Voting for two open seats on the school board, adoption of the annual budget and multiple resolutions will take place on Tuesday, May 17th between 12:00 noon and 9:00 pm in the large group instruction room at the Whitehall high school on Buckley road.
This year there are multiple resolutions on the ballot also:
1.) Voters will be asked to keep the school board at its current 9 members or shrink the number to 7.
2.) Voters will also be asked whether the term of the members should be 5 years or be shortened to 3 years.
3.) Voters will be asked to approve the purchase of two 65-passenger school buses, not to exceed the cost of $230,000.
4.) Residents will also vote an the annual school budget.
Once again there are numerous candidates running for the two available seats. I will be covering this election and the ballot propositions during the next few weeks, so please stop back for more updates.
Lake George Association Executive Director, Walt Lender (right), handing Lake George Park Commission Executive Director, Dave Wick (left), a $30,000 check.
In the first year of a new era in Lake George water protection, the Lake George Association has followed through on its commitment to provide necessary financial support for the Lake George Park Commission’s Mandatory Boat Inspection Program.
Following the Park Commission’s recent adoption of permanent regulations for the Mandatory Boat Inspection Program, Lake George Association Executive Director Walt Lender presented Park Commission Executive Director David Wick with a check for $30,000 – the first installment of the LGA’s three-year commitment.
“Aquatic invasive species pose a serious threat to the waters of Lake George and can cause significant detrimental impacts to the ecology and economy of the Lake George Park,” Lender said. “Having worked with the Park Commission for decades, we know this investment made by the LGA on behalf of its members and donors is going to be put to good use to protect Lake George’s water quality.”
The LGA is one of a number of organizations – nonprofits and municipalities – to share the costs of the program so that trailered vessels arriving at Lake George can be inspected to ensure they meet the “Clean, Drained and Dry” standard and be decontaminated if necessary at no charge to them.
The Park Commission’s two-year pilot boat inspection program that concluded in 2015 successfully processed 48,081 boats through the seven inspection stations and decontaminated 2,895 vessels.
As far as the LGA is concerned, that’s 2,895 very good reasons to support the Mandatory Boat Inspection Program.
The LGA’s investment of $30,000 in the Lake George Park Commission’s Mandatory Boat Inspection Program follows on the announcement earlier in the spring that the Lake George Association is doubling its investment in milfoil removal in 2016 – to $100,000 from $50,000.
The milfoil removal project is coming into the third year of a three-year intensive effort to remove as much milfoil as possible in Lake George. That project also includes nonprofits and the Lake George Park Commission.
The Lake George Association is the guardian of Lake George water quality, and has been for more than 130 years. Founded in 1885, our membership is composed of thousands of residents, visitors and business owners who help the LGA with our mission to protect Lake George from the perils that face modern lakes.
School enrollment figures for school districts across the state were updated recently for the 2014-2015 school year (last school year) and the Whitehall School District’s total enrollment fell to 736 students. This was a drop of 21 students from 757 from the 2013-2014 year.
I have been tracking and reporting on the enrollment for a number of years. To put this number of 736 students into historical context I have updated my yearly enrollment chart below:
As you can see, enrollment has been down 16.8% since the 2004-2005 school year. It is the lowest enrollment for the district over this time period.
During this time, local property taxes have increased every year. The Board of Education has not passed on any savings from this plummeting enrollment to the local taxpayers, in spite of increased state aid.
Our neighboring school district to the north in Putnam recently decided that the taxpayers of their district deserved a break and has proposed a property tax levy 11.59 % lower than the previous year. Read about it here in the Post Star.
There will be another school board election in May for two seats on the school board. I will ask all the candidates running what their position on falling enrollment and its impact on the budget is.
In the past, many of the candidates running have simply not answered that question. However, there is a cost to the community for not addressing this issue. Until it is addressed – the cycle will continue; businesses and people will continue to leave as taxes and the lack of opportunity drive them away. The problem will only become more pronounced and harder to ultimately correct until it is addressed and rectified. Putnam has taken a big step for the taxpayers of their district, will the Whitehall School Board do the same?
While I don’t have any pictures, the County did return recently and paved the area where the new dry-well was recently installed near the Post Office parking lot. So hopefully this will improve conditions for Post Office patrons in the future on rainy days.
Recognizing the importance of the Floating Classroom in reaching and teaching Lake George area students, Stewart’s Shops has awarded the Lake George Association $1,000 to be used to support the LGA’s flagship educational program.
The Lake George Association’s Floating Classroom is a one-of-a-kind educational field trip for teachers and students. The program is provided by the Lake George Association to schools in the watershed free of charge – thanks to donations from organizations like Stewart’s Holiday Match – and offers students and teachers the opportunity to learn about the environment of Lake George with hands-on experiments and sampling in the field.
“This donation is so important to the Floating Classroom’s future,” said Kristen Rohne, the Lake George Association’s Director of Education. “It is because of companies like Stewart’s that we can provide this important educational resource to schools around the Lake George watershed for free. Our goal for the Floating Classroom is to support STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) education with regard to water resources and spark ideas and discussion on why the Lake George Association and its members are protecting the Lake now and why we need to protect it in the future.”
According to the Stewart’s Holiday Match program, the fund was able to raise more than $1.74 million in 2015 – half given by Stewart’s customers, and half donated by the company. The money was raised between Thanksgiving and Christmas 2015.
Like the Lake George Association – where all the money we collect through memberships, donations and sponsors stays in the Lake George watershed to focus on projects from Ticonderoga to Lake George – Stewart’s uses the money it raises and donates through the Holiday Match program to help children in its communities.
Frank Kapusinski arguing a case before the New Jersey Supreme Court earlier this month.
In a bit of legal news, which is interesting for its local connection, my brother, Frank Kapusinski, argued a significant case before New Jersey’s highest court earlier this month. He represented Bergen County’s County Executive in the case: Northwest Bergen County Utilities Authority v. Kathleen A. Donovan. The case revolves around a County Executive’s veto authority and has implications for the counties in New Jersey that have a County Executive form of government.
This photo, taken in February 2016, shows the flooding that was occurring in the Post Office parking area due to the repaving of County Route 6 last year.
Now that things are getting warmer, work is beginning on a number of projects in Huletts Landing. Over the past two days, the county installed a dry well off of County Route 6 to alleviate some flooding that was occurring in the Post Office parking area due to the repaving of County Route 6 last year.
A hole was dug on the side of County Route 6, near the Post Office flag pole.
The completed hole once the dirt was removed.
Great care was taken to see that the Post Office parking area remained open while the work progressed.
The dry well was brought in and lifted into place.
The final placement of the dry well.
Stone was added as back-fill to improve the drainage.
The almost completed work as of Thursday afternoon.
The county will return over the next few days to restore the paving and re-seed the grassy area. (Click all pictures to see larger version.)
The Beast of Whitehall, a new documentary produced by Small Town Monsters, will be shown numerous times this summer in the Huletts Casino.
I’m happy to announce that a new documentary entitled the “Beast of Whitehall” which documents an historic sighting of Bigfoot in Whitehall will be playing in the Huletts Casino this summer. There will be a small admission charge to cover the licensing fee to show the documentary. Stay tuned for dates and times.
The Lake George Park Commission voted today to make its boat inspection program permanent. The vote came after a two-year trial period and after accepting public comments on making the program permanent. Read more in the Post Star.
Kevin McNelis stands with Rollie Massimino (the head coach of Villanova’s 1985 championship team) before the NCAA championship game earlier this week.
I realize I am a few days late, but congratulations to all of our Villanova basketball fans (and we have a few) on your team’s exciting win earlier this week. Kevin McNelis traveled to Houston for the game and was present for the win! Below is a shot he took from his seat after the final 3 pointer nailed the national championship.
So congratulations to Kevin and all the Villanova fans in the community on a fantastic year!
“Indeed, I can think of no better way of redeeming this tragic world today than by love and laughter. Too many of the young have forgotten how to laugh, and too many of the elders have forgotten how to love. Would not the dark tragedy of our life be lightened if only we could all learn to laugh more easily at ourselves and to love one another?”
Rev. Theodore M. Hesburgh
The Hesburgh Papers 1979