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Democrat Photo by Jeanne Sager

VOTING OFFICIAL DEBBIE Lovgren looks the other way as someone casts their vote Tuesday in the Sullivan West budget vote and board election in Jeffersonville.

Most of the Public
Supports School Budgets

By Jeanne Sager
SULLIVAN COUNTY — May 21, 2004 – While superintendents waited with bated breath, Sullivan County’s residents stepped out to vote Tuesday.
By late that night, seven administrators were glad to say it was over – their budgets passed with flying colors.
But for Eldred Superintendent Dr. Ivan Katz and the district’s board of education, work is just beginning.
The district’s voters said “no” to an $11.2 million budget by a 49-vote margin.
Now it’s back to the drawing board for Eldred officials.
“It’s going to be hard,” Katz said Thursday afternoon. “The budget we presented was a good budget – it’ll be difficult to cut anything out of there.”
To get down to $11.2 million, at least $80,000 was pared from the budget, including positions and the entire driver’s education program.
Cutting anything else will have a big effect, Katz noted.
The superintendent said he thinks there is a lot of confusion in his community.
“I think there’s a very big misconception between the tax rate increase and the tax levy,” he explained.
The budget increase of 9.84 percent that was presented to the public on Tuesday would have equaled out to approximately a 3.48 percent increase in the tax rate, he said.
That’s about $51 per $100,000 of assessed value on property in the district.
“People think their taxes are going to jump 14 percent,” Katz said.
The board of education has scheduled a meeting for Monday evening at 7:30 p.m. at the junior/senior high school in Eldred to look at its options.
The taxpayers also shot down a proposal to purchase two 60-65-passenger buses and 20 security cameras at an estimated cost of $168,000. That measure was defeated by an 8-vote margin with 291 nos and 283 yeses.
Voters did approve the library proposition in Eldred with 366 yes votes and 231 nos.
Incumbent Robert Warden, who ran unopposed, regained his seat on the Eldred Central School Board of Education.
More than 500 Fallsburg voters turned out to help pass a $26.4 million budget Tuesday – with 305 voting yes and 168 voting no.
The voters also approved the addition of a non-voting student member to the district’s board of education with 310 yes votes and 98 nos.
Board members Barbara Strauss, Darryl Wells and Michael Zalkin all regained their seats on the board.
Vote totals were as follows:
• To fill the expired term of Barbara Strauss – 273 yes, 3 write-ins.
• To fill the expired term of Darryl Wells – 245 yes, 3 write-ins.
• To fill the expired term of Michael Zalkin – 291 yes, 4 write-ins.
A margin of more than 100 votes ensured the passing of Liberty Central School’s $28.7 million budget.
The district saw 451 voters cast a yes ballot and 337 say no.
A facilities reserve fund was also approved by 418 voters with 324 voting no.
The top four vote-getters in the school board election were incumbent Joyce Teed with 579, Philip Olsen with 470, Norma McAndrew with 343 and Armand Seibert with 332.
Teed, Board President Olsen and McAndrew each earned three-year seats on the board. Incumbent Seibert will serve for one year.
Incumbent Chris Murphy received 303 votes, Michael Salvia had 238, former board member Matthew Frumess had 215 and Linda Aracci racked up 276 votes.
Livingston Manor
According to Livingston Manor Superintendent Debra Lynker, 324 voters turned out in the district Tuesday.
An $11.6 million budget was approved with 213 yes votes and 111 no, approximately a 2 to 1 margin.
Board of education President Sandra Coe regained her seat with 242 votes.
A $56.3 million budget passed muster with Monticello Central School District voters with 664 voting yes and 587 no.
Voters also agreed to add a non-voting student board member to the board of education with 794 yays and 397 nays.
Incumbent Jacob Billig retained his seat on the board of education with 692 votes compared to challenger Yvonne Housman, who had 330.
Incumbent Robert Stewart also regained his seat with 825 votes.
The lowest turnout in the history of Roscoe Central School still managed to ensure a budget passage.
The district’s $5.4 million budget was approved by 107 people, with 71 voters saying no.
The library proposition also passed with 91 yes votes and 69 no.
Board of Education President Gary Dahlman retained his seat on the board with 143 votes. He ran unopposed.
Sullivan West
Although voters ultimately approved Sullivan West’s $29.9 million budget, two incumbents on the district’s board of education were unseated this week.
Incumbent Tim Lanese lost his seat to challenger Jerry Murphy – 875 to 410 – while incumbent Jerry Triolo received just 553 votes compared to the 738 racked up by his challenger, Shawn Bailey.
Incumbent Rick Lander, who ran unopposed, received 870 votes.
There were 709 voters in favor of the Sullivan West budget and 646 opposed.
The $22.9 million Tri-Valley Central School budget passed with 565 yes votes and 278 no.
The library proposal passed as well, with 565 people saying yes and 245 voting no.
Board of education incumbents Wanda Terwilliger, Leonard Bernstein and Thomas Yager kept their seats.
Terwilliger had 567 votes, Bernstein earned 556, and Yager earned 550.
Challenger Erik Coddington earned 485 votes.

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