Thursday, May 3, 2012

School District Elections

Mark your calendars. Tuesday, May 15, is the day of the school district elections. This year voters in the Hudson City School District will be asked to approve a budget of $41,550,715 for the 2012-13 school year, which represents a 2.78 percent increase in the tax levy, and to vote for two candidates for the school board: Carrie Otty, widow of former board president Jeff Otty, who assumed his seat after his death and now must be elected to remain on the board; and Tiffany Martin Hamilton, who attended HCSD schools growing up and recently moved back to Hudson with her husband and two young children, one of whom will be entering kindergarten in the fall.

Sadly, voting in the school district elections seems like an empty gesture. As we saw last year, the Board of Education can simply ignore the will of the taxpayers if they vote to reject the proposed budget, and two candidates running for two vacant seats represents no choice either. Audra Jornov reports the details in the Register-Star: "2 candidates run to fill 2 HCSD board seats."

5 comments:

  1. From what I hear of Carrie Otty, I think she'll be a fantastic addition to the board. With her on the board and Ms. Stuttmeier as Superintendent, I have high hopes for Hudson.

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  2. Carole, one needed clarification: we can not have a repeat of last year's democratic disgrace on the budget. With the new "tax cap" comes a change in the contingency law (which is what the board used last year to override the 3 to 1 defeat of the budget). The new law says, in fact, that if voters twice defeat the budget (by a simple majority), then we automatically go to contingency, which is now defined as a ZERO percent tax levy increase! So, this year, more than ever, your vote counts.

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    1. That's refreshing news !

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    2. I don't believe that's accurate - the statute (Educ. Law § 2023) states that if the budget should fail twice, the school must adopt the contingency budget, and "The contingency budget shall not result in a tax levy greater than the tax levied for the prior school year."

      It's on slides 45-46 of this state ed presentation: http://www.p12.nysed.gov/mgtserv/propertytax/taxcap/docs/SED-Webinar_2-17-12.pdf where it says "0% levy growth." That means no increase from last year's rate. The school has the option to not put it to a second vote and adopt the contingency budget at last years' rate.

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  3. Thanks, Peter! There is reason to vote after all.

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