Get out and vote today

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 21 May 2013 at 12:00 am

School budgets, propositions, BOE candidates all on ballot

The five school districts in Orleans County will ask for the blessing of local voters for school funding, candidates to serve on the Board of Education and several other propositions, ranging from library funding, to new buses and a proposal to reduce the BOE in one district.

Here is a snapshot of each district:

Albion proposes 1.5 percent tax increase, five job cuts

ALBION: The district’s budget increases overall spending by 0.6 percent or $202,799 to $33,349,049. Taxes would increase by 1.5 percent in a budget that cuts five jobs.

Albion is proposing its first tax increase since the 2006-07 school year. The proposed tax levy, at $8,446,946, is up $124,484. It remains down compared to the $9,094,194 levy in 2006-07.

The district, with the five cuts planned for next school year, will have eliminated 21.5 jobs since the 2011-12 school year. Three of the cuts next school year will come from attrition with two layoffs planned.

The budget preserves all school programs, without exceeding a property tax cap of about 2 percent. The state Legislature established that cap on local governments about two years ago.

Residents will also be asked to approve a school bus reserve proposition that would create a reserve for buses not to exceed $4,821,000. The district would like to take $440,000 from the reserve to go towards new buses. The state pays 94 percent of the bus costs.

Residents will also vote on whether $654,000 can be collected to support operations at Hoag Library.

Two BOE candidates are unopposed: incumbent BOE President Margy Brown and Linda Weller. Incumbent Marie Snyder opted against re-election.

Voting is from noon to 8 p.m. at the elementary school’s conference room A.

Holley will restore some programs that were cut two years ago

HOLLEY: The district’s $22,976,429 budget increases taxes by 2 percent from $7,393,901 to $7,541,779. The budget would bring back the marching band, elementary student council, ski club, golf and boys and girls basketball for grades 4 to 6. The budget also will add an athletic trainer, a high school social studies teacher and an elementary teacher.

The board decided to return staff and programs that were cut in previous budgets when state aid was drastically reduced for the district. Next school year state aid is targeted to increase by $742,336 from $10,879,581 to $11,621,917.

Residents will also vote on a bus proposition to spend $372,136, and a proposition to raise $102,652 for Community Free Library. Brenda Swanger is unopposed for a three-year term on the Board of Education.

Another proposition seeks to keep the BOE at seven seats rather than continue a downsizing to five members. Voters a year ago approved a phase-in reduction of the BOE from nine to five members.

Voting is from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. in the high school foyer.

Kendall cuts taxes by $1 million, proposes $25 million project

Photo by Tom Rivers – The Kendall Junior-Senior High School is eyed for most of the $25 million in a capital project that goes before voters today.

KENDALL: The district is proposing a $1 million cut in property taxes. Kendall also wants residents’ support for a $25 million capital project at the elementary and junior-senior high schools.

The proposed $14,051,383 budget would cut taxes from $5,601,132 to $4,606,613. The average tax rate would fall from $21.51 to $17.45 per $1,000 of assessed property.

The district is shedding about $500,000 annually with a paid-off bond and another $115,000 annually with a bus loan payment. Kendall also will see several students with disabilities, who were educated at costly facilities outside the district, move into other communities. Those factors, plus a $553,000 increase in state aid, are allowing Kendall to drastically cut taxes.

Kendall plans to add an elementary teacher, and at least another teacher to help students meet and surpass more stringent state standards. The board also wants to increase the Building and Grounds staff while the district begins work on the capital project.

The $25 million capitol project will be 90 percent funded with state aid. Kendall’s local share already is saved in a capital reserve account.

The project includes new roofs for both school buildings, as well as energy efficient improvements, heating and ventilation work, and updated security measures. Both sites will also see improvements to parking lots and sidewalks. The classrooms in the junior-senior high school also will be redesigned and upgraded.

Board member Edward Gaesser isn’t seeking re-election. Martin Goodenberry of Morton is unopposed for a five-year term. Voting is from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. in the elementary school.

Lyndonville proposes 1% tax increase

LYNDONVILLE: The $13,094,250 budget for 2013-14 would raise taxes by 1 percent. The budget would eliminate one teacher position due to an enrollment drop. Another teacher is retiring and will be replaced with one who earns less money. The Board of Education also made budget reductions to conferences, supplies and materials.

The budget calls for raising $4,666,578 in taxes, a 1 percent increase from the $4,620,374 collected in the 2012-13 budget.

Residents will also decide the fate of a proposition to reduce the size of Board of Education from nine to seven members, and vote whether to approve $82,500 for the Yates Community Library, the establishment of a $460,000 transportation vehicle reserve fund and a $126,000 bus purchase.

Four seats are up for election with the top three voter-getters receiving three-year terms and the fourth-place finisher getting a two-year term. Incumbents Terry Stinson, Tara Neace and James Moody are running again. Harold Suhr and Michelle Dillenbeck also will be on the ballot.

Voting will be from 1 to 9 p.m. at the school library.

Medina budget won’t raise school taxes

MEDINA: The $33,805,130 budget won’t raise school taxes and will restore some staff and modified sports.

Medina two years ago slashed 30 positions and eliminated many extracurricular activities. The 2013-14 budget brings back sports for students in junior high. The district also is bringing back a curriculum director, and will add a network specialist to focus on the school’s technology needs.

Residents will also vote on several propositions, including whether to spend $200,000 to purchase one 66-passenger bus and two 30-passenger buses. Another proposition would establish a capital reserve account for up to $2.5 million.

Four seats on the Board of Education also will be up for election. Three incumbents – Wendi Pencille, Virginia Nicholson and John McCarthy – are seeking re-election to three-year terms while David Sevinski and Lori Draper are also running.  The top three vote-getters will get full terms while the fourth-leading candidate will receive a one-year term.

Voting will be from noon to 8 p.m. in the District Office board room next to Medina High School.