Board Member Resigns Before Brookville School District Approves Budget

BROOKVILLE, Pa. (EYT) — The Brookville Area School Board met Monday night to vote on the finalized 2017-18 General Fund Budget, the finalized 2017-18 Cafeteria Fund Budget, and the tax resolution for the 2017-18 fiscal year.

Among the other issues discussed were approval of tenure, the appointment of a school board secretary and assistant board secretary, and supplemental contracts for mentor teachers and coaches.

Michael Smith was not present during the board meeting. Instead, he supplied board members with his official letter of resignation.

Smith had previously voiced his concerns over the 2017-18 budget, and voted “no” on the Proposed 2017-18 budget.

In his letter of resignation Smith wrote:

I have voiced my concerns over the recent employee contract, which I feel the district cannot afford. These raises increase each year for the next 5 years – compounding with each year – and I simply do not see how the district can possibly cover the costs in the future. Even with yearly tax increases (more burden to the taxpayers) – the costs are unsustainable, in my opinion.

“I cannot and will not sacrifice my belief and values on what I believe is right, so therefore I must resign.”

Smith thanked the school board, the community, and his family for his time served on the BASB.

I would like to thank my family for putting up with the many hours I was absent doing board work. I would also like to thank the school district’s residents and community for their support over the years.

“I wish the Board, Administration, all Employees, and the District nothing but the best in the future.”

Six educators were awarded tenure during last night’s meeting. To achieve tenured status, an educator must have completed three years of teaching, and been rated satisfactory during the last four months of their third year. The following educators were awarded professional employee status (tenure): Jena Bish, Seth Carlson, Vincent Esposito, Nathaniel Irwin, Christin McNeil and Sasha Young.

Dalynn Park, a student in the Brookville Area School District was chosen to represent the student body at school board meetings during the 2017-18 school year. Brynn Afton will serve as her alternate.

The 2017-18 School District Insurance Program, which includes a total premium of $138,727 (compared to the 2016-17 premium of $159,964) was approved unanimously.

Adoption of the Final 2017-18 BASD General and Subsidiary Fund Budget, which includes a General Fund Budget of $25,292,722 and a Cafeteria Fund Budget of $946,000 was approved during a roll call vote of 6-2.

The votes went as follows: Carol Schindler – NO, Kerith Strano-Taylor – YES, Frank Bartley – NO, Roberta Ganoe – YES, Don Gill – YES, Fred Park – YES, John Pozza – YES, Melinda Hall – YES.

Don Gill thanked the administration and everyone involved in preparing this budget for their hard work. “Just because the budget is passed, doesn’t mean that that’s what we’re going to spend… if we pass the budget, then yes, that is the budget, however, we continue to look for better ways to do things, more fiscal ways to do things.”

Next up for a roll call vote were the tax resolutions for the 2017-18 fiscal year. To close a gap left in the BASD 2017-18 budget by the absence of the Keystones to Opportunity (KTO) Grant, a property tax and an occupational assessment tax are being levied and assessed. The property tax will come in the form of 30.0715 mills ($30.0715 on $1,000) and will be assessed on properties in the Boroughs of Brookville and Summerville, and in the townships of Barnett, Beaver, Clover, Eldred, Heath, Knox, Pinecreek, Rose and Warsaw.

The occupational assessment tax will be levied upon every resident of the Brookville Area School District.

Assessments will fall into one of three categories, Professional/Managerial – 52.5 mills ($105), Skilled Labor – 42.5 mills ($85), and Laborers – 25 mills ($50).

Exemptions will be made for residents that are retired, unemployed, homemakers, active U.S. military, members of the clergy, full-time students, or anyone that has moved outside of the district.

Three tax levies were also re-enacted, and will begin July 1. These include: 1) an earned income tax of 1% on each resident of the BASD, 2) a real-estate transfer tax of 1% on real estate transferred within BASD, and 3) a local service tax of $10 on each person working within the BASD.

The roll call vote for the tax resolution went as follows: Kerith Strano-Taylor – YES, Frank Bartley – NO, Roberta Ganoe – YES, Don Gill – YES, Melinda Hall – YES, Fred Park – YES, John Pozza – YES, Carol Schindler – NO. The tax resolution was approved with a vote of 6-2.

The Homestead and Farmstead exclusion resolution for the 2017-18 fiscal year was approved unanimously.

A monetary donation from the 5th grade teachers was received in honor of Margaret Patricia Rhoades. The money will be used to support the Hickory Grove Library.

The Brookville Area Raider Scholastic Foundation was approved to donate funds to the BASD for the following items: field trips to Miller Welding, Matson Lumber, and Brookville Equipment, advanced placement testing, Makerbot 3D supplies, Junior High Olympics, girls’ seminar expenses, and the High School/Hickory Grove Artist in Residency project.

Bill Hawthorne donated two GBC Combined C75 binding machines and one Stapes DuoTrim paper cutter.

The BASD received a “Fuel up to Play 60” grant for a new milk cooler at the High School.

Ellen Neyman was appointed as BASB Secretary for a term of four years, and Carol Schields was appointed as Assistant BASB Secretary.

Supplemental contracts for 2017-18 were approved for the following Mentor Teachers: Nicole Werner for Brian Kemmerle, Andrea Taylor for Jennifer Lewis, Kristen Hawthorn for Michelle Kemmerle, Staci Renninger for Heidi Afton, and Shannon Wenger for a new math teacher hire.

The following supplemental contracts for football coaches/volunteers were approved: COACHES – Scott Park (Head Coach) Nick Nosker (1st Assistant Coach), Frank Varischetti (Assistant Coach), Jim Rush (Assistant Coach), Casey Belfiore (Assistant Coach), Gabe Bowley (Assistant Coach). VOLUNTEERS – Ryan Blochberger, Bob Fye, Jonah Sampson, Nathan Bonfardine, Mike Rakovan, Jeff Park, Todd Park, John Macbeth, Chris Dworek, Vanessa Jacobson, Logan Thrush, and Fred Park.

Heather London was approved as a day-to-day substitute.

The next school board meeting will be held July 10.

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