Monday, March 7, 2016

Putting the "U" in Community

A Busy Weekend: I really appreciate all of you who spent a portion of your week or weekend at a West Genesee event. We had swimming, diving, running, cheerleading, and hockey competitions, along with concerts and an amazing Culture Fair; just to name a few.

On top of that there were several non-West Genesee happenings, like grocery shopping and the Tipperary Hill Shamrock Run where I ran into (no pun intended) community members as well! Good stuff!

Budget Season: Last week I also had the first opportunity to present the 2016-2017 budget. We plan to:
  • maintain existing programs, 
  • add some mental health counseling support, and 
  • adjust our staffing to match enrollment. 
The resulting tax levy will be no greater than 1.77%.

Different for this year will be the way we vote. We were not able to get the waiver that allowed us to use the old style voting machines renewed, so we will be using the scanner-based ballot system that is used in all other elections. We did order enough scanners so that we do not anticipate lines or waiting on voting day.

We do have to use employees approved by the Onondaga County Board of Elections to work the polls and that will mean that we will not be able to use the many volunteers who have helped us in the past. We are inviting many of those volunteers to join us the day of the budget vote (Tuesday, May 17)  at 9:00 a.m. for a brief thank you and celebration (including long time volunteer Hugh Stoddard who turns 100 this year!) as the next chapter of school budget voting begins for our District.

Capital Project Update: We opened bids for the high school portion of the Capital Project last week. I am excited about this because it means that we will finish the entire project a little over a year earlier than we had originally projected.

On to Alaska! Our Academic Decathlon team is going to be hitting the streets hard to raise money for their upcoming national championship bid in Anchorage, Alaska. Please be on the lookout. We will be able to help them locate some resources, but my best estimate is that they still need to raise about $15,000 in the next few weeks. I am confident they will get there. Ready, set, go!

There is some warmer weather coming our way this week. I'll take it. See you soon!