Montgomery County spending plans get voter approval

Wednesday, May 22, 2013
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— Voters Tuesday approved the newly merged Oppenheim-Ephratah-St. Johnsville Central School District’s $18.1 million budget proposal by a huge margin, with a 154-17 vote.

The financial plan for the coming year increases combined spending by $1.5 million, funding for which comes in the form of state merger incentives. The new tax levy is equal to the two separate levies paid by district residents last year. Members of the new board were elected in a previous election.

Montgomery County’s four other school districts all saw their budgets approved Tuesday, though by less overwhelming numbers.

• The Greater Amsterdam School District’s $63.4 million spending plan was approved by a relatively narrow 527-448 vote. The budget calls for a nearly 9 percent spending increase but does not raise the tax levy.

In a five-way race for two open Board of Education seats, incumbent John Bottisti retained his seat with 505 votes and Robert Vennett took the second seat with 403 votes. Runners-up Laurie Hamblin, Katherine Hans and Carol Greco received 393, 346 and 304 votes respectively.

• The Canajoharie Central School District’s $19.7 million spending plan was approved 220-100. The budget raises spending nearly $500,000 and raises the tax levy by 2.5 percent.

Incumbent Rachael Mason retained her seat on the school board. She received 264 votes running unopposed.

• The Fort Plain Central School District’s $19.3 million plan for the coming year was approved, 180-82. The budget will increase spending by $700,000 while raising the tax levy by less than 1 percent.

Incumbents Ronald Kardash and Louis Capece ran unopposed for their current school board seats, receiving 187 and 174 votes respectively.

• Fonda-Fultonville’s $24.4 million budget was approved by a 431-372 vote. It will raise spending by nearly $500,000 and increase the tax levy by 4.5 percent.

Incumbent Matt Sullivan retained his seat with 536 votes. A second seat was filled by write-in candidate Bonnie Couture with 12 votes.

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