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May 7, 2013

Board OKs tentative budget with no tax hike for 16th year

Longtime Johnstown baseball coach resigns

JOHNSTOWN — Greater Johnstown’s school board on Tuesday approved a tentative 2013-14 budget that retains current taxes and approved the resignation of its iconic head baseball coach, Dee Dee Osborne.

The $45,984,534 budget is balanced with $39,987,951 in revenues from local, state and federal sources plus $5,996,583 from the fund balance, said Business Manager John Zahorchak.

The budget is for about the same amount as this year’s plan.

With less revenue coming to the district due to the economic conditions, Greater Johnstown has been forced to become more efficient, Zahorchak said.

Because most costs associated with the budget are related to the staff, the district has become more strategic regarding positions that have been eliminated due to retirements, he said.

“The board has done a phenomenal job of preparing for the (economic) situation that we are in now,” Zahorchak said. “They had been saving money when times were good to cover times like these.”

Board President Richard Unger said it is the 16th consecutive year without a tax increase in the district.

“We have carried out our commitment to the community for 16 years,” Unger said.

“We will continue to carry out that commitment of no tax increases because we are the advocates of the community.

“We will continue to serve them (residents) to the fullest of our capabilities now and in the future.”

The budget, which cannot be increased, will be available for review by the public for 30 days before the board can vote to adopt the plan.

June 30 is the deadline for adoption.

Regarding Osborne, Unger said the coach will be greatly missed.

“He was an icon in the position of head baseball coach,” Unger  said, adding that there are many baseball players in college and the pros who owe their success to Osborne.

Tony Penna, athletic director and head high school football coach, said that when you think of Trojan baseball, you think of Osborne and the countless number of student athletes Osborne has helped.

“His resignation today won’t change any of that,” Penna said.

“His record and accomplishments speak for themselves. I anticipate he will never be too far from Trojan baseball.”

Unger said Osborne believed it was time to retire and turn the reins over to someone else.

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