Press-Republican

May 22, 2013

Tupper Lake, Newcomb, Minerva budgets fail

By SUZANNE MOORE and ASHLEIGH LIVINGSTON
Press-Republican

---- — Three local school budgets up for vote Tuesday had tax-levy increases that exceeded the state cap, and all three went down at the polls.

Officials at Tupper Lake, Newcomb and Minerva central schools expressed disappointment over the results.

“What people really don’t understand is it just makes next year’s problem bigger,” Tupper Lake Central Superintendent Seth McGowan said Tuesday night.

The district’s $17,233,794 spending plan was vetoed soundly at the polls without the required supermajority vote of 60 percent even coming into play.

The tally was 685 against to 512 in favor.

Newcomb Central’s spending plan, which also required super-majority approval to pass, went down with 111 “yes” to 104 “no” votes.

The $5.8 million spending plan carried a tax-levy increase of 24.7 percent, well above the district’s 7.16 percent limit.

“Apparently, the community was not ready for that kind of increase in our budget,” Superintendent Clark “Skip” Hults said.

Hults said there was very low public turnout at district budget forums, making it difficult to know the community’s thoughts.

Voter turnout, however, was the highest it has been in 15 years, he said.

Minerva Central voters shot down a spending plan of $5.1 million with 144 “yes” and 177 “no” votes.

Its tax-levy increase was 8.93 percent, 4.96 percent over its cap.

“The board is going to meet Thursday and decide the next step,” Superintendent Tim Farrell said.

It’s likely, he said, another budget will be put up in June, a move McGowan said Tupper Lake would probably take. 

Every program would be touched by that effort to reduce spending further, he said.

“(But) the way the state funds schools,” he said, “schools can’t cut their way out of the problem.”

Tupper Lake’s proposed levy increase was 8.35 percent; the state cap is 4.76.

The Newcomb School Board now has three options, Hults said. It can put the same budget up for re-vote, propose a plan at the tax-levy limit or put up a plan that meets somewhere in the middle.

“We do hope to have a series of community meetings, and hopefully we’ll have a better turnout,” he said.

Here’s a look at vote totals from each district:

AuSABLE VALLEY 

The $29,677,914 budget was approved by a vote of 445 to 218.

The tax levy will go up 3.8 percent.

In the School Board race for Term B, Susan J. Richards won, with 429 votes, and Charles A. Potthast Jr. received 243. The other two terms were uncontested, with Scott R. Bombard garnering 482 votes and David B. Whitford, 437.

BEEKMANTOWN

The $37,642,566 budget was approved by a vote of 654 to 385.

The tax levy will increase 3.5 percent.

Two five-year seats on the School Board were won by Andrew Brockway, with 578 votes, and Ed Marin, with 609. Michael Hagadorn won the two-year seat with 557 votes. Kenneth Maurer Sr. garnered 537 votes, and Richard LaVigne got 444. 

A proposition to reduce the term of office of School Board members from five to three years passed by a vote of 836 to 162.

BRUSHTON-MOIRA

The $16,906,875 budget was approved by a vote of 177 to 110.

The tax levy will rise 4.97 percent.

In the School Board vote, Joey St. Mary, with 221 votes, and George Martin, with 179, were elected. Vitaline LaPage received 121 votes.

A proposition to purchase two school buses at a cost not to exceed $205,580 passed 150 to 113.

CHATEAUGAY CENTRAL

The $11,718,039 budget budget was approved by a vote of 168 to 41.

The tax levy will increase 4.69 percent. 

In the School Board election, Susan Jones-King received 157 votes in an unopposed race. John McCormick, also unopposed, received 166. Tony Martin was elected to a third seat with 116 votes to 96 for Kip Young.

A proposition to purchase a school bus at a cost not to exceed $89,076 passed by a vote of 152 to 38.

CHAZY CENTRAL

The $9,887,215 budget was approved by a vote of 222 to 52.

The tax levy will decrease 1.99 percent.

In the School Board election, Term A went to Tim Howley with 183 votes, and Melissa Dudyak received 92 votes.  For Term B, Joey Trombley, running unopposed, had 201 votes.

The proposition to provide $35,000 to Chazy Public Library passed 182 to 57.

Kristin McAuliffe, running unopposed, was elected to the Library Board with 215 votes.

CROWN POINT

The $6.27 million budget was approved by a vote of 97 to 10.

The tax levy will rise 1.89 percent.

In the School Board election, three seats, each with three-year terms, went to Michael “Mitch” St. Pierre with 76 votes, Julianne “Julie” Budwick with 71 and Kathy DeBrobander with 87.

ELIZABETHTOWN-LEWIS

The $7,683,421 budget was approved by a vote of 162 to 53.

The tax levy will increase 3.99 percent.

Karin DeMuro, running unopposed for School Board, received 172 votes. 

A proposition to purchase one 30-passenger school bus at a cost not to exceed $66,000 passed by a vote of 163 to 44.

KEENE CENTRAL

The $5,564,347 budget was approved by a vote of 128 to 37.

The tax levy will rise 3.5 percent.

John Haverlick, with 126 votes, and Ann Whitney, with 102, won the two School Board seats; Heather Odell got 82 votes.

LAKE PLACID CENTRAL

The $17,264,976 budget was approved by a vote of 401 to 88.

The tax levy will rise 3.01 percent.

In the School Board vote, the winners of two three-year terms were Richard Preston, with 333 votes, and John Hopkinson with 295. Jennifer Tufano garnered 282.

Proposition 1, to lease one wheelchair passenger school bus for five years at a cost not to exceed $19,000 per year, passed by a vote of 427 to 61.

Proposition 2, to allow trustees of the district to apply for an additional 10-percent state building aid to finance an Energy Savings Capital Project, passed by a vote of 420 to 68.

MALONE CENTRAL

The $46,524,369 budget was approved by a vote of 418 to 135.

The tax levy will rise 4.97 percent.

In the School Board election, the two five-year terms went to Christine Crossman-Dumas, with 287 votes, and Edward Lockwood, with 254. The three-year unexpired term went to David LaPlant, with 169 votes. The other candidates’ votes totals were David Mosier, 80; Brian Broeker, 129; Dottie Dumas, 160; Melissa Bartenslager, 87; Jerry Thompson, 60; and Philip Hans, 132.

A proposition to purchase five school buses at a cost not to exceed $525,000 passed by a vote of 401 to 144.

MINERVA CENTRAL

The $5.1 million budget was defeated by a vote of 144 yes to 177 no.

Caroline Kelly, running unopposed for School Board, received 236 votes.

MORIAH CENTRAL

The $15.1 million budget was approved by a vote of 238 to 50.

The tax levy will rise 2.07 percent.

A proposition to buy two school buses for $158,000 passed by a vote of 231 to 59.

In the School Board election, Charles “Chuck” French, with 225, votes and Ben Winters, with 235 votes, were elected. No petitions were filed for one board seat.

NORTHEASTERN CLINTON

The $27,044,204 budget was approved by a vote of 426 to 150.

The tax levy will rise 2.75 percent.

In the School Board race, Orville Nedeau, with 367 votes, and Gregory Sample, with 438 votes, won five-year terms. The two-year, unexpired term went to Tammy Gonyo with 331 votes. The other board candidates and their vote totals were Sam Blain, 202, and Martin McCarthy, 258. 

A proposition to budget $9,000 each for three public libraries passed by a vote of 394 to 154.

A proposition to purchase one 66-passenger bus, one wheel-chair accessible bus and one van for a total cost not to exceed $265,000, passed by a vote of 368 to 175.

NORTHERN ADIRONDACK

The $20,521,802 budget was approved by a vote of 286 to 93.

The tax levy will rise 7.88 percent.

Running unopposed for School Board, Jon Rebideau received 335 votes.

A proposition to purchase two 66-pasenger buses and one 24-passenger wheelchair accessible bus, at a total cost not to exceed $279,613, passed by a vote of 269 to 74.

NEWCOMB CENTRAL

The $5.8 million budget, which needed a supermajority of the vote because its levy exceeded the state cap, was defeated by a tally of 111 yes to 104 no.

In the uncontested School Board election, Eleanor Yandon received 161 votes for the five-year term and Marlene Bott received 170 votes for the three-year term.

PERU CENTRAL

The $40,974,046 budget was approved by a vote of 555 to 321.

The tax levy will rise 3.96 percent.

In the School Board election, the two seats went to Kim Mayer, with 646 votes, and Kathleen Wyckoff, with 692 votes.

PLATTSBURGH CITY SCHOOL

The $39,632,807 budget was approved by a vote of 795 to 745.

The tax levy will rise 2.49 percent.

In the School Board election, the winners were Amelia Goerlitz, with 824 votes, and Ron Marino, with 700 votes. The other candidates and their totals were: Kathie Cameron-Murray, 376; Walter Peter Chmura, 590; and Robert Dolan, 680.

SALMON RIVER

No one from the school district called to report the vote information.

SARANAC CENTRAL

The $31,503,754 budget was approved by a vote of 329 to 70.

The tax levy rose 3.72 percent.

In the School Board election, Term A went to Tracy Allen Waite with 307 votes, and Term B went to Daniel Ashline-Beaudet, 211, with Lori Saunders garnering 157 votes.

A proposition to purchase two 65-passenger buses, one 21-passenger handicap-accessible bus and one school van for a total of $373,288 passed by a vote of 328 to 66.

SARANAC LAKE CENTRAL

The $28,080,442 budget was approved by a vote of 602 to 139.

The tax levy will increase 3.67 percent.

In the School Board election (two three-year terms): Clyde Baker, 452; Shir Filler, 413; Esther Arlan, 331; and Tracey Schrader, 220.

Proposition 1, to authorize annual payment to the Saranac Lake Free Library of $137,467, passed by a vote of 581 to 150.

Proposition 2, to purchase three school buses at a cost not to exceed $330,000, passed by a vote of 555 to 165.

SCHROON LAKE

The $7.4 million budget was approved by a vote of 200 to 144.

The tax levy will rise 2.13 percent.

In the School Board vote, Tina Armstrong was elected with 169 votes; Bruce Murdock received 167.

A proposition to buy one school bus for $73,800 passed by a vote of 200 to 134.

ST. REGIS FALLS

The $7,760,909 budget was approved by a vote of 116 to 35.

The tax levy will go up 2.9 percent.

In School Board vote, Mickey Smith won a seat with 102 votes, and Harry Ratcliffe took the other, with 95 votes.

A proposition to purchase one 66-passenger school bus at a cost not to exceed $113,895 passed by a vote of 112 to 33.

TICONDEROGA CENTRAL

The $18.5 million budget was approved by a vote of 550 to 382.

The tax levy will rise 3.78 percent.

In the School Board election, the three seats were won by Mark Russell with 620 votes, Robert Palandrani Jr. with 563 and Tracey Cross-Baker with 497. The other candidate, R. William Grinnell, earned 478 votes.

A proposition to buy three small buses at a cost of no more than $93,000 passed, 458-431.

TUPPER LAKE CENTRAL

The $17,233,794 budget was defeated by a vote of 685 no to 512 yes.

In the School Board race, Dawn Hughes was returned to office, with 735 votes, and Patricia Anrig, with 659, defeated board President Daniel Mansfield, who garnered 567. 

A proposition to authorize the purchase of two school 66-passenger school buses at a cost not to exceed $230,500 failed by a vote of 426 yes to 750 no.

WESTPORT CENTRAL

The $5,505,000 budget was approved by a vote of 161 to 71.

The tax levy will increase 3.85 percent.

Running unopposed for School Board, Jim Carroll received 195 votes.

WILLSBORO CENTRAL

The $7,972,767 budget was approved by a vote of 193 to 41.

The tax levy will go up 3.3 percent.

Running unopposed for School Board, Bruce Hale received 206 votes.

— Editor Lois Clermont and Contributing Writer Andrea Van Valkenburg contributed to this report.