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All area school budgets pass

CVCS gets write-in winner, Dunkirk gives strong support

May 21, 2008
Times Observer
For the second year in a row, all area school budgets were approved by voters.

Brocton Central School

The $14.7 million proposed Brocton Central School 2008-09 budget was passed with a vote of 201 yes to 96 no.

Incumbent school board members David Hazelton and Susan Hardy were each re-elected to another five year term with a vote of 223 to 211, respectively.

Bobbi Jo Gibbons was elected to complete Tom DeJoe's term of office with a vote of 180.

DeJoe was required to resign from the Brocton School Board after he won election to the county legislature.

The total number of voters who turned out Tuesday to cast their votes was 303. This included 11 absentee ballots.



Cassadaga Valley Central School

The proposed 2008-09 budget vote and the election of a new school board member drew 568 Cassadaga Valley School district residents to the polls Tuesday.

The $19.5 million budget was passed by a vote of 373 yes to 107 no.

The purchase of new school buses also was approved by a vote of 332 yes to 96 no.

Jeanne Oag was elected to a five-year term on the school board with a vote of 245.

Her opponent, Tim Hays, earned 93 votes while Rick Vahl, who ran an aggressive write-in campaign, gathered 191 votes.

CV Superintendent John Brown thanked the community for supporting the budget and the bus purchase.

He also commended the school board candidates for their efforts in behalf of the school district and the students.

The line of voters waiting to cast their ballots stretched out into the hallway from the middle school gymnasium where the voting machine was located.

Those in line were made to step inside the gym when the 8 p.m. deadline was reached and the doors were closed.

The last vote was cast at 8:30 p.m. and the results announced after 9:15 p.m. when the write-in ballots and absentee ballots were counted.

Commenting on the large turnout of voters, board president Steve Olson said he recalls close to 1,000 district residents turning out to break the tie vote he and David Abram received when he first ran for the board.

Olson decided not to run again this year and Mrs. Oag was elected to take his place.



Chautauqua Lake Central School

Voters in the Chautauqua Lake Central School district passed the proposed 2008-2009 budget by more than a two-to-one margin. There were 188 “yes” votes against 88 “no” votes.

There were three candidates running for three seats on the school board. Jason Delcamp received the most votes with 217. Next was Deborah Cross-Fuller, who received 202 votes, followed by Jay Baker who received 195 votes. Previously incumbent David Foster withdrew from the race.



Forestville Central School District

The proposed 2008-09 budget for the Forestville Central School District was approved with 240 votes in favor and 88 votes against.

The budget for the next fiscal year is $10,326,591, an increase of $1,458,140 — or 16.44 percent — from the current budget. This budget includes $881,267 for an upcoming capital project which will be offset by a Capital Reserve Fund transfer of $858,000. The 2008-09 budget without the capital project increase is $9,468,591, an increase of $600,140 — or 6.77 percent — from the current budget.

The 2008-09 tax levy is $3,208,914, an increase of $56,917 — or 1.81 percent — from the current budget.

Projected tax rates for 2008-09 budget are $28.17 per thousand dollars of assessed valuation in Arkwright, an increase of $.50; $18.30 per thousand dollars of assessed valuation in Hanover, an increase of $.33; $22.87 per thousand dollars of assessed valuation in Perrysburg, an increase of $.41; $24.72 per thousand dollars of assessed valuation in Sheridan, an increase of $.44; and $20.70 per thousand dollars of assessed valuation in Villenova, an increase of $.37.

“We worked hard to keep our programs in place and keep our tax levy low,” Superintendent John O’Connor said. “At 1.81 percent, we thought it was a good budget and we’re pleased that the community thought so.”

In addition to the budget, a proposition for the purchase of a full-sized school bus and two passenger vehicles was approved with 231 votes in favor and 76 votes against.

Incumbents Mary Kordon and Adrian Szumigala both ran for seats on the Forestville Central School Board of education and were re-elected with 215 and 240 votes respectively.



Fredonia Central School

The proposed 2008-2009 budget for Fredonia Central School passed by 322 votes. There were 869 votes of “yes” and 537 “no” votes.

The budget totalled $27,329,848 an increase of $857,724 from the current budget.

The single seat open on the Board of Education was won by Roberta Coniglio, who previously served as a Board of Education member.

“I am concerned about the education of all our students, both the regular and special needs students, and students who are gifted and talented,” Coniglio said in a Meet the Candidates interview.

Coniglio, a resident of the district for over 30 years, graduated from Silver Creek High School and attended Jamestown Community College, receiving an associates degree with honors. She has worked as a physical therapy aide at Brooks Hospital, guidance aide for Fredonia High School and currently is a collections officer for Inner Lakes Credit Union and Director of Religious Education for grades 7-12 at the Holy Trinity Church.

The tax levy will be $12,561,909, a 3.09 percent increase over the current year. The increase in tax rates for the 2008-2009 school year are: Pomfret up $2.89 to $96.39 per thousand dollars of assessed value on a property; Arkwright up $0.91 to $30.34 per thousand; Portland up $0.92 to $30.63 per thousand; Sherman up $0.80 to $26.62 per thousand; and Dunkirk up $0.70 to $23.18 per thousand.

“I have received word from (state) Senator Catharine Young that Fredonia will receive an additional $100,000 of state aid to place directly against the tax levy,” said Superintendent Paul DiFonzo.

With this added aid, the tax rates increases will be: Pomfret, $2.12; Arkwright, $0.67; Dunkirk $0.51; Portland $0.68; and Sheridan, $0.59.

“Even though we could not incorporate these changes in the actual Board approved budget, the numbers presented here more accurately reflect the increases taxpayers will face,” DiFonzo said.

The final figures for assessed value are estimated and may be subject to change later in the year, according to Business Administrator, John Forbes.



Gowanda Central School

The proposed 2008-09 Gowanda Central School Budget passed through voters with a tally of 366-103. The budget, totaling $25,695,150, represents a 7.6 percent increase over the previous school year budget but an estimated 1.38 percent drop in the tax levy due largely to increased state Foundation Aid.

Four candidates vied for three open positions on the school board, with only one vote determining who would receive the last seat. Incumbent Mark Nephew earned 347 votes, followed by newcomers Lynn Hammon with 323, Sheri Wing with 286 and Susan Flaherty with 285.

Flaherty, who was present for the vote tabulation, said she was satisfied with the validity of the results.

A proposition concerning the purchase of school transportation vehicles is currently considered inconclusive after it was discovered, following voting, that what had been displayed inside the voting booths was incorrect. While the amount requested — not to exceed $200,000 — was correct, the listed vehicles were not. The purchase of two full-sized buses was displayed instead of the intended full-sized bus, four-wheel drive vehicle and 24-passenger wheelchair van.

The district will discuss the matter with its legal counsel and review all past forms of the proposition distributed through legal notices, the school newsletter and a public hearing before determining whether the vote will stand.



Pine Valley Central School

Pine Valley's proposed 2008-09 school year budget was passed by a vote of 179-49. The budget totals $13,327,904 with a tax levy unchanged from the previous school year.

Five seats on the school board were open with five candidates competing for them. Four full-term seats were granted to incumbents Jeffrey Chase, Kim Ecker, Matthew Waag and Michael Pease, who received 187, 176, 176 and 165 votes, respectively. A two-year term, to finish out that of resigned member Linda Lewis, was given to Lawrence Zollinger, who earned 117 votes.

A proposition to raise an additional $15,000 for the school lunch program was passed by a vote of 190-36.

And additional proposition, to establish a capital reserve fund not to exceed $750,000, passed by a vote of 162-65 after failing the previous year. The source of the fund, according to the proposition, shall come from current and future unappropriated funds.



Ripley Central School

The proposed 2008-2009 budget for Ripley Central School passed by 44 votes. There were 81 votes of “yes” and 37 “no” votes.

The budget is $8,744,220 an increase of $593,496 from the current year’s budget.

The two vacancies on the Board of Education will be retained by incumbents Robert Bentley and R. Theodore Rickenbrode. There was one write-in vote for Wanda Bentley.

The tax levy for the proposed budget will be $2,051,856 total, a 1 percent increase over the current year.

At present, the budget committee expects that there will be no tax increase over last year’s rate, $28.69 per $1,000 of assessed value on property.



Silver Creek Central School

The proposed 2008-09 budget for the Silver Creek Central School District was approved with 522 votes in favor and 103 votes against.

The budget for the next fiscal year is $18,377,937, a $19,729 — .11 percent — decrease from the current budget. The tax levy is $5,157,950, a decrease of $105,659 from the current budget.

Projected tax rates based on the most current town assessments are $17.01 per thousand dollars of assessed valuation in Hanover, a decrease of $.54; $22.99 per thousand dollars of assessed valuation in Sheridan, a decrease of $.73; and $17.02 per thousand dollars of assessed valuation in Brant, a decrease of $.54.

“We’re thrilled at the support our community has given us in this budget vote,” Superintendent David O’Rourke said, “and it’s encouraging to see the level of support that our propositions received as well.”

In addition to the budget, propositions to establish a $400,000 Capital Improvement Reserve Fund and $500,000 Vehicle Purchase Reserve Fund were approved with overwhelming support from the community. The proposition for a Capital Improvement Reserve Fund was approved with 487 votes in favor and 120 votes against, while the proposition for a Vehicle Purchase Reserve Fund was approved with 480 votes in favor and 138 votes against.

“The intent of the propositions was to try to give us the tools for subsequent years, and it should help us for some years to come,” O’Rourke said. “... I think it is going to help us in subsequent years with our tax levy.”

A separate proposition advanced by the Anderson-Lee Library Board of Trustees for a tax levy to support the library was also approved with equal support from the community. The proposition was approved with 444 votes in favor and 184 votes against.

“I am so thankful to our community for voting this proposition in,” Library Director Alice Harford said. “It is so wonderful. The library will continue to serve well.”

Incumbent Lou Dispenza ran unopposed and was re-elected to a five-year term on the Silver Creek Central School Board of Education with 513 votes. Incumbent Marge Foxton ran unopposed and was re-elected to a four-year term on the board with 426 votes. Incumbent Irene Blakely ran unopposed and was re-elected to a two-year term on the board with 388 votes.



Westfield Academy

and Central School

The proposed 2008-2009 budget for Westfield Academy and Central School passed by 155 votes. There were 307 “yes” votes and 152 votes of “no.”

The three open seats on the Board of Education were claimed by incumbent Abbie Cardy with 319 votes, Tim Smith with 378 votes and Anthony Piscoli with 314 votes.

The budget is $14,645,645 an increase of $481,598 over the current budget.

Business Manager Al Holbrook expects, with the tax levy being $4,011 less, that increases in assessment and changes in the equalization rate will create a 2008-09 tax rate that is less than the 2007-08 rates.

The final assessments and equalization rates will be available in August.

The current tax rate for each town is: Westfield, $23.97 per thousand dollars of assessed value; Portland $33.92 per thousand; and Ripley, 21.82 per thousand.

Article Photos

Above: Forestville residents approved the 2008-09 budget by a vote of 240 to 88.

 
 

 

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