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Trustees and Board of Education Discuss Budgets

PLEASANTVILLE, N.Y. – The Pleasantville Board of Education and the Village Board of Trustees met Monday evening at Village Hall for their annual joint meeting. The hot topic of the night was the 2 percent tax cap and how it is going to affect future budgets for both the village and the schools.

Mayor Peter Scherer reiterated news that there may be tough times ahead.

“We can live within a 2 percent tax cap,” Scherer said.  “However I do not believe we can live within the cap without cutting programs and services.”

The trustees and board members discussed items such as what could be cut or ways in which the budgets can be altered to accommodate the tax cap regulations. Members of both boards also stressed the importance of community involvement in the drafting of budgets.

“We’re blessed with a very intelligent voting public here in Pleasantville and it makes sense to use them as a second set of eyes,” said Louis Conte, board of education member.

The board of education shared with the trustees its creation of the Pleasantville Planning & Advisory Committee (PAC).  The PAC is a group of parents and residents from Pleasantville who are broken into subcommittees to provide feedback and advice to the board on how to properly draft its new budget.  The board of trustees concurred that was a sound strategy as it used a similar committee in the past under the leadership of then-Mayor John Nonna.

One of the displeasures the school board spoke of was the addition of the new mandated teacher and administrative performance review system.  Superintendent Mary Fox-Alter said the training alone for the program can cost the district an additional $20,000.

“There’s such a disconnect in that they’re putting these things on to us yet at the same time we’re being capped,” said Lois Winkler, board of education president.

Along with members from both boards, administrators and teachers from the Pleasantville schools were also present. The Pleasantville Planning & Advisory Committee will hold its first meeting Tuesday night at the Pleasantville High School library at 7 p.m.

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