TUPPER LAKE - School board members Monday night responded to concerns they have heard from people who work in the Tupper Lake Central School District's cafeterias.
Board member Dawn Hughes said she's heard that some of the cafeteria workers have expressed concern after hearing that Hughes talked at the last school board meeting about looking into contracting out the district's food services.
Media, including the Enterprise, had reported that, but Hughes said they neglected to mention that she had talked about using those food service workers in other capacities if that path is chosen.
Some employees are worried they're going to lose their jobs, Hughes said. She said she doesn't want to see anyone laid off.
School board member Jane Whitmore, who has worked in the catering and food service industry, said that even if the district decides to contract out with a company that would manage the cafeterias, the company would likely hire local workers. That would mean people who work there now might be able to still work there but as employees of the contracted company, not the school district.
Whitmore noted it's premature to talk about that now, but she wanted to weigh in since she has experience with those types of organizations.
School board President Dan Mansfield said the board needs to put everything on the table and evaluate it.
"The school's responsibility is to make sure we're being cost effective with everything we do," Mansfield said. "We're going to look at all the options."
Mansfield said he understands why people might be nervous, but the board needs to keep an open mind. He said one of the best things about the local school district is that it's willing to take risks and make mistakes while trying to move forward.
Contact Jessica Collier at 518-891-2600 ext. 26 or firstname.lastname@example.org.