Niagara Gazette

Local News

September 3, 2013

Niagara-Wheatfield officials ready to tackle challenges

(Continued)

Niagara Gazette — Her intention through the process is to forget about the past. The district has seen a multimillion-dollar surplus evaporate in a handful of years, which has seen former superintendent Carl Militello retire amid calls for his dismissal, a proposed 9.9 percent property tax levy increase defeated and an interim superintendent and an interim business manager attempt to keep the district afloat before this past year's budget proposal again failed at the polls.

The mentality throughout the district, as more than 80 employees have been laid off or had employment reduced in the past two years, has been one of survival. Fusco said it has to change.

"When you're in survivalmode, you need to get to the next level, where there's more hope," she said.

Some hope may be arriving in the form of a full-time business manager. The district identified its choice to take over the district's finances, as the school board approved Allison Brady to lead the money department.

Brady, who'll begin Sept. 30 because she needs to provide 30 days notice to her current employer, the Barker Central School District, will receive a prorated salary of $107,000 for the year.

As part of her employment, Brady will also be responsible for 15 percent of her health insurance premium, with the other 85 percent covered by the district.

"Her knowledge of school finances is second to none," board President Steve Sabo said.

The board will hold its next regular meeting at 7 p.m. tonight in the adult learning center of the high school, 2292 Saunders Settlement Road, Lewiston.

Contact reporter Timothy Chipp at 282-2311, ext. 2251 or follow on Twitter @timchipp.

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