March 14, 2012 —
Following many months of ruthless cuts aimed at creating an austere budget, Eldred Central School District (ECS) officials presented highlights of the near-final proposed 2012-13 budget. Despite a substantial increase of 5% in health insurance and a 30% rise in employee retirement, the proposed budget represents a decrease from the 2011-12 budget of 4.55%, resulting in a total budget of $15,778,153.
School business administrator William Thornton said the budget is 99% complete, pending final figures from BOCES. A budget workshop is currently scheduled at 7:30 p.m. on March 22 at the Junior/Senior High School in Eldred, but may be unnecessary. The public is welcome, but should check the school website for updates (ecs.schoolwires.com/Page/1).
In other matters, it was announced that a board of education (BOE) seat will become available when Douglas Reiser’s term expires on June 30. The term for a BOE member is five years, beginning July 1, 2012 through June 30, 2017. Interested individuals should contact district clerk Bonnie Robertson at 845/456-1100, ext. 5128 for a petition. The deadline to file to run is April 16, 2012.
Superintendent Robert Dufour reported that more than 80 resumes have been received in response to the search for a new principal at George Ross Mackenzie Elementary School. Dufour will review resumes with the intent to interview 10 to 15 candidates and to select three to be interviewed by the various committees being established for this purpose. Two hundred and five responses to a community survey about the desired qualities for the new principal have been received. Dufour will present an overview of the survey results at the BOE meeting on April 19 at 7:30 p.m. for discussion.
The ECS Key Elements a cappella group has launched a fundraising effort to raise $7,000 to record their first CD through Kickstarter.com. Twenty-one students from seventh through 12th grade are attempting to raise enough to record the 10-song album. Visit
www.kickstarter.com/projects/572050684/eldred-key-elements-1st-ever-a-ca...  to see the progress to date. Pledges are not collected unless the entire amount is pledged by April 2.