for the next four years.