After years of work in both communities, the final binding vote will be held Tuesday to decide if the Northville and Mayfield School Districts will merge. Time Warner Cable News Reporter Barry Wygel spoke with representatives from both districts who say to keep the students in mind as you cast your ballot.
FULTON COUNTY, N.Y. -- It all comes down to this, after numerous votes by both the boards of education and in both communities, the residents of Northville and Mayfield will cast ballots Tuesday to determine the future of their school districts.
"The good thing is there has been a lot of health discussion, a lot of people having opinions," said Sheldon Ginter, President of the Northville Board of Education.
"I think we have laid out all the pros and cons, if you will, on the financial side as well as the program side," said Joseph Natale, Interim Superintendent of the Mayfield School District.
District officials say the merger study that was conducted lays out the fact that both districts are in poor financial shape and while merging will not be a silver bullet, it could go a long way.
“We may be able to retain programs that we otherwise might have to look at reducing, add some programs that have been eliminated over the past several years in each districts, particularly in areas of art and music," said Natale.
But Tuesday’s vote is far from a sure thing. Residents in Northville voted against the merger in 2012, before changing their minds this past June. If a new district is created, it is anticipated that property taxes in Mayfield would decrease, while they would increase for residents in Northville. But district officials say that doesn't tell the whole story.
“But going into the second year tax rates in both districts are going to be the same and going forward. And those new rates will still be subject to the two percent cap," said Ginter.
When it boils down to it, representatives in both districts say when the voters make up their minds, they should think about the students.
“Both communities stand to benefit equally for opportunities for both their children and grandchildren," said Natale.
Voting will take place both here and in Mayfield from 12p.m. to 8p.m. on Tuesday.