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March 28, 2013

Miller prepares CV-S board for his departure

Superintendent leaving for Herkimer

By Greg Klein
Cooperstown Crier

---- — With his time running out at Cherry Valley-Springfield, Superintendent of Schools Robert Miller had a list of recommendations and suggestions for the district’s board of education at its monthly meeting on March 21.

“I am doing my best to get everything ready so that whoever the interim superintendent is, whenever the interim superintendent comes in, they are just doing what you have already planned and you can guide them,” Miller told the board members.

Miller’s last day at CV-S is May 10; he will begin his new job as superintendent of Herkimer Central School District the next week.

The CV-S board is working with Nicholas Savin, district superintendent of Otsego Northern Catskills Board of Cooperative Educational Services, to identify candidates for interim superintendent. The board has not yet listed the job posting for the permanent position, but will do so shortly.

Miller presented a second draft of a 2013-14 budget to the board, cutting about $80,000 from the first draft. The savings came from a reduction of summer school services, the elimination of one clerical position in the guidance office and additional savings in energy costs.

In addition, Miller said he is optimistic that there will be additional money coming from the state. He made several suggestions to the board about how to use the money, including presenting plans for giving a tax rebate, keeping taxes flat or continuing to raise taxes. He told the board that he personally favors giving some money back to the tax payers.

“I wouldn’t suggest you give it all back, but I would suggest you give some of that back to the taxpayers,” he said. “You want to have good will with the taxpayers. You also want the people in Albany to see that you are (being good stewards.)”

Miller said he will leave the board with an open-ended problem of Medicaid billing. Schools are expected to do the billing for Medicaid reimbursement for school-based health services; however, the schools only get a quarter of that reimbursement. The state gets 50 percent of the reimbursement and the counties get 25 percent; the schools get 100 percent of the expenses.

Because of this problem, Miller said CV-S, like many schools, is not billing and can not afford to do it. However he said he expects the state to eventually demand the billing be done because it wants its share of the money.

“I want you to know we are aware of it. We are working on it, but it is a difficult thing,” he said.

In other news, the board selected Robert Tabor as its new president and Kevin Lennebacker as its new vice-president. Tabor, the previous vice president, has been serving as the interim president this month, replacing Frank McGrath. McGrath resigned his position as board president in February, but is still serving on the board.

With CV-S having three unused weather emergency days, the board also approved April 1, May 24 and May 28 as additional vacation days. If additional emergency days are needed, May 28 will be used first, followed by May 24.