School Board Handles Busy Agenda

By Bill Foley, OCT Contributing Writer
OSWEGO, NY – A new format for the annual budget vote and board member election, the appointment of a new attorney, several resignations, support for a Board of Regents candidate, more information on the new regional high school establishment and several other items dotted the Oswego City School District Board of Education agenda on Monday night.

John Sheffield, a 27-year veteran of education and currently a teacher in the Central Square School District, told the board members of his intentions to seek a Board of Regents opening.

He has been an advocate for children’s education and has expressed his disdain for Common Core as well as some of the educational policies for Governor Cuomo.

Later in the meeting, board member Sam Tripp expressed the desire to endorse Sheffield in his quest.

Board members appeared to agree and a further resolution addressing this could be brought to the February committee meetings.

After a 50- minute executive session for a personnel matter at the beginning of the meeting, the board returned to resume the public meeting shortly before 6 p.m.

Superintendent of Schools Dr. Dean Goewey  spoke about the regional high school that will encompass the nine schools districts from Oswego County. Each school district will be allowed five students each year.

Dr. Goewey noted, “This school will start in the Fall of this year and the program will be six years in length. Students will earn a Regents degree as well as an Associates Degree in an applied field.“

He further explained that the target student type would be underserved, at risk of dropping out, female and a focus on students with disabilities.  Five current eighth graders would be included in the incoming ninth grade class.

Students will attend all of their classes at the regional high school site, but would have rights to participate in music, sports and other extracurricular activities in their home school district.

The cost per district for next year would be just over $27,000 total.  It is anticipated the regional high school will be based on the CITI (BOCES) campus, but in time there could be nearly 300 students thus forcing an alternative site.

The regular agenda was rather crowded with a variety of resolutions.

Approval was given to make the annual May voting process more efficient.

This year there will be four centralized voting sites (compared to ten in the past). Voting hours have also been expanded with the polls open for 12 hours beginning at 9 a.m.

Voting sites  include the Scriba Fire Station for Scriba and town of Volney voters;  St. Paul’s Church in Oswego for voters in the second, fourth and sixth wards on the east side of the city of Oswego; Elim Grace Church for the first, third, fifth and seventh wards in the city of Oswego and the Oswego Town Hall for Minetto, Oswego Town and Sterling voters who vote within the district.

The board accepted  four resignations.

Most notable was the Director of Technology Richard Hogan who commenced his duties in the position in September. His resignation was effective on January 22.

Typist Pamela McCrobie, part-time registered professional nurse Linda Pickens and part-time teacher aide Michael Henderson also resigned.

Dispatcher Harry Farrell was terminated in his position as dispatcher, but will return from a leave of absence to a school bus driver position.

Kirk Mulverhill was approved through June 30 as an interim administrator serving as assistant high school principal at Oswego High School.

Regular teaching substitutes approved by the board include Samantha Ross at OHS in a science position as well as special education teachers Patrick Donovan and Catherine Furletti along with teacher assistant at Oswego Middle School Frederick Donabella.

Support staff appointments include dispatcher (grievance settlement) Wendy Suits and senior typist Patricia Perfetti.

Provisional appointments included computer aide Matthew Schneider, typist Mary Pryor and senior typist Elisha Abare.

Schneider will receive $12.20 per hour for a 37.5 hour week. Abare will received $30,565 and commence her position on February 1 while  Pryor will receive $28,659 with duties beginning on January 26.

Under support staff permanent appointments Andrew Krul, a senior groundskeeper, was approved at a salary of $58,509 and Mary Pryor a part-time library clerk at Oswego High at $12.59 per hour commencing on January 25.

After several years with another law firm, the board members approved 5-0 with an abstention from Heather DelConte, the appointment of Bond, Schoeneck and King as the district legal counsel.

The retainer will be $3,500 per month.

It was noted by Board President Kathleen Allen that Mrs. Delconte’s husband worked for Bond, Scheneck and King, but  “won’t be involved in Oswego City School District actions.”

The appointment was immediate and Dr. Goewey indicated it was the way the board wanted to go at this time.

The financial portion of the agenda saw just over $15,000 transfer of funds to cover insurance premiums for nine new buses that were added on November 30 of 2015 and funds to replace failing projector lamps districtwide and depleted toner cartridges for classroom printers districtwide.

In a budget amendment, $81,43.83 was accepted and this is the payment from the insurance company for repairs of bus garage after damaged caused by an accident.

The board accepted annual scholarship awards from recently retired teacher Mark Mirabito as he will present $100 to each student in the area of Health Education Achievement,Psychology Achievement and Anatomy and Physiology Achievement.

Also accepted was a donation from to Fitzhugh Park Elementary School teacher Nick Little in the amount of just over $287 to purchase an LED television to project students’ digital work and student led morning announcements.


  1. Appears the taxes are going up drastically yet again just by what I’m reading here; surely cannot wait to get out of this forsaken city called Oswego!

  2. Apparently the tax cap for the year is supposed to be 0.12% so we will see. The school board is apparently allowed to use “new math” when they calculate their tax increases however. For example, last year, the tax cap was 2%, but these people were able to increase taxes 10%. Now, that should have required a 60% super majority at the May election to allow them to override the tax cap. There was NOT a super majority at the polls, yet somehow, they were allowed to SLAM us with the 10% increase anyway.

    How does Kathleen Allen get to continue to use “new math” with her tax increases?

    I do not understand. Must be the Common Core for you.

    People need to be getting angry about what this “Rubber Stamp Board” is doing. The amount they raised your taxes last year is equal to or more than what the city council raised in water and sewer fees in terms of real dollars. Outage at City Hall, and for good reason, but not a peep at the Taj Mahal Ed Center on East 1st Street. Why is that?

    People, we need to get to the polls in May and vote down the massive tax increase that is coming our way. Vote AGAINST incumbents Kathleen Allen and Heather DelConte. They have done nothing but tax and spend and rubber stamp the superintendent’s agenda. We are getting screwed by this school district and people don’t even realize it. Very sad.

  3. As a concerned parent I have been watching the meetings online and attended a couple in person.

    At the end of the meeting Allen stated the current office building should be put on the market and the administration needed to come up with a plan.

    There are only 3 people on that board not related to employees- Allen, Delconte, Tripp- in the district.
    So while you’re bashing the incumbents, think about that. They’re the only ones who will not gain financially from these ridiculous contracts the teachers and employees have, thanks to the strong arm of the unions.

    Fyi i work for the district and I hate my union and what it’s done to my taxes!!

  4. Allen voted for the two years in a row of tax increases and then told us that Halsey was doing a fantastic job. Last year he literally woke up in April to start working on the budget and he got praise from the whole school board in the newspapers. I used to respect Allen and Tripp. I can’t anymore. I know that they don’t have connections to the school district employees and I know Sam voted against the OCTA contract but something has to be done about these taxes. This board is voting 7-0 on everything, why? They all actively campaigned against Fran Hoefer’s return to the board, why?

  5. What’s it like to hate yourself? Do you give money back to the taxpayers to save them from your evil Union? When you get paid do you open your check and scream, “Aaargh, this check overpays me and makes my taxes too high. I just hate getting paid this much! If only I wasnt forced at gunpoint to work for this insane amount of money! Why God? Garrrrrrrrrrr!!”

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