Riverhead School Board: Former schools boss hired; shortfall covered; courses added

The Riverhead school board voted to appoint former interim superintendent and district business administrator Joseph Singleton as a financial analyst for the district between Nov. 8 and June 30 at its meeting Tuesday night.

The board voted 5-2 in favor of Mr. Singleton’s appointment with board members Kathy Berezny and Angela DeVito voting against the measure. Ms. Berezny said she voted no for personal reasons and Ms. DeVito could not be reached for comment after Tuesday’s meeting.

Michael Ivanoff, the assistant superintendent for finance and operations, said Mr. Singleton’s contract would allow him to earn $800 a day and up to $48,000 a year. He said that equated to about one to two days a week.

Superintendent Nancy Carney drew some criticism from community members at the previous board meeting for signing off on Mr. Singleton’s contract without prior board approval or letting the public know in advance, something she is allowed to do under a recently adopted board policy. That policy allows the district’s superintendent to sign off on service contracts under $100,000 without prior board approval.

Shortfall covered
The district will use about $700,000 in reserve funds to pay for a shortfall in state aid. School district officials often do not know the exact amount of money the school will receive in state aid when the annual budget goes before the public for vote in May.

The tax levy will remain the same and the move will not effect 2010-2011 taxes, district officials said.

Policy, curriculum tweaks
The board also adopted a change to its budget transfer policy allowing the superintendent to approve transfers within the general fund of up to $25,000 without prior board approval. The board also approved new course offerings for the 2011-2012 school year. Those courses are journalism, public speaking, women’s literature, creative writing, video game design and development, history of Long Island and international cuisine.

“We are making the courses available to see if students would be interested in enrolling,” said board president Ann Cotten-Degrasse.

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