Four WCS school board candidates, trimmed budget up for vote Tuesday

WARRENSBURG - Residents of the Warrensburg Central School District will decide Tuesday on not only a 2009-2010 budget and two school board seats, but they'll cast ballots on proposals that would alter the school board makeup and its elections.

Up for public vote are propositions that would change how many people serve on the school board in the future, how often they are elected, and how the elections are conducted.

A proposed 2009-2010 school budget that represents a 0.93 percent decrease in total spending and a 1.43 percent decrease in tax levy has been prepared by the existing school board. This budget, which cuts personnel and expenses, and cuts a few offerings at school, will go up for a vote along with two board seats, with two candidates vying for each position.

The propositions accompanying the May 19 vote will change the makeup of the school board and election procedure - which have been in place for decades. These propositions, if approved by voters, will apply beginning with the May 2010 elections.

Proposition A on the ballot will cut the number of school board members from the existing nine to seven.

Proposition B would change the procedure of electing school board members, from candidates running for a particular seat to an "at-large" selection method that would elect the candidates with the highest vote totals to open seats.

Proposition C reduces the term of school board members from five years to four. But during the next several years, the tenure for open seats would be for three or four years respectively so an equal number of board seats would be open each year in the future.

The $19.3 million spending plan up for public vote would cut four teaching positions, axe an elementary Dean of Discipline post, downsize instruction in Summer School, and eliminate Driver's Education as a school-year offering, shifting it into a summer program.

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