Mayfield, Northville to talk about sharing services

Northville school district voters rejected a merger with the Mayfield school district in September, but efforts to combine some parts of the two districts have not stopped.

Officials from both districts now are talking about sharing services to save money.

Representatives from the districts will meet Thursday about the topic.

Mayfield Central School District Board of Education President Ernest Clapper said Monday the details about what the two districts could share have not been worked out.

Thursday’s meeting will be an open discussion about sharing services such as personnel and transportation, he said.

Clapper said sharing services could strengthen the districts.

“We are very open to that,” Clapper said.

Northville Board of Education Vice President Sheldon Ginter said the two districts could share members of the guidance office or even a superintendent.

Ginter pointed out Northville’s Debra M. Lynker is working as an interim superintendent and Mayfield Superintendent Paul Williamsen is retiring in June.

Ginter and Clapper said some people in the community are suggesting Mayfield and Northville try another merger vote. People could petition for a vote.

Mayfield and Northville voters went to the polls in September to vote on whether the districts should continue with a merger proposal. Mayfield school voters approved the plan in the non-binding advisory referendum, but Northville voters said no.

Northville residents voted 457-256 against the proposal. Mayfield residents voted heavily in favor, with 529 voting for the proposal and 206 voting against it.

Ginter said in September he believed Northville residents voted against the measure because they were basing their decisions on unreliable information.

“I think people in Northville were listening to some very vocal [people with] bad information,” Ginter said.

He said with the costs of salaries, insurance and retirement benefits increasing at a rate of 12 percent to 15 percent a year, it’s not realistic to think the Northville district can survive on its own.

According to the merger study, taxes would decrease in both communities during the first year of a merged district.

Clapper said some Mayfield residents also have suggested seeking a merger with the Broadalbin-Perth Central School District.

Thursday’s meeting between the Mayfield and Northville districts will take place at 6:30 p.m. at Northville Central School.