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Locking remains North Collins School Board President

The North Collins Central School Board reorganized itself on July 9 keeping Shannon Locking as president and Mark Snow as vice president. It also installed newcomer Tammy Winter as she begins her five-year-term.

The Board formally named Superintendent Benjamin Halsey as the district’s: Clerk; Administrator of Federal Funds; Purchasing Agent; Property Manager; Records Management Officer; Records Access Officer; Harassment Officer and Director of Health, Physical Education and Athletics. The numerous titles reflect the consolidations of administrative officers over the past several year and join his other titles as Supervisor of Special Education and Chief Financial Officer. For the later two posts Halsey receives a $30,000 stipend.

Other notable appointments were: Crystal A. Cocca, renamed District Treasurer while Amy L. Spicola will serve as the Deputy. Former Business Administrator Barbara S. Sporyz remains tax collector for a stipend of $10,000 and Nancy J. Rinaldi will serve as Internal Claims Auditor for a stipend of $1,606. Elementary Principal John Cataldo remains as Chief Information Officer. Jr.-Sr. High Principal Annie Metcalf will serve as Acting Superintendent when Halsey is absent.

Internal Auditor Bahgat and Laurito-Bahgat presented its findings following tests of accountability in the district’s transportation department. The audit found a number of items it felt were lacking. Among these was the lack of a system to track drivers’ hours such as time sheets or time clock and an inability to separate contractual and driving hours. Another point thought the district should examine the policy of allowing three quarters of an hour for pre and post bus inspection by drivers saying other districts do the procedure in a half hour. It also suggested invoices from John Gallina’s Service, the district’s bus servicing contractor, be more specific in listing actual work performed on each bus rather than just total hours spent. It further said that parts invoices should list both the wholesale and retail price being charged the district.

Board member David Gier questioned several of the premises of the audit, specifically if the auditors had compared the drivers’ hours with the district contract. According to Gier, drivers are paid by the route based on the estimated time it should take and are not paid additionally when routes run longer due to weather or other factors. Likewise, their compensation is not reduced if they complete their run earlier.

Gier was not alone, a sizable contingent of the district drivers were on hand and reported being surprised by some of the recommendations. According to them, many of the concerns raised in the audit have been fully documented for years by the drivers. What happens to their reports after they submit them was unknown. Driver George LoBianco said it was important in comparing them to other districts that the differences be noted. For example, LoBianco said some districts keep busses in heated garages. “I go in sometimes a half hour early just to make sure the bus is warm for the kids on cold days,” he said. He added that drivers often use personal vehicles to accomplish district mandates but do not submit mileage. The drivers offered to meet with the board to discuss any ways to improve the system and the board agreed to meet with them and the Transportation Supervisor when it is time for the yearly review of the department.

In other business the board:

• Approved Jill M. Dueringer as a .4 music instructor. Dueringer had been a full time music instructor with the district prior to the program being reduced due to budget cuts.

• Accepted the resignations of high school Math teacher Brandi Weidright as well as that of William Ramsey as Boys JV Basketball Coach.

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