By Krystle S. Morey and Mathew Saari

Area voters went to the polls Tuesday to vote on spending plans and officials for their respective school districts. Here’s a look at the results:

Granville

Suzanne McEachron will keep her seat on the Granville Board of Education – and two first-timers will join her.
Nearly 450 district voters turned out at the polls Tuesday and overwhelmingly approved a $26.7 million budget while electing three board members.
McEachron, sole incumbent who ran for reelection, was the top vote-getter with 308 votes, while Susan Perry received 286 votes. The third seat was a close call, requiring a recount before the victor was declared to be J. Murray McHugh, who defeated Philip Berke by a single vote, 263-262.
“I am happy that I got reelected and I definitely appreciate the community support,” McEachron said Wednesday morning.
Perry did not return a request for comment by press time.
McHugh said Wednesday morning: “I am truly thankful for the support I received. I am excited to get in there and start learning … and take action. I was honored to be on the ballot with such passionate and qualified candidates.”
McEachron, Perry, McHugh, Berke and Kim O’Leary-Cartmell were seeking one of three three-year terms on the board that are held now by Greg Bourn, Carrie O’Brien and McEachron.
O’Leary-Cartmell received 141 votes.
McEachron has served two terms on the board, beginning in 2011. O’Brien and Bourn cited family obligations as reasons they would not run again.
McEachron said she is excited to work with two new board members. She said she knows both McHugh and Perry and that they will be good additions to the board.
“Both are pretty well-rounded, level-headed people. They both have families of their own … having kids and grandkids go through the system, so I think they will both be really good additions,” McEachron said, adding:
“I think it’s great to have new people on because they bring new ideas and it just gives a broader view of what the school board really is about and how the school operates to more people in the community, when you have more new people on the board.”
McEachron said she is excited for her third term on the board.
“Now that we are about to have all of our administrative team in place, I think that we will be looking to work toward long-range goals and long-term planning,” she said, noting newly appointed superintendent Thomas McGurl and the soon-to-be selected principal of Granville Elementary School.
Meanwhle, voters approved the district’s $26,711,169 budget for the 2017-18 school year, by a 380-68 vote.
The spending plan, which is 1.68 percent more than this year’s, includes no loss of academic programs, sports or extra classroom activities; funding for two new 65-passenger buses and one new full-size wheelchair accessible bus. The new busses, which will cost $381,931, will replace buses that are more than a decade old and require repair beyond their value; salary and benefit costs for an elementary Academic Intervention Services math teacher and half-day Universal Pre-K teacher and teaching assistant; and an on-campus summer school program that will run from July 5 to Aug. 15 for students grades 7-12.
While the tax levy – $7,076,119 – will stay flat, the budget proposes an appropriation of $160,000 from the district’s fund balance, compared with $290,000 used this school year. This is the sixth consecutive year the district has stayed below the state’s tax levy cap.
Connie Resetar, secretary to the superintendent and district clerk, reported that 448 people voted Tuesday. Last year, nearly 800 voters turned out, she said.
Before the vote, McEachron said she wasn’t expecting a huge turnout of voters, mentioning that people don’t turn out in numbers unless there’s a tax increase or something involving football, for example, on the ballot.
“It’s too bad,” she said.
O’Leary-Cartmell and her husband were at the polls at a little after 6 p.m. Tuesday. O’Leary-Cartmell, who was impressed with the number of voters who had already turned out, checked in at the front table and carried her paper ballot over to the voting booth. After marking choices, she shimmied over to the voting machines and smiled as she fed her ballot in.
Though she received the fewest votes in this year’s election, O’Leary-Cartmell said she’ll likely run again in the future.

Hartford

Hartford School District’s $12,232,000 budget for the 20177-18 school year passed 136-13.
The same vote approved the purchase of a 66-passenger school bus and 6-8 passenger van, not to exceed the cost of $140,000.
Hartford’s one open school board seat went to incumbent Philip Jessen. He received 138 votes.
One hundred and forty nine taxpayers voted in Hartford.

Whitehall

Four candidates won seats on the Whitehall Board of Education Tuesday – but the fifth seat is still up for grabs.
Voters also approved the new school budget and the purchase of two new school buses.
Incumbent Chris Dudley was the top vote-getter, with 232 votes, winning a four-year term; challenger Richard LaChapelle garnered 225 votes to win a three-year term; incumbent James Brooks earned a second three-year term with 208 votes, and Jason Hoagland won a two-year term with 147 votes.
Michele Redmond and Roxanne Waters tied with 140 votes for the fifth seat, a one-year term, and will face off in a runoff election, time and date to be determined.
Just over 270 voters turned out to vote.
Voters voted overwhelmingly for both the school budget and bus purchase proposals. The budget of $15.9 million, which includes a 2.51 percent tax levy, was passed 214-50 and the bus purchases, totaling $220,000, were approved 207-54.

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