Board talks consolidation

The announcement of a retirement has Granville School officials talking about shared services.

Monday night the Granville Board of Education accepted the retirement of long-time Transportation Manager Bob Jones, effective at the end of October.

Superintendent Mark Bessen asked the board if he should post the job listing or begin to look into sharing the position with another school district, possibly Fort Ann.

Fort Ann approached Granville about possibly sharing the expense of a transportation manager after they have been operating without one, having a head mechanic take on the additional duties, Bessen said.

Board members were split on the action. Dee Bergeron said she had concerns regarding sharing and thought the attention of one person focused on one district was necessary. “I don’t know if we ought to be fooling around with a good thing,” Bergeron said. Bergeron said she hoped to have Jones come to a meeting a brief the board on his thoughts regarding sharing this service.

Other members said they favored at least looking into the possibility.

John McDermott said any potential saving the move could produce should be looked into. Asked how the potential position would be paid for by two school districts, Bessen said there are several models to choose from.

To name two options, the districts can split up the cost based on how many days the manager works in each district or hire the manager through BOCES.

“We’re just going to be forced into doing this later,” board member Eric Scribner said. The board appointed members of the audit committee to look into the matter.

At board member’s urging, Bessen said he would inquire with Jones if his retirement deadline could be extended to allow more time to explore the district’s options.

In other news, Hampton resident Shelly Sady presented the board with a letter questioning the decision against hiring a replacement for departed guidance counselor Geoff Loiacono.

In the letter Sady expressed reservations regarding understaffing in the guidance office. Superintendent Mark Bessen said officials believed the office was sufficiently staffed and not hiring another counselor would prevent one, and possibly two, layoffs in the coming school year. Bessen said four people in the office for a school Granville’s size were too many.

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