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Two run for spot on Keene school board

3% tax levy increase is right at cap

May 11, 2018
By GRIFFIN KELLY - Staff Writer ( , Lake Placid News

KEENE VALLEY -?Heather Odell-Fey's term on the Keene Central School board is ending, and two candidates are running for the three-year position: Angela Durant and Aaron Miller.

Durant and her family moved to Keene in 2012. She is currently enrolled in a doctorate program in Curriculum, Instruction and the Science of Learning at SUNY Buffalo while also teaching online and face-to-face college-level courses.

"I am committed to the academic success and overall well-being of our KCS community," Durant says in the brochure. "My roles as a parent, a volunteer, a student and an educator have provided me with unique insight into the strengths of our school district and opportunities for growth. I recognize the importance and value of collaborative and diverse learning experiences."

Miller, originally from Buffalo, graduated from KCS in 1987 and now has a daughter in kindergarten there. Most of his professional career has been spent in the book and publishing industries.

"Our school district is at the heart of our community," Miller says in the brochure. "I firmly believe in the democratic mission of public education and will strive to find collaborative solutions to build on the successes of our school and increase opportunity for our students.

"Throughout my professional career I have successfully worked with a diverse range of people with many perspectives. I have sought to find common ground and work together to act on solutions. I believe my combination of professional experience and personal connection with KCS as both student and parent of a new student would be an asset to the Board."


As for the district's 2018-19 budget, Superintendent Daniel Mayberry said it's rather "run-of-the-mill."

Tax caps vary from district to district. KCS's is 3.02 percent for 2018-19, and that's what the proposed levy is. The total spending amount would be $6,254,746. The current school year's total was $6,104,676.

Mayberry said the budget won't cover any big projects or decrease spending drastically in any specific areas.

"The only thing out of the normal is we're paying off an energy performance contract early," Mayberry said.

About nine years ago the district updated lighting, heating and windows, and has been paying off the debt since. The budget brochure, which can be found on the district's website, says there is an early termination penalty of 3 percent, but the district would save $85,000 in interest payments. The total cost to pay off the debt this year is $415,000.

Voting on the budget will take place in the school's commons area in Keene Valley from 12 to 8 p.m. Tuesday, May 15.

The district is currently in the planning phase for capital projects that might include a new roof, a library media center, a weight room and updated sports fields and playgrounds. However, the projects probably wouldn't appear in a budget until the 2020-21 school year, according to Mayberry.



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