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Voters pass BOE budgets

HARLEM VALLEY — Hoping to gain a strong start to the 2022-23 school year, Harlem Valley school districts asked voters for their support in the budget vote on Tuesday, May 17, and they got it.

Webutuck

At the North East (Webutuck) Central School District (CSD), the 2022-23 district budget vote and Board of Education (BOE) election was held inside the Webutuck High School gymnasium from noon to 9 p.m.

Listed first and foremost on the ballot was the vote on the $25,039,114 budget, with $8,065,415 in anticipated revenue (exclusive of taxes) and $16,973,699 to be raised through taxes.

Webutuck voters also voted on a proposition for the BOE to acquire two transportation vehicles — including a wheelchair-accessible mini-bus and a utility vehicle — at a maximum aggregate cost not to exceed $170,000.

Once the votes were in, the Webutuck BOE gathered via Zoom just after 9 p.m. last Tuesday night to ratify the results. A total of 170 votes were cast in favor of the budget while 63 votes were cast against it. A total of 174 voters voted in favor of the transportation vehicle purchase proposition while 59 voters voted against it.

“I’d like to just thank our community for continued support of our educational programs and our children,” said Webutuck Superintendent of Schools Raymond Castellani. “The BOE and administration worked diligently to make sure that we maintain a balance of providing for strong student program as well as keeping the affordability and the ability of our taxpayers to pay in mind.”

Pine Plains

Meanwhile, the Pine Plains CSD held its annual district budget vote from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. in the Stissing Mountain Junior/Senior High School cafeteria.

In addition to voting on its $35,253,160 budget, voters  cast ballots on three propositions. They included a proposition to authorize the district to purchase two 71-passenger school buses; a proposition to establish a capital reserve fund known as the Bus Purchase Reserve; and a proposition to establish a student to serve as an ex-officio member of the Pine Plains BOE.

The budget passed with 668 votes; 226 voters cast their ballots against the budget.

Likewise, the bus purchase proposition passed with 665 votes in favor of it and 224 votes against it; the Bus Purchase Reserve proposition passed with 645 votes in favor of it and 244 votes against it; and the student BOE member proposition passed with 732 votes in favor of it and only 155 votes against it.

The Pine Plains BOE ratified the district budget vote results at a board meeting on Wednesday, May 18, at 7 p.m. Before the BOE put the results to a vote, Pine Plains Superintendent of Schools Martin Handler pointed out that “not only was this the largest turnout [of] in-person voting… at least in the nine years I’ve been here,” but there was also a substantial number of new voters at this year’s school district election. “It was certainly encouraging to see the numbers of new faces at the school election.”

Millbrook

In the Millbrook CSD, voters cast their ballots in the Millbrook Middle School auditorium between noon and 9 p.m. last Tuesday. This year, voters could say “yes” or “no” to the $32,656,404 school district budget designed for the 2022-23 school year. Out of a total of 290 voters, Millbrook’s budget passed with 227 votes in favor of it and 63 votes against it.

“Thank you to all our voters!” Millbrook Superintendent of Schools Laura Mitchell posted online at www.millbrookcsd.org the following day. “Your support is greatly appreciated.”

To see who voters elected to their local school boards, turn to your local town pages throughout this week’s The Millerton News.

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