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NEWS STAFF REPORTER

With a $3 million deficit to close in the Ken-Ton school district’s budget for 2013-14, School Superintendent Mark P. Mondanaro quietly has done his part again to cut expenses.

Mondanaro, who was scheduled to receive a raise of 2.5 percent this year, voluntarily agreed to an increase of 0.8 percent; his salary next school year will be $189,900.

He also waived the $1,700 employer contribution to his Flexible Spending Account and agreed to pay an additional $1,234 toward medical plan costs – on top of the 20 percent annual contribution he previously agreed to pay.

On other occasions in recent years, he has frozen his salary, paid his own conference-related expenses and returned a scheduled raise.

The latest concessions by Mondanaro were contained in a single resolution in the consensus agenda at Tuesday’s School Board meeting. In consensus agendas, a variety of items typically are grouped together for a single vote by the board – with little or no discussion.

Another resolution applied to furlough days for the superintendent and his staff; although details weren’t immediately available, last year they agreed to two nonpaid furlough day salary reductions.

While Mondanaro was giving, he also got something: an additional five days of noncumulative discretionary leave for the current school year, for a total of 18.

In other consensus agenda resolutions, new three-year contracts were approved for the assistant superintendents for human resources, curriculum and instruction, and finance.

Each will receive raises of approximately 1.8 percent annually during the life of the contract, which expires in June 2016. Their current salaries are $138,113; $144,123; and $147,148, respectively.

They also will increase their health insurance contributions from the current 12 percent to 16 percent by the end of the contract.

Another three-year contract, containing the same annual pay increases and health insurance contributions, was approved for the director of facilities, whose current salary wasn’t available.

The superintendent did talk about the approximately $151 million draft budget presented last week.

“We just continue to chip away at the things we can do,” Mondanaro said.

Officials await details on the pension stabilization proposal that was part of Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s executive budget. The proposal would allow municipalities and school districts to lock into a lower annual rate – it’s 12.5 percent for the Teacher Retirement System – for an extended period.

“Before we lock ourselves into what appears to be a 25-year decision … what are the details of it?” the superintendent asked.

The district also has put out feelers to learn which employees are considering retirement at the end of the current school year, which could substantially reduce personnel costs.

The School Board’s next budget work session is scheduled for March 5 at Hoover Middle School.

email: jhabuda@buffnews.com