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School budgets, school board seats up for vote Tuesday

School budgets, school board seats up for vote Tuesday

School budgets, school board seats up for vote Tuesday
Schenectady school board candidates answer questions during a forum on Monday.
Photographer: Erica Miller

Voters across the Capital Region will be asked on Tuesday to approve annual school budgets and select school board members. In three dozen Capital Region districts, more than $2 billion in combined educaiton spending will be on the ballot; more than $1 billion in combined local taxes will also be up for voter approval.

And residents in many school districts will have a choice as they vote for school board members -- an increase in contested races compared with recent years. A hotly contested race in Saratoga Springs -- featuring seven candidates running for three seats -- has drawn wide attention, but more than a dozen other districts in the region also have contested school board races on the ballot.

In Niskayuna, five candidates are running for three seats, with residents focused on staff morale, capital improvements and more. In Schenectady, a pair of challengers have called for new faces and a "fresh perspective" on the board as two incumbents and a former board member look to maintain progress they argue the district has made academically and fiscally in recent years. Two teenagers, graduates from the Mohonasen High School Class of 2018, are taking on a pair of incumbents in Mohonasen, a district facing significant budget cuts and potentially more in coming years. And then there's Scotia-Glenville, Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake, Shenendehowa, Galway and Johnstown. Residents in all of those districts will have a choice to make as they select a new school board.

Here's a look at what voters will be asked to approve at the polls on Tuesday (for some school districts, board candidates were not readily available on the district website):

Schenectady
Budget: $202,446,363; 1.44 percent levy cut 
School board: 6 candidates for 3 seats -- Craig Brewer, Andrew Chestnut, Veronica Cochrane, Princella Learry, Catherine Lewis, Ann Reilly (Cochrane has withdrawn from the race but her name will remain on the ballot)  
Prop 1: Authorize district to sell former Elmer Avenue Elementary School for at least $450,000.

Scotia-Glenville
Budget: $56,955,740; 2.5 percent levy increase 
School board: 3 candidates for 2 seats -- Colleen Benedetto, Kim Talbot, Daniel Feinberg

Niskayuna
Budget: $87,468,474; 2.35 percent levy increase 
School board: 5 candidates for 3 seats -- Patricia Lanotte, Jonathan Vaillancourt, Brian Backus, Greta Jansson, Kimberly Tully

Mohonasen
Budget: $54,355,000; 3.8 percent levy increase
School board: 4 candidates for 2 seats -- Deborah Escobar, Jenna Coutant-Walker, Tia Tocco, Chad McFarland

Schalmont
Budget: $49,250,397; 2.2 percent levy increase 
School board: 3 candidates for 3 seats -- John DiCocco, Kyrish Iyer, Jean C. Hanson

Duanesburg 
Budget: $17,365,000; no levy change
School board: 2 candidates for 3 seats -- Dianne Grant, Deborah Grier

Ballston Spa
Budget: $92,030,147; 3.27 percent levy increase
School Board: 2 candidates for 2 seats - Melissa Glaastetter, Dorothy Sellers

Saratoga Springs 
Budget: $129,447,782; 3 percent levy increase
School board: 7 candidates for 3 seats -- Heather Reynolds, John Brueggemann, Shaun Wiggins, Ed Cubanski, Connie Woytowich, Natalya Lakhtakia, Dean Kolligian

Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake
Budget: $69,548,408; 2.9 percent levy increase
School board: 3 candidates for 2 seats -- Jennifer Longtin, Lee-Ann Mertzlufft, Patrick Ziegler
Prop 2: Reauthorize an ex officio student member position on the school board.

Schuylerville
Budget: $36,233,795; 1.48 percent levy increase
School board: 4 candidates for 2 seats -- Bernard Buff Jr., Joanna Crowley, Jack Macica, Jessica Schwerd

Shenendehowa 
Budget: $177,729,400; 2.5 percent levy increase
School board: 4 candidates for 3 seats -- Ram Lalukota, Todd Gilbert, Gary DiLallo, Deanna Stephenson

South Glens Falls
Budget: $58,451,178; 3.99 percent levy increase
School board: 4 candidates for 4 seats -- Roger Fedele, Kimberly Henkel, Thomas Kurtz, Jeff Riggi

Stillwater
Budget: $25,313,337; 3.57 percent levy increase
School board: 4 candidates for 3 seats -- Amanda Cocozzo, Kristina Greene, Valerie Masterson, Shay Valigorsky 

Waterford-Halfmoon
Budget:$21,196,493; 1.79 percent levy increase 
School board: 2 candidates for 2 seats -- Denise Carutasu, Tammi Dehler 

Galway
Budget: $22,299,130; 1.99 percent levy increase
School board: 5 candidates for 3 seats -- Karen English, Sarah Leszczynski, Dennis Schaperjahn, Linda Jackowski, James Heuser

Corinth
Budget: $22,766,605; 3.8 percent levy increase 
School board: 2 candidates for 2 seats -- Jennifer Bourdeau, Louis Lueck 

Albany 
Budget: $260,355,146; 1.99 percent levy increase 
School board: 2 candidates for 2 seats -- Anne Savage, Damarise Alexander-Mann

South Colonie
Budget: $104,879,374; 1.04 percent levy increase
School board: 3 candidates for 3 seats -- James Tim Ryan, David Kiehle, Mike Keane
Prop 3: Authorize $750,000 for replacing fire alarm and public address systems at five elementary schools.

North Colonie
Budget: $116,318,100; 3.29 percent levy increase
School board: 2 candidates for 2 seats  

Guilderland
Budget: $102,107,375; 1.44 percent levy increase 
School board: 3 candidates for 3 seats -- Kelly Person, Barbara Fraterrigo, Gloria Towle-Hilt 
Prop: Authorize a $30,926,000 capital project for improvements in the district’s seven school buildings, including improved safety and technology systems and modernized high school science labs.

Mechanicville
Budget: $28,443,263; 3.62 percent levy increase 

Troy
Budget: $114,174,990; 1 percent levy increase
School board: 4 candidates for 3 seats -- Michael Tuttman, Ann Apicella, Anne Wagner-Rounds, Ebony Pompey-Conway

Northville
Budget: $12,510,600; 3.97 percent levy increase
School board: 1 candidate for 1 seat -- Dean Shepard

Amsterdam
Budget: $77,202,687; no change to the levy
School board: 3 candidates for 3 seats -- John J. Bottisti, Curtis Peninger, JoMarie DiTata

Broadalbin-Perth
Budget: $38,074,070; 3.9 percent levy increase
School board: 1 candidate for 1 seat -- Ed Szumowski  

Canajoharie
Budget: $22,576,960; 3.5 percent levy increase

Wheelerville
Budget: $4,534,098; 2.34 percent levy increase 

Fonda-Fultonville
Budget: $30,339,457; 1.5 percent levy increase 

Fort Plain
Budget: $20,950,000; 1.56 percent levy increase

OESJ
Budget: $19,954,357; 3 percent levy increase 
School board: 4 candidates for 3 seats -- Jarrod Parsons, Neil Clark, Susanne Sammons, Dean Handy 

Gloversville
Budget: $67,047,457; 2 percent levy increase 
School board: 3 candidates for 3 seats -- Robert Curtis, Kevin Kucel, Vincent Salvione

Johnstown
Budget: $38,695,480; 35 percent levy increase
School board: 4 candidates for 3 seats -- Jennifer Sponnoble, Joseph LoDestro, Christopher Tallon, Patrick Oare

Cobleskill-Richmondville
Budget: $42,593,933; 1.92 percent levy increase  
School board: 3 candidates for 2 seats -- Joshua McCann, Mary Black, Courtney LaBarge

Schoharie
Budget: $24,520,232; 2.37 percent levy increase
School board: 4 candidates for 3 seats -- Dan Guasp, Terry Burton, Tara Barton, Zachary Doherty

Middleburgh
Budget: $22,481,913; 1 percent levy increase

Sharon Springs
Budget: $9,690,736; 2 percent levy increase
 

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