Minutes April 5, 2011


Chappaqua, New York



April 5, 2011



8:15 p.m.



Horace Greeley High School - Commons



Board of Education



Janet Benton, President
Gregg Bresner, Vice President
Jeffrey Mester
Randall Katchis



Alyson Kiesel


Staff Members

Mr. John Chambers, Interim Superintendent

Dr. Lyn McKay, Deputy Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction

Mr. John Chow, Assistant Superintendent for Business

Theresa Markley, District Clerk / Adm. Asst. to Superintendent


Visitors Present:

Representatives of the Chappaqua PTA, school PTAs, building administrators, faculty, and other interested citizens.


Vice President Gregg Bresner convened the public session at 6:30 p.m. and moved to enter into Executive Session for the purpose of negotiations and personnel. At 8:20 p.m. Jeffrey Mester moved to adjourn the Executive Session and reconvene the public work session. Randall Katchis seconded. The motion passed unanimously.

Vice President Bresner, temporary Chair, welcomed everyone to the board public work session. He noted that President Janet Benton was delayed, but will be arriving shortly. Alyson Kiesel had a previous appointment for the evening. He then turned the meeting over to Interim Superintendent John Chambers.


  • Budget Discussion - Work Session - Revenues, Tax Analysis, Fund Balance

    Mr. Chambers noted that this is a work session, so no action will be taken, but the administration was looking for additional direction to prepare for the budget adoption meeting on April 12. A public hearing is scheduled for May 3. The budget vote date is May 17.

    Mr. Chambers discussed the history of the proposed personnel reductions. On February 15, 33.0 FTE positions were identified for reduction. At subsequent meetings, 3.2 high school teaching positions and a .4 middle school music position were added back. Eleven retirements, as well as reduced enrollments, will help offset the cost of putbacks and save actual jobs. No full time teacher will be lost, but their teaching loads may be reduced. The total number of 3.6 FTE (Full Time Equivalent) teaching positions will cost approximately $360,000. To fund that amount the district needs to increase the proposed budget by $110,000 and use the $250,000 from retirement savings.

    Revenues, Tax Analysis, Fund Balance, Contingency Budget

    John Chow reviewed the new proposed 2011-12 budget of $111,448,488, an increase of $2,057,140 or 1.88% over the 2010-11 budget. Over the past three years there has been a 3.82% increase with a 4.04% increase in the tax levy.

    Mr. Chow provided a detailed explanation of the proposed revenue sources. State aid is estimated at $6,344,215, a decrease of 5.56%. The administration recommends using $3.5 million of fund balance as revenue in the budget. This compares to the use of approximately $2.6 million as revenue and $1.6 million for expense reduction in the current year budget. Mr. Chow reviewed the projected June 30, 2011 balances for the various reserve funds, noting that the district expects to end the fiscal year with $2.2 million in unspent funds that will appropriated for next year.

    Mr. Chow reviewed the estimated tax analysis prepared using assessed taxable valuations as of March 31, 2011. With a $3.5 million allocation from unappropriated fund balance, the estimated tax rate for New Castle will increase 2.89% and decrease for Mt. Pleasant by -6.19%. The board discussed using alternate amounts of surplus appropriation. The estimated New Castle tax rate increase would be 2.37% if $4 million were used and 1.33% if $5 million were used.

    Mr. Chow reviewed the purpose of a contingency budget. Our contingency budget cap for the 2011-12 proposed budget is $111,316,248, a 1.76% increase. The board discussed the unusual situation of the contingency cap being so close in value to the proposed budget. Members discussed the possibility of setting the contingency budget below the cap amount.

    More information should be available in August when property assessments finalized, the school district end-of-year audit complete and a new board is in place to decide if they wish to utilize more of the fund balance.

Questions and Comments on topics.

After listening to a number of comments from the community, Board members offered their observations on the budget process.

Members indicated their agreement with the 3.6 restored instructional positions and their support of a budget proposal totaling $111,448,488.


Information Business Affairs


President's Report


Superintendent's Report

President Benton gave Notice of Future Meetings -

Tuesday, April 12, 2011 at Horace Greeley High School - 8:15 p.m.


Adopt Budget 2011-12

Tuesday, April 12, PNW/BOCES Annual meeting, 8:00 a.m. at the Education Center.


At 10:55 p.m. Janet Benton asked for a motion to adjourn to Executive Session. Jeffrey Mester so moved and Randall Katchis seconded. The motion was carried unanimously. At 11:15 p.m. Randall Katchis moved to adjourn Executive Session for the purpose of adjourning the meeting. Alyson Kiesel seconded. The motion passed unanimously.

Respectfully submitted,

Theresa M. Markley, District Clerk

Janet Benton, Board President