Voters go to polls for school budgets, propositions and BOE candidates

Photo by Tom Rivers: Albion school district’s new electronic sign on Route 31 promotes the budget vote on Tuesday from noon to 8 p.m.

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 16 May 2022 at 10:23 pm

ALBION – Residents in the five school districts in Orleans County will go to the polls Tuesday (May 17) to vote yes or no for school budgets and propositions, and also to elect members to the boards of education.

None of the districts are proposing tax increase more than 2 percent.

Eligible voters need to be a citizen of the United States, at least 18 years old and a resident of the district for at least 30 days before the vote.

Here are snapshots from each district:

ALBION – The district is proposing a $38,298,690 budget that doesn’t increase taxes. The budget keeps the tax levy at $8,449,039. This is the 14th time in the past 16 years that taxes have either stayed the same or decreased.

Voting is from noon to 8 p.m. in the elementary school gym.

Albion also is presenting a proposition to establish a Capital Improvements Reserve Fund for acquisition, construction, reconstruction, expansion, renovation, alteration and improvements of buildings, facilities, sites and real property in the district, or the district’s share of any projects undertaken by the Orleans-Niagara BOCES. The district wishes to cap the amount at $15 million.

Albion is proposing to transfer $13,831,050 to that capital fund from the District’s Retirement Contribution Reserve Fund. That is the amount the state comptroller’s office said the account is overfunded.

Other propositions include bus purchases at $550,000 and $648,964 for Hoag Library. The money for the library is down 10.3 percent after Hoag paid off its mortgage.

Two board seats also will be up for election. They are currently filled by Kathy Harling and Wayne Wadhams. Both positions are five-year terms. Wadhams is seeking re-election. Former board member Kevin Doherty also is on the ballot. Ocie Bennett is mounting a write-in campaign.

HOLLEY – The district is proposing a $26,982,000 budget for 2022-23 that would increase taxes by 1.95 percent.

Voting will be in person at the Holley Middle School/High School from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m.

The tax levy increase is below the district’s allowable tax cap of 2.793 percent, said Sharon Zacher, the district’s assistant superintendent for business.

The budget maintains all current educational programs and represents a 3.18 percent budget-to-budget increase. Zacher said contractual obligations and inflation of supplies and materials are the main reasons for the budget going up.

The ballot also includes a proposition to establish a capital improvements reserve fund at a maximum of $6 million. Zacher said the fund is needed as the district begins to prepare for the next capital improvement project.

Proposition 3 is to authorize purchasing new school buses as a maximum of $334,000.

Proposition 4 would be authorizing the district to collect $194,966 for Community Free Library, which is up from the $189,287 for 2021-22.

There are two candidates for two three-year terms on the Board of Education – Tracy Van Ameron and Anne Winkley. Van Ameron and Winkley both are currently on the board, and Winkley is the vice president.

KENDALL – The Board of Education and school administrators have put together a $19,822,921 budget for 2022-23 that doesn’t increase taxes.

Voting will be from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. at the Kendall Town Hall, 1873 Kendall Rd.

The budget keeps the tax levy at $4,964,656, and decreases spending by $157,808 to $19,822,921.

There will be four propositions on the ballot on May 17. The budget is proposition one.

Proposition two is to spend up to $250,000 from a Transportation Bus Reserve Fund to replace transportation vehicles of the district.

Proposition three establish a Capital Reserve Fund for up to $5 million for a future capital project.

Proposition four is electing a member to the Board of Education for a five-year term. Current board member Lisa Levett, who is the board president, is running unopposed.

LYNDONVILLE – The district is presenting a $15,704,953 budget that increases spending by 2.9 percent or by $438,157 from 2021-22.

The budget calls for a 2 percent tax increase, or by $90,564 to $4,618,740 for the tax levy.

Voting will be from noon to 8 p.m. in the Stroyan Auditorium.

The budget maintains all current programs, including music, athletics and extracurriculars, and also keeps a school resource officer and on-campus space for a mental health counselor.

“The proposed 2022-23 school budget allows for a rigorous instructional program, while providing for the health and safety of all our students,” Sharon Smith, interim district superintendent, said in the budget newsletter.

Besides the budget, there are propositions to collect $119,183 for the Yates Community Free Library (up from $116,718 in 2021-22) and to spend up to $145,000 for a 64-seat passenger bus.

Four people are running for three spots on the Board of Education, including James Houseman and incumbents Vernon Fonda, Harold Suhr and Kristin Nicholson. The terms are for three years.

MEDINA – The district is proposing a $39,884,316 school budget that calls for a 2 percent tax increase, the first in a decade in Medina.

The board and Mark Kruzynski, the district superintendent, said the “runaway escalation of utility costs” is the biggest factor in the tax increase. The district still remains below the state-imposed tax cap, Kruzynski said.

Voting is from noon to 8 p.m. at the District Office Board Room.

The budget represents a 1.43% increase over 2021-2022. The proposed budget maintains all programs and staffing, increases student support services, purchases three large school buses and one wheelchair bus, adds new cafeteria tables for Oak Orchard Primary School, and returns a high school musical to the Medina auditorium.

The tax levy, what Medina collects in taxes, increases from $8,641,861 to $8,814,697.

Two candidates – Scott Robinson and Debra Tompkins – are running for two three-year terms on the Board of Education.