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F-M voters approve $77.9 million budget; elect three board members

— On May 20, Fayetteville-Manlius School District voters approved the district’s $77.9 million 2014-15 budget proposal, elected three Board of Education members and approved the purchase of five new school buses.

The following results are unofficial pending verification of the absentee ballots; however, the ballots have been reviewed and will not impact the final results.

Voters approved:

• A $77,912,924 budget for the 2014-15 school year that increases spending 1.97 percent ($1,502,194,762) and carries a 2.46 percent tax levy increase: 938 yes; 311 no;

• Purchasing five new school buses at a total cost not to exceed $617,336: 918 yes; 322 no;

• Supporting the Fayetteville Free Library, $1,590,833: 915 yes; 322 no; and

• Supporting The Manlius Library, $1,199,369: 943 yes; 290 no.

Three candidates sought election to three open Board of Education seats. The terms are three years, beginning July 1. They are:

• Incumbent and current Board member Jeff Brown: 906 votes;

• Timothy P. Crisafulli: 952 votes; and

• Edin Ljuca: 831 votes.

However, because Crisafulli received the highest number of votes, he will immediately take office to fill the remainder of former board member Michael Masse’s term, who resigned from the board Aug. 20. On Sept. 9, the board had appointed Babra “Babs” Taekens to fill Mr. Masse’s term until the next election (May 20, 2014). On July 1, Crisafulli will begin serving the three-year term to which voters elected him.

“We want to thank all of our community members who came out and voted today. We are pleased that we will be able to continue to deliver the educational programs that our students need to compete and be successful in the classroom and beyond,” said Superintendent Corliss Kaiser.

The 2014-15 tax levy increase of 2.46 percent is below the district’s calculated tax levy limit of 2.51 percent, per the state’s property tax levy cap law. The limit does not cap how much a district can raise through property taxes. Instead, it determines at what level a school district must have a supermajority (60 percent) rather than a simple majority (50 percent plus one) approve the budget proposal.

Because F-M proposed a budget with a tax levy increase lower than its allowable limit, the budget required a simple majority vote for authorization.

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