Residents in the newly merged Oppenheim-Ephratah - St. Johnsville school district will head to the polls Tuesday, Jan. 29, for the first of two referendums that will decide the makeup of the district’s new board of education.
The Jan. 29 referendum will ask voters to decide how many members should be on the new board of education — five, seven or nine — and how long the members should serve per term — three, four or five years. On Tuesday, March 19, voters will elect members from a slate of board candidates.
All voters will cast ballots at D.H. Robbins Elementary School in St. Johnsville.
Once elected, the new board of education will select a superintendent, begin working on contracts with all bargaining units and craft the district’s first budget.
Residents will vote on the budget on May 21.
On Dec. 20, the Oppenheim-Ephratah and St. Johnsville boards of education conducted a joint meeting to discuss the transition process. The boards have another joint session planned for Jan. 10 at 6:30 p.m. at Oppenheim-Ephratah Central School.
“We’re in the process now of assembling budget information for the new board of education so it can hit the ground running once elected,” said Hamilton-Fulton-Montgomery BOCES District Superintendent Patrick Michel in a news release. Michel is guiding the new district as it merges operations. “People undoubtedly have a lot of questions. I encourage people to keep an eye on the district websites. We’ll post information as soon as it becomes available.”
On Dec. 11, 2012, residents in Oppenheim-Ephratah voted 385-366 in favor of a binding referendum, approving a merger with St. Johnsville.
Residents in St. Johnsville approved the merger in December 2011.
St. Johnsville was a component district of HFM BOCES, while Oppenheim-Ephratah was a component of Herkimer BOCES. The state Education Department has determined the new district is a component of HFM BOCES.