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What You Need
To Know – Part I

By Jeanne Sager
SULLIVAN COUNTY — May 10, 2005 – It’s budget time again, and voters in all eight county school districts will be headed to the polls next Tuesday.
Here’s a breakdown of what voters in three of the local districts will be facing in the voting booth.
Information on the remaining five districts will appear in Friday’s Democrat.
Voters in the Fallsburg district will face a $28 million budget proposal when they go to the polls on May 17, up 6.9 percent from last year.
That figure will have an estimated 9.7 percent effect on the tax levy.
In a statement issued by the board of education, the budget was broken down to show how state aid was balanced to limit the increase in taxes while avoiding cuts in personnel and programs that “most directly affect student achievement.”
Costs were decreased in areas such as staff services or board of education needs, while increases were realized in instruction, supervision, staff and curriculum development and employee benefits.
Residents will also face the decision on who to elect to the vacant spots on the board of education this year.
Incumbents Robin Bedik and Melvyn Mednick are both running unopposed, while incumbent Thomas Zuewsky will be facing a challenge from Theresa Trujillo and Edward Madison.
Each term will run for three years.
Residents of the Liberty school district are in the same boat as voters across the county, according to Business Official Tom Goskoski.
The proposed $31.7 million budget represents a 10 percent increase from last year, with a 4.7 percent increase in the tax levy.
“Health and employee benefits are making up the chunk of the increase,” Goskoski said.
Coupled with increases in transportation, fuel and utility costs, there was only so much the board of education could do.
“Everything else we were sort of able to hold the line on,” Goskoski noted.
The good news in Liberty is that this year’s budget includes five new teaching positions, and some of those people who had to be laid off last year were hired back.
Liberty voters will also be choosing who to elect to three open seats on the board of education this year.
Members Christine Murphy and Robert DeStefano will not be seeking re-election, but incumbent Armand Seibert will face off against Stephen LaVelle, former board member John Milano, Peter Racette and Cathie Smith.
The candidates with the top three highest vote tallies will each earn a three-year seat on the board.
Also on the plate is a proposition to make repairs to remediate water infiltration issues at the middle school.
The project includes repairs to roofing, flashing and drainage. If approved, the repairs will be made to the library roof, the corridors which connect the middle and high schools and the north side of the middle school classroom wing.
The cost of the project should not exceed $375,000. The district has $400,000 in its capital reserve fund to cover the project, and no bonds will be issued.
The proposal facing voters in the Roscoe Central School District will maintain all positions and programs at the current level.
The $5.9 million proposal will represent a 4.8 percent increase from last year, with an expected 6.17 percent increase in the tax levy.
“The expenditure increases are in areas not subject to local control, such as mandated teacher retirement contributions, increases in medical and liability insurance and increases in fuel and heating costs,” said Superintendent George Will.
One staff member will be added – a secondary social studies teacher.
Voters will also decide who should fill two vacancies on the board of education.
Tasse Niforatos will be running unopposed for the position vacated by Howard Huck while Vice President Phil Eggleton will face a challenge from Roberta Rehwaldt.
Each seat will run for three years.

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