Lictus’ Resignation A Sign Of Upcoming Uncertainty In Shared Positions

The Panama and Clymer central school districts have been productive partners the past several years.

This year, the districts are sharing several sports teams as well as technology director, business official, direct instruction person, a typist and a psychologist. Such sharing started with Bert Lictus, the superintendent shared between the two districts since 2013. That cornerstone partnership is now over. Lictus resigned the Clymer position on Tuesday, though he will remain as Panama’s superintendent.

Lictus referred to the results of this month’s straw vote to continue merger discussions between the two districts. Panama voters approved continuing with the merger process, 192 to 168, while Clymer voters were against continuing, 654 votes to 186. “It was made abundantly clear that the community and the board of education may not agree with my vision for this district,” Lictus said in a prepared statement he read at Tuesday’s meeting.

Clymer was to pay Panama $214,537 in 2016-17 for its share of shared positions while Panama was to pay $66,018 for its share of shared positions.

It is unknown what will happen to the other shared positions between the districts, but it is difficult to see how two districts whose budgets appear to be stretched in the next few years will be able to absorb to go back to having their own positions without losing more course offerings or classroom positions than the districts have already.

We hope we aren’t seeing one of the most promising shared services arrangements in Chautauqua County crumble before our very eyes. We suppose, though, that if the shared position relationships the schools have do in fact fall apart, residents of both districts who were against the merger are ready to pay more taxes out of their hard-earned paychecks. They must all be in better shape than most of us.

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