School budget win OK from local district voters

By Julia Green
As New York State and the country as a whole continue to face budget crises at every level of government, area school districts asked voters to sign off on slightly increased spending last week. The local school budget battle went to the polls on Tuesday, when voters in Andes, Margaretville and Roxbury cast their ballots overwhelmingly in support of the proposed spending plans.
The voting trend was in keeping with statewide results, which showed that 92 percent of school budgets across New York State were approved by voters. During the course of the budget process, school officials emphasized that they were making every effort to avoid seeking large tax increases to compensate for reductions in state aid.

Andes Central School
Voters in the Andes Central School District cast their ballots by a margin of 143 to 61 in favor of approving the proposed budget, which authorized the school to spend $3.72 million over the course of the 2010-11 school year. That figure represents an increase of 1.26 percent over last year’s budget and a 1.78 percent increase on the local tax levy of $2.63 million.
Voters also approved the board of education’s request that $45,000 be allocated for the purchase of one 20-passenger bus, the payment of which will be bonded over a five-year period.
With 86 write-in votes, Andes voters also elected Jeffrey Ashton to a five-year term on the board of education. Ashton’s tenure will begin July 1. Kevin Roney received 74 votes, and four other nominees received one write-in vote apiece.

Margaretville Central School
Despite some budget criticism in Margaretville, residents turned out and voted overwhelmingly to support the school board’s proposed spending allotment of $10.73 million for the coming year. The dollar amount represents a 1.37 percent increase over last year and a 2.34 percent increase on the local tax levy of $6.6 million, and was passed by a margin of 220 to 82.
In addition, voters in the Margaretville district chose to approve the purchase of one school bus and one minivan for a total not to exceed $120,000, which will be paid from an appropriated fund balance.
Board of education incumbent Alvin Tanzer, who was running for re-election, was defeated by retired MCS math teacher Agnes Laub, who received 225 votes to 81 for Tanzer.

Roxbury Central School
Roxbury voters cast their ballots in favor of the school’s proposed budget, 219 to 81. The budget authorizes the school to spend $9.57 million during the coming academic year, which represents a 1.53 percent increase over last year’s spending. The dollar amount represents a 1.86 percent increase on the local tax levy of $5.86 million
Also approved was a proposition to put $20,000 from surplus into a repair reserve fund.
Voters in Roxbury also re-elected incumbent board of education member Ed Fersch, who received 235 votes.