Highland school voters approve budget and bus proposition, re-elected incumbent board members

In the Board of Education race for three seats, incumbents Rachelle Nardelli (904), Denise Kness (874) and Glen Malia (850) earned new three-year terms, defeating Michelle Browne (309) and Gnesia Feliu (174). Harmon Kent III received 94 votes, Monica Waite 195 and Ron Witkowski 81.

Almost all area school district budgets passed in Tuesday's voting.

Board members will vote on the tentative budget, which doesn't call for a tax increase, at their meeting this Monday. They are up for re-election for three-year terms.

Taxpayers approved budgets in Marcellus and all of the school districts in the Cayuga-Onondaga BOCES as spending plans were put up to vote statewide Tuesday.

The board approved the program at its March 13 meeting. It restricts school districts and municipalities to 2 percent or the rate of inflation, whichever is less. The three propositions were also approved, with the bus passing 405-128, capital reserve, 375-156 and capital project.

Kendall passed their $17,415,783 budget, a 1.26 percent increase, in a 183 to 50 vote.

Superintendent Robinson was happy with the budget and the bus proposition results. Incumbent Stephen Sycdek and Robert Becker received 720 and 711 votes, respectively.

The budget proposal before the board tonight would slash $5.8 million more from the budget.

In other business, Bodamer gave a presentation on Community Eligibility Provision funding that will provide free lunches to every student in the school district next year. Michelle Lyon (364) and Jim Struble (334) won the two available three-years terms on the school board. "All the propositions will benefit the school district".

This is the fourth straight year the district's tax levy is below the state's increase cap, so homeowners will be eligible for a state property tax rebate, sent directly to homeowners in the fall of 2017.

In addition, the Northville Public Library budget passed, 244-132.

The Westfield Academy Central School District proposed a 2017-18 budget of $15,881,650 - a 14.38 percent increase from 2007-08.

Among the revenue sources is $1.3 million from "gambling money" or state funding collected from casinos to defray property tax costs, according to Stan Johnson, executive director of operations. Voters also approved the purchase of school buses and similar vehicles at a maximum cost of $200,000, with 150 voting in favor and 45 voting against. School officials said 63 affidavit votes would be verified on Wednesday and a victor would be declared. Michelle Isabella (239) finished third.

The Marcellus Central School District budget passed 527-213. Spending for specific projects will be subject to voter approval.

Christopher Fatta was elected to a five-year term on the school board, defeating Jeffrey Hill, 283-153. This is nearly an 80 percent approval rating on our budget and last year's was 80 percent.

The idea of the cap was to control the amount of the tax hike, not to eliminate increases completely.

The budget summary presented to the board's finance committee on May 11, indicates that the administration has proposed using $1.2 million from two reserve funds to balance the $62 million budget. The vote was 179 to 25.

Bedden will leave the school system on June 30, 2017. The property tax levy isn't being increased at all.

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