JOHNSBURG - Voters went to the polls Tuesday evening to decide the fate of local school budgets and Johnsburg Central School District voters decided the increase in their tax levy was not acceptable.
Despite tireless efforts of the JCS Budget Committee in the previous weeks to shave budget increases and appeal to the public's concerns, their $10 million budget was voted down by a significant margin 408 - 264. The ballot proposition of a school bus replacement was also voted down 338 - 298.
The proposed budget included a .95 percent increase to the budget and and estimated 4 - 5 percent tax levy increase. The bulk of the increase was due to $70,000 budgeted for a new pre-kindergarten program at JCS.
This year, JCS took a hit from state cuts and lost $273,239 in aid and experienced one of its toughest budget years, according to Superintendent Mike Markwica.
During the weeks of budget planning, a JCS Citizens Budget Committee was formed to protest the tax increase proposed by the school's budget. They stirred up grassroots support and their efforts, including signs placed around town asking voters to, "vote no on May 18" were seemingly effective.
"The spending issue at Johnsburg Central School is one that will last beyond the vote on May 18," said JCS Citizens Budget Committee member Anthony Moro.
Johnsburg Central School's next step will be for the Board of Education's Budget Committee to meet and formulate a plan for moving forward on the 2010-2011 budget, according to business manager Kathy Spring.
Complete Local Budget Results
Minerva's budget of $5.3 million passed with a 109 - 80 vote.
Newcomb's $4.9 million budget was passed by a 121-41 margin and their ballot proposition for a van purchase was approved 131 - 29. Robin DeLoria beat out Stacie McNulty for a seat on the Board of Education. Drew Cullen held on to his position on the board and received 112 unopposed votes.
Long Lake voters approved a $3.6 million budget 231 - 113 and their ballot proposition to approve Cornelius Vanderbilt Whitney Library spending was voted down 188-159. Michael Nerney edged out Shawnee Ross for a position on the Board of Education 185 - 151.
Indian Lake, a $5.8 million budget was passed 186 - 125 and Brian Wells received a write-in victory for a position on the Board of Education.