KINDERHOOK — The Ichabod Crane school board plans to vote on a proposal from the booster club to support the football program through private fundraising for the 2011-12 year at the next board meeting July 12. The board reviewed the proposal at its regular meeting Tuesday. They also voted to leave an open seat on the board vacant following the resignation of Edward Harsen earlier this month. That decision followed a debate by board members at the June 21 meeting about whether to hold a special election or appoint someone to fill the seat.
Mr. Harsen’s term expires in June 2012, and some board members did not want to spend $3,100 for a special election that can be held no later than August 16, according to Board Clark Mindy Potts.
The board will leave the seat open until the next annual election in May 2012, operating until then with eight members instead of nine. Board President Andrew Kramachyk said that the board will still need a quorum of five to adopt a motion even with only eight members. The board still has the option to appoint someone before May.
The next big issue the board discussed was the proposal from the booster club, which needs to give the district $31,000 to support the football program. The club donated $17,000 to the district in April, which was made up of $7,981 left over from the 2010-11 school year and $9,019 raised for the 2011-12 school year. The funds for this year cannot be used by the district until August. The club would also have to raise an additional $14,659 for the program by December 2011.
The $17,000 can cover the cost of the program, according to the booster club, but not pay the coaches’ salaries. The boosters plan to pay the coaches at the end of the season, when they have raised the rest of the money.
Their fundraising plans include a projected $5,000 raised through admission to home games, $2,000 in concessions, the annual duck derby, which raises $5,000 and another $500 in private donations.
Superintendent Lee Bordick said the proposal will be posted on the district’s website, www.ichabodcrane.org, and that concerned community members can contact him. The board also has email at . Board member Bruce Naramore said he thought it was very important that residents had a chance to review the proposal.
“We are advancing public funds, taxpayers funds, to support the football program,” said audience member David Antolowitz. He stressed that the board look at the “devil in the details” in the proposal.
Board members had several questions for the booster club, especially about the coaches’ salaries. Board member Regina Rose worried that the coaches not getting paid was a breach of contract and wanted to make sure the district was not liable.
The administration also plans to put the exit survey from the annual vote on the website this week. Board member Anthony Welcome held up the exit survey, which states that of 1,250 surveys 409 voters had negative comments about football. He said that he had a hard time supporting the football proposal due the surveys outcome. “I’m wrestling with what the voter exit survey is screaming at me,” he said about approving “the exact thing they told us not to.”
The board will discuss the proposal again at the organizational meeting Tuesday July 12 at 7 p.m. in the Middle School Library.