RIPLEY - Ripley Central School Board of Education President Robert Bentley said there is no merit to any claims supporting a supposed lawsuit against the school and its board and plans to send students to Chautauqua Lake Central School next school year will move ahead.
Bentley read from a short statement at the regular school board meeting on Monday, June 3 in response to a press release issued by attorney Steven M. Cohen of the law firm of Hogan Willig in Amherst. The release stated a series of civil suits would soon be filed against members of the board, as well as a suit to reverse the district's decision to send students in grades seven through 12 to Chautauqua Lake,
"From the descriptions that have been in the media, we do not believe these claims have any merit," Bentley said. "The Board unanimously moved forward with tuitioning our students to Chautauqua Lake believing that this was - and still is - the best way to educate our children. We are disappointed that the community needs to endure this distraction. We will continue to move forward with the course of action approved by the voters of our district."
Photo by David Prenatt
Ripley Central School Board of Education Vice President Nancy Rowe attended her last meeting as a board member on Monday, June 3.
More than 35 people attended the meeting, but no one addressed the board or asked questions. Bentley said there was much more he would like to say on the matter, but could not at this time because no suit has been filed.
This was also the last meeting for board vice president Nancy Rowe. Bentley thanked her for her years of service and commended her for helping lead the board.
"Everything that I know, Nancy knows," Bentley said. "She will be missed."
In other business, the board learned the bus lift in the maintenance garage will cost approximately $27,500 to repair. Board member Michael Boll reported the lift had not been properly maintained throughout the years and would need to be rebuilt.
Ripley Superintendent Karen Krause said the repairs would cost almost as much as a new bus lift, but a new lift would not fit in the garage. She said the issue was known and included in the latest budget.
The board passed a bond resolution to purchase two 65-passenger buses for the coming year. The new buses will be used to transport students to and from Chautauqua Lake. Krause also reported the transportation routes are largely planned and will require only three buses to transport the students.
"I believe we are pretty good for the start of the year," she said.
Ripley Principal Lauren Ormsby introduced school valedictorian Eric Horstman and salutatorian Cody Rater. Horstman plans to attend Jamestown Community College for two years and then transfer to a four-year college. Rater plans to obtain a Bachelor's Degree from State University of New York in Fredonia.