By Susan Monteleone
GLEN SPEY June 18, 2004 The library of the Mackenzie Elementary School became quiet as the ballot machine was opened earlier this week. A packed room of community members, teachers, faculty, administration and students fell silent to see if the second time around would truly be the charm for the Eldred Central School budget.
As evidenced by the tears, hugs and smiles, the second time was the charm. After first failing the original budget in May, the voters of the district approved the reduced Eldred Central School budget of $11,120,136 by a vote of 554 to 431.
Proposition Two for two 60-65-passenger buses was also approved in the amount of $148,000, while Proposition Three for 20 security cameras for the buses was defeated.
This election was one of the largest Eldred has seen in a long time, drawing out a record number of nearly 1,000 voters with a surprising 212 newly registered voters participating. Thirty-four absentee ballots were also received.
Supt. Ivan Katz stated, "This is a great day for Eldred. We are truly excited that the budget has passed. This community really came out today, and that is great. We are truly thrilled with the turnout and will strive to excel in the upcoming school year with many excellent programs ahead. I thank the community for their continued support."
Mackenzie Principal Kathy Ryan added, "This is a great day for our kids. We had a great turnout, and the people that came were really positive in thoughts. We have a very supportive community in Eldred, and from the parents to the administration, Eldred is truly a great district. I want to thank the community for their continued support."
High School Principal Scott Krebs noted, "I am so happy for everyone here today. Now we can continue to educate the students of Eldred in the best way that we can. It will be a great school year for everyone, and I thank everyone for their support of Eldred."