Tuesday night saw the first of two meetings scheduled to begin answering questions on a possible merger of two school districts. Mayfield and Northville Central School District voters have until January to decide whether becoming one district is the best option. As YNN's Maria Valvanis explains, informed voters are the best voters.
FULTON COUNTY, N.Y. -- To merge or not to merge, that's the question Mayfield and Northville Central School District voters are trying to figure out the best answer for.
Chris Relyea said, "It's probably critical, actually, to be able and come here and ask questions and try to get answers from folks that probably know more about it than the common voter is going to know."
Chris Relyea was one of dozens at the Mayfield High School Tuesday night asking school officials questions.
"My understanding is the School Board is going to be the one making the decisions on how to use the incentive aid, so I wanted to understand how that was going to be completely set up," said Relyea.
"I'm still not sure how all of the financial make sense. It seems the change in tax rates are significant," said Mindy Fitzgerald.
School leaders say the financial are exactly what the merger is all about. In the past five years, Mayfield has cut a number of programs, but by combining, nearly $19 million in incentive aid will help get those programs back and then some.
"We want people to know the possibilities with this and we want people to know the struggles with this," said Ernie Clapper.
Sheldon Ginter said, "Change is not comfortable. People don't rush into change."
The second and final public forum will be held Thursday in Northville, but school leaders say that won't be the last chance the community has at asking questions.
Ginter said, "We'll be having informational meetings anytime anyone wants one. We'll go out and visit organizations on their turf on their meeting nights. We'll go out and make presentations to them."
Because the only way to make the right vote is to make an educated one.
The referendum is scheduled for January 7th and if it passes, the new district will form July 1st. If anyone wants more information before then, they are urged to contact school board members at either district.