In addition, board member Dr. David Stone noted that as the district goes into budget season, it’s important to keep in mind the positive effect that extracurricular activities and the arts have on overall student achievement.
“If we take these things away from our children, then we’re cheating them ... We have to be very careful as we pare away more,” he said.
During the public-comment session at the start of the meeting, Plattsburgh resident Walter Chmura urged the board to discuss switching employee health care from Plan A, which it currently offers, to Plan B.
The coverage supplied by the two plans, Chmura said, appears to be similar; however, Plan B is significantly less costly.
“Plan A is going to undergo a 7 percent increase, which will significantly impact taxpayers,” he said.
However, the cost of Plan B, Chmura noted, is not expected to increase.
Wachtmeister stated that any changes in health insurance would have to be negotiated with the district’s unions and, therefore, would not take effect in the near future.
Plattsburgh resident Fritz Tobrocke also addressed the board, urging the district to consider eliminating administrative positions in 2013-14.
“In the past two years, a lot of service positions have taken a hard hit,” he said. “I feel the board should look at starting at the top this year when looking at cuts.”
During the second public-comment period, just before the close of the meeting, Plattsburgh resident Ken Baker told the board something must be done about the rising costs of the school’s salaries and benefits.
“You have to start taking a look at that stuff. There is no more wealth here. This is a rural area. Everybody is taxed out …This area does not support these obscene salaries, and they are just short of being obscene.”
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