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Fredonia backs three for BOCES

Members of the Fredonia Board of Education on Tuesday night decided to back three candidates for seats on the Erie 2-Chautauqua-Cattaraugus Board of Cooperative Educational Services, with the candidates' support for regionalism the critical issue.

The board unanimously decided to vote for Gary DeLellis of Sherman, Lori Sabo of Orchard Park and Christine Schnars of Jamestown. Five candidates are vying for four three-year terms. Board member Michael Bobseine said he would not feel comfortable selecting Thomas DeJoe, who is a member of the Brocton Board of Education. Bobseine said he felt DeJoe helped "deep six" the recently proposed combination of the Fredonia and Brocton school districts.

Bobseine said he was surprised as Fredonia board member Edith Byrne said DeJoe told her he was in favor of regionalism. "I don't think he's served our district very well," Bobseine said of DeJoe. Byrne, after researching the candidates, found four of them -- DeJoe, DeLellis, Sabo and Schnars -- support the idea of regionalism. The fifth candidate, David Lowrey of the Iroquois Central School District, did not support the concept, she said. Byrne also said she felt it was important to back candidates who favor regionalism.

In a separate matter, the board voted to move forward with a $17,800 five-year facilities plan, to be conducted by R.W. Larson Associates, P.C., of Jamestown. District Superintendent Paul DiFonzo said the state requires the district to have the plan and the district's current plan has expired. The document will address the physical needs of the district's buildings. When complete, it will be filed with the state.

The hearing on the districts $27 million annual budget is set for 6:30 p.m. May 10 in Room 636 of the high school. The regular board meeting will follow.

Voting takes place from 2 to 9 p.m. May 17 in the high school cafeteria. Also on May 17, Rosie Joy, current vice president of the School Board, will be running unopposed for re-election. Hers is the only seat up for election. It was announced the May 24 meeting of the board has been canceled.

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