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School board approves 2014-15 budget, prepares for election

— The Cazenovia Board of Education last week voted unanimously to adopt a $26,495,954 budget proposal for 2014-15 that increases spending 0.29 percent and carries a property tax increase of $168,237, or 1.01 percent.

The plan includes the elimination of 9.4 full-time equivalent (FTE) positions, including two cleaners, one bus mechanic, three elementary teachers, one high school career technical education teacher, one teaching assistant, one monitor and one 0.4 FTE guidance/psychologist position. It also cuts some services contracted through the Board of Educational Cooperative Services and eliminates a family consumer science elective at the high school.

Rather than raise local property taxes above the district’s calculated tax levy limit of 1.01 percent, district administrators and board members are proposing to use $750,000 in reserve funds — about one-eighth of the district’s remaining fund balance — to help fill the gap between projected revenues and expenses in 2014-15.

A public hearing on the budget is scheduled for May 13, and district residents will vote on the proposal on Tuesday, May 20.

Also on the May 20 ballot will be a resolution to fund local public libraries for a total of $538,355 — this includes $379,582 for the Cazenovia Public Library and $158,774 for the New Woodstock Free Library.

District residents also will elect two members to the Cazenovia Board of Education.

Three candidates have received the requisite number of signatures on the candidate petition and have filed to run in the upcoming election, according to the district office. BOE incumbents Jan Woodworth and Leigh Baldwin are both running for reelection, and challenger Abby Hartwell has also joined the race.

Candidate profiles and interviews will be published in a forthcoming issue of the Cazenovia Republican.

Jason Emerson is editor of the Cazenovia Republican. He can be reached at editor@cazenoviarepublican.com.

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