Seven hundred and sixty residents of the Cazenovia Central School District visited the high school auditorium on May 15 to cast their ballots for the 2012-13 proposed budget, the purchase of school buses, funding for area libraries and for four candidates vying for three seats on the board of education.
The 2012-13 budget was passed, with a total of 592 “yes” votes over 159 “no.”
Proposition No. 2, regarding the purchase of four new school buses, was passed with a total of 591 “yes” votes over 164 “no.”
Proposition No. 3, authorizing a total tax levy of $517,453 for the Cazenovia Public Library and New Woodstock Free Library, was passed with a total of 580 “yes” votes over 174 “no.”
Current CCSD Board of Education members Karin Marris, Cindy Bell Tobey and Pat Vogl were re-elected for three-year terms, with 527, 540 and 534 votes, respectively. Nicole McLean received a total of 414 votes.
Marris was re-elected for a fourth term, having served on the board for the last nine years. “I really appreciate everyone who voted – especially for the incumbents – because I think we’re going to need a lot of experience coming up in the next few years with the way the budgets have been, and the economy,” she said. “I think we’ll do a good job, and I’m excited for the next three years.”
Tobey has served on the BOE for the last four years, and was happy to be re-elected for another term. “I would like to thank everybody who came out and voted today, it is much appreciated. It’s going to be a tough next three years, but I think we’re all up for the challenge.”
Vogl was also re-elected for a fourth term, having served on the board for the last nine years — two of which as president. “I’m glad that the school budget, bus purchases and library support passed. Those are all very important,” he said. “I’m also glad to be back on the board with the other incumbent candidates; we all get along very well, and work together as a team. We have our differences, but at the end of the day, it’s all in the best interest of the school.
The 2012-13 proposed budget totaled $25,552,252, which was a 1.2 percent decrease from last year. No teaching positions or academic programs were cut on the budget, however small decreases in support staff, such as one teaching assistant, one bus driver and two weight room supervisors were included. Although the district has a smaller budget than last year, a decrease in funding from both state and federal levels required the district increase the tax levy by 1.6 percent.
Proposition No. 2 authorized the borrowing of a maximum of $316,563 to purchase four new school buses for the upcoming year. District officials said the borrowed funds will be repaid over the course of five years, with 70 percent of the cost to the district being refunded by New York state.
Proposition No. 3 authorized the library tax levy, providing $364,844 for the Cazenovia Public Library, and $152,609 for the New Woodstock Free Library. The BOE has no authority over either library budget, but is required by NYS law to place the proposition on the ballot.
After voters cast their respective ballots, they were asked to complete an exit survey by Assistant Superintendent Bill Furlong and student volunteers.
The six-question assessment quizzed voters anonymously on how they voted, how they got their information, their knowledge of the district’s financial situation and what they would like to see if next year’s budget season poses similar issues as the last two years.
Furlong said 19 absentee votes were mailed in for the vote. For more information on BOE members, 2012-13 budget items and upcoming district events, visit caz.cnyric.org.
Pierce Smith is editor of the Cazenovia Republican. He can be reached at 434-8889 ext. 338 or firstname.lastname@example.org.