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Voters approve budgets in Montgomery County school districts

Wednesday, May 19, 2010
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— It was a much different picture this year in the Greater Amsterdam School District as voters handily passed the district’s proposed $57.7 million budget.

In fact, budgets were approved in all of Montgomery County’s five school districts.

AMSTERDAM

GASD Superintendent Thomas Perillo said district officials put a lot of work into this year’s budget, which was approved 1,448-727, and he was happy for the students, staff and taxpayers that it passed. Voters rejected it twice in 2009.

“Voters felt the budget we put together was realistic for the education of our students and realistic for the community,” he said.

The district’s 2010-11 budget increases spending by $2.5 million but uses $4.6 million from reserve funds to avoid any tax increase.

The district will be losing 7.5 positions in the fall. Perillo said the district is not positive about what positions will be eliminated but tentatively it looks to be a special education teacher, an occupational therapist’s assistant, a physical therapist’s assistant, a part-time physical education teacher, one non-instructional position and three positions through attrition.

GASD voters also elected two new members to the Board of Education and one incumbent to three open seats. John Bottisti and Paula Hawkins will be joining the seven-member board in July. Incumbent Carol Greco also was re-elected.

Bottisti and Greco will be serving three-year terms and Hawkins will be serving the remaining two years of former board President Gina DeRossi’s term.

FONDA-FULTONVILLE

Voters in the Fonda-Fultonville Central School District approved the district’s $25.6 million spending plan 301-129.

Voters also approved a proposition to allocate $14,000 to the Frothingham Free Library and $3,800 to the Fort Hunter Free Library.

“I feel gratified that the community supported a very tough budget in a very tough year,” Superintendent James Hoffman said.

The budget reflects a more than $51,000 decrease in spending. However, an anticipated $955,000 decrease in state aid will increase the tax levy by 4 percent.

Despite a tough year, the district’s students will see an increase in programming for 2010-11, including an honors biology class for sophomores and an expanded Project Lead the Way that introduces students to engineering.

Matt Sullivan and Linda Wszolek both were elected to the district’s Board of Education.

CANAJOHARIE

Voters in the Canajoharie Central School District approved a proposed $18.8 million spending plan expected to raise taxes by 4 percent.

The spending plan, approved 351-204, calls for the elimination of a middle school and elementary teaching position along with a part-time home and careers teacher.

Mark Brody and Rachael Mason ran unopposed for two vacant seats on the district’s Board of Education.

FORT PLAIN

Voters in the Fort Plain Central School District approved a budget that cut 15 employees in an effort to save $385,000.

However, they also defeated a proposal, 332-353, to allow the district to borrow up to $224,000 to purchase two half-sized buses with a wheelchair lift and flexible floor plan.

The $18.5 million spending plan, which was approved 420-276, will eliminate one English teacher, two elementary teachers, a gym teacher, a school psychologist, a guidance counselor, a remedial reading teacher, a secretary, an aide, a bus driver and five teaching assistants.

The 2010-11 spending plan is roughly $140,000 less than the current budget and expected to raise taxes by about 0.5 percent.

Donald Yerdon and Ronald Kardash defeated incumbent Jami Stevens and Charles Trembley for the district’s Board of Education.

ST. JOHNSVILLE

Voters in St. Johnsville passed a $9.4 million spending plan that relies on $1.3 million in reserves.

Voters also passed a proposition that would allow the district to purchase two full-size buses for $195,000 using money saved in a dedicated fund for bus purchases.

Voters approved the budget 147-22 and the bus purchase 117-42.

The 2010-11 budget does not eliminate any positions or programs and collects roughly $2.3 million from the taxpayers.

Incumbent David Mosher ran unopposed for the school board.

 
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