main content starts hereVoters to decide May 17 on $48 million budget; bus proposition; board candidates

| May 3, 2016

Voters will go to the polls on Tuesday, May 17, to decide on a budget for the 2016-17 school year.

Also on the ballot is a bus proposition and board of education election.

The Board of Education adopted a $48,365,409 budget for the 2016-17 school year at its April 19 meeting. Under the proposal, spending would increase $362,985, or 0.76 percent. This represents a tax levy increase of 2.21 percent, which is within the district’s tax levy limit that is calculated through a prescribed state formula.

The proposed spending plan includes the addition of 20.8 positions, a combination of instructional staff, support staff and administration. Some of the positions address enrollment increases or additional special education needs, while others are staff for the new Center for Advanced Technology. The Center is slated to open in September 2016.

In developing the budget, the Board of Education chose to allocate $200,000 from the district’s debt service account to offset the cost of the capital project approved by voters in 2013. This strategic move also enables the district to keep the tax levy increase lower than it would have been otherwise, which in turn reduces the financial impact on taxpayers.

View a PowerPoint presentation

A copy of the complete budget proposal is available in the district office at 2070 Curry Road, Schenectady, NY 12303.

Bus proposition

Mohonasen residents will be asked to vote on a proposition to purchase five full-size, 66-passenger buses at a total cost of $560,000. Of this amount, 68.4 percent ($383,040) would be reimbursed through state aid, leaving the district responsible to pay for $176,960, or $35,392 a year for five years.

According to Assistant Superintendent for Business Chris Ruberti, the purchase of these vehicles would have no impact on next year’s budget. Since the district is always retiring debt, the new purchase would result in a minimal increase on overall debt levels. Mohonasen has been following a regular bus replacement schedule based on mileage, age of vehicles, repair history and condition.

Board of Education election

Two of seven seats on Mohonasen’s Board of Education are up for election on May 17. Running for these seats are current Board President Robert Piccirillo, former board member Gary Spadaro and newcomers Deborah Escobar and Heather C. Quinn.

The ballot order, determined by a random drawing during the board meeting, is as follows:

Heather C. Quinn
Gary Spadaro
Deborah Escobar
Robert Piccirillo

Learn more at the Budget Hearing and Meet the Candidates events at 6 p.m. on Monday, May 9, in the Mohonasen High School Farnsworth Technology Center (LGI).

Voter eligibility

Polls will be open from 7 a.m. – 9 p.m. on May 17 in the Mohonasen High School gym (use the pool entrance).

You are eligible to vote if you are a U.S. citizen, 18 years old or older and a resident of the school district for at least 30 days prior to the vote.

Absentee ballots are available to residents who will be out of town or unable to vote in person because of illness or disability. Ballots are available in the district office at 2072 Curry Road.

Call 356-8210 for more information. You must call by May 10 if you would like a ballot mailed to you.

You can also download a copy of the Absentee Ballot Application for May 17, 2016 vote on the district website’s Forms page.