View from the Assembly

By state Assemblyman Will Barclay

I receive a lot of questions about how schools are funded and how that money is spent. 

There is good reason for these questions because a lot of money is involved.  State aid to schools comprises $21.8 billion — roughly 24 percent — of our $92.3 billion state operating budget. 

In addition, it is estimated local school taxes raised about $20.3 billion in 2013. The New York state lottery also funds education and provided $3.04 billion in 2012, according to the latest data available. 

This amount represents all of the proceeds received by the lottery after paying prizes and administrative costs. Continue reading

Deadline extended for business surveys

New York Sea Grant and SUNY Oswego’s Office of Business and Community Relations have extended the deadline for returning the 2014 Business Retention and Expansion surveys to May 30, 2014.

Any recreation or tourism-related business owner who would like to participate may request a printed survey or the electronic survey link from New York Sea Grant at 312-3042.

The surveys are the first step in evaluating the business climate in Oswego County to assist existing businesses and businesses interested in expanding within the county.

“Existing businesses create up to 86 percent of all new jobs, so it’s important to examine the needs of those locally-owned businesses already committed to Oswego County,” said Mary Penney, coastal community development specialist for New York Sea Grant.

The Oswego County Recreation and Tourism Business Retention and Expansion Task Force includes representatives from diverse segments of the economy, including business, government, tourism and planning. The group focused on professional development, promotion and customer demographics to develop the survey.

Survey data will be tabulated and examined for ways to assist Oswego County recreation and tourism businesses  with operations and potential expansion plans.

Task force members represent Fort Brewerton/Greater Oneida Lake Chamber of Commerce, state Department of Environmental Conservation, state Tug Hill Commission, Operation Oswego County,  Oswego County Promotion and Tourism, New York Sea Grant and the SUNY Oswego Office of Business and Public Relations.

Brayden E. Raymond, infant

Brayden A. Raymond, infant son of Angel Dingman and Jesse Raymond, passed away Wednesday May 7 at Oswego Hospital.

Besides his parents, Brayden is survived by his maternal grandparents, Maxine Hines and Scotty Dingman, Sr.; paternal grandparents, Viola and Chester Raymond; maternal great-grandparents; Yvonne and Jerry Fredette; paternal great-grandparents, Helen and Charles Raymond; several aunts, uncles and cousins.

A calling hour was held Monday with a service following at Foster Funeral Home, 910 Fay St., Fulton.

Shirley A. McGinley, made fabulous homemade doughnuts and mac and cheese

Shirley A. McGinley, 81, of Fulton, passed away Thursday, May 8 at Upstate University Hospital in Syracuse.

A native of Palermo, she was a life resident of the Fulton-Hannibal area. Shirley had worked as a home health aide for Pontiac Nursing Home in Oswego and in private duty health care.

She loved to cook and bake and was well known for her homemade donughuts and mac & cheese.

Shirley was an avid bird watcher and enjoyed country music, crocheting and ceramics.

She was predeceased by two daughters, Veronica McGinley and Gloria Donahue; a grandson, Larry McGinley; parents, Arlo and Faith Deyo; a brother, Ronald Deyo; companion, Carl VanLinder and former husband, Frederick McGinley.

Surviving are her children, Audrey (Tom) Reynolds of Au Sable Forks, Thomas (Miss Billie Sanders) McGinley of Sterling, Jenninge Berrus of Hannibal, Robert (Kathy) McGinley of Sterling, Roberta (Raymond Moody) McGinley of Savannah, Colleen (Doug) Trautlof of Tacoma, WA and Karen (Scott Simpkins) Lange of Hannibal; 24 grandchildren; several great-grandchildren; brother, Gerald Deyo of OK; sisters, Pat LaPointe of FL, Marge Altman of SC and Elaine Cary of Jamesville; son-in-law, Duane Donahue of Fulton; many nieces and nephews as well as her friends at the Mill Apartments in Fulton.

Calling hours are from noon to 2 p.m. Wednesday, May 14 (today) at Foster Funeral Home, 910 Fay St., Fulton with services immediately following at 2 p.m.

Burial will be at Mt. Adnah Cemetery in Fulton.

Memorial contributions in lieu of flowers may be made to a favorite charity.

Valley Viewpoints

Watch for motorcycles

Spring is finally here and that starts the motorcycle riding season. 

May is designated as Motorcycle Awareness Month throughout the state of New York. All bikers like to take this opportunity to ask all drivers to watch for us, to share the road and to be aware of us when you are making left-hand turns or when you are proceeding through intersections.

A good rule for safety when making a left-hand turn is to look left once, look right and look left again before making your move — this can prevent an accident.    

Drivers of every vehicle should be attentive to their surroundings, no texting, no talking on the phone while you are driving. 

Let’s all work together to make Oswego County a safe place to drive.

Thank you.

Sandy Mensch  Public Relations

Oswego County ABATE

American Bikers Aimed 

Toward Education

Don’t close transfer stations

Oswego County residents unite!

They want to close Pulaski, Hastings, Oswego and Hannibal transfer stations and only leave Volney open.

Call your legislator and tell him what a bad idea this is. Lines will be very long at Volney. Prices for private pickup will be very expensive or you will see trash on the side of the roads, trash burning or backyard dumping.

Have our legislators stop this with your call. 

Pass this message on.

Joyce Buscemi

Fulton

Remember to vote May 20

Remember to Vote on Tuesday, May 20 !

I am writing to encourage all registered voters in the school district community to participate in the school budget vote and Board of Education elections.  

On Tuesday, May 20 registered voters in the Fulton City School District will be asked to vote on the 2014-15 school district budget. Members of the Board of Education approved a $67.4  million tentative budget at their April 23rd meeting.  

This budget, which was developed with input from a District Budget Committee and approved by the Board of Education, continues to provide and support quality educational programs, services and activities for our students.  

This budget also restores three primary grade elementary teachers and one special education teacher which were eliminated due to financial constraints over the past five years.   

The budget also restores funding to the athletics program and adds the opportunity to provide mental health services to elementary students through purchasing services through a community agency.    

The budget is a $2.1 million increase from the current year budget and represents a 3.2 percent budget increase.  The budget is supported by an increase of approximately $1.9 million in state aid, excluding building aid.  

It is noteworthy that New York state continues to withhold  $466,265  in foundation aid from our district through the Gap Elimination Adjustment.

The district is utilizing $2,040,000 in district fund balance to cover general expenses plus $750,000 from two reserve accounts to cover specific expenses for which the reserve accounts were established.  

Finally, a 1 percent increase in the local tax levy is anticipated, well below the district’s allowable School Tax Levy Limit increase of 3.2 percent.  

This spending plan supports district goals and the learning needs of all students, both high achieving and at risk. Specifically, all instructional programs and course levels are maintained, as are social and behavioral supports and services.  

The budget further covers costs for district transportation, the maintenance and upkeep of schools and facilities and staff salaries, benefits and retirement costs. 

The 2014-15 budget directs 75.1 percent of funds to student instruction, services and programs. Essentially almost all of the $2.1 million increase in the total budget is directed to the program portion of the budget, which focuses on student instruction and learning.  

The capital and debt portion of the budget makes up 15.1 percent, a reduction of $122,736, while administration is the remaining 10 percent, with an increase of $18,707.  

State aid will provide 62.1 percent of the revenue, with the local tax levy providing 29.9 percent and other revenues contributing 8 percent of support.

Voters will also cast ballots to elect four members to the Board of Education and consider a proposition to purchase two transportation vans.

Also on the ballot are two propositions from the Fulton Public Library: 1) to amend the Library Charter to become a School District Public Library  and increase the Library Tax to $350,000,  and 2) for the voters to elect the Library Board of Trustees.   

If you have questions about the budget, please contact Bill Lynch, Superintendent of Schools at 593-5510, Kathy Nichols, Business Administrator at 593-5505 or Betsy Conners at 593-5509.   

Information on the budget and the work of the District Budget Committee can be found at   www.fulton.cnyric.org.

William R. Lynch

Superintendent of Schools 

A parks thank-you

On behalf of the Friends of Fulton Parks, Inc., I wanted to take this opportunity to thank the community for their support of our recent projects. 

First, on April 27 we held a successful fundraiser at the Tavern on the Lock. Over 40 local businesses donated door and raffle prizes and over 125 chicken dinners were sold. 

All proceeds raised are designated to our two ongoing projects, the replacement of safety landing material in the city’s playgrounds and new equipment for the playground at Hulett Park. 

I’d also like to thank the many organizations, businesses and community members who volunteered their time during our Sparkle-a-Park cleanup efforts. 

Finally a special thank you to The Valley News for their sponsorship and cooperation in the park medallion hunt. 

All of these activities are meant to raise awareness of our park system and cosntinue to enhance their condition and appearance. 

We have many other exciting activities planned and look forward to the continued support of the community. Thank you.

David B. Guyer

President, Friends of 

Fulton Parks Inc.

Oswego County Youth Court seeks new members

The Oswego Youth Court program will hold a training program for new members from July 14 to 18 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Oswego City Hall.

Students in grades 7 through 12 are eligible to apply for the Youth Court training.

Applications can be obtained at any Oswego County school district guidance office, at the Oswego City-County Youth Bureau, or by going online to www.oswegony.org/DEPT_youth.html.

Completed applications should be mailed to Oswego Youth Court, c/o Oswego City-County Youth Bureau, 70 Bunner St., Oswego, 13126.

The deadline for applications is Wednesday July 9.

The Oswego Youth Court Program is a Family Court diversion program designed to create a “new pathway” for troubled youth.

Youth Court hears real cases of youthful offenders who are referred by local law enforcement agencies or schools for first time minor offenses. Offenders are then sentenced by their peers.

“Students are trained to be judges, defense attorneys, prosecuting attorneys and court clerks. Members conduct hearings related to their cases and decide on the outcome and punishment for each case,” said Dawn Metott, city youth coordinator for the Oswego City-County Youth Bureau. “This program provides a valuable experience for its members.”

“This experience was one of the best I have ever had,” said Matthew McLaughlin, an Oswego City Youth Court member. “You get to experience real cases and have a chance to help out your community. This program helped me improve my public speaking skills and writing skills.”

Oswego Youth Courts are sponsored by the City of Oswego, the County of Oswego, the Oswego City-County Youth Bureau, and the Office of Children and Family Services.

For more information about the Oswego Youth Court program, contact Dawn Metott, by calling 349-3575 or email youthcourt@oswegocounty.com.

Fulton Memorial Day Salute schedule set

The 33rd annual Fulton Memorial Day Salute celebration on Saturday, May 24 will be held at the Fulton Community Center on West Broadway.

As in the past years, the event will feature the biggest and the best Saturday morning parade, local music groups, a great food court, drinks, rides and fireworks. All entertainment is offered free to the public.

The theme is “SHOWING GRATITUDE TO OUR VETERANS.”  Jim Weinhold, honored 2014 Veteran of the Year, will serve as the Grand Marshal of the Saturday parade.

The parade begins at 10 a.m. and will feature about 10 bands, including the City of Syracuse Highland Pipe Band, The Central New York Fire and Police Band, The Island Band, the Central Square Middle School Marching Band, The Original Yanks Drum & Bugle Corp and Naples High School Marching Band.

At noon, parade bands will be featured in the Community Center on the Fulton Savings Bank Stage. Awards will be given for winning parade entries.

At 2 p.m., on the Fulton Savings Bank Stage, CNY Arts Center will entertain children and adults alike with a talent show.  At 4, Brass Exchange, a high energy horn band, will round out a not-to-be missed Saturday afternoon. At 7, Memorial Day Salute presents “The Custom Taylor Band,” Central New York’s premier Top 40 country music band, on our stage. The evening concludes with fireworks over the lake at 9:30.

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