By NICOLE GUGINO
OBSERVER Assistant News Editor
HANOVER - True to her promise to go to all four entities involved in the Silver Creek School Resource Officer Agreement, resident Anna Frederickson attended Monday's Hanover Town Board meeting to ask the town to consider funding the program in the future.
OBSERVER Photo by Nicole Gugino
Hanover Supervisor Todd Johnson, left, shared his opinion on the School Resource Officer Agreement at Monday’s town board meeting. Also pictured is Councilman Wayne Ashley.
"I spoke up at the village board meeting about the SRO officer and I made a point to say there are four entities that make up the school district. The only entity to put any money toward that program was the school and I was hoping - I'm sure you're not going to find it in the coming (2013) budget - that each one of these entities could share a portion of that so we can have an officer in that school. I don't care what officer it is, I just want to see an officer in the school. I do not want what happened in Connecticut to happen here," she said.
Supervisor Todd Johnson responded to Frederickson's comments, speaking for himself and not the board.
"I feel at this point in time the school needs to take a hard look at what they have in their school system - three principals, a superintendent, a dean of students. I know when I went to school there they had an elementary school principal, a high school principal and a superintendent and that was it. They have a middle school principal that is responsible for three grades and with a salary and a benefits package I assume that is somewhere between $90,000 to $110,000 annually. ... I'm not looking to put people out of jobs but they could fund two school resource officers by elimination of a principal position at the school that is unnecessary," Johnson said.
Frederickson said although she sees Johnson's point, she has heard at board of education meetings the administrators have a lot of responsibilities.
Silver Creek Trustee Nick Piccolo, who is the village's liaison to the town, added the village's decision not to fund the SRO program this year was a budgetary one.
He also brought up security concerns at the town's other school district - Forestville Elementary School - because anyone can just walk in, without obstruction.
Johnson said he has had similar concerns and is planning on addressing it in the coming year.
He reiterated that safety at schools is very important to him and he and the board will continue to work with the other entities involved with the program.
"I feel that in light of all the things that are happening within the school that it is very necessary that we do have some protection within our schools," he added.
The board will next meet Jan. 2 at 7 p.m. for its reorganizational meeting.
In other business:
The board retroactively approved payment of $637.50 per month for Dog Control Officer Wally Baker for the months of October, November and December. At its last meeting, the board extended Baker's contract for January through March at the same rate.
Resident Barry Russell issued a complaint about the drainage in Sunset Bay. He asked the board to have attorney Jeffrey Passafaro contact the lawyer of the individual holding up the drainage project so the project can begin in the spring. He also expressed concerns about additional drainage problems from proposed development on Route 5/20 and thanked the board members and Highway Superintendent Steve D'Angelo for their support.
At its last meeting the board approved expenditures of $6,352 for a snowplow, $4,980 for a road-cutting saw, both for the highway department, $9,749 for a document management program for the clerk's office and $27,500 for an engineering agreement with GHD for improvements to the wastewater treatment plant.
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