Local News

June 19, 2014

Minerva Central election glitch unresolved

MINERVA — Minerva Central School representatives will meet with the school attorney tonight to decide what to do about a voting machine malfunction in Tuesday’s budget revote.

Although a mechanical voting machine used by the school showed the budget failed to get the 60 percent super-majority it needed to pass the spending plan on a second try, the total votes showing on the device did not match the separate tally of 260 “yes” and 181 “no” when those numbers were added together.

Superintendent Timothy Farrell said the district won’t have any details until after he, the School Board and the district counsel meet.

If the tally stands, it means the budget fails, as it would be 1 percent short of the super-majority required by state law when a school spending plan exceeds the tax-levy cap.

Minerva has a 2.75 percent cap for 2014-15, but the budget has a 13.5 percent tax-levy increase.

Tuesday, the district had proposed the same $5.1 million budget to voters that failed in May, saying further cuts would endanger the educational program at the school.

If the budget defeat stands, Minerva must cut about $450,000 from its proposed budget, something school officials say would require staff cuts, combining grades, eliminating some transportation and maybe even tuitioning some grades to other schools.

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