Chenango County school districts set to vote on budgets, Board of Education vacancies

Afton

Afton residents will head to the polls on Tuesday to cast a vote for the district’s school board and proposed 2013-2014 school budget.

Only one school board candidate will be seen on this year’s ballot. Current board member Ted Kink is running unopposed for another five-year term on the Afton Central School board.

Voters will also have a say on the district’s $15.7 million proposed budget, as well as the purchase of two new school busses for $202,000.

This year’s budget warrants a 3.56 percent tax increase. The tax will also be levied if the voters decide to purchase the two new busses.

Voting will open from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. in the lobby of the Afton school. The detailed budget for Afton Central School can be foun on the district’s website, afton.stier.org.

Bainbridge-Guilford

The Bainbridge-Guilford Board Of Education has proposed a $16,669,076 with a 2.9 percent tax levy increase.

Two seats on the Board of Education are available and two people are running: Emily Hall and Julee Heartwell.

Greene

Residents of the Greene Central School District will vote Tuesday on the proposed 2013-14 budget of $24,391,603 which would result in a 2.85 percent tax levy increase if approved by voters. This year’s tax levy increase is up from last year’s tax levy increase of 1.42 percent.

The proposed tax levy increase is the limit allowed under the newly enacted Property Tax Cap Legislation. The program portion of the budget is the largest of the three budget categories and reflects a 4.6 percent spending increase in the proposed 2013-2014 budget as compared to the 2012-2013 school year. This increase is driven by contractual salary increases.

Voters will also choose to elect three new board members for three-year vacancies. There are four individuals who have turned in a petition to run for office: Ethan Day (incumbent), Helen Hunsinger (incumbent), Jason Burghardt, and Tammie McCauley. All four are residents of Greene.

GCSD residents will have the chance to vote 11 a.m. until 8 p.m. Tuesday in the Middle/High School Auditorium lobby.

Norwich

Residents in the Norwich City School District will have a choice between seven candidates to fill three vacant seats on the Norwich School Board in the fall.

Board candidate Dr. Bruce Braswell is a local pastor, father of two - one a senior at Norwich High School - and previous substitute teacher at Norwich. He said his lifelong passion for learning will give him an edge on the school board. In the course of the coming year, Braswell said he would like to see longterm budget planning from the board, with additional focus on academic advisement, keeping quality programs available in the schools, and even adding new programs.

The board’s highest priorities, said Braswell, should be to acknowledge students who are doing well, encouraging those who are falling behind and encourage diversity on all academic fronts.



Candidate George Carnrike, a lifelong resident of Norwich, said it’s the school board’s duty to “steer the ship.” Technology is essential for students in the Norwich school district and the goal of the board should be to keep with the times to give students an edge in a technology driven world, he said.

Carnrike also has two kids, both graduates of Norwich High School, and two grandkids who are soon to enter Norwich school. In the coming years, he said it is the board’s duty to maintain what is already offered, including facilities, and be proactive rather than reactive.

For candidate Misty Davis, priority of the school board should be to create a safe and supportive learning environment. Davis currently has three kids attending Norwich and said she would like to play a role in providing the education they deserve.

In the coming years, she said she would like the school board to do a better job to promote safety, crack down on bullying and increase communication across the district. Additionally, she said it is important the school board work to maintain all the programs it currently offers for students.

Board candidate Thomas Grady Jr. said he is running because he would like to see children, including his own, receive the best quality education. As a lifelong resident of Norwich, Grady said the board’s priority should be to do its best to gather information and make the decisions vital to improve education.

Grady also said the board should encourage the use of technology programs for students and that he believes structure and consistent discipline is key in getting the all NCSD schools on track for success. The school board, he added, is all about respect, morale, boosting students’ desire to learn and offering guidance to all students.

John Klockowski, a former teacher with two children attending Norwich, said while he believes there is concern about new education mandates, he is also optimistic about the future of education at NCSD. He said the goal of the board should be to help raise the bar for academic standards, and do what it can to attract and retain high performing teachers.

Essential programs at NCSD, Klockowski added, are the school’s library, technology services, arts, sports and AP (Advanced Placement) courses. He said he would like to see the school board encourage a consistent strategy of discipline and do what it can to encourage parent participation for the sake of all students.

School board candidate Howard Sullivan said as a lifelong resident of Norwich, his desire has long been to serve the school board, which was previously held down by his position as Chenango County judge. He said his experience in a number of voluntary youth organizations in the area and his belief that all programs are essential at NCSD would be influential to the school board.

Sullivan said the board’s role is to attend to the district’s budget and implementing policy. According to him, the school board should help create an atmosphere of trust and plan for the district’s financial future while also increasing transparency and communication.

Jamie Zieno said he would bring something new to the table of the school board. As a 2012 graduate of NHS, he is the youngest candidate, which he said would give him a fresh perspective on the needs of the students. Priorities for the school board, he said, should be on planning for the districts financial future and helping students succeed through innovative programs that prepare them for the 21st century.

The focus of the school board, Zieno added, should be to maintain the district and improve over the next decade through strategic financial planning and keeping an open ear to the needs of the community. Moreover, the district should implement a five-year technology plan to keep students ahead of the curve.

School district resident will also vote for the 2013-2014 school budget on Tuesday. The $38.7 million proposed budget calls for a 2.5 percent tax levy, which is slightly higher than last year’s increase.

The budget also maintains class size without cuts to programs or faculty. A detailed outline of the NCSD budget can be found on the school’s website, norwichcsd.org. Voting will open from noon to 9 p.m. at St. Bart’s Parish Center in Norwich, the Plymouth Fire House and the Preston Fire House.

Otselic Valley

Otselic Valley Cental School District residents will vote on a $9.3 million budget with a proposed 2.1 percent tax levy increase.

One position on the BOE is up for grabs this election and only one person is running. Rachel Peabody is the mother of four children, two of whom are currently enrolled in the school district while the other two will be in due time. She has stated in a school news letter that she is extremely vested in the school district and is proud to be an alumni herself of OVCS.

Voting will take place from noon to 9 p.m. in the school gyms located in South Otselic and in Georgetown.

Oxford

Oxford Academy and Central School residents will weigh-in Tuesday on a proposed $17,662,302 budget for the 2013-2014 school year resulting in a 1.3 percent tax levy increased if approved by voters. The proposed budget’s tax levy increase is down from the 2012-2013 budget tax levy increase of 1.98 percent.

Residents have the opportunity to vote on a bus proposition involving the purchase of one 72 passenger bus, one 35 passenger handicapped accessible bus and one 9-passenger van for a total maximum cost not to exceed $215,000. A second proposition asks voters if the district should transfer the former Oxford Central School Bus Garage in McDonough to the Town of McDonough for no monetary compensation in accordance with a contract with the town. The third proposition involves a $2,624 increase in funds per year appropriated for the Oxford Memorial Library so that the total appropriation to the library would be $134,483.

There are two candidates running for one position on the school board. Tahitian Tefft resides has served on the board for one year, lives in Oxford with her husband and son, enjoys being part of the Oxford community, is a member of the Oxford Rotary and OIDC, and looks forward to the opportunity to continue serving on the board. Christine Howard was born and raised in Oxford, is married with two daughters, and understands school can be difficult at times, with regard to the State’s demanding changes and the issue of bullying and believes that by serving on the school board she can take a bigger role in making Oxford Academy’s students’ experience all it can be.

The Budget vote will be held from 1 to 9:00 p.m. at the High School Performing Arts Auditorium.

Sherburne-Earlville

The Sherburne-Earlville School District has presented a $29.9 million budget for the 2013-2014 school year with a tax levy increase of 1.9 percent.

Three seats are opening up on the S-E Board of Education while four people have entered their names as contenders. They are incumbents Thomas Morris and Daniel Piliero, and Gregory Parker and Todd Palmer.

Voting will be held from noon to 9 p.m. at the elementary and high school main halls.

Unadilla Valley

Unadilla Valley Central School District residents will vote Tuesday on a proposed $20,132,967 budget for the 2013-2014 school year that if approved by voters would result in a 1.19 percent tax levy increase. This year’s increase is down from the 2012-1013 budget tax levy increase of 2.40 percent.

Voters will weigh-in on a bus proposition suggesting leasing four buses each year ultimately resulting in a fleet turnover in five years and a safety proposition that would provide funds for a full-time school resource officer and the installation of about 40 security cameras inside and outside the school.

Two positions will be open for the school board, and two candidates are running. Kristin L. Rumovicz has served on the board the past two years, has children in the district, and believes in the positive impact a good education can make on the community’s youth. William E. King Sr. was employed as a manager and supervisor at Preferred Mutual for 28 years, is active within the community, has children who graduated from the district and grandchildren currently enrolled, and believes the school budget should meet the educational needs of students while also being sensitive to local taxpayers.

Voting takes place noon until 8:00 p.m. Tuesday in the district office lobby.

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