S-G budget talks take off

Fellow board member Benjamin Conlon added with the current economic condition, a 2 percent tax increase is substantial enough for taxpayers to bear.

"A 2 percent tax increase is significant for a lot of people to have to pay in relation to it, and I think it is really incumbent upon us to really find a way to keep it below that," said Conlon.

Board member Gary Normington cautioned the board to try to remain focused on what is best for the district once the cuts and reductions are proposed.

"We have to realize in setting these numbers, [Swartz] is going to come back with some pretty drastic cuts, and we are going to have to stick to our guns," said Normington.

BOE President Pamela Carbone expressed her willingness to have a tax increase that is over 2 percent.

"I am willing to go a little, if we need to, to preserve programs," said Carbone. "I would rather see us go more like 3 percent and preserve a little more of our programs. We have taken so much time over the 15 years that I have been on the board to get together a really good program in Scotia-Glenville, and I am scared, I am really scared that we are over the next couple years going to watch everything that we built up and put together torn down and torn apart."

Without state involvement into mandate relief for the district, Swartz said it would be hard for the district and other districts to achieve a great deal of cost savings. She said the district needs help at a state level to address salary benefits and health insurance costs.

"In theory, there is supposed to be mandate relief," said Swartz. "The deeper I get in this, it appears to me to be a much bigger problem than any individual school is going to have the wherewithal to solve."

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