Batavia district budget cuts 30 positions

Mark Gutman/Daily News

BATAVIA — The Board of Education will not have the final list of abolished positions until June, but as of Tuesday night, seven permanent employees — six of them teachers — will lose their jobs due to cuts in next year’s budget.

There have been 30 positions cut from the budget. Aside from the seven permanent employees, 10 long-term substitute teacher aides, whose jobs were to end June 30, were cut and 13 vacant positions were slashed. These cuts helped reduce a deficit of about $1.6 million and the board Tuesday night adopted a proposed budget of $51,470,726, with a tax levy of $19,493,958, $7,362 less than this year’s levy. The district would be spending $952,153 more than it did this year. The budget vote will be June 9 by absentee ballot only.

Superintendent Anibal Soler Jr. said the list of positions to be abolished will be shown to the Batavia Teachers’ Association so the union is aware of it and there are no surprises.

“I will be meeting with members in-depth once we adopt the budget,” he said.

The public hearing on the budget and the board’s next regular meeting will be at 6 p.m. June 2. Business Administrator Scott Rozanski said, “June 2, we’ll ask the board to abolish those positions that are truly affected.”

Soler said the district hasn’t heard anything about further funding cuts by the state in the first measuring period. Batavia was supposed to hear something May 15, he said.

“The next day they gave us was May 20, which is tomorrow (today),” he said. “We have, technically, to the end of the month and the next one’s supposed to happen again ... it’s supposed to happen June 1. I’m assuming that one’s going to be delayed as well. We have two potential adjustments that happen before July 1 when we start our new budget. I just want to make sure we don’t lose sight of that.”

Rozanski said, “(If there are) negative adjustments moving forward, we’ll either have to make additional reductions or use reserve ...”

Rozanski said the June 2 meeting and hearing will be closed to the public due to the COVID-19 pandemic. There will be a process for public questions and comments during the budget hearing presentation. The district will post information about the process on its website before the hearing.

Aside from the propose budget, another proposition will be the use of $619,151 in capital reserve funds to pay for a new playground at Jackson Primary School. It would replace the current playground.

The three candidates running for board seats are Barbara Bowman and Tanni Bromley, running for re-election, and Alice Ann Benedict, who was appointed to the board this month to replace Zachary Korzelius. The candidate with the least number of votes will have the shortest term (June 9, 2020 through June 30, 2021). The other two candidates will be for three-year terms from July 1, 2020 through June 30, 2023.

The Richmond Memorial Library trustee ballot will also be on the absentee ballot. There are two trustee seats available and Kristi Evans is the only candidate who officially turned in a petition by the deadline to run. The other position will be filled via a write-in candidate process. Both trustee seats are for five-year terms, starting July 1, 2020 and ending June 30, 2025.

The district will mail ballots to all voters registered with Genesee County Board of Elections. Those included on the permanent and military lists (through the county Board of Elections) will also receive ballots. If you are not a registered voter and would like to request a ballot, email Rozanski at srozanski@bataviacsd.org or call (585) 343-2480 ext. 1002. You will need to include your name, full address and phone number in case there is a question. The absentee ballots must be returned by mail no later than 5 p.m. June 9 to the Office of the District Clerk at Batavia High School Administrative Offices, 260 State St., Batavia, NY 14020. Voters who do not receive a ballot by Tuesday should immediately contact Rozanski to request one.

The annual budget vote for all school districts will be June 9 by absentee ballot only. Districts must receive absentee ballots by 5 p.m. June 9 for them to be counted. The following budget information was available for other Genesee County school districts as of Tuesday:

The proposed budget is $18,540,258, an increase of $315,497, or 1.73 percent, over this year’s budget. There would be no increase in the tax levy of $6,206,990.

The budget hearing will be at 7 p.m. Tuesday. It will be viewable via Zoom video conferencing using the log-in details set forth on the district’s website. The public may also view it on the district website Board of Education link beginning on May 27.

The district will mail absentee ballots to registered voters in each household by June 1. If a member of a household is a qualified voter, but not a registered voter, or if you have not received a ballot and wish to vote,contact District Clerk Lisa Atkinson at (585) 591-1551, ext. 2422 or email latkinson@alexandercsd.org.

The Board of Education seat held by Richard Guarino will be up for election for a five-year term.

The Board of Education adopted a proposed budget of $24,599,800. The budget includes a tax levy of $9,024,961.

Proposition 2 is for the purchase of two 70-passenger buses at a maximum cost of $246,000. The state aid ratio is about 90 percent, making the net local share per bus $12,300. The estimated average cost for the bus proposition is $2 per year on a house valued at $100,000.

Two Board of Education trustees will be elected to serve three-year terms beginning July 1. The three candidates are Tammy Menzie and Amy Phillips, both running for re-election, and challenger Lynn Smith.

The public hearing on the budget will be 5 p.m. May 28. The budget presentation will be available for viewing on the school website. The budget presentation, bus purchase proposition, and additional resources are posted on the district website at www.bbschools.org/DistirctBudget.aspx. Contact our business office at (585) 494-1220 if you have any questions.

The Board of Education will meet at 7 p.m. today via Zoom at https://youtu.be/_dEqpM12SF0 to consider adopting the 2020-21 budget. A budget hearing is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. May 27 via Zoom/YouTube live at https://youtu.be/3fWN1Sr-lGY and those with questions for the hearing may email them to Superintendent Ned Dale at ndale@elbacsd.org or District Clerk Donna Harris by noon Tuesday. They may call Dale at 757-9967 ext. 1034 or Harris at the same number, extension 1033.

Dale said the second proposition is for to re-establish a vehicle and transportation reserve.

“This will help greatly in long term financial planning, maintaining our fleet of busses, as well as maximize the aid from New York state on these purchases,” he said. “If Proposition 2 is approved, we are then asking residents to approve the purchase of one 65-passenger bus and one 24-passenger bus with a handicap lift. Existing planned funds will be used to cover the cost of the buses.

The district will mail ballots to voters based on information from the county Board of Elections. If a voter in your household needs a ballot, have him or her contact District Clerk Donna Harris at 757-9967, ext. 1033.

Voters may mail ballots back to the district with a self-addressed and postage-paid envelope the district will provide. Anyone with questions or concerns may email or call Dale.

Through Tuesday, the Oakfield-Alabama Central School District is taking public comments or questions about the proposed $21.1 million budget for next year.

The budget hearing will take place remotely at 10 a.m. June 1. Questions residents submitted previously will be answered during the hearing.

The proposed budget will be on the district website for community review in the next day or two, said Superintendent John Fisgus. The public may make comments or ask questions by emailing Tera Reinhardt in the district office at treinhardt@oahornets.org.

Oakfield-Alabama said, in a letter last week to district residents, that qualified voters will get an absentee ballot around Tuesday.

Proposition 1 is the budget, which would not include a tax levy increase from this year’s levy.

Proposition 2 is a $15,300,000 capital project with no impact on taxes. Fisgus said the vote on the project had to be delayed when schools were closed due to COVID-19. If the need arises, the board has full authority, if approved, to scale back the project if the district faces further cuts or budget deficits in state funding or revenues.

The project focuses on needed safety and security measures, building codes and handicapped requirements and renovations, building repairs, mechanical and electrical upgrades and “beautification” of the campus. Fisgus said the project vote will be for exactly the same improvements proposed for the original vote in March.

Proposition 3 is the purchase of one 65-passenger school bus for no more than $135,000. The district said the Board of Education is proceeding “very cautiously” with this proposition and that the board has the authority not to seek out this purchase and finance it if the need arises.

There are five candidates for three school board positions. There is currently a vacancy following a board member’s resignation. This board seat will be available after the election. The candidate with the highest number of votes will be elected to a term beginning June 10, 2020 and ending June 30, 2023. The other two seats up for election are currently held by Jeffrey Hyde and Chris Haacke. The two candidates with the second- and third-highest vote totals will be elected to three-year terms starting July 1. Candidates are listed in alphabetical order on the absentee ballot.

Fisgus said there were two board resignations, one by Bonnie Woodward and one by Jennifer Kirkum.

“Due to the timing of the resignations, we replaced Bonnie’s position with Jeff Hyde. Jen’s resignation was later in the school year and the board decided not to replace her,” Fisgus said. “The five candidates running for school board are Jackie Yunker Davis, Daniel Groth, Douglas Russo, Shanda Spink and Peter Zeliff.”

The district is mailing absentee ballots to all qualified voters. Voters who do not receive a ballot by Tuesday should immediately contact the district office at (585) 948-5211 ext. 4209 or treinhardt@oahornets.org to request one. All absentee ballots must be mailed or returned to the district office by 5 p.m. June 9. Ballots not returned by then will not be considered or counted.

On May 4, the Board of Education adopted a 2020-21 budget of $17,684,182 with no change in the tax levy amount from this year.

Superintendent Kenneth Ellison said there are no significant changes to the overall budget beyond contractual increases and anticipated costs associated with the COVID-19 crisis — cleaning supplies and possible safety equipment needed for next year.

There is a proposition to change the length of term for one Board of Education seat. The seat is currently for a three-year term. The proposition would change the term to five years, making all seven seats five-year terms.

The public hearing will take place at 7 p.m. Tuesday on Zoom. The public may register in advance at https://E2CCB-GST.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_rRQU9oJOSjSat5pAOTHrbQ for the hearing. Ellison said links will be provided in the district newsletter and the district webpage once they are created. Questions may be submitted during the webinar, Ellison said.

Board of Education incumbents Margaret Gaston and Callin Ayers-Tillotson are running for re-election.

The district will mail ballots to all voters it was able to identify from Board of Elections information student management software and voter signatures from the last two budget years. if you do not receive a ballot by Tuesday, contact District Clerk Mary Jo Pahl via email at mjpahl@pavilioncsd.org or call (585) 584-1013. Each ballot includes a postage paid envelope addressed to Pavilion Central School.

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