Hudson school board fills open seat, agrees to sell old school

HUDSON–The Board of Education appointed its newest member last week, received its student representative, confirmed a new swimming pool coordinator, authorized the sale of the Claverack School and heard how one type of tax break costs the district $261,000.

Board members chose Sage Marie Carter to fill the vacant on the Board at the September 22 meeting. The board had had only six of its requisite seven members after Kelly Frank resigned last month to take a job in Texas.

Board Vice President Tiffany Hamilton nominated her and the other Board members voted overwhelmingly in favor. The only other candidate for the position, Jay Carlisle, congratulated her. Ms. Carter took the oath of office immediately after the vote and took her seat with other board members.

Ms. Carter, a freelance video designer, has volunteered at John L. Edwards Primary School. Her son, now in second grade, has attended that school since pre-kindergarten, she said.

She is the third member to have joined the Board since May of this year. The other two are Maria McLaughlin and Derrick Smart. Ms. Carter’s term expires May 19, 2015. If she wishes to continue, she will have to run for reelection next spring.

When announcing her interest in the appointment three weeks ago, Ms. Carter said, “Our city is rapidly changing, and I would like our children to be partners in the change.” She also said, “Our schools have poor reputations” and expressed hope for them to “get better.”

Atia Begh sat at the September 22 meeting as student representative to the board for the school year. Atia is president of both the Student Council and the senior class at Hudson High School and vice president of the Varsity Club. She participates in mock trial, the Environmental Club, Students Against Destructive Decisions, and tennis. She said her general goal for after graduation is to attend a four-year college.

As student representative she said her job is to “voice the opinions” and concerns of her fellow students to the board.

Also this week the Board voted overwhelmingly to proceed with the sale of the Claverack School building for $390,000 to Jeffrey Gibson. The building currently serves as the county courthouse and is expected to do so through the end of October. Board members say they think Mr. Gibson intends to use the building for studio or performance arts.

Board action for the sale is the first step in a long process. Voters will need to approve the transfer on a referendum at the school board elections next May.

The Claverack School will be the second school building sold by the Hudson City School District recently. The other is the Greenport School and its grounds, where a residential development is planned.

And Business Executive Robert Yusko reported that Payments in Lieu of Taxes (PILOTs) cost the school district $261,000 annually in lost revenue. Acting on a request made by Ms. Frank before she resigned, Mr. Yusko found the following:

Potential

# of         Actual               Tax

PILOTs   Revenue           Revenue              Difference

 

County       3         $80,933          $109,976

 

City            5        $102,937          $334,576

 

Total          8         $183,870          $444,552              -$260,682

Also at the meeting the board:

  • Appointed Matt Leonard swimming pool coordinator at Hudson High School, effective October 1. In this part time position, he replaces Joe Alessi
  • Superintendent Maria Suttmeier reported that the American Association of School Administrators had recognized her, Catskill Central School District Superintendent Kathleen Farrell, Berkshire Union Free School District Superintendent Bruce Potter, for the Bridge Alternate Transition Program. The Bridge, also called the Columbia-Greene Partnership Academy, serves Hudson and Catskill high school students judged to need an alternate setting on the road to graduation. It has operated since last winter on the corner of Warren and 4th streets in the center of Hudson, with faculty from Berkshire Union. Mr. Potter plans to accept the association’s invitation speak about the Bridge at its meeting in San Diego, CA.

Heard Ms. Hamilton suggest the district consider hiring a full-time grant writer. It currently hires contract grant writers.

The next Board meeting will take place Monday, October 20, at 7 pm, at the John L. Edwards Primary School Cafeteria.

 

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