By Susan Hallock
ELDRED January 16, 2007 Prior to the beginning of the Eldred Central School Board meeting a moment of silence was held for 1999 Eldred Central School Student William “Billy” Gunther, who died unexpectedly at the beginning of the week.
Board President Vincent Zike noted, “It is hard to believe and hard to understand why someone so young has to die, he was only 25 and our sympathy and prayers go out to the family.”
As for the agenda, it was noted that the recently approved building project is underway. Interim Superintendent Charlotte Gregory noted that, “The plans are being worked on and finalized and being passed on to the proper channels of state education. The state has to approve all our plans and finalize them so that is where we are at now.
“Further, we are looking for construction of the project to begin in 2008 and for it to be completed by 2009,” she added. “ The district will have a great building once it is all done.”
Zike added, “I know that the voters have approved this project, but now we are going to begin our budget process and we need to keep them informed. We need to prepare our budget that is in the best interest of the district and we need to show the public what we can change and what we can not. We can not change teacher’s retirements and health costs. We need to show them our spending and what has to be spent.”
Zike went on to note that, “In one of our past budgets votes, I feel the budget failed because the people where upset over the Superintendent’s salary increase. The people need to understand that when you hire a Superintendent you agree to certain things and if that is increases in salary that is already approved when he or she is hired and it can not change. We need to inform the public as much as possible and answer questions as they arise.”
The board then heard two presentations. Atlantic Energy Companies addressed ways the school district could save money with different energy options for the new construction. Voice Over IP then gave info regarding a proposed new phone/technology system for both the elementary school and the high school.
The board scheduled budget workshops for March 8, 15, 22 and 29. The board also approved to hire Elizabeth Wayman to the position of school psychologist for the 2006-07 school year, upon the recommendation of the Interim Superintendent. The hiring was on an emergency conditional basis, with a probationary period of three years commencing January 16, 2007 at a salary of step 1 in the amount of $39,199 pro-rated.
Put in the surplus category were two 36-inch Vulcan electric ranges, a 36-inch propane oven, a 1993 GMC mini bus, a 1993 International 66 passenger bus and one 1991 Suburban.