Budget passes; McEachron voted to board

B y Bill Toscano

As expected, Granville voters approved a $24 million budget and re-elected school board members Kathy Nelson and John Shaw Tuesday night.

The unexpected came in the election of Suzanne McEachron to the board as a write-in candidate. One of the seats was up for grabs by a write-in candidate, because board member Pam Tatko decided not to run for re-election. McEachron, who campaigned by word of mouth and through flyers, was an easy winner, gaining 93 votes. No other write-in candidate – and there were more than a dozen – got more than a handful of votes.

The budget passed by a vote of 287 to 190, and voters approved the purchase of three new vans by a 227-154 margin. Nelson received 345 votes and Shaw got 300.

Superintendent Mark Bessen had said he expected the write-ins would cause a slight delay in counting votes, but the process went smoothly and did not take more than 20 minutes to complete.

McEachron was not in the Granville Central School auditorium when the results were announced, but Bessen said that since she had campaigned, he fully expected her to take the seat.

Bessen, and the two re-elected members expressed gratitude and relief that the $24 million budget, which increases taxes by 1.5 percent.

“It was a community effort,” Bessen said. “Teachers gave up money, other people gave up money, all for the good of the schools. It took a total community effort for the budget to be successful.”

Nelson, who is the board president and has been on the school board for 16 years, echoed the superintendent.

“I’m just glad it passed. I really appreciate the support.”

Shaw, who has been on the board for 12 years, was equally grateful.

“I am very, very happy to have it passed,” he said. “The teachers really helped us out,”

The tax increase will add $98,500 in revenue as 1 percent of the budget is approximately $65,000.

The school district budget will use $684,000 from the district’s fund balance to make up for the shortfall in state education aid when the governor cut $1,5 billion from education funding.

The budget includes the loss of 23 jobs, 15 members of the support staff and eight teachers. The proposed elimination of 13 teachers’ positions was reduced with a deal announced by the district April 7.

Concessions from the Granville Teachers ‘Association in the form of a salary freeze and healthcare considerations helped to reduce the number of teacher layoffs included in the budget by five, from 13 to eight.

District officials said the cuts to the budget totaled $1 million and included reducing a district office position from full to part time, shifting the schedule of a janitor who previously received overtime for working on Saturday and reduced spending for field trips and library books.

The board was focused on keeping the increase below the 2-percent cap which Gov. Andrew Cuomo campaigned on. That cap has not gone into effect, but Gov. Cuomo continues to push for it.

Nelson said the biggest issue facing the board now are the continuing cutbacks in state aid. “The cuts have just been huge.”

She said the schools also have to work toward improving students’ test scores.

Comments

comments

Read more in this week's Sentinel in newsstands now or click here to read right now with our e-edition.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Weekender – 05/27/16

Lakes Region Freepress – 05/27/16

Northshire Freepress – 05/27/16

North Country Freepress – 05/27/16

Classifieds 05/25/16

Town proposes solar moratorium

Solar front

By Dan King Whitehall town officials want to figure out some rules and regulations before allowing new solar projects to […]

Area communities plan Memorial Day services

Last year's memorial day parade

By Dan King and Krystle S. Morey Memorial Day will be the focus throughout the area this weekend. Various towns […]

Local towns take different approaches to animal control

Chickens

By Dan King and Krystle S. Morey Dogs, and cows, and horses – oh my. Loose animals are a concern […]

Stanley, Van Gelder top Class of 2016

DSC_0092

Valedictorian to study at Georgetown  Three years ago, Granville business teacher Terry Wheeler approached Brooke Stanley and asked her to […]

‘The Quarry’ opening soon

OCallahans3

By Krystle S. Morey Interior walls and the well-known wooden storefront of O’Callahan’s Irish Pub are coming down as owners […]

Lakes Region Freepress – 05/20/16

Northshire Freepress – 05/20/16