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The Telegram
  • Beirne: Merger vote a go

  • A school official said on Tuesday the state Education Department now has the necessary paperwork it needs to go ahead with the binding vote on the three school district merger.

    “Everything is geared up for the vote,” said interim Mohawk Central School Superintendent Gene Beirne during a telephone interview on Tuesday.

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  • A school official said on Tuesday the state Education Department now has the necessary paperwork it needs to go ahead with the binding vote on the three school district merger.
    “Everything is geared up for the vote,” said interim Mohawk Central School Superintendent Gene Beirne during a telephone interview on Tuesday.
    Beirne said the school district received the signed order from state Education Department Commissioner John King’s office, which will allow them to go ahead with the binding vote for the proposed Herkimer, Ilion and Mohawk school merger.
    The notice states “a special meeting of the qualified voters of the Herkimer-Ilion-Mohawk central school district ... will be held at the Herkimer Central School, Ilion Central School and the Mohawk Central School on the 18th day of October, 2012, between the hours of noon and 8 p.m. to vote on the following questions ...”
    Those three questions, according to the notice, are whether a Herkimer-Ilion-Mohawk Central School District should be organized and established; if the district is organized, whether it should have five, seven or nine school board members and if the district is organized, whether the school board terms should be three, four or five years long.
    This came after the three school districts received a publicly posted order from the commissioner that recognized the three districts voted yes on the straw vote and that petitions needed to be signed and submitted to the state Education Department to go ahead with the binding vote.
    Beirne also said the school board during its regular meeting on Monday appointed seven vote workers to work during the referendum.
    In other business, the board heard from Beirne that Lower Tolpa Field was vandalized some time on Sunday morning. Beirne said Mohawk police passed by the field around 9:30 a.m., then returned around noon to find someone had driven onto the soccer and football fields. Beirne said the driver went about five to six feet onto the soccer field and about six inches or less onto the football field.
    “Whoever it was, they gunned their vehicle so much they tore away the sod and it went right back down to the plastic mesh that holds it together,” said Beirne.
    The fields are part of the new athletic complex completed in 2010 under the school district’s EXCEL project. Beirne said it took about two hours for school maintenance workers to repair the field on Monday, but the sidelines will still need some repairs. Beirne said no arrests have been made.
    • The board approved Deluxe Roofing and Sheet Metal Corporation to spend $6,800 for chimney and roof repair at Jarvis Junior-Senior High School. Beirne said there is a need to repair a small leak at the school before it creates a bigger problem.
    • The board accepted annual audits prepared by Questar III BOCES and D’Arcangelo LLP. Beirne said the report was “excellent” and he was “happy” with it.
    Page 2 of 2 - • The board recognized Natalie Festine for her 19 years of service as a school counselor. She started off as a high school counselor and moved over to the elementary school. Beirne called her a “great and superb counselor. She was given “the Golden Apple” by the Mohawk school board members to recognize her time as a counselor at the school district.
    • The board heard from Jarvis Junior-Senior High School Principal Cynthia Stocker that she and 30 students went through training for Rachel’s Challenge, a non-bullying program. The Herkimer County Youth Violence Prevention Committee sponsored Rachel’s Challenge presentations in 12 Herkimer BOCES school districts and their corresponding communities. The presentations reached over 5,000 students in grades 6 to 12, and included a leadership training component at Herkimer BOCES, where 400 student leaders from across the county received information to help them to create and implement on-campus character initiatives and community service events.

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