Sullivan County Democrat
Callicoon, New York
January 22, 2010 Issue
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A close up of the Livingston Manor Central School, one of eight in the county whose budget is up for a vote.

Voters go to polls Tuesday

By Dan Hust

SULLIVAN COUNTY — Mark Tuesday, May 19 on your calendar.
It’s one of the few chances you’ll get to have a say in the fiscal future of local government – in this case, public schools.
Sullivan County’s eight school districts will be holding their annual budget and board votes on that day, and we’ve collected the info you need to know before walking into the polling place.
Please note that all you have to be to be a voter is at least 18 years of age, a U.S. citizen, a registered voter (with the county’s Board of Elections or, if you wish, just with the district), and a legal resident of the school district for at least the past 30 days.
To read about Eldred, Fallsburg and Monticello, look in our May 12 edition.
So have a look, then have a say!
The second-largest school district in Sullivan County, Liberty, is asking voters to approve a $38,118,270 budget for 2009-2010, a 3.99 percent increase over last year’s.
Despite that being the largest budget increase of Sullivan County’s eight public school districts, there will be no tax hike at all, giving Liberty’s budget the distinction of having the lowest taxpayer impact of all eight districts.
“In December, the governor proposed a budget that would have substantially cut Liberty’s state aid,” explained Superintendent Michael Vanyo in a press release, “but earlier this month, the State Legislature used federal economic stimulus money to reinstate a large portion of that aid.”
Three board seats are up for grabs, with David Burke and Dan Parkhurst seeking re-election to three-year terms and Cindy Prince and Evelyn Davis angling to garner a spot at the table as well. Board member Joyce Burnett is not running for another term. The top three vote-getters will earn board seats.
Polls will be open from 1-9 p.m. at the high school gymnasium on Buckley Street in Liberty.
For more information, contact the district at 292-6171 or log on to
Livingston Manor
At $14,670,635, Livingston Manor’s proposed 2009-2010 budget represents a 2.53 percent increase from last year’s.
School Business Administrator Mary Lou Lewis said the accompanying 2.5 percent increase in the tax levy is a result of increasing costs across the board.
Voters will also be asked to both approve a $2,000 increase in the Livingston Manor Free Library’s budget and the district’s collection of the taxes to fund that $73,500 budget.
Two seats are open on the board, each with three-year terms. Incumbents Bryan Lamerand and Sandra Owen-Kelly are campaigning to be re-elected, while Daniel Taggart is seeking one of those seats, as well. The two top vote-getters will earn spots on the board.
Polls will be open from 10 a.m.-8 p.m. inside the old gym on School Street in Livingston Manor.
For more information, Lewis welcomes calls at 439-4400, ext. 1209.
Roscoe voters are being asked to approve a $7,330,618 budget for 2009-2010, a tiny .21 percent increase over last year’s.
The tax hike is projected to be equally minuscule – around .294 percent – due to the restoration of state aid, along with staff retirement and energy savings.
Voters are also being asked to decide three propositions. The first, if approved, would embark the district upon $1,090,000 worth of construction at the school (Phase II of a three-phase project to rehab and upgrade the 70-year-old campus).
Another proposition, if approved by voters, would establish a Renovations, Reconstruction and Technology Equipment Reserve Fund to reserve up to $1 million over the next decade for such expenditures. Monies put in reserve would be derived from surpluses (the fund balance).
One other proposition would offer the Athletic Field Street bus garage and the .76 acres upon which it sits for sale (the lost storage space would be reconstructed elsewhere on campus, using the proceeds of the sale). This represents a change from the original idea to rehab the garage, rejected due to cost and use limitations.
Merlin Brock and Edward Park’s board seats – featuring three-year terms – are up for grabs. Both men are running for re-election, but Dale Dutcher is hoping to gain one of those seats, as well. The two highest vote-getters will earn spots on the board.
Polls will be open from 12:30-8 p.m. at the Roscoe School Auditorium on Academy Street in Roscoe.
For more information, call the district at 607-498-4126 or log on to
Sullivan West
Sullivan West is finally seeing some stability in its budgets and taxes, with a $32,746,860 budget proposed for 2009-2010, 1.17 percent smaller than last year’s.
A tax increase of 1.4 percent goes along with that, attributable, said Superintendent Ken Hilton, to administrators and board members’ efforts to cancel out the seesawing tax rates evident since the district merged a decade ago.
“We are systematically, year by year, squeezing out our fund balance [the year-to-year surplus] so that we’re getting to the point where we tax [for] what we spend,” Hilton explained.
Current board members Noel van Swol and Rose Crotty are running unopposed for re-election to their three-year seats. Shannon Bailey and John Reggero are squaring off for the three-year seat held by retiring board member Shaun Sensiba.
Voting will take place from 12-9 p.m. at a location that’s dependent on where you live: the Delaware Youth Center (District 1) on Creamery Road in Callicoon, the Sullivan West Elementary School (District 2) on Schoolhouse Road in Jeffersonville, or the Tusten-Cochecton branch of the Western Sullivan Public Library (District 3) on Bridge Street (Route 52) in Narrowsburg.
For more information, contact the district at 482-4610, ext. 3000, or log on to
Tri-Valley’s proposed $30,298,390 budget for 2009-2010 represents a 2.62 percent increase over last year’s.
As a result, taxes are projected to rise by 3.43 percent, due to necessary repairs to the elementary and high school roofs, income decreases, fixed cost escalations, a two-phase boiler replacement project, and Medicaid cost increases.
“I think we held the line and it’s a very good budget,” Superintendent Tom Palmer observed, pointing out that despite tough economic conditions, the district is keeping class sizes as-is.
Three board seats are open, with incumbents Lori Mickelson, Brian Edwards and Michael Brooks seeking re-election to their three-year posts, and Donna Schick running as a new candidate. The top three vote-getters will earn spots on the board.
Voting will take place from 11:30 a.m.-9 p.m. at the school’s main gym off Moore Hill Road and Route 55 in Grahamsville.
For more information, contact the district at 985-2296, ext. 5102, or log on to

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