Brocton board holds discussions about public hearings

BROCTON – In the absence of Brocton Board of Education President Thomas DeJoe, 1st Vice President Doug Walter presided over the recent regular meeting of the board. DeJoe had another meeting scheduled that eve-ning.

The board discussed the public hearings concerning the possible consolidation of the Brocton and Westfield districts.

Board member David Hazelton said, “I was a little disappointed. I wish more people were coming.”

Walter said, “It’s important for people to say what they like and don’t like about the idea.”

Superintendent John Hert-lein said, “I do believe that the questions were sincere.” He indicated the answers to the questions will help make others more informed.

For example, one of the recommendations of the consultants was for the district to put 25 percent of the Operating Incentive Aid (monies given to a new district over a number of years) into reserves. At the public hearing Hazelton asked whether all of this needed to be put into the Capital Reserve Account to be used for building upgrades or new buildings. The answer to that was the new board of education with advice from the new superintendent and bus-iness official could choose in which of the reserve accounts to place the money to best help the district.

The districts hoped to post all the questions asked at the public hearing on their websites. Currently they do appear on Westfield’s website, while a powerpoint is on Brocton’s

A question submitted after the hearing was whether the Boards would consider a different way to take questions without having to speak in front of an auditorium of people. The superintendents, board of education presidents and District (BOCES) superintendent are to discuss this.

Two more public hearings will take place: Thursday in Westfield, and May 16 in Brocton. All will be held in the auditorium of the respective school at 7 p.m.

Other important dates for the Brocton district are May 14, when the annual meeting for the budget will be held at 7 p.m. in the band room and May 21 when the budget vote will be held from noon to 8 p.m. in the new gym foyer.

David Hazelton brought up the idea of using the County Board of Elections to run the vote on the consolidation. In this case, the optical scan machine would be used rather than the older voting machines. Linda Miller, District Clerk researched this option. The Board of Elections would charge $562.40. The price would include the workers but not the ads that need to be put in the paper.

One concern was that local election inspectors be used. Miller said she was told the Board of Elections does call local trained election inspectors.

Several board members indicated that both districts would have to agree on this. Hertlein promised to consult with David Davison, Superintendent of Westfield Academy and Central School.

Toward the end of the meeting, the Board of Education accepted resignations for the purpose of retirement from four longtime employees: Ellen Vendel, Bonnie Bromsted, Deborah Waclawski, and Dennis Morgan.

Hertlein offered his congratulations to the employees and thanked them for “their sincere dedication to the district.”

Walter added, “They will be missed.”

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