I am a longtime taxpayer in Cayuga County who has been reading in The Citizen about the candidate vying to be elected to the full-time job of chair of the Cayuga County Legislature even though he is already employed full-time as a school principal. I served two terms on the board of education of the Southern Cayuga Central School District when the senior class numbered about 100 students. I think that is similar to the current size of the senior class at Dryden High School in Tompkins County.
My experience as a school board member showed me over and over that the job of principal is more than full-time and is not limited to daytime hours. A high school principal of a small-or medium-sized school has not only many, many day but also many, many night commitments. This kind of job is incredibly demanding and challenging. In fact, a high school principal is basically on call 24 hours a day and must be available to respond to routine and emergency situations immediately.
I have not spoken with anyone on the Dryden school board so I don't know their thinking. I do know that no high school principal in today's environment could hold two full-time jobs and do justice to either one. While community service is commendable, the job of high school principal must make it difficult to attend all of the Legislature's meetings, let alone lead the Legislature as chair.
This is the first year in a very long time that the county's budget has been a balanced one. I strongly doubt that a high school principal would have the time to manage our county's budget process, let alone be available to meet with county employees and legislators, even if the pay is $30,000 per year.
If Mr. Mahunik is elected chairman of the Cayuga County Legislature, he will soon find that being a successful principal will not allow time to be a successful chairman and vice versa. As a county taxpayer who has served on a local school board, I do not see how it is humanly possible to fulfill both full-time jobs to the satisfaction of us taxpayers in Cayuga County and the school property taxpayers in Dryden. What do Mr. Mahunik and the Dryden School Board have to say?