Dobbs Ferry

Local School Budgets, Board Candidates on Ballot May 21

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by Rick Pezzullo – 

Residents will go to the polls on Tuesday, May 21 to vote on budgets for the 2019-2020 school year, candidates for Boards of Education and a bond referendum in the Tarrytown, Irvington and Dobbs Ferry school districts.

More than 70 percent of the budgets in each district are allocated for salaries and benefits. District officials all managed to stay within the state mandated tax and spending cap. Voting is held on May 21 from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. in select schools.

0.31% tax hike for property owners in the Town of Mount Pleasant.

0.35% tax decrease for residentsin the Town of Greenburgh.

Tax rate increase for property owners of 0.7%.

$483 average tax increase forresidents.


The $78.6 million budget carries a 0.31% tax hike for property owners in the Town of Mount Pleasant and a 0.35% tax decrease for residents in the Town of Greenburgh. $2.19 million of fund balance is utilized in the spending plan, which includes increased office support in the transportation, human resources and business offices.

In the Board of Education race, four candidates are vying for two available seats. Jennifer Liddy Green is the lone incumbent running as Diane McCarthy opted not to seek reelection. Looking to join the board for the first time are Kevin Miller, Ann Neilsen and Charles Zekus.

A budget public hearing will take place May 9 at 8 p.m. in the high school. Voting locations on May 21 are the W.L. Morse School cafeteria for Sleepy Hollow residents and the auditorium in the Washington Irving School for Tarrytown residents.


The $62.9 million budget utilizes $422,500 from fund balance and carries a tax rate increase for property owners of 0.7%.

A public hearing on the budget will take place on May 7, and voting on May 21 will be held at the Main Street School.

Voters will also be asked to approve an $18.8 million capital improvements bond covering infrastructure ($7.9 million), energy efficiency ($4.4 million), modernizing learning space ($3.8 million) and safety and security ($2.6 million). The majority of the work ($12.4 million) is slated on the high school/middle school campus. District officials have said 90% of the project is eligible for state aid reimbursement.

In the Board of Education race for two open seats, David Graeber is the lone incumbent as Trustee Deb Hargraves decided not to seek a new three-year term. Also on the ballot are Erin Bernstein and Ruth Friedman.

Dobbs Ferry

The $46.4 million budget features a 2.8% tax levy increase. For a single-family home with an average assessed value of $795,400, the approximate tax hike if the budget is approved would be $483.

A public hearing on the spending plan, which includes funding for an additional science teacher in the middle school, a special education teacher and teaching assistant in the high school, and one new school counselor and two-part time monitors at Springhurst, will be held on May 7.

Five candidates are running for five available seats on the Board of Education. Incumbents Rita Kennedy, Jean Lucasey and Louis Schwartz are seeking reelection, while Matthew Rosenberg and Shannon Stringer are running for the first time.

The top three vote-getters will earn three-year terms that expire June 30, 2022. The fourth-place finisher will fill an unexpired term created by the death of Jonathan Greengrass that runs until June 30, 2021. The fifth-place finisher will fill the unexpired term created by the resignation of Robert Reiser that ends June 30, 2020.

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