By Rob Potter
MONTICELLO May 16, 2006 Like residents of the countys other public school districts, voters in the Monticello Central School District will head to the polls today.
Those Monticello voters will be asked to say yes or no to a proposed budget of $64 million for the 2006-2007 school year and elect two school board members. If the spending plan is approved, it will mean a 9.9 percent increase on the districts tax levy.
Even though the tax levy would increase nearly 10 percent, Monticello Little League officials are hoping that the budget passes.
According to Jeryl Abramson, who is the Secretary of the Monticello Little League, if the budget is voted down, the league could suffer. If the budget fails, the school district will defer some of its expenses for the maintenance, insurance and upkeep of the Community Fields the baseball fields in front of Monticello High School to the Monticello Little League.
If that happens, the league would have to raise its fees, Abramson said. We might lose some kids if the cost goes up.
Abramson wants to see every eligible child have the chance to play in the league.
The league has been in existence since 1973 and we have about 300 kids participating, she said. Its a great organization in our community.
Monticello Assistant Superintendent Dr. Patrick Michel noted that there is a provision in the state education law regarding expenditures for districts operating on a contingency budget. Under the provision, a district is not allowed to have expenses that are not ordinary contingency expenses. Among the items listed as examples of not ordinary contingency expenses are new equipment, such as school buses, and public use of school buildings and grounds, except where there is no cost to the district
Michel was quick to point out that the possibility of the school deferring some costs relating to the upkeep of the fields to the Monticello Little League would only occur if the budget went down twice.
If that happens, the league would face added costs. For example, Michel said, if the district had to have one of its employees empty garbage at the fields following games, the district would have to charge the league for that service.
However, Michel, like Abramson, is hopeful that such a scenario will not take place.
We love the Monticello Little League, Michel said.