Oneida BOE considers mascot change

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DURHAMVILLE — The Oneida Board of Education discussed a number of new projects Tuesday evening at Durhamville Elementary School.

These included the hiring of a sixth maintenance worker, a solar project and a review of the district’s mascot.

Mascot review

BOE President John Elberson said the board will be reviewing use of the school mascot in the coming months. Athletic teams in the Oneida City School District are known as Indians, but in recent years a number of Native American groups have begun protesting use of Indian imagery as mascots. These groups include the Oneida Indian Nation, which has protested the National Football League’s Washington Redskins.

“We want to be respectful of our neighbors, and respectful of our history,” Elberson said. “This will be an exciting time as we consider which direction to move in.”

Labor position, solar project

The board is considering hiring a sixth member of its maintenance department.

The candidate being considered is an Oneida High School graduate and is well-liked and respected.

“He went through our BOCES program, and he shows a talent for this line of work,” Jim Rowley, assistant superintendent of finance, said.

The board also discussed whether to use a payment in lieu of taxes plan for a parcel behind the Oneida Walmart.

The parcel’s taxable value will increase after a solar array is placed on it.

“I don’t think there’s a need to jump at this. There’s not a lot of money involved,” Rowley said.

The board is working to prepare its budget for 2018-19. A timeline was approved for the budget preparation.

“We’re continuing to work on this. At this point it involves mostly salaries and benefits,” Rowley said.

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