Batavia City Schools budget presentation, board candidates on agenda
As much as Michelle Humes would have liked a zero percent tax increase, she also realizes what comes first.
“We have to keep in mind that our students are the priority,” said Humes, a Batavia City Schools board member. “The approved budget keeps all of our existing programs intact while recognizing that there are ongoing financial challenges due to the rising costs our country is facing.”
She is a city homeowner who is also facing rising assessments and cost of living hikes, she said, but she voted for the proposed $54.8 million budget and related 1 percent tax levy increase as a good move for district residents. Echoing what other board members have said, the decision was not an easy one, Humes said.
“We spent many hours reviewing the budget and working with Superintendent Jason Smith and Business Administrator Scott Rozanski analyzing the numbers. I voted to approve the budget because of the hard work of Mr. Smith and Mr. Rozanski in getting the increase down to 1 percent,” she said. I feel that a 1 percent increase after having a zero percent increase in five out of the last 10 years is a win for the community, especially since it is still below our tax cap of 1.62 percent. I fully support our BOE decision to approve this budget.’
Given that the preliminary budget had a 5.5 percent levy increase to support it, Humes and fellow board members have expressed relief that it’s now down to 1 percent. That is not only a win for the community, Humes said, but “most importantly for our students.”
District residents will have an opportunity to hear the budget presentation and ask questions at 6 p.m. Thursday in the Superintendent’s Conference Room at Batavia High School, 260 State St., Batavia. Those wanting to speak do not need to have signed up before the meeting date.
There will also be time to meet Board of Education candidates Korrine Anderson, a newcomer vying for one of three seats; and incumbents John Marucci and Chezeray Rolle. Board member Michelle Humes is not seeking re-election.
Korrine Anderson, center, in a photo used in her election materials.
A Le Roy High School graduate, Anderson has a bachelors in science from Elmira College, is a health and wellness coach and is ready “to give back in another way” besides volunteering for parent groups throughout her children’s time in elementary and middle schools, she says. She and her husband Michael have three children, Zachary, Aidan and Ava.
“I know what it involves to be an effective member. I am looking to be a part of this side of the education system,” she said in the district’s newsletter. “I think it’s a great opportunity for me to learn and share more of what the school board does to the parents and neighbors and community I know. I am so ready to serve.”
John Marucci. Photo from BCSD Board of Education page
Marucci is currently the board vice president, having served three years, and has “thoroughly enjoyed serving the students, parents and staff of the BCSD,” he said in the newsletter. Marucci’s son Kaden is a senior and Damien a freshman, while two older step-sons are graduates of Batavia High School. A customer service rep with Orcon Industries, he would like to continue serving students as a member of the board, and he believes “we have some unfinished business.”
Chezeray Rolle. Photo from BCSD Board of Education page.
A BHS graduate, Rolle left Batavia to serve in the U.S. Army, which is when he met his wife Bianca. They have three children who are now “walking the same halls that I once did,” Rolle says.
“I love being a voice and serving the people of this community that I live with,” he said in the newsletter. “It will be a great honor to be one of the candidates chosen to sit and make discussions (SIC) on behalf of the citizens of Batavia.”
The agenda includes a counseling plan presentation by counselor Sherry Crumity, a vote on dedicating and naming the high school auditorium for former music director Frank Owen, and a board discussion about the public speaking policy to sign up by 1 p.m. the Friday prior to a Thursday board meeting.
2.7 million spending increase over last year..Vote NO....its not about the tax rate..She said " I feel that a 1 percent increase after having a zero percent increase in five out of the last 10 years is a win for the community, especially since it is still below our tax cap of 1.62 percent. I fully support our BOE decision to approve this budget.’ "What was the budget ten years ago and what is it now?..What was the enrollment numbers and what is it now?Is she going to be alright next year if spending goes up 2.7 million..Its unstainable to think property tax payers can keep up with these tax increases..School Board is also to the property tax payer ..Of the city ,county and school tax ,the school tax is the worst..double of what those other property taxes are...