Minutes – Special Meeting – Board of Education – New Paltz Central High School – March 10, 2010 – 7:30 PM


CALL MEETING TO ORDER/ROLL CALL                                                                                       CALL TO ORDER

Meeting was called to order at 7:40 PM by David Dukler, Board President.

BOARD MEMBERS PRESENT:                                                                                                                              QUORUM CHECK
David Dukler
Kathleen Tobin Flusser
Steven Greenfield
Donald Kerr
Patrick Rausch (arrived 7:41 PM)
Daniel Torres

EXCUSED:                                            Edgar Rodriguez

ALSO PRESENT:                 Maria Rice, Superintendent of Schools

Debora Banner, Assistant Superintendent

Richard Linden, Assistant Superintendent for Business
Connie Hayes, Assistant Superintendent for Pupil Personnel Services
Richard Wiesenthal, Principal, New Paltz Middle School
Michelle Martoni, Principal, Lenape Elementary School
Debra Hogencamp, Principal, Duzine Elementary School
Antonia Woody, Athletic Director
Bill Richers, Director of Information & Communications Technology
Maureen Ryan, Supervisor of Transportation
Mike Robinson, Director of Food Services
Beverly Sickler, District Clerk
Members of the Public and Press

The roll was called as reflected above.


PUBLIC COMMENTS                                                                                                                                                       PUBLIC

Nora Strano, New Paltz – Requested Response to Her Letter & Taxes
Fawn Tantillo, New Paltz – Tax Levy & Facilities Committee Membership
Roger Spool, New Paltz – Grant Money & Breakdown of Positions
Ed Mannix, New Paltz – Maintain Interscholastic Sports
Barbara Pettrozelli, Gardiner – Maintain Athletic Program
Kevin Barry, New Paltz – Discuss Two Year Budget Plan & Unappropriated Fund Balance
Lisa Metz, New Paltz – Budget Cuts in Instructional Programs




Vice President Donald Kerr reported on the discussion that took place during the Facilities Committee meeting that was held at 4:30 PM today.  Mr. Kerr stated that the change in focus is from the middle school to the district’s facilities as a whole.  Mr. Kerr expressed that all facilities should be looked at step by step.  Several options were discussed as to how to involve the community.  One way is to expand the Facilities Committee to include community members.  A second way is to form a large committee of community, staff and professionals.  There was no recommendation to bring to the board however, Mr. Kerr had a sense that all were comfortable with a committee approach.  President Dukler summarized by saying that with a five year review coming up, all buildings must be looked at and  reaching out to the community for input should be part of the process.  Discussion continued with members offering their suggestions. Ideas included putting out an RFP to hire a group of experts to do a five year plan, recruiting members with specific skills to do research and bring input, establish a specific mission, a specific purpose and get specific talent.

In the absence of Board Member Edgar Rodriguez, Vice President Kerr articulated what he perceived to be the sentiments of Mr. Rodriguez by restating that the middle school project was presented at the wrong time, it was the wrong plan, the project was too expensive and there was not enough community participation.  Mr. Kerr went on to suggest that five subcommittees be established as follows:  Educational Space Needs, Technology and Power, Green Design, Alternatives and Finance & Tax Strategies.

Members continued with suggestions such as having a Community Forum to get community input, starting a blog to put together the best long term plan possible, establishing action teams, and soliciting input from experts who would be appointed to committees. It was stated that the district needs to look at the problem with “new eyes.”

Mr. Dukler summarized by stating that informed information be provided so that informed decisions can be made by the board.  The five year study will give the scope of what the district is facing and an informed discussion will proceed.  Also the widest possible net of community input should be obtained in an organized and focused manner so that people feel they are being heard and are solving problems.  He went on to state that the task is to determine how we can address the issues that we know are out there and what is the best format for that.  The more voices the better chance.  Mr. Dukler proposed that the board consider authorizing the superintendent to move forward with an RFP to get the ball rolling. Superintendent Rice stated that a draft RFP will be provided to the Facilities Committee.

Discussion continued with a suggestion that Study Circles be implemented as in the past to get community input.  Mr. Dukler stated that the board will move forward.

High School students announced to the members the upcoming musical, Thoroughly Modern Millie on March 25 – 27 and encouraged board members to take advantage of a free ticket to the performance of their choice.


  1. 2010-2011 SECOND BUDGET PRESENTATION – Superintendent Rice introduced a PowerPoint presentation which was used to answer the questions posed by the board at the previous meeting. Assistant Superintendent, Richard Linden, spent some time comparing health insurance plans.  He explained the difference between Capital Reserve and Capital Fund.  Mr. Linden commented on other topics such as the various district reserve funds, creation of an unemployment reserve, lottery aid, debt service, fund balance, and proposed administrative budget increases.  Superintendent Rice went on to show what a 4%, 3%, and 2% tax levy would look like. The effect of a 2% tax levy on 2011-1012 was demonstrated so that the board could see the implications over a two year period. Throughout the presentation members asked questions with Superintendent Rice and Mr. Linden providing explanations and answers.  Several members expressed a desire to see the teachers and administrators take the initiative to take cuts, knowing that it is painful but necessary.


Superintendent Rice announced that on March 17th a Community Forum will take place.  Community members will be provided with an open microphone at which time they can ask questions and provide input regarding the Proposed 2010-2011 Budget.  Board members hope to have an open dialogue with the community to help them make an informed decision about the kind of budget that they will present to the voters in May.

Superintendent Rice asked the board to consider approving a resolution to include a proposition to purchase buses on the May 18th ballot.  Discussion followed.  A Special Meeting will need to be called for the purpose of voting on such a resolution.  It was suggested that a meeting be held on March 17 or March 24 for purposes of taking action.  After discussion it was decided to consider voting on the bus issue after community input at the March 17 forum and also after input is provided by the bargaining units regarding reductions that they may or may not agree to in order to save some positions. 


PUBLIC COMMENTS                                                                                                                                                       PUBLIC

Rachel Busher – New Paltz United Teachers – Thank You for Focus on Students
Appealed to Public for Input

EXECUTIVE SESSION                                                                                                                                                      EXECUTIVE
Motion made by Patrick Rausch and seconded by Daniel Torres to move into
Executive Session at 10:50 PM to discuss the specific history of a specific individual.

Motion carried 6 - 0 with 6 members voting.

BOARD MEMBERS PRESENT:                                                                                                                              QUORUM CHECK
David Dukler
Kathleen Tobin Flusser
Steven Greenfield
Donald Kerr
Patrick Rausch
Daniel Torres

EXCUSED:                                            Edgar Rodriguez

ALSO PRESENT:                 Maria Rice, Superintendent

Out of Executive Session
Motion made by Kathleen Tobin Flusser and seconded by Daniel Torres that the Board                                     RETURN
return to Public Session at 11:11 PM.                                                                                                                               PUBLIC
Motion carried 6 - 0 with 6 members voting.

ADJOURN                                                                                                                                                                            ADJOURN

Motion made by Donald Kerr and seconded by Patrick Rausch that the Board
adjourn at 11:12  PM.

Motion carried 6 - 0 with 6 members voting.


Respectfully submitted,


Beverly J. Sickler
District Clerk