Amendment to superintendent’s contract on school board agenda


An amendment to Rome school district Peter C. Blake’s employment agreement, and resolutions to accept results of today’s district budget vote and election, will be considered by the Board of Education Wednesday night. Among other items before the board will be proposed assessment reductions involving three properties at Griffiss Business and Technology Park with payment-in-lieu-of-taxes (PILOT) agreements, and the resignation of an elementary assistant principal.

The board’s regular meeting session is expected to be at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday at the district office, 409 Bell Road, following an anticipated 5:30 p.m. closed executive session at the start of the meeting to discuss legal and personnel-related matters. On the agenda:

• A proposed amendment to Blake’s agreement regarding employment terms and conditions includes rescinding a previously approved payment change for travel expenses, plus adjustments in dates for payroll purposes, said board President Paul Fitzpatrick.

The changes involve legal technicalities, Fitzpatrick commented. A new five-year employment agreement for Blake that the board approved last month included a change calling for him to receive an ongoing $500 monthly stipend for travel expenses instead of itemizing the expenses. But Fitzpatrick said the change later was found to be “undoable” based on requirements, and that section of the agreement is to revert to “the way it was.”

• Resolutions to accept election results involve public voting today to elect three school board members to new three-year terms from among five candidates, and to seek approval of a 2019-20 school district budget of $116.69 million.

If the proposed budget were not approved by district voters, the board conceivably could submit it for another public vote with certain modifications. Other options could include proceeding to a contingency budget directly or if another public vote again rejected a proposed budget.

However, a contingency budget could result in additional reductions totaling about $3 million and would not restore any reductions in the current proposal, Blake has said. It also would require no increase in the local property tax levy, whereas a 4.06 percent increase is currently proposed.

• A resolution to change assessment values would settle a legal challenge by Oneida County Industrial Development Agency, Griffiss Local Development Corporation, Economic Development Growth Enterprises Corporation (EDGE) and Cardinal Griffiss Realty, LLC.

The case involves its property at 725 Daedalian Drive, occupied by Griffiss Insitute; 775 Daedalian Drive, occupied by Alion Science and Technology company; 122 Otis St., occupied by MGS Manufacturing; 153 Brooks Road, occupied by Assured Information Security company.

Under the settlement, assessment values for 2019 would be reduced for three of the properties but not for 775 Daedalian Drive, said school district Treasurer Nicholas Panuccio Jr. The district’s total PILOT revenue from those properties would be reduced by a total of $6,500 for the 2019 assessment. They are not on the regular tax roll.

• Bellamy Elementary School Assistant Principal Frederick Wadnola is resigning effective June 30. Wadnola transferred to Bellamy last July after joining the district in 2017 as Staley assistant principal.

The district is “certainly grateful for the time that he has provided to our schools and community,” said Blake, adding the district is reviewing how to address the vacancy.


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