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New Scotland Archives The Altamont Enterprise, May 12, 2011
By Saranac Hale Spencer
Mary Danckert-Collins is making her first run for the school board “out of concern for the district’s children,” she said, explaining that the closure of Clarksville’s elementary school will bring more students to two buildings that are already close to being full.
Danckert-Collins does not support the budget, she said, “because I see a lot of overspending.” She cited the $93 million bond passed in 2003 for the improvement of district buildings and the construction of a new elementary school. “We have a superintendent that earns as much as the governor of New York State,” Danckert-Collins added Superintendent Michael Tebbano and Governor Andrew Cuomo each make about $170,000 a year.
Of how to handle the budget process next year, she said, “This is a work in progress.” Salaries keep growing, she said, calling them “outrageous.”
The district could stay below the governor’s proposed 2-percent cap on the increase to the tax levy, she said. Of the likelihood of getting 60 percent of voters in favor of going beyond the cap, she said, “I kind of think not, from the feedback I’ve been getting.”
She and both of her children as well as her parents went to Clarksville Elementary, said Danckert-Collins, who was opposed to its closure. It should open again soon, she said.
“The children come first,” said Danckert-Collins of whom the board is most responsible to. “That’s what it’s all about,” she concluded.