Music helped pass a school budget Tuesday.
The Sharon Springs school district was in a jam. Because of the way the tax cap is calculated, the budget needed a supermajority vote to pass even though the tax levy was cut by 9 percent.
School officials said they scheduled the elementary and middle school spring concert for Tuesday in hopes of drawing in parents, who might be more likely to vote yes on the budget.
Broadalbin-Perth – PASSED 536 to 279
Gloversville – PASSED 278 to 118
Johnstown – PASSED 350 to 95
Mayfield – PASSED 296 to 101
Northville – PASSED 278 to 169
Oppenheim-Ephratah/St. Johnsville – PASSED 423 to 355
Wheelerville – PASSED 82 to 26
Amsterdam – PASSED 478 to 328
Canajoharie – PASSED 387 to 315
Fonda-Fultonville – PASSED 263 to 123
Fort Plain – PASSED 176 to 25
Ballston Spa – PASSED 1,171 to 413
Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake – PASSED 1,182 to 456
Galway – PASSED 288 to 124
Mechanicville – PASSED 383 to 111
Saratoga Springs – PASSED 1,561 to 320
Schuylerville – PASSED 561 to 146
Shenendehowa – PASSED 2,430 to 981
South Glens Falls – PASSED 805 to 273
Stillwater – PASSED 389 to 109
Waterford-Halfmoon – PASSED 149 to 28
Duanesburg – PASSED 257 to 99
Mohonasen – PASSED 1,217 to 548
Niskayuna – PASSED 2,494 to 495
Schalmont – PASSED 429 to 205
Schenectady – PASSED 487 to 162
Scotia-Glenville – PASSED 915 to 230
Cobleskill-Richmondville – PASSED 664 to 208
Middleburgh – PASSED 441 to 295A
Schoharie – PASSED 308 to 137
Sharon Springs – PASSED 165 to 38
School board winners
Broadalbin-Perth: Keith Buchanan and Charlie DeZolt
Gloversville: Michael Hauser, Jennifer Pomeroy, Robin Walrath and Vincent Salvione (1-year term)
Johnstown: Kathryn Zajicek, Susanne Fitzgerald and Ronald Beck
Mayfield: Aaron Flynn
Northville: Arlene Rambush
Oppenheim-Ephratah/St. Johnsville: Neil Clark and Linda Hart
Wheelerville: Burton Wilson
Amsterdam: Gavin Murdoch and Jackie Marciniak
Canajoharie: Mark Brody
Fonda-Fultonville: Sarah Leszczynski, Kelley O’Kosky and Frederick Hidde
Fort Plain: Jami Stevens and Mary Beth Hudyncia
Ballston Spa: Nancy Fodera, Christine Richardson and Kevin Schaefer
Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake: Jennifer Bradt and James Maughan
Galway: Dennis Schaperjahn, Linda Jackowski and Anita Crawford (2-year term)
Mechanicville: Joseph Waldron and Michael Raucci
Saratoga Springs: JoAnne Kiernan, John Ellis, Steven Grandin and Robert Shafer (1-year term)
Schuylerville: Frank Nesbitt and Jon Beaulac
Shenendehowa: Robert Pressly and Christina Rajotte
South Glens Falls: Kevin Ostrander and John Farrell
Stillwater: Michael Toleman, Timothy Hems and Jon Mueller
Waterford-Halfmoon: John Catanzarita and Marcia Ricci
Duanesburg: Tina Gamache, Robert Fiorini, Henry Felton and Christina Loukides
Mohonasen:- Patrick Ryan, Pamela Young and Chad McFarland
Niskayuna: Howard Schlossberg and David Koes
Schalmont: Gregory Campoli, Joseph Amoroso and Amelia Hallam (1-year term)
Schenectady: Mark Snyder and John Foley
Scotia-Glenville: Thomas Beauchamp and Gary Normington
Cobleskill-Richmondville: Melissa Bartlett and Dan Schulte
Middleburgh: Becky Binder and Pamela Standhart
Schoharie: Mark Quandt and William Kuehnle
Sharon Springs: Kevin Kutzscher
It worked. Many of the parents who walked in said they hadn’t even realized it was voting day. But after the concert, they voted.
Of those who came specifically to vote, many were pleased by the tax cut.
“I like it! Decrease, which is good,” said voter Kyle Myers.
Others were hoping the strategy would work. “I hope it passes because it’s a nice school and it needs to stay that way,” said voter Tony Parrotti.
In the end, the budget passed easily: 165 votes in favor to 38 opposed, in unofficial results.
Business Manager Anthony DiPace breathed a sigh of relief.
“Asking for a supermajority is always dicey, so I’m certainly relieved,” he said. “It went good. More than we needed.”
Sharon Springs wasn’t alone. Budgets for every district in The Daily Gazette’s coverage zone passed.
But that didn’t mean there was universal acceptance. Across the region, voters grappled with whether schools were providing enough value to be worth a tax increase.
In Ballston Spa, where voters were asked to approve a 3.1 percent tax levy increase, some voters were torn.
“Honestly, it’s ridiculous. It’s way too much money,” said voter Paul Cramer Jr.
But he voted for the budget anyway.
“I love the education they get here,” he said of his daughters. “The teachers definitely do a good job.”
Another resident said the budget was simply unaffordable.
“People don’t have the money, and they think we all have the money,” said voter Colleen Wallace.
But others said the budget was conservative.
“It seemed reasonable — and necessary. You can’t have good school programs unless you have materials to work with,” said voter Ellie Fernau.
In Schenectady, many voters said they were satisfied by a budget that added programs but didn’t increase the tax levy.
Voter Bertha Kriegler said she was pleased the budget did not cut the arts.
“I think it’s important,” she said. “I think the arts are what makes us human beings.”
But the budget wasn’t universally popular. Some said taxes are so high they must be cut.
“I voted no because there wasn’t a tax decrease,” said voter Mark Brockbank. “I believe that less taxes spurs economic growth.”