Minutes March 27, 2012


Chappaqua, New York



March 27, 2012



8:15 p.m.



Horace Greeley High School



Board of Education
Alyson Kiesel, President
Jeffrey Mester, Vice President
Randall Katchis
Vicky Tipp
Karen Visser


Staff Members

Dr. Lyn McKay, Superintendent

Mr. Eric Byrne, Assistant 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.


President Alyson Kiesel convened the public session at 6:30p.m. Victoria Tipp moved to enter into Executive Session for the purpose of the discussion of the employment history of a particular person or persons. Randall Katchis seconded. The motion passed unanimously. At 8:20pm Jeffrey Mester moved to adjourn the Executive Session. Randall Katchis seconded. The motion passed unanimously.

At 8:22 p.m. Randall Katchis moved to reconvene the public session. Karen Visser seconded. The motion passed unanimously. Vicky Tipp moved to appoint Jeffrey Mester District Clerk Pro Temp. Randall Katchis seconded. Jeffrey Mester voted no, Kiesel, Katchis, Tipp, and Viser voted in favor. The motion passed 4-1.

President Kiesel welcomed the community.

President Kiesel asked John Chow, Assistant Superintendent for Business to begin his presentation.


Budget - Revenues, Tax Analysis, Contingency

Mr. Chow first noted that because of the scheduling issues, the .2 position in Technology has been added. The savings captured from two additional retirees offsets the cost of this add back. Therefore, is no increase to the proposed budget of $112,202,888 which represents a .68% increase. He provided a detailed explanation of revenue sources. He noted the Governor's budget and explained the projections in State Aid that reflects a change of -2.29%. He previously explained the Tax Cap Levy and it is on the website. The assessment numbers have decreased and we will receive the final assessed valuation numbers the end of July for the tax warrant in August so the tax rates are an estimate. The equalization rate is what brings the two towns to the same equalized value or full taxable value because they have two different assessments.

The contingency budget has been simplified so the contingency budget may not include a levy higher than the prior year's levy (0% levy growth). The reduction would be $2,087,552 which would mean reducing expenditures. Personnel, such as nonaligned administrators and nonaligned confidential support staff who are not under contract, equipment, could be reduced first, or use more fund balance. The fund balance may then be depleted for future years.

Equalization Rates

Town Assessors Philip Platz from New Castle and James Timmings from Mt. Pleasant gave explanations of equalization rates, how they are computed, why we use them, and finally, if all municipalities assessed at 100% of market value, equalization rates would not be necessary. An equalization rate is New York State's measure of a municipality's level of assessment.

Total assessed value of municipality/(divided by) Total market value of municipality = equalization rate

Equalization rates are necessary in New York State because each municipality determines its own level of assessment (this is in contrast to most states that require one level of assessment statewide). Hundreds of taxing jurisdictions - including most school districts and counties - do not share the same taxing boundaries as the cities and towns that are responsible for assessing properties

In order to distribute school district or county taxes among multiple municipalities, the level of assessment of each municipality must be equalized to full market value.

Total assessed value of municipality/(divided by) equalization rate for municipality = Total market value of municipality

Recommendations from Finance Advisory Committee

Cathy Thorsberg, representative of FAC and chose to focus on big picture issues to help the district. We recommend a county-wide property tax assessment be performed to significantly reduce or eliminate SCARS (small claims assessment reviews) and tax certiorari refunds. This would save time for municipal and school district employees, lawyers, and assessors. There would be fairness in tax payments and cut school and municipal exposure to tax certioraris. The impact would be approximately one-third would pay more, another third would pay less, and the final third would remain the same. We recommend the school and town boards join forces with other municipalities to achieve a county-wide evaluation of all properties.

Questions and Comments

We welcome public inquiries, and in respect for each other's time, we ask that you limit your inquiry to three minutes. Board members may be contacted via email or phone.


Information Business Affairs


President's Report

President Kiesel reported on the aquarium trip and how enjoyable it is to be able to bring the children to these kinds of activities.


Superintendent's Report

Dr. McKay reported on the terrific professional development day coordinated by Assistant Superintendent Eric Byrne. All the schools had specific work to do, but the middle schools continued studying and fine tuning the schedule for next year.

Questions and Comments






Karen Visser moved to approve the Minutes of March 6, 2012. Vicky Tipp seconded. The motion passed unanimously.


Recommended Action: Personnel


Recommended Action: Other

Randall Katchis moved to approve the following actions, 5.1-5.3. Karen Visser seconded. The motion passed unanimously.


Agreement for onsite education services with Princeton HealthCare System, March 14 - June 30, 2012, for one student, Exhibit A, at a rate of $500/week.


Agreement for Health and Related Services, Harrison Central School district for 2011-12 in the amount of $4,436.32, invoice attached for four students.


Resolution to authorize the Board President to enter into agreement with S&N Contractors for the Courtyard Window and Lintel Replacements at Bell Middle School previously approved.






President Kiesel gave Notice of Future Meetings -

Tuesday, April 10, 2012, Board Meeting at Horace Greeley High School


Adopt Budget



At 10:10 p.m. Randall Katchis moved to adjourn the meeting. Vicky Tipp seconded. The motion passed unanimously.

Respectfully submitted,

Jeffrey Mester, District Clerk Pro Temp.

Alyson Kiesel, Board President