By DAVE GYMBURCH Staff writer

The Rome school district’s proposed new director of business and finance is a familiar face — Robert Mezza, former longtime district treasurer who most recently has been the Oriskany district’s business administrator.

Mezza’s appointment to the Rome district job, at a salary of $98,000, will be considered by the Board of Education tonight among various personnel items. The board meets at 6:30 p.m. at the district office, 409 Bell Road.

On the agenda:

¿ As new director of business and finance, Mezza would succeed Christopher Abdoo, whose resignation was accepted by the board in July with an effective date of Sept. 10. Abdoo had been in the position since last October, and is joining the Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake district as assistant superintendent for support services.

Mezza had been Rome district treasurer for over nine years before he was appointed to the Oriskany business administrator job at the end of 2008. He was among about 20 applicants for the Rome business director position, and was one of four finalists interviewed, said board President Patricia Riedel; she was part of a selection committee with district Superintendent Jeffrey P. Simons and Director of Employee Relations Frank Conestabile.

They selected Mezza because he has a "very good knowledge" of the Rome district, did a "good job as treasurer," was "very highly recommended" by the Oriskany superintendent, and is a Rome resident, among the factors, said Riedel.

His starting date would be Oct. 1, and until then he would handle purchasing agent duties in Rome for a couple of days a week while also continuing in Oriskany for that period, she noted; this arrangement, reached by Simons and Oriskany Superintendent Gregory K. Kelahan, would not require the Rome district to seek an interim director, she explained.

¿ A resolution for an instructional position appointment names Alyse Passante as a teacher of students with disabilities at Joy Elementary School, at a salary of $41,232. She would be a new hire for the district, filling a vacancy from a staff transfer to an academic intervention services position, according to the personnel office.


A resolution to appoint football personnel/fall sports lists "chain gang" positions for Richard Campbell, Cal Campbell, Ryan Endress, and Nicholas Medicis, at a rate for each of $25/event. The "chain gang" handles the first-down measuring chain and down indicator at football games. Medicis also is Rome Free Academy varsity boys basketball coach.