The board of education of the merged Ilion-Mohawk school district voted to approve Central Valley Central School as the official name of the new district and approved some key staffing appointments during a meeting Tuesday in the Jarvis High School auditorium.
The resolution regarding the district name asks the New York State Education Department to change the new district’s name to Central Valley Central School. Ilion and Mohawk students in grades 4-11 selected the name Central Valley in a vote.
The board approved Superintendent Cosimo Tangorra, Jr.’s staffing recommendations as follows:
• Cynthia Stocker, assistant superintendent for teaching, learning and planning;
• James Humphrey, director of athletics and facilities;
• Lisa Hoffman, director of student services;
• Frances LaPaglia, director of human resources;
• Renee Rudd, building principal, Central Valley Academy;
• Richard Keeler, assistant building principal, Central Valley Academy;
• Jeremy Rich, building principal, Barringer Road Elementary School;
• Marsha Mays-Smith, building principal, Fisher Elementary School;
• Marsha Griffith, secretary to the superintendent; and
• Debra Egland, district office secretary.
The district is currently advertising for a principal for Jarvis Middle School, according to Tangorra. He said he has been talking to a potential candidate from within the district for the assistant principal position at Jarvis.
The board also adopted a revised district calendar that would add a second Superintendent's Conference Day prior to the start of school on Thursday, Sept. 5, to allow staff to complete preparations for the opening of school.
Action on the district name and staffing followed Herkimer-Fulton-Hamilton-Otsego BOCES Superintendent Mark Vivacqua’s presentation on the 2013 - 2014 budget.
Vivacqua pointed out the $44,125,125 spending plan follows the road map laid out in the merger plan. The budget includes all of the staff from both districts and, at the secondary school level, combines the two districts’ current offerings for a course list that will be greater than either school offers separately.
The transportation budget includes Mohawk’s buses and staff and Ilion’s use of the Birnie Bus service for at least the first year.
State aid for transportation is about 90 percent with reimbursement coming in the following year.
Business Manager Ken Long put together the plan by combining the budgets for the two school districts, adding anticipated growth of three percent and first-year additions and deletions. The proposal shows an increase of 4.9 percent. It maintains programs while keeping taxes in check, Vivacqua said. Employee benefits make up a large portion of the increase, not just for Central Valley, but for all schools, he pointed out. These include pension payments, health insurance, social security, workers’ compensation and insurance premiums and these costs make up 24.5 percent of total expenditures.
Some of the expenditures, such as moving classrooms, new uniforms and teacher training, will be for this first year only.
Page 2 of 2 - “The challenge for the board will be to save as much as they can, to spend less so they can build the fund balance back up,” said Vivacqua. That will give the new district greater tax stability when the incentive aid runs out.
While the state has a two percent tax levy limit, there are various items that are excluded. The new district could have presented a budget with more than a 9.5 percent tax levy increase, but instead followed the merger plan and lowered the overall tax levy from $8,751,544 to $8,140,180. Mohawk residents will see a reduction in their taxes while Ilion’s taxes will go up slightly, Vivacqua said. For the current year, the tax on true value for Mohawk residents was more than $20 per $1,000 while for Ilion residents it was about $17.50. Under the new budget, tax on true would be $17.58 per $1,000. With a Basic STAR exemption, that would mean a tax bill of $792 while with Enhanced STAR, the total would be $264.
“After this year, we’ll never talk about this again,” he said of the differing results of the tax levy.
Vivacqua’s PowerPoint presentation may be viewed at the new school district’s website.
Voters will go to the polls Tuesday, May 21, from noon to 8 p.m. in the small gym at Ilion Jr.-Sr. High School.