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Madrid-Waddington officials seek input from community leaders

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MADRID — Madrid-Waddington Central School District officials will sit down to breakfast with community leaders Saturday in an effort to gauge public opinion on the school’s budgetary issues and find solutions to the problem.

Invitations already have been sent for the district’s first round-table conversation, to be held at 9 a.m. Saturday in the high school cafeteria.

After a presentation by Superintendent Lynn M. Roy, participants will break into small groups to discuss issues facing the district. Board of Education members will facilitate the discussions.

Board members are hoping for a productive session that leads to long-term planning and budget development.

The invitation-only event targets elected state, St. Lawrence County, town and village officials, and leaders of faith-based organizations.

“They have the knowledge of their constituencies; therefore, they are an appropriate audience for this event,” Board of Education President Michael Miller said.

“This is in essence another form of ‘shared services’ between municipalities and the school. We are having a joint discussion regarding the resources and needs of the community.”

The board hopes to receive feedback on what is valued at Madrid-Waddington and what appears to be the “tipping point” regarding support via tax levels, Mrs. Roy said.

“We are hoping that feedback from the community will assist us in determining the community’s needs and current resources,” she said.

The meeting was intended to be held after Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s budget proposal was announced.

“Traditionally, I withhold comment until I have time to run the numbers that are announced,” Mrs. Roy said. “It sometimes takes a couple days to have a complete analysis.”

Mrs. Roy previously said that if the district were unable to replenish its reserves due to continually increasing the amount of fund balance applied to the budget, it would reach insolvency within four years.

“The board is interested in gauging what type of consolidation is most supported by the community,” she said.

“If the format garners valuable results, another similar forum may be planned for business leaders and community members in the future,” Mrs. Roy said.

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