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May 8, 2012 Board of Education Annual Meeting Minutes

The Annual Meeting of the qualified voters of the Parishville-Hopkinton Central School District was held in the school house in Parishville on the above date. The meeting was called to order at 7:31 P.M. Eastern Daylight Savings Time by Timothy Zellweger, Acting on behalf of School District Clerk Steven Wilson, who read the call of the meeting.

The Acting Clerk appointed Ward Remington as Permanent Chairperson of the meeting.

The Permanent Chairperson appointed Elizabeth Beha as Chief Election Inspector and Margaret Zahler, Josephine Eakins, and Etta Phelix as Election Inspectors for the 2012-2013 Budget Vote and Election of Board Members. Further, the Permanent Chairperson appointed Frances Hazelton and Shirley Clark as Alternate Election Inspectors should one or more of the aforementioned individuals be unable to serve on May 15th.

The Permanent Chairperson appointed Darin Saiff and/or Lori Witherell to serve as Acting Chairpersons during his absence on Tuesday, May 15, 2012, for voting on the budget and school bus financing propositions as well as school board members. It was noted that there are two (2) vacancies on the Board of Education for the five-year terms of Christina Jacot (seat currently held by Robert White by Board Appointment through June 30, 2012) and Ward Remington. Petitions for Member of the Board of Education have been completed by Robert White and Ward Remington. It was noted that voting is at large with the two candidates receiving the most votes to be elected. Robert White and Ward Remington introduced themselves and spoke briefly about their commitment to the District and their desire to continue to serve the school community on the Board of Education.

Mr. Saiff began by thanking the Board of Education for their support of the administration, teachers, and quality educational programs necessary to help students achieve their goals. Mr. Saiff also introduced Michael Robinson who replaced Carol LaSala as our new shared Business Manager, and thanked him for all of his work with the budget process this year.

Mr. Saiff spoke briefly about staffing cuts that had been made to the current year’s spending plan in an effort to present a budget that taxpayers could support. Everyone has been very diligent about keeping costs down district-wide and the Parishville-Hopkinton Teachers’ Association Members agreed to contribute 10% toward their healthcare, retroactive to last school year. Last year at this time, the state was facing an 8-10 billion dollar deficit. This year, they have a deficit of approximately 2 billion dollars going into next year. If the state continues on its current path to fiscal solvency, it is hoped that school districts will eventually begin to receive additional state aid to help offset the increased operating costs that we have been facing for the last several years and that we will not need to continue to apply reserves in order to balance the budget and keep tax increases to a minimum.

Mr. Saiff stated that our students continue to perform very well on state-mandated tests and Regents exams, meeting and exceeding state goals. Mr. Saiff noted that the data for 2010-2011 indicated that we failed to meet the graduation cohort of having 80% of the students who entered 9th grade together graduate in four years; however, we only missed the cohort by 1% and normally attain a much higher percentage. Mr. Saiff added that he was pleased to announce that all of the students did earn diplomas; it just took them a little longer to complete the necessary course work or they pursued an alternate path for their diplomas.

In developing the 2012-2013 budget, the Board reviewed all aspects of the district’s educational and athletic offerings. Mr. Saiff noted that we will continue to contract for shared services through BOCES for a health/physical education teacher, cafeteria manager, and our business office functions in addition to services for our school psychologist, speech therapist, home-school counselor, physical therapist, and occupational therapist. A portion of salaries and benefits for shared staff is BOCES aidable, thereby allowing us to maintain programs while keeping costs down.

Several changes that were made to our schedule this year were due, in large part, to the elimination of January Regents. These changes adversely affected our semestering program. In August of 2011 the January Regents were reinstated, but at that point it was too late to return to our previous schedule. In addition, the Board also eliminated the 2:30 P.M. bus run in order to save on transportation costs. Looking forward to next year, the schedule will need to be restructured again and the 2:30 P.M. bus run will be reinstated. Positions that were eliminated last year will not be reinstated in the 2012-2013 budget.

Mr. Saiff reviewed the Governor’s Proposal and final aid amounts for the 2012-2013 school year which shows in increase in state aid of $230,768. This constituted the first increase in State Aid over the past several years. In spite of this increase, Mr. Saiff noted that our district will still be receiving less aid in 2012-2013 than we did in 2008-2009. Mr. Saiff also reviewed other revenue sources including reimbursement for Medicare Part D, limited interest on investments, and Medicaid and explained that each percentage of tax increase generates an additional $31,210.

In order to balance the budget and keep within the District’s tax levy limit of 2.91%, Mr. Saiff explained that it was necessary to use $55,000 from appropriated reserves and $287,153 of applied fund balance to close the deficit. Mr. Saiff added that our District was initially supposed to receive an additional $490,000 under the Foundation Aid Formula; however, we lost those revenues due to the GEA (Gap Elimination Adjustment) imposed by the Governor to help close the state’s budget deficit. If that money were restored, our District would have been able to balance the budget for 2012-2013 without the use of additional fund balance and reserves.

Mr. Saiff and Mr. Robinson addressed concerns from the community regarding the fund balance, health insurance contributions and buyouts, the percentage of health insurance costs attributed to current employees as opposed to the percentage attributed to retirees, special education costs, and the number of employees whose salaries are paid under the transportation code.

Chairperson W. Remington asked if anyone had any additional questions regarding the proposed budget or other items of concern. Since additional questions were not indicated, W. Remington thanked everyone for attending the public meeting and stated that voting on the budget, school bus financing, and board member vacancies would take place the following Tuesday, May 15, 2012, between the hours of 1:00 P.M. - 8:00 P.M.

Mr. Saiff thanked everyone for their continued support of the District and for attending the public budget/board candidate presentation.

Motion made by F. Wilhelm and seconded by J. Young to adjourn the meeting until 1:00 P.M. on Tuesday, May 15, 2012, when the polls would be opened for voting until 8:00 P.M.

The meeting was adjourned at 8:36 P.M.

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School District Clerk

12 County Route 47
Parishville, NY 13672
Phone: 315-265-4642
Fax: 315-268-1309

Mission Statement:
The PHCS community strives to instill in all students the knowledge and skills necessary to become caring, conscientious, and creative citizens.

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