Gowanda to start superintendent search

GOWANDA – The Gowanda Central School will be embarking on a superintendent search in the near future. Prior to the official start of the search to replace current Superintendent Charles Rinaldi, the Board of Education discussed the first steps of the search at a recent board meeting.

Rinaldi will be retiring at the end of this school year when his term expires. The Board of Education can go with BOCES or an outside search agency as lead agent for the search.

“BOCES is the cheapest way to go. BOCES is just one option. There are some nonprofit organizations who do a search and there are big (companies) we will pay big fees for,” board member Mark Nephew said.

Nephew said BOCES’ services are not free and have a minimal cost, but will be cheaper than a private company. The board decided it would like to gather more information from BOCES. It will invite BOCES District Superintendent Dr. David O’Rourke to a future meeting and will commit to working with BOCES for the search.

In an unrelated matter, Nephew brought up an issue he would like to have the board of education take a stance on. Nephew said he would like the board to go on record stating a payment in lieu of taxes for the proposed Zoar Valley Clinic, to be built on a Jamestown Street site owned by private company Savarino Companies, should only be accepted if the correct procedure is followed. If the PILOT were to pass, taxpayers in the Gowanda school district will have to take on the burden of the exempt taxes.

“Our taxpayers will suffer if they will be exempt from paying school taxes,” Nephew said in reference to the PILOT.

Nephew said the procedure should include a valid State Environmental Quality Review, which apparently means there has not been a valid SEQR. He also said he is not disagreeing with the PILOT program, but instead wants the correct procedure to be followed.

The board of education will vote on a resolution in the matter at their next board meeting on Sept. 18.

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