North country voters approved school budgets by wide margins Tuesday night. The votes were the first test of Gov. Andrew Cuomo's tax cap.
In Potsdam, where a 2.9 percent tax levy increase was before voters, a 'super majority' vote was needed. The district got it and the budget was approved 702-301.
The only close budget vote was in Carthage, where a $52.9 million budget passed by only seven votes.
A high school senior was elected to the Belleville-Henderson school board.
In Massena, two incumbent school board members were defeated.
In Norwood-Norfolk, it wasn't clear who would take a third seat on the school board.
- Alexandria: approved an $11.2 million budget 272-103. Stephen Dreizler and Andrea Adsit were unopposed for the school board.
- Belleville-Henderson: approved an $8.8 million budget 414-111. High school senior John William Allen defeated incumbent board member Kevin O'Rourke 359-162 to take a five year term on the board.
- Carthage: the $52.9 million budget passed by a very thin margin, 401-394. Measures to buy a bus and fund the local library also passed. Joe Colangelo and Ann Rohr were elected to three year terms, and former Jefferson County legislator Kent Burto was elected to a two year term.
The Carthage district has been wracked by controversy since the abrupt resignation of a school superintendent and a board member last year. A new superintendent was named Monday night.
- General Brown: approved a $20.8 million budget 447-191. Also approved: the purchase of three buses and funding for the local library. Jeffrey West, Daniel Dupee and Cynthia Humerickhouse were elected to the school board.
- Indian River: approved a $75.5 million budget 158-41. Also approved: a library tax increase and capital reserve fund. Incumbent board member Elnora Durgin was re-elected and Donald Brumfield was elected to the school board.
- LaFargeville: approved a $10.1 million budget 120-13. Also approved was a school bus purchase and a capital fund reserve. Mary Ford-Waterman was elected to the school board.
- Lyme: approved a $7.4 million budget 249-90. Also approved was a bus purchase and library funding. Terry Countryman was unopposed for the school board.
- Sackets Harbor: voted 151-49 to approve a $7.9 million budget. Also approved: the purchase of a bus. Stephen Swain was unopposed for re-election to the school board.
- South Jefferson: approved a $28.6 million budget 333-80. Also approved: the purchase of two school buses. Kenneth Bibbins and Brenda Shelmadine won five year terms and James Juczak won a three year term.
- Thousand Islands: approved a $19.5 million budget 495-196. Also approved was library funding. Incumbents Brian Lantier and Jolene Radley and newcomer Erik Swenson were elected to the school board.
- Watertown: approved a $64.5 million budget 323-95. Deltra Willis was unopposed for re-election to the school board.
- Beaver River: approved a $16.4 million budget 253-98. Also approved: the purchase of two school buses. John Lehman was re-elected to the school board.
- Copenhagen: approved a $10.1 million budget 122-30. Also approved: purchasing two school buses and providing busing for 'Head Start' students. Fred Tomaselli was unopposed for school board.
- Harrisville: approved a $9.2 million budget 158-66. Also approved: a bus purchase and money for the local library. Chuck Langs was re-elected to the school board over Ann Hall, 134-85.
- Lowville: approved a $25.8 million budget 460-82. Also approved: buying three school buses, a vote on the district's capital reserve account, library funding and transportation for Head Start students.
Jeffrey Hellinger won a three year term on the board against three other people. William Burke and Dr. Steven Lyndaker, both incumbents, were unopposed.
- South Lewis Central: approved a $25.1 million budget 297-165. Also approved: the purchase of three buses. Mary Martin and Andrew Linedecker were elected to the school board.
St. Lawrence County
- Canton: approved a $23.2 million budget 459-177. Also approved: money for a bus barn and library funding. Victor Rycroft, Shannon Mattice and Marianne DiMarco-Tempkin were unopposed for the school board.
- Clifton-Fine: approved a $9.5 million budget 213-145. Also approved: a proposal to buy a bus. Gilbert Guiles, Jeremy Thompson and Daniel Kerr II won school board seats.
- Colton-Pierrepont: approved a $9.4 millon budget 205-77. Also approved: library funding. Incumbent school board member Shelli Prespare-Weston was re-elected, while the other incumbent, Scott Baxter, was defeated. Tracy Hoose was also elected to the board.
- Edwards-Knox: approved a $12.3 million budget 343-85. Also approved: the purchase of three buses and a van. Reginald LaPoint and Rick Brewer won seats on the school board.
- Gouverneur: approved a $31.3 million budget 336-95. Randy Slate, Lisa Dunkelberg and Edward Siebels were elected to the school board.
- Hammond: approved a $6.6 million budget 176-56. Kevin Ennis was elected to the school board and incumbent Ronald Tulley II was re-elected.
- Hermon-Dekalb: approved a $9.1 million budget 152-52. Also approved was a proposition to buy a school bus. Jennifer Warren and Kellie Marcellus were unopposed for school board seats.
- Heuvelton: approved a $12 million budget 108-63. Dennis Durant and Andrew Martin were unopposed for the school board.
- Lisbon: approved an $11.8 million budget 193-97. Incumbent Marc Montroy was re-elected to the school board.
- Madrid-Waddington: approved a $13.9 million budget 176-45. The purchase of two buses was approved and Brian Hammond and Doug McKnight were unopposed for school board.
- Massena: approved a $46 million budget 1072-533. However, two incumbent school board members, Greg Fregoe and Cristen Halladay, were defeated. Patrick Serguson and Loren Fountaine were elected to the board.
The Massena school district has been embroiled in controversy for more than a year. Most recently, a senior school administrator accused superintendent Roger Clough and board president Leonard Matthews of waging a campaign of intimidation against her.
- Morristown: approved an $8.5 million budget 153-91. There were only two announced candidates for school board - Cyril H. Aldrich Jr. and Mark Taylor. Both were elected, as were write-in candidates James Michaels and Mary Anne Bailey.
- Norwood-Norfolk: approved a $19.5 million budget, 225-115. Also approved: a proposition to buy buses. Incumbent school board members George Fulk and Thomas Scott were re-elected, but there was no announced candidate for the third seat. There were several write-ins, but it wasn't clear who had won Tuesday night.
- Ogdensburg: approved a $33.7 million budget 325-110. Craig LaLonde and Vicky M. Peo were unopposed for the school board.
- Parishville-Hopkinton: approved a $10 million budget 108-30. Also approved: bus financing. Robert White and Ward Remington were unopposed for the school board.
- Potsdam: a $26.7 million budget was approved 702-301. Alone among north country districts, Potsdam exceeded the state's tax cap and had to get a super majority of 60 percent of the vote. The purchase of two buses was also approved. Incumbent J. Patrick Turbett was re-elected to the school board, and James Hubbard and Danielle Gray were elected to the board.
- St. Lawrence Central: approved an $18.5 million budget 309-94. Also approved: the purchase of four buses. Rhonda Shorett-Peets and Patricia Gengo were unopposed for the school board.
Saturday, August 29, 2015, Watertown, NY
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