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5 districts say no to school budget plans

5 districts say no to school budget plans

Budgets were rejected Tuesday by voters in the Gloversville, Northville, Broadalbin-Perth, Canajohar

Budgets were rejected Tuesday by voters in the Gloversville, Northville, Broadalbin-Perth, Canajoharie and Schoharie school districts.

The Gloversville and Broadalbin-Perth budgets each proposed to raise tax levies 6.9 percent. Northville proposed a tax increase of 3.8 percent.

Gloversville residents rejected a $50.7 million budget 1,189 to 513 and a proposition to purchase two buses for $190,000 by a vote of 876 to 728. Incumbent board member E. Lynn Brown led a four-way race for three seats, taking 1,080 votes to 1,022 for former board president Betsy Simek and 951 for the other incumbent, Harry Wiggins. Former board vice president Joan Oare lost by three votes.

Board President Katherine Hillock said the board will meet at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday to decide whether to hold a second vote or adopt a contingency budget that would be $4,000 less than the defeated proposal.

BROADALBIN-PERTH

Voters rejected a $27.4 million budget 492 to 482 but approved the $261,000 purchase of two buses and four vans 532 to 434. Paul Chizek defeated Philip Comini for the lone board seat, 485 to 337.

Superintendent Stephen Tomlinson said there are 40 affidavit votes yet to be opened, but should opponents of the budget prevail, the board may adopt a contingency budget that is $52,000 less than the proposed budget. In that case, the levy would rise 6.35 percent.

NORTHVILLE

Voters rejected the $9.32 million proposal 361 to 165 while also electing to the school board write-in candidate Neil Muscatiello, a retired school superintendent, with 244 votes. There were numerous other write-in candidates, but none came close.

Voters approved the library budget 301 to 226 and the library building proposition 264 to 262.

Mayfield

Voters passed the $16.1 million budget 236 to 156 while also authorizing the $138,000 purchase of a sport utility vehicle and bus, 244 to 144. Teresia Davis was elected to the board, defeating Frederick Castiglione 286 to 95. The budget will raise the tax levy by 3.47 percent, or about $199,000, to $5.9 million. State aid will cover 85 percent of the vehicle prices.

JOHNSTOWN

Greater Johnstown Central School District residents approved the $29.06 million budget 268 to 225. The budget will raise the tax levy 2.7 percent. Voters also elected three incumbent board members, all running unopposed: Scott Miller, 375; Robert Curtis, 369; and Leslie Buggeln-Bosworth, 378.

AMSTERDAM

Greater Amsterdam School District voters approved a $53 million budget 1,018 to 458. The budget includes a 6.5 percent spending increase but because of state aid and surplus funds will mean tax rate decreases in most district municipalities.

This is the first year in three years that the district’s voters approved the budget.

“It’s a lot better working from an approved budget than a contingency budget,” Superintendent Ronald Limoncelli said.

Voters approved spending up to $350,000 on two large school buses and one smaller one. Voters also approved selling district property on Wallins Corners Road.

Sean Piasecki, Michael Parillo and Patrick Krohn were elected to the Board of Education, defeating Sheree Patterson and Sandra Cordova.

Canajoharie

School district residents rejected a $17.7 million budget 319 to 284. Voters elected Tom Jennings to the school board. The 2008-09 spending plan proposed a 4.38 percent spending increase and a 3 percent tax increase.

Fonda-Fultonville

A $25.23 million budget won district resident approval 279 to 170.

Spending and taxes are each expected to increase 2.96 percent under the plan, boosting the tax levy to $8.24 million. Voters approved a capital reserve fund for elementary school repairs with legal settlement money and approved allocations of $13,000 and $3,800 to the Frothingham Free Library and the Fort Hunter Free Library, respectively.

Incumbent school board members John Wiltey and Timothy Wendell were re-elected, as was newcomer Linda Wszolek as a write-in candidate.

Fort Plain

Voters approved a $17.26 million budget carrying a 4.99 percent spending increase and a 1.89 percent tax hike, 251 to 181. Voters elected Ann Jenks, Todd McFee and David Fredericks to the Board of Education. Robyn Cutspeck ran fourth.

Voters authorized borrowing up to $465,000 to buy three big buses, a half-size bus and a car.

St. Johnsville

Residents approved a $9.24 million spending plan with no tax increase, 185 to 50. Spending will grow by 4.34 percent for the upcoming year. Voters elected Darren Bellen to a five-year seat on the district’s Board of Education, defeating incumbent Donna Springer.

COBLESKILL-RICHMONDVILLE

Voters approved their $36.85 million budget by 659 to 504 votes. The $36,849,612 budget marks a spending increase of about 4 percent.

The budget carries a 2.68 percent increase in the amount to be raised from taxes. The tax levy totals $13,347,465.

Cobleskill-Richmondville voters also approved 626 to 512 a proposition to buy up to eight school buses for a maximum of $615,000. Three school board candidates were elected without opposition to three-year terms. Incumbent Rose Surman received 720 votes, and Garry O. Davis received 748. Newcomer Bruce Tryon received 720 votes to fill the seat of Jeffrey D. Haslun, who did not seek re-election.

Also approved, 613 to 515, was a separate budget of $170,720 on the ballot for The Community Library. That marks an increase of about 6 percent.

Library trustees Stephen A. Munford, 608, and Dawn Finch-Wright, 647, were also elected without opposition.

GILBOA-CONESVILLE

Voters in the Gilboa-Conesville Central School District approved a $9,548,848 budget by 135 to 89 votes.

The new budget is up 6.77 percent over the current $8.94 million budget. The total tax levy of $5,714,027 is up 4.9 percent over this year.

Voters also re-elected Board of Education member Michael Fleischman to a five-year term with 167 votes. He was unopposed.

A $176,000 proposition to buy four school buses or suburban vehicles was also approved.

JEFFERSON

Voters approved a $5.31 million budget for 2008-09 by 133 to 120 votes. The budget is up 6.75 percent. It projects a 3.2 percent in the total tax levy increase.

Voters also approved 145 to 104 the purchase of two school buses, including a 60-passenger bus and a seven-passenger van for a cost not to exceed $105,510.

Incumbent Board of Education member Michael Jonker was re-elected to a five-year term with 179 votes. He was unopposed.

MIDDLEBURGH

The Middleburgh Central School District approved a $19.84 million budget by 462 to 344 votes. The $19,840,289 spending plan is up 4.79 percent. It carries a tax levy of about $8 million, an increase of 2.26 percent.

Middleburgh voters also approved by 436 to 359 a proposition to buy six buses or vehicles for no more than $368,000.

Re-elected to a three-year term on the Board of Education was Kimberly Smith, the current vice president. Smith defeated challenger Araxi Dutton Palmer, a retired elementary school teacher, by 405 to 329 votes.

SCHOHARIE

Schoharie Central School District voters defeated a $19.71 million budget by 441 to 407 votes.

The budget would have carried a projected 4.4 percent increase in the total $8.3 million tax levy.

The total budget of $19,709,534 reflects a 5.56 percent increase over the 2007-08 budget.

A proposition to buy five buses or vehicles for no more than $300,000 was approved 479 to 463. A proposition to establish a capital reserve fund for long-range financial strategy was approved 422 to 411, and the authorization to allow the Schoharie Free Library to collect $55,000 district voters was approved 422 to 411.

Re-elected to the Board of Education was F. Christian Spies, the current board president, with 544 votes for a three-year term. New board members elected Tuesday were Pamela Newell with 485 votes and Linda Isles with 573 votes. Isles was elected to a three-year term, while Newell will fill the remaining two years of the term of Shawn Gathen, who resigned. Incumbent Zachary Reinhart did not seek re-election.

SHARON SPRINGS

Sharon Springs Central School District voters approved 178 to 153 its $8.12 million budget, which will raise the tax levy by 3 percent. The proposed $8,120,356 budget is up 6.1 percent from this year.

Elected to a five-year term on the Board of Education was Laura Jackson, who received 178 votes to Ginger Cummings’ tally of 87. Jackson will fill the seat vacated by incumbent board President Karen Cookson. Cookson pulled out of the race last week, saying she did not want voters to be distracted by debate over whether snowmobiles should be allowed to cross school grounds.

Voters also approved 181 to 150 a $191,000 authorization to buy three school buses or vehicles.

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