Local School Budgets, Irvington Bond Referendum Approved
by Rick Pezzullo –
Budgets for the 2019-2020 school year in the Tarrytown, Dobbs Ferry, Irvington and Pocantico Hill school districts and a bond referendum in Irvington were approved easily Tuesday.
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.
The $78.6 million budget, which 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, was approved by a margin of 687-162. A $182,500 proposition to purchase a bus and a van was approved 718-129.
In the Board of Education race, four candidates were vying for two available seats. Jennifer Liddy Green, the lone incumbent running, was the top vote-getter with 513, followed by Kevin Miller with 478. Finishing short was Ann Neilsen with 392 votes and Charles Zekus with 161.
The $62.9 million budget, which utilizes $422,500 from fund balance and carries a tax rate increase for property owners of 0.7%, was approved 946-257. A $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) was also approved 894-298. 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 for two open seats, David Graeber, the lone incumbent, was reelected with 803 votes. Erin Bernstein was also elected with 947 votes. She will replace Trustee Deb Hargraves. Ruth Friedman finished a distant third with 335 votes.
The $46.4 million budget, featuring a 2.8% tax levy increase, was approved 300-88. For a single-family home with an average assessed value of $795,400, the approximate tax hike is $483. The spending plan 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.
Five candidates ran for five available seats on the Board of Education. Incumbents Rita Kennedy (309 votes) and Jean Lucasey (270) and newcomer Shannon Stringer (270) were the top three finishers and earned three-year terms.
The fourth-place finisher, Trustee Louis Schwartz (266), will fill an unexpired term created by the death of Jonathan Greengrass that runs until June 30, 2021. The fifth-place finisher, Matthew Rosenberg (260) will fill the unexpired term created by the resignation of Trustee Robert Reiser that ends June 30, 2020.
The $30.8 million budget was approved 306-99.
In the four-candidate race for two seats on the Board of Education, Trustee Susan Burlazzi was reelected with 234 votes, followed by Joseph McGrath with 218. Finishing out of the running were Gerardo Soto (195) and Edward Greenberg (186).