Marcellus voters approve school budget

Marcellus voters approved a $29.99 million budget, a decrease of 2.81 percent from the current year, by a vote of 854-478 Tuesday May 17.

Superintendent Craig Tice wished to thank the Marcellus community for its participation in and support of the budget vote. During the budget balancing process, Tice and the board gathered feedback from residents during traditional town meetings and at world caf sessions, the latter being introduced this year. The district also sent a survey to all residents in January to assess which programs the community wished to protect.

"The community's commitment to education has never been more appreciated than during this very difficult economic period in our history," Tice said.

The budget includes a 3.9 percent tax levy increase and reduces 21 full-time positions. The district had to close a $2.6 million budget gap, the result of decreased state aid and inflated health care and retirement costs.

"In spite of the [Gov. Cuomo's] $1.5 million dollar reduction to the district's New York State school operating aid, the enduring connection between the school and the community has served as both a cornerstone for continued student success and a strong foundation for our quality school programs," Tice said.

Incumbent Julie Brissette (638 votes) and newcomer Dave Locastro (687 votes) were elected to the school board.

Incumbent Lisa Valentine received 626 votes, and newcomer Richard Finch received 376.

With two board of education seats open, Tice commended incumbents Brissette and Valentine along with challengers Finch and Locastro on a race well run. Tice extended his appreciation to outgoing board member Lisa Valentine for her three years of dedicated service to the children of the Marcellus community.

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