Education

Somers Voters Asked to Approve Funding for Athletic Field

1c18baa3d4c2005c50ae_11004.jpg
The Somers High School athletic field Credits: File Photo/Tabitha Pearson Marshall
1c18baa3d4c2005c50ae_11004.jpg

SOMERS, N.Y. – Though its $1.7 million price tag does not add a dime to tax bills, a proposed upgrade of school athletic facilities does need an OK from residents to become reality.

“There’s no cost to the voters,” the schools’ assistant superintendent for business said last week. Updating school board members on 2017-18 budget progress, Kenneth Crowley said, “We have the money…All we need to do is ask the voters for permission to expend those dollars.”

Residents will go to the polls May 16 to render judgment on a proposed $88.2 million operating budget and to fill two school board seats, one of them held by an incumbent who will not seek re-election. But voters will also be asked to approve the spending of $1,723,508 in reserve cash to resurface two artificial-turf fields and acquire new equipment for the high school’s fitness/wellness center.

Sign Up for E-News

The new turf carpets would replace artificial surfaces laid down 10 years ago on soccer and football fields at Somers High School.

Even with voter approval in May, however, the state-champion Tusker football team and other Somers athletes are a long way from refurbished fields of play. Crowley predicted at least a year’s delay in getting the state Education Department to sign off on the project.

“We would probably not see any movement on this until the summer of 2018, at the earliest,” he said.

Meanwhile, the project’s funding sits in a capital-reserve account established in 2014. Approved by the voters and funded with unspent dollars in the Somers Central School District’s operating budget, the account provides a way to stockpile cash for future needs.

Money going into the capital reserve must be earmarked for specific projects and can only be taken out after voters agree that the spending is necessary. That will be the case in May.

“We’re asking permission to expend those funds,” Crowley told the school board. “That’s what that proposition is requesting.”

Voters will also be asked to approve an operating budget of $88,224,866—a rise of $1,323,115 in spending—for the school year beginning July 1. Tax-cap-compliant, the proposed budget anticipates a hike in the tax levy of $1,318,504, or 1.77 percent, over current spending.

Residents would see their tax rates rise by $2.43 (1.5 percent) to $160.23 for each $1,000 of assessed value.

State aid, as always, remains a question at this point. Gov. Andrew Cuomo recommended a billion-dollar statewide aid increase in January. Nevertheless, Crowley said, Somers’ piece of the pie stands to drop.

“We are getting a decrease of $56,000 in our overall state aid,” he told the board.

The state legislature, however, will have the final say on aid, and both houses have raised the governor’s increase, the Assembly pushing it to $1.8 billion and the Senate to $1.2 billion. The state budget has an April 1 deadline.

Somers’ budget is expected to be adopted April 18, with a public hearing to follow on May 9.

Graffitti leaving school board

Trustee Linda Graffitti said this week that she will not seek re-election to the school board. Graffitti has served consecutive three-year terms.

Two of the board’s seven seats are scheduled to be up for grabs in the May 16 voting. Trustee Chadwick Olsen said he plans to seek re-election to his own for a three-year term.

To run for a board seat, candidate petitions must be submitted by April 17. They are available from District Clerk Nancy Corrado in the Somers Middle School weekdays from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Hardy successor named

Philip Kavanagh was confirmed last week as the district’s $167,500-a-year director of school counseling and student support.

Director of guidance in the Lakeland Central School District for more than 12 years, Kavanagh succeeds Deborah Hardy in the Somers counseling role.

A public outcry arose last year over reports that the popular Hardy would lose her $160,000-a-year position in an economy move. In the end, the district scrapped that budget cut, but Hardy resigned anyway in June. She now operates GuidED Consulting in Mahopac, providing counseling to both students and school districts.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Somers

'We'll Have Meals Together'

A few days ago, I watched a rerun of “Everybody Loves Raymond.” In this particular episode, brothers Raymond and Robert went head to head over who would take care of their mother, Marie, during her later years (anticipating that father, Frank, would predecease her).

It brought back the decision Jack, Roe and I were faced with years ago regarding our mom. She was in her 80s, lived ...

Weather or Not

Feb. 2 has come and gone and once again, we have foolishly entrusted a large rodent with six weeks worth of weather forecasting. This year they had a whole entourage of guys who wanted to cram into the Groundhog Day action, but there’s one head groundhog aficionado who’s in charge when they open up Punxsutawney Phil’s cage. Both man and beast are dressed to the nines, one in a ...

The Night They Raided Spruce Street

It was the day of the Finch Ball. Jason had been away on business, but was expected home in time for us to attend that evening. 

I had graduated from Finch College two years earlier and was now married and expecting my second child. We lived in a one-bedroom garden apartment in Yonkers. It was a close community where everyone was young, friendly and just starting out. Each town house was ...

Should Valentine's Day Be Celebrated at School?

Dear Dr. Linda,

I’ve been a third-grade teacher for over 20 years and have never allowed my students to celebrate Valentine’s Day in my class. I know my colleagues think I’m mean, but I’m refusing to celebrate it for many reasons.

1) Children hand out cards to each other and there’s always some child left out or who gets very few; 2) Children are always asked ...

A Trip to the 'Liberry'

Raise your hand if you didn’t—did not—call the library the “liberry” when you were little. I’m guessing not a lot of hands just went up.

Didn’t just about all of us say “liberry” when we were learning to read? (Well, whaddya expect when a place is named something way too easy for little kids to mispronounce?)

OK. Now, raise your hand if ...

I'm Mrs. Heat Miser

To be perfectly honest, I did not need a large rodent with insomnia to convince me that we had six more weeks of winter. It’s been so cold outside lately that when I go out, my nostrils stick together. The dog is so hesitant to go out that he does his business right on the deck, less than five feet from the door, and then gives me a look of contemptuous indignation when he comes back in the ...

Upcoming Events

Sat, February 24, 10:00 AM

Jefferson Valley Mall , Yorktown Heights

Yorktown Indoor Farmers Market

Food & Drink Health & Wellness

Sun, February 25, 10:30 AM

Yorktown Heights

Kids Hamantash Bake

Religions And Spirituality

Mon, February 26, 7:00 PM

Westchester Collaborative Theater, Ossining

WCT Scene/Monologue Study Open For Enrollment Now

Arts & Entertainment Education Other

The Somers Record Shines a Light on 'Great' Community

February 9, 2018

To the editor,

How amazing to see my sister-in-law, Kim Maguire, on the cover of the Record!

We read our paper religiously! Last week, we saw our daughters' picture as volunteers at the Chili Cookoff! This is such a tight-knit community and having articles like the one done for Kim highlight some of the great people and servicemen and women who make this town so special. The writer who ...

Cuba Goes Country

February 16, 2018

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

RELEASE: “Cuba Goes County” to be held at The Palmer in Cuba, NY.

For more information or to schedule and interview, contact Theater Manager Michele Conklin at (585) 209-5512.

The Palmer Opera House is hosting “Cuba Goes Country” on Sunday March 11th- at 2:00 PM

Come join us for a boot stompin', toe tappin' afternoon of country ...

'Are You Friggin' Kidding Me?'

February 15, 2018

Faye M. DeSanto

Guest Columnist

I never watched the hit TV Show “Mad Men.” My best friend, who rarely watches TV, recommended it to me when it was gaining its first good reviews. I said, “I lived through that time period. I can see no good coming from reminding men about that sexist era.” Little did I know how right I was.

My husband drooled over the short-lived ...