Skaneateles school board to discuss sharing administrative services with Weedsport

The Skaneateles School Board will discuss entering into a contract with the Weedsport Central School District to share business manager services at its next meeting.

The district needs to hire a new business manager to replace Dale Bates, who is retiring at the end of February after more than 30 years with the district. Bates’ 2013 salary was $161,934.

The Weedsport Assistant Superintendent of Business and Finance Doug Tomandl has a 2013 salary of $99,425. Tomandl has many of the same duties with the Weedsport that Bates has had with Skaneateles. These include accounting, budgeting, capital project management, and supervision of building and grounds and food services, according to the district’s website. Bates also served as the district clerk.

After being contacted by Shaun O’Connor, the Weedsport superintendent of schools, Interim Superintendent Judy Pastel said they have been discussing the terms of the potential arrangement. At the board’s Feb. 11 meeting, the discussions with Weedsport were discussed during an executive session listed on the agenda as “Negotiations with another public agency.”

Pastel also said she has advised a board subcommittee that was going to interview candidates to replace Bates to put the process on hold.

Though the terms are not finalized, if the board decides to enter into the arrangement, it would mean a 50 percent reduction in expenses for salary and benefits for the position.

As advised by Pastel, the district has already reduced administrative personnel in several areas to cut costs.

“This is all part of our district looking at administrative costs and seeing where we can reduce costs,” Pastel said. “We’re trying to protect the programs, we’re trying to protect the teachers.”

The district has eliminated one curriculum coordinator position, one principal position and reduced its counseling staff in the past year. These changes will save the district a total of $421,000 on its 2014-15 budget, according to estimates released by the district last November.

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