Serving on the Shenendehowa Central School District Board of Education
For the past eighteen years I have served as a member of the Shenendehowa Central School District Board of Education. During this time, the district successfully passed through several distinct periods; first came a period of growth in facilities, programs and offerings, then one of fiscal challenge where, of necessity, the focus was on preserving what we had and minimizing the negative impact of insufficient support from the state and federal governments. Next, from these same governments, came a period dominated by ill-conceived efforts to reform public education. These efforts were misguided and unrealistic, causing turmoil, stress, criticism and loss of public trust.
During the most recent period, resources available to the school district from the state have been gradually restored. However, when adjusted for inflation there have been no real increases. Shenendehowa schools have navigated these periods. During the entire time, economic and societal changes have necessitated continuous examination of our offerings, practices and support services. Most recently, limitations placed on school districts’ access to local financial support have required especially careful and judicious use of all public funds.
The Superintendent and district leadership team with the support and encouragement of the school board has promoted efficiency, cost effectiveness and successful brought financial stability and predictability as we look to the future.
Our students have continued to achieve great success in academics, the arts, athletics, and indeed every area of endeavor. Such success has been the product of committed parents, teachers, administrators, staff and others from the community. The support of the community has been essential. The Board of Education has been a significant partner in the effort to provide the best possible education for each student attending Shenendehowa schools.
As a board member I have worked on behalf of students and residents within the district at the state level and at the national level. These efforts, in partnership with others, have been productive, personally rewarding, and measurably successful.
Our area is prospering at present but the future is hard to predict. There are challenges and opportunities. At the local level we are prepared for the present and we prepare for the future, reshaping education in our schools and equipping our students to thrive in a world of rapid technological, economic, and culture changes.
I am one of seven diligent, hardworking, thoughtful and committed members of the Board of Education. Three of us are seeking re-election to the board this May.
I am seeking a seventh three year term with the promise that I will continue to be a positive contributor toward continuous improvement and a steward of public resources. I ask voters of the Shenendehowa Central School District to affirm their trust by casting an informed vote for me, Gary DiLallo, Todd Gilbert and Deanna Stephenson, Tuesday, May 21 at the Gowana Middle School.
Your support for the proposed school budget and bus referendum will preserve our assets, provide quality programs and secure the district’s fiscal health for the future. Your support is both vital and greatly appreciated.
Shen school budget
May is here and as Shen students and staff are counting down the days until summer break, the district’s Board of Education and administration have been diligently (and thoughtfully) preparing several items for the 2019-2020 school year for district voters’ consideration and approval at the May 21 polls.
We encourage residents to attend the Public Hearing on the proposed budget and proposition item at 7 p.m. May 7, in the Gowana Library to be informed and ask questions prior to the vote. Such items include: a healthy annual budget sustaining and adding value to educational programs with no impact on taxpayers (matter of fact, many will see a reduction in their tax bill), and a proposition for bus replacement purchase.
Additionally, residents will be asked to vote for candidates to fill three vacant Board of Education seats currently held by Gary DiLallo, Todd Gilbert and Deanna Stephenson whose terms are expiring. We have had the honor of working with Gary, Todd and Deanna on the BOE and must say we are pleased they are seeking re-election—their experience and proven track records speak for themselves. Their collective knowledge, leadership experience and commitment—not to mention fingers on the pulse of our community—are essential to serving on a school board with high expectations for accountability, transparency, and fiscal responsibility with the investment made by our district residents.
We encourage all eligible district residents to get out and vote from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. May 21, in the Gowana Middle School Gym. Don’t forget…absentee ballots are also available by contacting the District Office. Let your voice be heard and help position our district to be the best it can be, standing behind our children, our future, and strengthening our community every day.
Christina M. Rajotte & Gusta Miller
Shenendehowa Board of Education members
Shen school budget
It’s that time of the year again when the public is called upon to vote on school budgets and school board members. I want to voice my support for the Shenendehowa School Budget which provides important enhancement of programs, while projecting an actual reduction in my tax bill…doesn’t get any better than that! I credit Dr. Robinson and his staff, as well as the school board, in again crafting a spending plan that maintains equity, recognizes the continuing need for student services and enrichment, and maintains a safe learning environment for our children.
At the same time, given the stability of programs and the relatively flat line of individual school taxes over the last several years, I want to recommend that we re-elect Deanna Stephenson, Todd Gilbert, and Gary DiLallo for new three year terms on the school board. Deanna is the newest member of the three, but as a long term resident and parent she has shown relentless energy and commitment to our school system and its students…and our residents. Todd Gilbert is the parent of two children in the district and combines a parent’s interest with a keen business sense as a school board member. Gary DiLallo has distinguished himself with his persistent attention to statewide policies and legislation that impact our local education, serving as the board’s voice on such matters---an important, but often underappreciated role. All three deserve reelection.
Please remember to vote on May 21 from 7am until 9pm at Gowana Middle School to ensure the continuation of our great school system.
Bill Casey, past President of the Shenedehowa School Board
Memo To: Waterford/Halfmoon Residents in Fire District
From: Residents that feel $10 million for a Firehouse is too much money for the residents of the District. Not paying your mortgage payment and mine too!
Date: May 7, 2019 Vote 12 noon to 9:00pm COME VOTE NO
When your roof starts to leak and your foundation has a few cracks do you rip down your house and rebuild it or do you do repairs as needed through the years??
The Halfmoon-Waterford Fire Department doesn’t want to do any repairs to the Firehouse they WANT a new building and guess who is paying for it? YOU ARE, WE ARE. They didn’t save over the years for this new building and now they want to bond the new building and want us to pay for it over the next 30 years AND this is on top of the money we pay in taxes to them already.
Are you on a fixed income, are you retired, are you paying your own mortgage, are you paying for student loans, car loans or leases?
Let’s talk facts:
· Agreed they need a new building
· They recently bought a new ladder truck that doesn’t fit in the existing building THIS WAS POOR PLANNING ON THEIR PART
· They claim there is 20,000 residents in the Halfmoon portion of the Fire District. WRONG! THERE IS 20,000 RESIDENTS IN THE ENTIRE TOWN OF HALFMOON.
· There are actually 2,604 parcels in Halfmoon portion of the fire district and $1,029,186. was collected from Halfmoon in fire taxes.
· There are actually 1,050 parcels in the Waterford portion of the fire district and
· $1,109,216 was collected from Waterford in fire taxes.
· WHERE DID ALL THE MONEY GO FOR THE PAST YEARS? IT WASN’T SAVED. They clearly haven’t planned for a new building. Save $5million and come back and talk to us.
· The residents spoke before the last vote. The answer then was clearly NO it’s too much money. You don’t need a Firehouse that huge. Cut back on all of the offices you’re looking for. Cut back on empty future space on the lower level or use that space for the offices and eliminate all the rooms upstairs.
· Hillcrest Fire Department spent $3 million for a new building. Charlton was recently approved for spending $4.2 million for a new building and Round Lake was recently approved for spending $4.5 million for a new building. Halfmoon-Waterford wants to double and triple the cost of a new building.
· Halfmoon-Waterford has a substation on Route 4 & 32 with 2 bays for trucks. The building is being used for storage.
· The first proposal was for 25,000 sq. ft. and this proposal is for 18,310 sq. ft. a small difference of 6,690 sq. ft. they are taking away the community room that was designated for residents to RENT. Really? We are paying for the building and they want to charge us to rent space?
· John D’Alessandro claims he took all comments to heart and did everything we asked for, except lower the price.
Attention the residents of the Halfmoon-Waterford Fire District don’t want an expensive $10 million firehouse with 2 stories with an empty future bottom floor space.