Tuesday night, the Hamburg School Board made several big decisions about the district's future including voting to remove the district from a civil lawsuit. That move will potentially save taxpayers thousands in legal fees.
In the special meeting Tuesday night, which saw a lot of arguing between board members, the Hamburg Central School Board made several decisions about how to move forward once Superintendent Steve Achramovitch leaves next month.
One of those decisions includes the district removing itself from a civil lawsuit, a move which Board Member Sally Stephenson supports, saying it will save taxpayers money.
"There have been teachers that have been targeted. Gone after. That's over with. We want to move in a positive direction to be friendlier for the children. More programs for the children. Bringing back programs for the children and not wasting our money on legal fees," says Stephenson.
The board also changed the district's legal team by firing the Harris Beach Law Firm and hiring Jim Tresmond. Tresmond will not only serve as the district's attorney, but will have a dual role as the lead administrator until an interim or permanent superintendent is hired.
Tresmond will serve in that capacity for one year for a flat fee of $110,000. This is instead of the hourly rates charged by Harris Beach. Stephenson says this will also save the district money. How much though, she doesn't know, but she says it's not for lack of trying.
"Money is hidden in the budget here and there, so I have never been given a complete disclosure even though I've asked for it, so I don't know exactly how much has been spent," says Stephenson.
The board also placed the current superintendent, who makes $170,000 a year, on paid administrative leave until he retires August 9.
Stephenson spoke about the kind of person the board will look for to replace Achramovitch.
"Someone who cares about education. We want them to be able to come to the board and not feel as if they're going to be punished because we are a bad group because we're not a bad group. We are everyday people, everyday people who care about kids," says Stephenson.
The school board meets again next Tuesday night for a re-organizational meeting. It has yet to decide how it will move forward with its search for a new superintendent.