POTSDAM - Participants in a community forum held Monday night at Potsdam Central School offered their opinions on the districts options as officials begin finalizing a 2013-14 spending plan.
When it comes to increasing the tax levy, one group said a large tax rate increase is not on option.
The county just put out 15 percent. What more can we do? Wayne Green asked.
With the large increase in county taxes, as well as town and village taxes also rising, Potsdam businessman Al Pitts said paying the higher taxes simply isnt an option for many families.
The mathematics just isnt going to add up in these households, Mr. Pitts said.
Kath Doheny-Farina agreed. Increased taxation is not an option.
Val Chiarenzelli, who teaches in the district said a tax rate increase is inevitable, but it has to be minimal.
When it comes to the fund balance, one group attending the forum agreed fund balance must be used, but at the same time the district has to be careful not to go broke.
I think they have to use it, Val Chiarenzelli said. But not all of it.
Julie Helenbrook though cautioned against using too much fund balance his year and ending up in an even worse situation.
You dont want to be the first to go insolvent, she said.
Mr. Pitts said for him insolvency isnt an option at any point in time.
You dont want to go, first, second or third, he said.
Using the fund balance isnt good for the long-run, Ms. Farina said.
When it comes to mandate relief or reforms that could help aid in benefits costs, the group agreed that something should be done to help school districts.
A lot of people have worked very hard on this, Ms. Helenbrook said, referring to the efforts to see some sort of mandate relief. I dont know if theyre (state government) going to listen.
Ms. Farina noted that if something could be done, it would be of great benefit to districts everywhere.
If this is one of the biggest expenses, then it could give us one of the biggest rewards, she said.
The district will host a second community forum at 7 p.m. March 13 at AA Kingston Middle School.