Tuxedo Union Free School District Board Meeting November 15, 2007

The Tuxedo Union Free School District Board met on November 15, 2007 at 6:30pm.

Topics of note are as follows:

The budget process for the 2008-09 School year has begun.

Superintendent Zanetti updated the Board on the Greenwood Lake situation.  Chairman Hickey has held informal meetings with both Town Supervisor Dolan and Village Mayor Stebbins to discuss the situation and it’s potential impacts on our community.   All are in agreement that a Town/Village community meeting at which residents can ask questions and voice concerns is a good idea.  Currently, tentative dates are being reviewed for the last week in November and a likely meeting location will be the Tuxedo Park School.

Greenwood Lake’s Board asked State Education Commissioner Mills to issue a cease and desist order to the Tuxedo Union Free School District regarding the dissemination of information about the possible movement of Greenwood Lake students from Tuxedo to Warwick. This request was quickly denied.

IBM’s local facility, which is located on Long Meadow Road and employs 500, has been granted a PILOT Agreement [payment in lieu of taxes] by the Orange County Development Agency.  This agreement relates to property taxes valid for ten years, to keep the facility and its jobs from moving to Massachusetts. The Tuxedo Union Free School District was the largest beneficiary of IBM’s property taxes, and was not consulted by the County in regards to the PILOT Agreement. Although the Board was not happy about the lack of communication, it has little practical choice but to accept this Agreement.

One of the Districts junior guidance counselors has resigned to take a position with the Suffern School District, referencing the uncertain future her job faces relative to Greenwood Lake.

During the second public participation period, both Ulrich Pendl and Alan Heywood of Tuxedo Park commented on the District’s underestimating interest income [$85,000 budgeted and $147,000 actually earned] in its last budget. This discussion also covered the use of sweep accounts, (The District, like all New York State municipalities, is not allowed to use sweep accounts) and the offer of help with the District’s banking relationships. The Board has already moved cash into higher earning accounts, and will continue to explore other interest earning options for its cash balances.

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