2023-2024 budget vote, including establishing a public library, on TUESDAY, MAY 16

The Otselic Valley Central School district 2023-2024 proposed budget vote will take place on Tuesday, May 16 from noon to 9 pm. (See also the 2023-2024 Proposed Budget newsletter here.)

Polls will be open in the conference room between noon and 9 pm; voters are asked to use the main entrance to the school. (Please do not park in the bus loop between 2:30 - 5:15.)

You will be given a two-sided paper ballot. Don’t forget to turn it over so you can record your votes for all propositions.

  • To accept the 2023-2024 budget (yes or no).
  • Board of Education member (one seat). Because the district didn’t receive any petitions for board member candidates, district residents can choose an eligible write-in candidate instead (clearly write the name of your preferred candidate on the line).
  • Purchase of three school buses (yes or no).
  • Establishing a reserve fund (yes or no).
  • Establishing a public library for the benefit and free use of all residents in the district (yes or no).
  • Choose 5 members to the new Library Board of Trustees. Trustees are required to provide leadership and governance of their public library, and ensure the library serves the community by establishing policy, budgeting, and the library’s mission and vision (vote for your choice of 5 of the 6 available candidates). Candidate bios are listed below.

(Profiles were submitted by the candidates, and are in alphabetical order.)
Dale (Suki) Fox
My name is Dale (Suki) Fox.  I am a lifetime resident of the Otselic Valley area and a graduate of Otselic Valley Central School.  I am interested in becoming a Trustee for the Public Library Board.  As an avid reader and patron of the Four County Library System, I am thrilled at the opportunity to be part of bringing the OVCS library into that public library system.  I hope that this effort will make it possible for everyone in our area to get as much enjoyment our of the public library as I do.  Thank you.
Terry Foor-Pessin
I have lived in South Otselic for almost 45 years.  Otselic Valley Central School has been an important part of my family’s life for many years, as my children attended K-12 at Otselic Valley Central School and my husband taught English at Otselic Valley Central School for many years.
I worked as a Social Worker for Chenango County for 34 years which I had a variety of responsibilities and worked closely with others on mental health services.  While commuting from South Otselic to Norwich daily, I looked forward to the ride home, which was “my time” to listen to audiobooks that I chose from Guernsey Library and the 4CLS.  I am now enjoying an active retirement.  I am treasurer of the Otselic Valley Fishing and Heritage Association and help plan Fishing and Heritage Day annually on the third Saturday in May.  I have served as a Poll Inspector at the Otselic Town Hall voting site in recent elections.  These days, I enjoy stopping at Otselic Valley Central School on Community Library nights and participating in Knit and Crochet nights.   I am always reading, mostly fiction, and love listening to audiobooks in the car.
I am thrilled that the Otselic Valley Central School library is to become a part of the 4 County Library System. This will expand the resources and option that our community has to read, view, and listen to a broad range of literary content, as well as to participate in enriching library programs.  Libraries are truly portals to other experiences, other time, other worlds. As well as a means to provide answers to modern questions of our time.  Libraries have been an essential part of providing information for hundreds of years.  Now, we face unique challenges to keep libraries relevant and accessible in the digital age.  I would like to help navigate these challenges in a positive and collaborative way as part of the Library Board of Trustees.  It would be an honor to participate in the library’s Board of Trustees.
Melinda Ramsey
My name is Melinda Ramsey.  I grew up in Beaver Meadow and am an Otselic Valley Central School Alumnus (Class of 2009).  I moved back to the area two years ago and am employed here at Otselic Valley in the cafeteria.  I also have four children who attend the school as well.
I believe that having a public library would be beneficial to not just the students who attend school but also to the community members who may not have access to resources that the library has to offer at home.  The classes that could be provided within the library helps connect people to other people but also to the digital world.  Having the library opened to the community could provide employment opportunities, community service opportunities, and volunteer opportunities.  Having access to the library can provide afterschool help to the students as well.
Thank you for taking the time to consider me as a candidate for the board of trustees.
Michele (Myers) Reakes
I graduated from Otselic Valley in 1985.  Upon graduation I attended the State University of New York at Potsdam with majors in both Psychology and Elementary Education.  I was hired at Cincinnatus Central School where I taught Kindergarten, First, and Second grades.  During this time, I attended the State University of New York at Cortland and received a master’s degree in Reading.  In 2016, I went back to college at Syracuse University and became the Library Media Specialist for Cincinnatus.  I spent seven years developing their library and working in a close partnership with the Kellogg Free Public Library.  I began and maintained the Dolly Parton Imagination Library Program for the community of Cincinnatus.  After 32 of teaching, I retired in June of 2022.  I have always lived in the community.  And would take pleasure in helping support the value of reading and having a public library in our community.
Kirsten Spear
My name is Kirsten Spear, and I am running for the Otselic Valley Public Library Board of Trustees. My family moved to the blueberry farm on Rte. 42 in July of last year, and we have two children - 1st and 9th grade - enrolled at Otselic Valley School.?
Before we moved to South Otselic, I was the pastry chef at One Egg restaurant group in Manhattan, Kansas for 13 years. During my time in Kansas, I also served as a council member on the Riley County Food and Farm Council, was a Girl Scout Leader, volunteered at the Fort Riley public library, and helped my teen volunteer at the Manhattan Public Library. Before our move to Kansas, I worked in the Salinas Public Library system during my year-long service with AmeriCorps as part of the Monterey County United for Literacy program.?
I'm passionate about libraries, and I'm committed to making sure that they are accessible and welcoming to everyone. I would be honored to serve on the library board and help make our library the best it can be. Thank you!
Eric Wentworth
My name is Eric Wentworth.  I am a life long resident of Otselic Valley and have ben a social studies teacher at Otselic Valley Central School.  As a community member, I believe a public library would be a great opportunity for the school and community to intersect in a positive manner.  Thank you in advance for your support.

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