After casting his votes Tuesday May 15, Warrensburg resident Dave Spatz exits from a voting booth in the Warrensburg High School gym lobby while school election official Patti MicGlire (right) observes. Citizens throughout Warren County approved their school district budgets handily in the annual election, but ousted a number of incumbent school board members.
Photo by Thom Randall.
continued Superintendent Tim Lawson said he was happy the voters realized the challenges the school officials had dealt with in preparing the spending plan. He noted that it was fortunate that the school district had built up a fund balance in recent years — an action that prompted some controversy — because it came in useful in meeting rising expenses this year while keeping the tax levy increase minimal. The rising fund balance, Lawson said, was due to savings reaped in the last several years when the special education student enrollment dropped substantially below estimates. Lawson warned, however, that upcoming years would present renewed fiscal quandaries.
“Down the road, our financial challenges are bound to continue,” he said.
WCS, LGCS incumbents ousted
In Warrensburg, rookie school board candidates Paul Weick and Doug West defeated incumbent Richelene Morey and former school board member Brian Lace by a substantial margin. Weick received 410 votes, and West, 403, with Morey tallying 377 and Lace trailing at 231. The latter two had throughout their tenures on the board gained reputations as fiscal conservatives, while Weick and West campaigned on maintaining and bolstering programs.
In Lake George, incumbents Virginia Etu and Robert Bolen lost their seats to two challengers, fiscal reform candidate John Murphy and moderate James Powell. Murphy and Powell received 905 and 680 votes respectively, while Etu garnered 640 and Bolen, 272. Vocal fiscal conservative David Klein, also a challenger, received 582 votes.
In Bolton, school board incumbents Pamela Quigan and Kathleen Pfau were re-elected with 253 and 244 votes respectively, along with newcomer Chris Gabriels who received 219 votes. Incumbent Dennis Murphy trailed with 184 votes, losing his seat in the process.
In North Warren, incumbents Bruce Hiller and Bruce Robbins were re-elected uncontested.
Weick said his campaign of positivism resonated with the WCS voters.