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North Syracuse budget fails

— The board was forced to adopt a contingency budget in the 2011-12 budget cycle.

According to the New York State School Boards Association, the defeat of the North Syracuse budget fell in line with a statewide trend. While voters approved 95.5 percent of budgets across the state, only 29.6 percent of districts whose budgets exceeded the tax cap passed theirs.

Schools statewide proposed an average tax levy increase of 2.8 percent for 2013-14, well below the average statewide tax levy limit of 5.1 percent.

The average proposed spending increase for the 2013-14 school year is 2.9 percent, compared to 1.5 percent in 2012-13, 1.3 percent in 2011-12, 1.4 percent in 2010-11, 2.3 percent in 2009-10, and 5.3 percent in 2008-09. The increase was driven in large part by increases in school district pension costs.

In addition, a number of voters complained that they had to wait for more than an hour to cast their ballot at Cicero Elementary.

“The North Syracuse Central School District would like to apologize to community members that had negative voting experiences during yesterday’s school budget vote and board member election,” the district said in a statement released Wednesday, May 22. “Many voters at Cicero Elementary School experienced long lines and extended delays as they attempted to cast their ballots. While some people opted to forgo their vote altogether, a great deal of community members spent a significant amount of time waiting to vote.”

The release noted that the board approved a new voting system in January as well as extending the voting time by three hours. The district had asked that multiple scanners be placed at Cicero El, but the request wasn’t met.

“We know that what happened at Cicero Elementary School yesterday was inexcusable and we apologize to our voters,” Dyce said. “We will look at all the ways that we can completely alleviate issues next year, including de-centralized voting, more equipment and other options.”

Voters did approve the Salina Free Library’s budget.

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