B-W School Board Splits Vote Over Groundskeeper Position
'We sink thousands and thousands of dollars into these buildings and into the grounds, and if they're not maintained, in 10 years, you're going to be sinking thousands again and again and again.' - board President Nancy Sciulli DiNardo
Ultimately, the position was approved by a 5-4 vote; though, no one has yet been hired to fill that position.
Dissenting were Martin Michael Schmotzer, Ray Rosing, Nancy Lee Crowder and Diana Kazour.
"We already have two maintenance men," Schmotzer said during Wednesday night's school board meeting, "and if you add the salaries and the benefits, it's around $170,000. If you add this position with benefits, you're looking at a first-year $76,000 job. I just cannot justify that.
"I think the work should be subbed out to the two maintenance men and/or some custodians around the buildings. We're not running Phipps Conservatory. Our grounds are important to us. Our buildings, our operations are important to us, but you have to draw the line.
"Our student enrollment has plateaued for years, but yet, we continue to add layers and layers of employees. You cannot continue to cut taxes and hold the line on taxes and continue to add personnel."
Fellow board member George L. Pry argued that approving the position does not equate to actually spending the money.
"I believe in this position," Pry said. "I don't necessarily yet believe that we're gonna pay for it until seeing the offsetting justification of the money."
Added board member Kevin J. Fischer, "Who we hire, what we pay still remains to be seen."
But Schmotzer said that a union contract will stipulate what the pay ultimately will be.
After the vote, board President Nancy Sciulli DiNardo said that the new position stems from the investment that the school district has made into its facilities.
"I believe that you have to have a plan in place to keep our facilities where they need to be," Sciulli DiNardo said. "This position is a part of the advisory committee that (Superintendent) Dr. (Randal A.) Lutz has started in regard to our facilities, our buildings, our maintenance plan for everything that we have.
"We sink thousands and thousands of dollars into these buildings and into the grounds, and if they're not maintained, in 10 years, you're going to be sinking thousands again and again and again. So there has to be a plan in place."
Read through other Baldwin-Whitehall School Board items here.
And check back with the Baldwin-Whitehall Patch on Thursday for more news from Wednesday night's board meeting.
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