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School Board Split Over New Position

OSWEGO, NY – By a 5-2 vote Tuesday night the Oswego school board appointed Linda Doty to the recently created position of director of grants and partnerships.

The former Fitzhugh Park principal will earn $65,000 in her new position, which was effective today (Nov. 18).

Linda Doty
Linda Doty

Board President Dave White, Vice President Sean Madden, and members Dan Hoefer, Sam Tripp and John Dunsmoor voted in favor of the appointment.

Board members Fred Maxon and Jim Tschudy voted no.

The appointment also faced some opposition during the public comment segment of the meeting.

Former board president Maggie Tiballi railed against the resolution saying she didn’t understand how the board could create a new administration position in light of “the very, very deep state aid cuts” Gov. David Paterson assured were coming next year.

“I’m wondering what teachers, what aides, what programs, what sports will have to be cut next year so that the district can afford to pay for this person who is being hired to a position that was created specifically for this person,” she said.

“The position you created is unnecessary,” former teacher and board member Mike Goldych told the board.

Tiballi always sees things from the dark side, White said after the meeting.

“I respect her right to disagree, but I can’t recall the last time she said anything was a good idea,” he said. “We’re just trying something here. Hopefully it will work. If it doesn’t, Mrs. Tiballi can come back and say, ‘I told you so.'”

Goldych suggested the district utilize teachers on sabbaticals to help write grants.

The district could also partner with the city’s director of community development and the college.

Maxon called Doty “a wonderful person” and said he has nothing against her.

“But, this is not what the district needs. This is not the time for us to be adding an administrative position to the school district for whatever reason. That’s all I’ve got to say,” he continued.

The position was “ridiculous,” he said agreeing with Goldych that “the district is right down the hill from SUNY Oswego.” There is at least one teacher in the district teaching others how to write grants, he added.

An administrator in the district told him they didn’t have enough time to write all of the grants available to the district, Dunsmoor countered. “They don’t have the time to address it properly,” he said.

“In order for this to be successful, you would have to draw in at least $100,000 in grants in the first year,” according to Tschudy.

With the current economic outlook, that doesn’t seem likely, he added.

Adding another administrator to the district is contrary to the message taxpayers sent the district when they twice voted down the budget, he pointed out.

“The budget was defeated for many reasons,” Tripp said.

“I feel that a grant writer will make us money,” Hoefer said.

“I know we’re spending more money, but, my vision is that we’re going to collect a heck of a lot more than $65,000 with the person giving this their full-time attention,” Dunsmoor said.

2 Comments

  1. It is hard to understand the rationale behind this and to try to figure out who is wrong and who is right. It was well known last year that Mrs. Doty fell victim to David Fischer’s openly proclaimed personnel policy of “you are with me or you are sharkbait.” And Tiballi/Tschudy/Maxon were 3 of the 4 who allowed Fischer to force her out. If they had just let her stay principal in the first place, there would not be a need to create a position for her. I remember Doty filed a grievance and other things against the school district for the way she was treated in the spring and maybe this position was created to avoid future litigation. However, Dave White et al are no angels either. It is pathetic to watch them make excuses for everything and pathetic how they have handled themselves since taking charge. Dan Hoefer, we are not looking for your personal opinion on whether you “feel” she will make us money. We would like some statistics and facts. And Sam Tripp the budget was defeated because we are sick of the spending that you people do. This does nothing “for the kids” or “for the taxpayers.” It is a shame because we do not have 1 single person on that school board who is looking out for the taxpayers.

  2. Want to know why School Board members do not look out for tax payers? Its quite simple. If you go to the first Board meetiong with new members (usually closed to public for a reason), you will find the Principle of the school(s) and the Super there intimidating the crap out of the newly elected members and setting a tone that indicates that they are somehow in charge when it really is supposed to be the other way around. If you get vocal, you get squashed by the others that tow the line to garner favors from the Principals and Super. The principals and Supers do it because it is much easier on them if they can lead the board rather than the board lead them. If they start out eachg year reinforcing the belief the board has to listen to their direction, they win. I haven’t seen a board with a backbone in upstate NY yet.

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