KINDERHOOK–Tuesday’s regular school board meeting was the last for board President Andrew Kramarchyk. Reelected to the board last May, he recently announced his resignation because he is moving out of the district.
The board appointed Vice-President Regina Rose as interim president and Anthony Welcome as interim vice-president at the May 1 meeting. The two board members will hold those seats until the reorganization meeting in July. Mr. Kramarchyk’s seat for the two years remaining in his term will up for election on the May 15 annual election ballot.
Mr. Kramarchyk has served on the board since 2005.
Ms. Rose said she was taking the position of interim president with reservations. She said that as a retired teacher and former teachers’ union president, “I really can’t be involved in negotiations.” The district and the union are at an impasse with contract negotiations and state moderators have been called in to help resolve the stalemate.
Mr. Welcome accepted his appointment as vice-president, saying he may have the same problems dealing with negotiations, because his is a retired school administrator who worked in the Ichabod Crane School District. Salaries and benefits are the largest part of the budget, and a committee on the board works with the unions to negotiate the contracts for the district.
Also at the meeting, Interim Superintendent Lee Bordick mentioned that the tax levy for the budget proposal declined slightly, from 2.65% to 2.56%, after state auditors reviewed the district’s exemptions that allow for actual annual increases to exceed the 2% limit established under the state property tax cap law.
That change in the levy comes to $16,000 that the district is making up by using reserves. Budget information is available in detail at the district website, www.ichabodcrane.org.
Information about a contingency budget is being mailed out to district residents. The contingency budget will be used if the proposed $34-million budget is not approved by a majority of the voters in the May election or in a second vote, which is permitted under the law. “Programmatically it would be really, really bad,” said board member John Antalek of the contingency budget, which would mean major cuts to the district.
Mr. Bordick said that the budget proposed for this year is “in really good shape.” But he warned that the district should expect the same or less in state aid next year. “It doesn’t appear that we are going to get a windfall next year either,” he told the board. Residents can cast their votes on May 15 in the High School gym from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Also at the meeting:
*Board member Thomas Neufeld reported that 50 interested parties had asked for information on Martin Van Buren School in Kinderhook. The district is selling the building and he said they have two very interested parties, according to Coldwell Banker, the realtor that has the listing
*The board appointed Michael J. Brennan to the position of Business Manager II, a civil service position, on a provisional basis. Mr. Brennan will have to take the civil service exam in June. The board elected to change the position of business administrator, a state education certified position, to business manager, several months ago. Greg Giammarco, the former business administrator, resigned in October 2011.
*The board passed 2012-13 Estimated Final Service Request for the Questar III budget of $2.7 million for special education services, Tech Valley High School, New Visions and career tech programs, as well as some administrative services. Mr. Bordick said that this amount is down from last year’s budget of $2.9 million
The board accepted the retirements of bus driver Robert Benson and cook Cindy Boor. Mr. Benson has worked on and off in the district for 36 years, and Ms. Boor has worked in the Primary School kitchen for 16 years. They also accepted the resignation of Lisa Levine, the school social worker.
The next board meeting will be a budget forum Tuesday, May 8 at 7 p.m. in the High School Auditorium. The next regular meeting will be Tuesday, June 5 at 7 p.m. in the Middle School Library.