By Matthew Saari

In a continuing trend of civic involvement throughout Whitehall, seven individuals have thrown their figurative hats in the ring in the contest for five Board of Education seats in this year’s election.
Incumbents Virginia Rivette, Christopher Dudley, and James Brooks will be seeking reelection and will be challenged by newcomers Jason Hoagland, Richard LaChapelle, Michele Redmond and Roxanne Waters.
The five seats at stake consist of a variety of term lengths. There is one 4-year term, two 3-year terms, one 2-year term and one 1-year term. The longest term lengths will be awarded to the candidates who garner the most votes.
The May 16 ballot will also address two other topics, approval of the 2017-2018 school year budget and the potential purchase of two new school buses.
Currently the proposed budget rests at a revenue increase of $602,383 over the previous year. The majority of this increase is being covered by a substantial increase in state aid but there is an increase in the tax levy, which will generate an additional $133,267. School district business manager Jodi Birch said the increase represents a $29 increase on properties assessed at $100,000.
Voters will have the opportunity to raise any questions or concerns about the budget at a May 8 presentation at 6 p.m.
Voters will also be asked to approve the purchase of two school buses, which are anticipated to cost $220,000. The funds to pay for the buses will be raised via a tax levy collected in annual installments to pay for the sum as well as any interest accrued.
Voting will be held at the high school gymnasium with doors opening at noon and closing at 9 p.m.

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