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Phillips asks to meet with Odessa board

WATKINS GLEN—Watkins Glen Central School District Superintendent Tom Phillips invited the Odessa-Montour board of education to meet with the Watkins board in an open forum to discuss the future of the school districts in Schuyler County.
Phillips read his letter to Odessa-Montour Superintendent Jim Frame at the Monday, Nov. 19, school board meeting. It was in response to a letter sent out, Nov. 1, by Frame and O-M Board President Debra Harrington asking to meet surrounding districts about shared services. Phillips suggested the two boards meet in a public session “about the future of public education in our county.”
In Phillips’ letter he also mentioned Schuyler County Administrator Tim O’Hearn getting Cornell University involved in doing county-wide meetings to get public input on the “potential restructuring of the delivery of public and educational services in the county.” Phillips said he would be meeting with Dr. Rob Howe, assistant director of Community and Economic Vitality from Cornell Cooperative Extension, at an undetermined future time to discuss these issues.
In other business:
• Phillips reported on the district’s healthcare plan and finances. He said the current plan is not sustainable. Phillips explained the Watkins Glen Faculty Association and district representatives heard two recommendations from consultants: dissolve the healthcare plan or make a long-term commitment to save it. The joint decision was to save the current plan. Phillips said the program was amended to include a three-year moratorium on employer withdrawal. The district will also review and implement changes to the coverage. Finally, Phillips said the remaining 2012-13 premium will increase by 12 percent, or a total of $251,576.
• The board recognized three student athletes: Victoria Wixson for being the Section IV champion in the 100 yard backstroke, Abby Cocca for being the Section IV champion in the 100 yard breaststroke, and Matt Gill who placed fourth in the New York State Cross Country Championship and advanced to the New York State Federation Championship this past Saturday.
The next school board meeting is Monday, Dec. 3. It is anticipated to begin at 6:30 p.m., following a 5:45 p.m. executive session.





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