Another vote is on the table to merge the Mayfield and Northville school districts. Last year, Mayfield residents overwhelmingly voted ‘yes’ on the issue, while Northville residents voted it down. But as our Maria Valvanis explains, regardless of the outcome this time around, the two districts will soon be under the same leadership.
FULTON COUNTY, N.Y. -- "We're working with Mayfield Schools to share a superintendent, and we will be re-voting to evaluate interest toward a merger," said James Beirlein.
The reasoning behind both initiatives, Beirlein said, "is all financial."
The two school districts have been sharing services for years, so moving towards a shared leadership only seems natural.
"We'd like to get the candidate in place by at least the first of June so they can be up and running for July 1st, the start of the new school year," said Beirlein.
Officials say a shared superintendent could mean a savings of $100,000. The potential candidate would serve for a year, and by that point, the two schools may be one anyways.
"I began to hear right away that people regretted they voted ‘no,’" said Northville Interim Superintendent, Debra Lynker.
But because Northville residents unsoundly voted down moving forward with merger talk, the state Department of Education would only garner a re-vote if they proved they were serious. A group of residents say support wasn't hard to find.
Mary Ann Evans said, "We talked to a lot of people who didn't understand it was just a straw vote, it wasn't a binding vote. In five days we got 315 signatures."
School leaders say as long as no changes are made to the structure of the straw vote, residents in Mayfield won't have to vote again, since they already passed it the first time.
"We are hoping we can set a new straw vote sometime in the end of May or June and vote in a binding resolution sometime in September or October," said Lynker.
If the process gets to a binding vote, both districts would have to approve, to officially merge. Either way, the two will share one superintendent starting in July.