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Sun., Oct. 26
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Fregoe says Massena still region’s top school system

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MASSENA - After serving one term as a Massena Central School Board of Education member, Gregory C. Fregoe says he has more experience under his belt that would benefit the district during a second term.

“I’ve been asked the question a few times” about why he was making another run for the board, Mr. Fregoe, 58, said.

“I feel that I owe it to the people that voted for me the first time to run again because I feel like I’m a better candidate this time around. They have invested some time and training in me,” he said.

Mr. Fregoe said his experience as the code enforcement officer for the town and village of Massena translates well to his role as chairman of the district’s Facilities Committee.

“I’m chair of the Facilities Committee because of my building background. That was one of the other reasons I wanted to continue, to work with Bill Seguin (director of operations) and the Facilities Committee to help maintain the buildings we have with our five-year plan,” he said.

That, he said, is difficult to do because of budget constraints, but made easier with the prioritization in the five-year plan.

“With money short and all that, we have to be very careful how we spend that. We have to get the most bang for our bucks,” according to Mr. Fregoe, a lifelong resident of the Massena except during his nine years in the military.

He said that, during his time on the board, the district has been successful in getting that bang for their buck.

“We’ve completed a $29 million capital project. We’ve maintained the programs that we’ve had some pretty contentious budget hearings on (such as Tech Prep). We have new programs like at Paul Smith’s,” he said.

The initiative with Paul Smith’s College allows high school students to graduate with college credits under their belt.

If elected to another term, Mr. Fregoe said he would like to continue working on initiatives started during his first term.

“I would like to continue getting out facilities up, to maintain them in the standard they’re in now. If you go through the buildings, we’re doing really well. We’ve done a lot with the new pool, with the different additions to the different schools. We’ve done a big wholesale change,” he said.

Part of the capital project involved the installation of new larger boilers, which Mr. Fregoe called “a big plus.”

“We’ve been able to not only heat our building, but also provide backup for buildings. It’s things that people don’t see, but they’re there every day,” he said.

In addition to his role on the Facilities Committee, Mr. Fregoe also serves on the district’s Curriculum Committee.

He said he made his first run for the board because of an asbestos issue in the district at the time.

“I was concerned about the asbestos issue. I thought that with my building background, fire background and work on a hospital maintenance crew, I had experience with asbestos and thought I could help here,” Mr. Fregoe said.

Now, he said, he just wants to help the district in any way he can.

“I don’t have any agenda. I have nobody that works for the school districts, nobody that’s in any of the unions that work for the school district. I don’t have any allegiance to any of the unions. My job doesn’t depend on my association with the unions,” he said.

“I have no agenda with anybody. I just think that I can be a productive, responsible board member. I’m not a quitter. I’ve never quit anything. A little bit of adversity is good,” Mr. Fregoe said.

He said voters should reelect him “if they’re interested in a candidate that has no agenda, who holds no allegiance to spouses or employees of the district or unions. I think I’m a fair, hard-working, lifelong Massena resident that would like to see the school continue doing good things. Contrary to what everybody believes, we’re still the best school system, and we’ve done a good job of keeping the tax rate at a manageable level. That’s what I look forward to doing in the future.”

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