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Area residents vote on J-D budget, board of education

Residents vote on the 2012-13 budget and school board candidates this afternoon at Jamesville-DeWitt High School.

Residents vote on the 2012-13 budget and school board candidates this afternoon at Jamesville-DeWitt High School. Stephanie Bouvia

— By 5 p.m. on May 15, more than 650 people had shown up to vote on the Jamesville-DeWitt school district’s proposed 2012-2013 budget, as well as the candidates for the board of education.

Poll worker Tim Decker, 44, of Liverpool, said they expect around 1,000 people to cast their ballot by 9 p.m., the end of the voting period. Polls opened at 7 a.m.

The proposed 2012-2013 budget would total $47,847,195, an approximately 1-percent increase from the 2011-2012 budget of $47,366,845. The budget also calls for a projected tax levy of $35,007,068, a 3.2 percent increase, and a tax rate increase of 2.71 percent.

Also on the ballot was a proposition to allow the J-D Board of Education to purchase three 66-passenger school buses and one 30-passenger bus, costing approximately $96,056. Another proposition would allow the board to levy and collect taxes to support the DeWitt Community Library. The tax would increase from $1,209,535 to $1,256,652.

Emily Behan, 44, of DeWitt, said she voted to pass the budget because she has five children currently in the district, and feels it is important to support the schools.

“I can’t think of anything more important than their education. If that means my taxes go up a little because of that, I’m OK with it,” she said. “I think it’s really important that we support the programs, everything from busing to the library to athletics.”

Martin Rothenberg, 78, of Jamesville, also said he voted to pass the budget. “My kids were raised in J-D, and the reason I moved to DeWitt is because of the school system. I think education is very important.”

This year, incumbents Jack McLoughlin, Mark Schulman and Jill Walsh, along with newcomers Joseph Popcun and Charles Frank, are running for three open spots on the district’s Board of Education. J-D is one of few districts in the area with a contested race for its board.

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