Southwestern Reports Smaller Tax Rate Increase

The 2013 tax rate for the Southwestern Central School District reflects an increase of less than 1 percent over last year.

At the district’s Board of Education meeting Tuesday, the board approved the tax warrant in the amount of $12,379,950 for the towns of Busti, Ellicott and Harmony. According to Scott Hoot, school business administrator, the increase is only half the amount that was projected.

“We had projected a $0.38 increase in the tax rate and, with the final assessments, it actually is increasing half of that at only $0.19; which is a little less than 1 percent,” Hoot said.

“It was a nice surprise,” said William Burk, vice president of the board.

In new business, the board approved two gifts to the district: a donation of $730 from Beverly Rushin for the Joe Rushin Fund, and a like-new Story & Clark studio piano – which is valued at approximately $2,500. Also approved in new business was an amendment to the Chautauqua County Medical Health Plan Municipal document.

Several personnel items were present on the agenda. Sarah Rounds, elementary school AIS teacher, was granted an unpaid child-rearing leave from Aug. 29 through June 30, 2014. One position in the school counselor tenure area was abolished by the board due to economic constraints.

Appointments included: Dana California to a non-probationary .4 full-time position for the 2013-14 school year; Brianne Katilus to a non-probationary long-term substitute position to replace Kay Sirianni, commencing Aug. 29; Caitlin Morales to a non-probationary .5 full-time long-term regular substitute position to replace Sarah Rounds from Aug. 29 through June, 30, 2014, unless Rounds returns from her leave of absence before such time; and Mary Jo Dix as a temporary account clerk in the business office for a maximum of six months.

Maureen Donahue, district superintendent, was approved as a certified lead evaluator in APPR for the 2013-14 school year. The board rescinded a previous motion to appoint Shelly O’Boyle to serve as a Dignity Act coordinator for the 2013-14 school year, and approved the appointment of Bill Caldwell as a Dignity Act coordinator. Barb Kane was appointed as library department chairperson, and Sarah Peterson was appointed as girls JV volleyball coach for the coming school year. Marla Cobb and Curtis Olson were approved as bus driver II trainees, effective today.

Several certified and uncertified individuals were approved as per diem instructional substitute teachers for the 2013-14 school year. Denise Swezey was approved as a non-instructional teacher-aide substitute, and Stephanie Hulton was approved as a district wide volunteer.