Tuxedo – Greenwood Lake Budget Committee Meeting Tuesday,
February 19, 2008

Tuxedo Board of Education President Jim Hickey called the second Budget Committee meeting to order in Tuxedo at 7 PM. Also present for the Tuxedo District were Board of Ed. member Shawn Brown, Superintendent Joe Zanetti, and Business Administrator Dawn Cupano. Representing Greenwood Lake were Board of Ed. President Kathy Gilson, Board of Ed. member Bill Kelly, Superintendent John Guarracino, and Business Administrator Ann Lierow.

Hickey laid out two ground rules at the start of this meeting. First, Tuxedo would only consider a five year Contract for all four grades (in December, Guarracino talked about the possibility of keeping the ninth grade in Greenwood Lake]. Second, as a starting point for these discussions, the expired [06/30/07] five year Contract would be used as an initial template. Since the meeting ran two hours with a reasonable amount of repetition by all parties, the salient points were as follows:

Greenwood Lake has absolutely no desire to contribute “another cent” (Gilson’s words) in the new contract to the amortization of any capital expenditures – historic or future – for the existing high school. Tuxedo’s initial position is that this is not acceptable.

Greenwood Lake wants to focus the tuition discussions utilizing a “direct cost model” (a number of models apparently exist for NYS public schools, so it remains to be seen which will be utilized), and Tuxedo did not object to this approach in theory.
(Editorial note: Clearly Greenwood Lake feels this will prove a less costly approach then using the Seneca Falls Formula.)

Going back to approximately 1987, up through 2005, Greenwood Lake has always made its two tuition payments due October 1 and January 1, on a timely basis. However, for the last three years, these payments have been consistently late (the January 1 2008 payment was received on or about February 14), thus denying Tuxedo the use and time value of these funds. When questioned on this, Gilson said it was because Greenwood Lake wanted more information prior to paying said invoices; ergo, she wanted to meaningfully change the content of the invoices. (Editorial note: This begs two questions. Why hadn’t Greenwood Lake brought its information needs to Tuxedo’s attention 3 years ago, and why hadn’t Tuxedo aggressively protested the first and subsequent late payments? Clearly any new contract should contain late payment penalties as well as in a separate section, addressing the specifics of Greenwood Lake’s information needs. The timely payment of invoices should not be held captive to these needs.)

Greenwood Lake stated it felt certain students who were assigned up to four study hall periods on a particular day, should not be charged full tuition rates. Tuxedo did not accept this. (Editorial note: Gilson is trying to take a menu approach to the tuition discussions. Study Halls are part of the overall tuition process, and just as Tuxedo does not charge more for AP classes, it should not charge less for study hall periods.)

Initial discussions on what items were and were not directly billable to Greenwood Lake (mandated medical exams, home schooling for ill or suspended students, etc.)

Initial discussions on how and when to determine if student X from Greenwood Lake is actively enrolled in Tuxedo or not took place.

The next meeting will be held at GWL on Wednesday, March 5, 2008.


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