TOWN OF PITTSFORD SCHOOL DISTRICT ANNUAL MEETING MINUTES
February 29, 2016 – Lothrop School Gymnasium
Select Board Members Present: Also Present:
Bonnie Bourne Jim Carvey, Moderator
Clarence Greeno Helen McKinlay, Town Clerk
Margaret Daly Kelly Giard, Recording Secretary
Susan Markowski Liz Willis, Assistant Town Clerk
Michelle Rawls Approximately 107 guests
Moderator Jim Carvey called the meeting to order at 6:30 PM.
Moderator Harvey read the following warning:
The legal voters of the Pittsford Town School District are hereby notified and warned to meet at the Dan D. Burditt Memorial Hall (Lothrop School Gymnasium) on Monday, February 29, 2015 at 6:30 PM to transact any business not involving voting by Australian ballot.
Article 1. Moderator Carvey read the following article: “To hear and act upon the reports of the Town School District Officers.”
Moderator Carvey explained that these reports were found on pages 52 – 57 in the Town Report.
There was no discussion on the reports as presented.
Article 2. Moderator Carvey read the following article: “To authorize the Board of School Directors to borrow money in anticipation of taxes to meet the expenses of the Pittsford Town School District.”
Motion by Gordon DeLong and seconded by Denise Mahoney to approve the motion.
Motion passed unanimously.
Article 3. Moderator Carvey read the following article: “To have presented by the Board of School Directors of the Pittsford Town School District its estimate of expenses for the ensuing year.”
The School Board Chair, Bonnie Bourne thanked the community for their support in the passing of Act 46 recently. Thank you was extended to retirees Jill Corliss (34 years); Jan Ryan (34 years); and Tim Rand (27 years). Thank you was also extended to the members of The Pittsford Fire Department members for their response to the fire that occurred in the basement. The new principal at Lothrop this year is Deb Alexander and Superintendent Jeanne Collins were both introduced.
Chair Bourne explained the budget, which was found on page 58. Some of the highlights that were discussed were the salary line item will be decreasing due to retirements; the transportation budget is at $69,433 due to the state funding of 45%; the education budget is $1, 1811, 502; the Special Education budget is $806,070, which is based on assessment; the co-curricular budget is $35,000; the Administrative Support budget is $185,972; and the Administration budget is $156,319, which has been decreased by $22,000. In the upcoming budget year, the transportation funding will be sent directly to the Rutland Northeast Supervisory Union as a payment. The overall budget has decreased by $3,308, or .09%.
Ken Gagnon inquired section 1100, Direct Instruction – Regular Programs, and inquired what “Purchased Professional” entails. Chair Bourne explained that this is for Special Educators for students that are not 100% Special Education qualified.
Dave Lacey inquired the budgets for Lothrop and the Unified District. Chair Bourne explained that the Lothrop portion of the Unified budget is $3,281,178 with a 2016 tax rate of $1.64 (before Act 46) and a 2017 tax rate of $1.55 (after Act 46) – of this rate, the Lothrop portion is $.78 and the Otter Valley portion is $.771. Chair Bourne explained the Common Level tax rate and the Pittsford Common Level is 110%, making the tax rate $1.407.
Chair Bourne reviewed the ballot that the residents would be seeing at the polls. There needed to be 2 separate board budgets included on the ballot in the event of the Act 46 vote not passing. The vote would be based on the OV Unified budget, which is $22,604,806 and includes 6 elementary schools and the high and middle school budgets.
David Lacey inquired if the budgeted costs included the per pupil cost. Chair Bourne explained that the Small Schools Grant will be reducing the costs and will be paid to the Unified Union District. Jeanne Collins, Superintendent of Schools explained that there was a high salary line at Lothrop due to “senior” teaching salaries; however, the districtwide salary is lower. Superintendent Collins explained that the unified budget is received from all of the participating schools.
The Town of Pittsford will be represented on the Unified Union District by 4 residents. Sue Markowski explained that the Boards work together for all students.
Chair Bourne explained that the State Education Funding is received at the Town Clerk’s Office through property taxes, then sent to Montpelier, then sent back to cover Lothrop expenses. The amount received back from Montpelier this year was $1 million.
Melanie Clerihew inquired if there would be equitable programming at all of the schools with the passing of Act 46. Chair Bourne explained that some schools would benefit from having accessibility to a second language, where other schools may have access to a librarian position. The Unified Programs were explained by school location. Chair Bourne explained that there would be several opportunities for efficiency operating as a Unified Board, an example was the Librarian position where a school needs a Librarian for 4 days and another school needs a Librarian for 1 day – these positions can be combined into one position. Another option explained was the School Choice where a parent works in Rutland; lives in Sudbury with limited child care, the child could attend Lothrop as the parent would be commuting past the school
Article 4. Moderator Carvey read the following article “To transact any other business proper to be done when met”
Representative Shaw and Senator Flory made their Montpelier “happenings” presentation during the School segment of Town Meeting.
Rep. Shaw spoke on the passing of Act 46 and the benefits. Currently, in this session of the Legislative year, the budget process is well underway; there are 871 – 879 bills in the House for consideration.
Sen. Flory explained that the Senate has also been involved in the passing of Act 46 and the legalization of marijuana. The Transportation Fund has received a “boost” from the Federal Government; Hurricane Irene clean-up is nearly complete; Segment 6 of Route7 is the section to be constructed during the 2017-2018 budget year. The funding Segment 1, which is the next segment to be constructed is in place, however, there are still Rights of Way that need to be obtained.
Tom Hooker inquired why the most dangerous section (the section between Kendall Hill Road and Otter Valley Union High School) is the last to be constructed. Sen. Flory explained that there are historic right of way issues that have taken a considerable amount of time to obtain.
Wayne Rowe inquired the timing of the Route 3 and 7 bridge repair. Sen. Flory explained that the Segment for this section (Segment 1) construction is still 4 years out so the construction would not occur until this segment is underway.
Healthcare is a concern of residents. Rep. Shaw explained that VT Health Connect is very “ill” and the Legislature is discussing options of joining the Federal Healthcare Exchange and there may be a savings if Vermont joins with other states.
Peter Cady stated that with the mental health facility in Montpelier being offline, local hospitals are being impacted by housing the patients that would traditionally be in Waterbury. Sen. Flory explained that the facility in Waterbury is partially rebuilt. There are nearly as many beds available; however, they are spread throughout the state.
Ken Gagnon stated that the people responsible for the computer issues with the healthcare system should be held responsible by the users.
Sen. Flory stated that Lt. Gov. Phil Scott has asked the Senate to look at new revenues and the addition of jobs throughout the state.
Clarence Greeno inquired why the state is spending on opiate addiction. Sen. Flory explained that there is a huge opiate addiction in the state and there is an increase in services with DCF and corrections. One example is that there were 320 children under the age of 2 taken into DCF care due to opiates and heroine. Sue Markowski inquired if people were being rehabbed instate or out of state. Sen Flory stated that they are trying instating rehab to save money. Bonnie Stewart inquired how this addiction could be corrected. Rep Shaw explained that the treatment costs less than imprisonment. Craig Pelkey stated that the Painkiller Laws should be reviewed. Rep. Shaw stated that the National Governors Association is working on this now. Sen. Flory explained that the doctors and pharmacies computers are now communicating to avoid over-prescribing.
The meeting shall then be recessed to Tuesday, March 1, 2016 in order to vote on the following articles by Australian ballot. The polls will be open from 7:00 AM to 7:00 PM in the Municipal Office building.
Article 5. Moderator Harvey read the following article:
· A Town School Director for a term of Three (3) years
· A Town School Director for a term of Two (2) years
· A Town School Director for the final year of a term of three (3) years
· A Town School Director for the final year of a term of two (2) years
· A School Director for Otter Valley Union High School District #8 for a term of three (3) years
· A School Director for Otter Valley Union High School District #8 for the final two (2) years of a term of three (3) years.
Article 6. Moderator Carvey read the following warning: “Shall the voters of the Pittsford Town school district approve the school board to expend $3,829,037, which is the amount the school board has determined to be necessary for the ensuing fiscal year? It is estimated that this proposed budget, if approved, will result in education spending of $15,848 per equalized pupil. This projected spending per equalized pupil is 1.64% lower than spending for the current year.
Article 7. Moderator Carvey read the following warning: Shall the voters approve the Otter Valley Unified Union school board, if the Otter Valley Unified Union school district is formed with operations commencing July 1, 2016, to expend $22,604,806, which in accordance with the Otter Valley Unified Union School District formation plan, is the amount the school boards of Brandon, Goshen, Leicester Pittsford, Sudbury, and Whiting town school districts and Otter Valley Union High school district have determined to be necessary for the ensuing fiscal year? It is estimated that this proposed budget, if approved, will result in education spending of $14,495 per equalized pupil.
Motion by Denise Mahoney and seconded by Ernie Clerihew to adjourn at 7:36 PM.
Respectfully submitted: Attest:
Kelly Giard, Recording Secretary Helen E. McKinlay, Town Clerk
James Carvey, Moderator
Ernest Clerihew, Board of Civil