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Candidates run for Penn Yan, Dundee, Hammondsport board seats

YATES, STEUBEN COUNTIES—Penn Yan, Dundee and Hammondsport school districts have board seats to be filled from the May 19 vote.  Following are candidate profile for each school.  Some information was edited for length.


Penn Yan

Seven district residents are competing for four seats on the Penn Yan Central School District board of education. Three are for three year terms and one is to fill an unexpired two year term. The three candidates who receive the most votes will serve full terms while the fourth will serve for two years. Voting will be May 19 from noon until 8 p.m. in the middle school gym on Liberty Street in Penn Yan.

The candidates are Michael Carmel, Ryan Hallings, Kenneth Kamholtz, Francis Modaffari, James Multer Jr., Loni Terpolilli and Elizabeth Warren.  Warren is the only incumbent.

A Meet the Candidate forum was held May 6.  Each candidate answered written questions submitted by members of the audience. Questions and responses follow.


Your perception of duties and responsibilities of board members:

Carmel - Go through policies. A need to have a view to the future.

 Hallings - To be objective and forget personal opinions.

 Kamholtz - An integral part in adopting the budget. Planning short and long term to assess and reassess where we are.

Modaffari - For the students. Should have the cooperation of the community in our procedures.

Multer - Establishing policy and procedures that our students can take advantage of.

Terpolilli - Policy and procedures and fiscal responsibility.

Warren - To continue financial responsibility and bring information in from the community.


To a question about having the time needed to serve on the school board:

Carmel - I am now employed in Penn Yan. I’m definitely ready. 

Hallings - I live and work in the community. 

Kamholtz - Personal sacrifice is important to me. 

Modaffari - The school district gave us a lot. I want to give back.

Multer - I’m here pledging that now.

Terpolilli - My family is very supportive. They are used to me being on committees.

Warren - I know what commitment it takes. I am really ready.


Views on extended days or school year and merit pay:

Carmel - An additional hour or two might not be a bad idea and might give teachers more planning time.

Hallings - Kids need to have time to be kids. There are a lot of reasons to support merit pay. 

Kamholtz - I think kids and parents need a break. Didn’t think the budget could afford merit pay.

Modaffari - Vacation time is needed. Believes very strongly in merit pay, noting teachers have to dish out their own money for some supplies.

Multer - A break is good in summer. As far as merit pay he hopes the district is paying them commensurate with their skill set.

Terpolilli - After the April break kids have “checked out.”  Doesn’t think the district has the funds for merit pay.

Warren - Not so much in favor of an extended year; students need some down time. As far as merit pay she doesn’t know if the district could get merit pay in the budget.


Comments on violence in community and schools:

Carmel - Communication is needed. The evacuation system is good and working well. Thinks the cameras in the middle school are a plus.

Hallings - Beyond education they need to be safe. Awareness is number one. Staff need training when there are visual signs kids are troubled to get them help .

Kamholtz - Less likely to happen here. Extremely concerned about violence. You can’t plan for every eventuality. In favor of clear locker doors.

Modaffari - School took a step in the right direction for example with cameras in halls. Is concerned about unlocked doors.

Multer - Likes to think district could reach out to districts that have had situations to see if our procedures are appropriate. 

Terpolilli - Need to constantly review procedures and provide programs on bullying and safety issues. Train teachers.

Warren - Continuous education of staff is important. The best thing is Connect Ed (Automated phone message system that calls all district contact phone numbers within minutes). It works well for the community. 


Whose interest do  you represent?

Carmel - Everyone with children in the district. Must look at the big picture.

Hallings - We’re here on behalf of the  students and the community.

Kamholtz - Concentrate on children first. Also community needs must be represented plus board, administrators and staff. Must wear many hats.

Modaffari - Biggest concern is students and the community.

Multer - Students and the community.

Terpolilli - A diversified board is a good thing.

Warren - Represents all the children and all the taxpayers to use dollars wisely.



Two DCS graduates are vying for one three-year seat on the Dundee Central School district board of education. Voting on the 2009-10 district budget, the library proposition and board of education will be on May 19 from noon until 8 p.m. in the public meeting room at school.


Craig Lane:

1. The appropriate use of our school and programs   that are available. 

2. Education for handicapped and special needs students. 

3. Buildings, grounds and transportation. 

4. Sports programs. 

5. After school programs, including music, plays and technology programs that promote group activity.


 Jared Webster:

1. The appropriate use of our school and programs   that are available to our students. 

2.  In today’s competitive global economy, it is vitally important to establish and uphold high standards.

3. The upcoming Capital Project is essential for the school and community. 

4. DCS has always had strong community support and I see my role as a board member to act as an advocate between the school and public.

5. A quality education is not limited to the classroom. I will support extracurricular activities.



There are two candidates for one Hammondsport board seat.  Voting will be in the lobby of the Main Street school, noon to 8 p.m.


Monica Newman:

1.  The economy is probably the foremost concern for most residents. 

2.  Cutting spending is of course a challenge, but it is not impossible.  The district has made some cuts that improved spending dramatically, yet had a minimal affect on the students.  

3.  Maintaining electives and activities not only motivates our children and keeps them interested in learning, but it also creates well rounded individuals.


The final Hammondsport candidate, Christine Kolodziejczak, did not reply to questions about the district’s most important issues in the candidate profile.  She did not reply to phone calls by press time

*Information was gathered from candidate profiles sent out by The Observer.  Responses were edited for length.




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