BROCTON - Brocton Board of Education member David Hazelton has expressed concern about the public voting that may happen in connection with the merger of the Brocton and Westfield districts. He believes that there should be some requirement for identifying voters as eligible to vote. He first brought up the topic at the Brocton Board of Education's meeting on Nov. 15.
At its recent meeting, Superintendent John Hertlein reported to the board that he had researched the issue starting with the school's attorney, Jeff Swiatek. Hertlein said the policy committee will look into policy for conducting the election soon.
To vote in a school district election, a person must be a citizen of the United States, be at least 18 years old and be a district resident for at least the last 30 days before the vote.
OBSERVER Photo by Diane R. Chodan
Sandra Olson and David Hazelton listen to discussion at the recent Brocton Board of Education meeting.
For school district elections, it is not necessary to be registered to vote in municipal elections. Hertlein explained that Brocton and other districts practice poll registration, meaning that the registration and voting takes place at the same time. In that case, it is a matter of district policy to decide what if any verification is needed to vote.
A district could also institute a permanent registration system, but the district would be responsible for the labor to maintain such a system.
Voters can be challenged, either by the election inspectors or members of the public. Bases for challenge would include not living in the district or not being old enough to vote. A person who fraudulently votes is subject to severe penalties.
Board President Thomas DeJoe said that some people prefer not to register because that is the list that is used to select people for jury duty.
Hazelton said, "It is important to know what Westfield is doing. During that vote in June it is important that both are doing the same thing."
Hertlein assured Hazelton that he would talk to David Davison, the superintendent of the Westfield district, about the matter and that the policy committee will be meeting soon and will discuss the matter.
Board member Doug Walter reported about his experience attending the Chautauqua County School Boards Association's meeting on Nov. 29. State Senator Catharine Young spoke about regional high schools and the state budget. The regional high school bill passed the State Senate but is stalled in the Assembly.
DeJoe reported on the CCSBA meeting on Dec. 3. The speaker at the meeting was New York State Commissioner of Education John King Jr., who was elected to the position by the Board of Regents in May 2011.
"We have an education commissioner who has been there and done that," DeJoe said. "He has been in the classroom."
DeJoe also said King realized the value of education from his own experience with schools whose teachers helped him succeed.
The board also acted on several personnel matters.
It accepted with regret the resignations of Wayne H. Glaser, bus aide, effective Nov. 20 and of Jane Gens, long-term substitute teacher and girls modified basketball coach, effective Nov. 30.
It appointed Jeff Franze as girls modified basketball coach for the remainder of the season (Dec. 1 through Dec. 17)
It approved a child bearing/rearing leave for Jodi Huber commencing at the end of teaching on Dec. 21 through March 1.
It approved the following for substitute positions: Jennifer Johnson, teacher aide, cafeteria sub, and office sub; Michelle Pattison, teacher sub (initial certification); Elizabeth Alvarado, teacher sub (not certified), and Tammra Topliffe, teacher aide sub.
It appointed Jennifer Johnson to the position of part-time bus aide effective Dec. 3 with a probationary period ending Dec. 2, 2013 at an hourly rate of $11.51.
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