School board elections are Tuesday
On Tuesday, voters will take to the polls to vote on their school district budgets for the 2016-17 academic year, choose their school board representatives and approve or disapprove of local propositions.
In the Saranac Lake Central School District, the Board of Education’s proposed budget would increase spending by 2.5 percent up to a total of $29,750,000. The tax levy would increase 0.30 percent, or $61,119, rising to $20, 266,079, the maximum allowed under the state-mandated tax cap. The estimated tax rate per $1,000 of assessed property value would be $9.62, down 11 cents, or 1.16 percent.
Three candidates are seeking two open seats on the Board of Education: incumbent school board President Clyde Baker, incumbent school board member Jeremy Evans and Mike McCreadie. The two with the highest number of votes will win three-year terms.
Voters will have the chance to approve two common annual measures: Proposition 1, a measure authorizing the board to levy $173,783 in taxes to be paid to the Saranac Lake Free Library for general operating funds, and Proposition 2, authorizing the district to purchase two 65-passenger buses, one 57-passenger wheelchair bus and one van for $342,000 by paying for the vehicles in full with money from the district’s unassigned fund balance.
The Tupper Lake Central School District’s $17,129,046 proposed budget would decrease spending by 3.36 percent from the current school year and raise the tax levy by $3,120, putting the budget just $2 under the 0.04 percent tax cap. The estimated tax rate per $1,000 of assessed property value would be $13.10, up 3 cents, or 0.23 percent.
Three candidates are seeking two open seats on the Board of Education: incumbents Trish Anrig and Shaleen Price, and Dave Dewyea. The two with the highest number of votes will win three-year terms.
Voters will decide on Proposition 1, a measure authorizing the district to purchase one 40-passenger school bus and one 60-passenger school bus for $254,513 between 2017 and 2022. The district estimates $143,090 of the total cost will come from state aid.
Residents of Lake Placid and Wilmington will be able to vote on the district’s 2016-17 budget and for two candidates running unopposed on the district’s Board of Education this Tuesday at the Wilmington Community Center and Lake Placid Elementary School from 2 to 9 p.m.
The budget proposes to spend $18,382,342, requiring an overall tax levy increase of 0.13 percent and a spending increase of 1.48 percent. This equates to a rise in property taxes of $2.28 for a home assessed at $200,000.
“The budget remains under the property tax cap, maintains all of our present programs and provides for a modest expansion in the areas of technology and food service,” Superintendent Roger Catania and board President Mary Dietrich wrote in a letter to district members outlining the budget.
The estimated net increase in tax rate from 2015-16 is 0.14 percent, to $6.99 for each $1,000 of assessed value.
Beginning this year, the district is also no longer allowed to use old lever voting machines. New optical scanning machines borrowed from Essex County will be used.
Voters will also decide on two propositions. The first is to authorize the lease of three 66-passenger school buses for a period not to exceed five years at a cost not to exceed $57,000 per year. The second is to increase funding by $500 for the Wilmington E.M. Cooper Memorial Public Library, from $13,000 to $13,500 annually.
The two candidates for the two open positions are Richard Preston and Linda O’Leary. In March, Preston announced his intention to run for re-election after his first term. O’Leary is a Lake Placid resident and real estate agent who had two children graduate from the high school and has one child currently attending.
“I think that there is always room for improvement,” O’Leary said, “some subjects we can probably improve upon, when it comes to science and math – it’d be great to be a part of progressive changes there. And I’m also interested in having a little more school pride and school spirit.”
The board’s vice president, John Hopkinson, announced in January 2015 that he would step down from the board after four years of service.
The Keene Central School District also has two open positions and two candidates: incumbent board members and co-presidents Ann Whitney and John Haverlick.
Keene is proposing a 2016-17 budget of $5,974,852, an increase of 1.53 percent from 2015-16, including an overall tax levy increase of 0.94 percent. This breaks down to an increase of $9.39 for a home assessed at $100,000.
The Long Lake Central School District is asking voters to approve a $3,894,743 budget that would decrease spending by $29,192, or 0.74 percent, and lower the tax levy by 0.67 percent to $2,746,561, putting it under the tax cap. The estimated tax rate per $1,000 of assessed property value would be $4.44, down three cents, or 0.67 percent.
Incumbent school board member Brian Penrose is running unopposed for a five-year term on the board.