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The Depew School Board voted unanimously Thursday night to ask residents to decrease the length of trustees' terms to three years from five.

The action follows the lead of some other districts, such as Lancaster, where similar proposals have passed.

"I think this will generate some new candidates to our board," said board Vice President Judy Weiner, who suggested the change.

"They haven't exactly been breaking our doors down lately."

She added that many residents feel five years is too long of a commitment for the unpaid duties required of board members.

School boards also have come under increasing fire from parents, unions and -- with skyrocketing costs and budgets -- from taxpayers.

Districts are attracting fewer candidates who are willing to take the heat.

The matter will be put before voters in a referendum with the May 19 budget vote. The date for the vote was moved by the board from June 9 to the third Tuesday of May in compliance with a new state requirement.

Roger Amadori of 20 Park Place, representing the Monsignor Martin Athletic Association, asked the board to give its support to admitting Catholic schools into the Section VI Public School Athletic Association.

"Our children are being penalized," said Amadori. "We are limited to how far we can go in competition. Section VI is our only option."

The board agreed to study the issue before adopting a position on the amendment to allow the Catholic schools into Section VI.

In other business the board:

Awarded contracts for refuse collection and recycling to Modern Disposal Services for $12,632 a year, plus $35 per 10-yard load and $28 per eight-yard load.

Approved change orders totaling $195,750 for technology construction and equipment, which represents a savings to the district of roughly $325,150 from the original bids.

Appointed William Fleck to maintenance mechanic crew chief at a salary of $31,960, beginning Nov. 3. Also, the position of clerk-typist at the high school was increased from 10 months to 12 months.

Approved a request for music teacher Karen Kenny to attend the New York State Music All-State Conference in Camacia from Nov. 30 to Dec. 3, at a district cost of $367.

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