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Citizens Committee Begins School Budget Planning

MOUNT PLEASANT, N.Y. –The Mount Pleasant Central School District is in the process of receiving input from a select group of individuals on developing a budget for the upcoming school year.  The members are part of the Citizens Budget Advisory Committee and Superintendent Susan Guiney understands the tough task they are faced with.

“These are seven members that are part of our community that are faced with the task of helping to craft a budget and at the same time maintain the integrity of this district,” Guiney said at the December Board of Education meeting.  “And that is not an easy task.”

The committee held their kick-off meeting in late November where they received an in-depth presentation on past budgets, current staff situations, financial challenges for the district and possible reductions going forward from members of the Board of Education.  The board also provided the committee with information regarding the 2 percent tax cap put in place by Governor Andrew Cuomo which a places a burden on the district as to how much money can be spent in the budget going forward.

One familiar name on the budget committee for those in the Mount Pleasant community is John Whearty, the first ever principal of Westlake High School in 1962 and the former Superintendent of the district for 20 years.  After taking a step back from the district in recent years, Whearty felt he could provide important input during dire times.

“Right now I just think there’s a significant concern because of the tax cap that the governor has imposed and there’s some significant issues that the district is facing because of that,” said Whearty, who currently has a granddaughter that is a student at Westlake High School.

Although times have changed, Whearty said he believes his experience as an administrator at Westlake is timeless.

“I have the experience both in a historical way and also in a practical way because I was the person responsible for putting the budget together every year for twenty years,” Whearty said.

Other members of the committee include Richard Austin, Jenn DeFlorio, Kerry DiSalvo, Emil Andrew Muccin, Matthew Robbins, and Catherine Wilson.  Whearty said the group has not yet discussed reductions and that they will look to parents in the district for suggestions in that area.

The Powerpoint presentation from the committee’s November meeting can be found on the district’s website.

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