School budgets approved

No north county spending plans fail; propositions also pass

OBSERVER Photo by Mary Heyl Voting takes place in the Fredonia High School cafeteria Tuesday afternoon.

Creating a balanced budget that plans for future expenses, maintains programming and demonstrates good stewardship of tax payer dollars is no mean feat. At times, school districts fail to gain voters’ approval and must go back to the drawing board to create a new budget. This, however, was not the case on Tuesday night, as the following school districts’ budgets, including every proposition, were all approved by voters. These are the unofficial results, as reported on the Chautauqua County Board of Elections’ website on Tuesday night.

BROCTON

The proposed budget of $17,107,201 for the 2019-20 school year was approved by voters, 168 votes to 50. Three candidates ran for two open seats on the board of education. Neil Huber (157) and Matthew Brady (147) will begin their five-year terms on July 1.

CASSADAGA

Cassadaga Valley’s 2019-20 budget of $24,047,251 was approved, 247 votes to 52. Voters passed the second proposition (245 votes to 52), which authorizes the purchase of school buses and other transportation vehicles in the amount of $356,608. Proposition three, the establishment of a capital reserve fund of $3.5 million over the course of 10 years, was approved by voters, 241 to 56.

Two candidates ran for one open seat on the school board. With 173 votes, Jeanne Oag defeated Michael Johnson (128 votes). She will begin her five-year term on July 1.

CHAUTAUQUA LAKE

Chautauqua Lake’s proposed budget of $23,099,235 for the 2019-20 was approved by voters, 298 to 84. Three candidates ran for two open seats on the board of education: Andrea Munsee-Wellman (257), Kenneth Shearer (239) and Deborah Cross-Fuller (193). Munsee-Wellman and Shearer will begin their three-year terms on July 1.

DUNKIRK

Voters approved the $47,847,549 budget for the upcoming 2019-20 school year, 184 votes to 53. Three candidates ran for three open seats on the board of education: Julie Stone (177), Robert Bankoski (171) and Betsy Ramos (171).

FORESTVILLE

Voters approved the $13,153,634 budget for the 2019-20 school year, 126 votes to 35. Proposition 2, which asked voters to approve a $135,000 purchase for three transportation vehicles was also approved, 133 votes to 28. Proposition 3, which asked voters to authorize energy efficiency improvements at a total cost of $715,509, was approved, 136 votes to 25.

Mervin J. Fry ran unopposed for the school board member at-large seat and received 135 votes. He will begin his four-year term on July 1.

FREDONIA

Voters approved Fredonia Central School’s proposed budget of $30,306,737 for the 2019-20 school year, 416 votes to 87. Proposition two, which established a capital improvements reserve fund in the amount of $750,000 over a ten-year period was approved, 413 votes to 88.

Two candidates ran unopposed for two open seats on the board of education. Lisa Powell Fortna (423) and incumbent R. Thomas Hawk (384) will begin their five-year terms on July 1.

GOWANDA

Gowanda’s Superintendent Dr. Robert Anderson shared the unofficial vote results with the OBSERVER. The $31,908,410 budget for the 2019-20 school year passed, 345 votes to 118. Proposition two, which proposed the purchase of three buses at a cost of $351,304, was approved 389 votes to 78. Voters also approved the third proposition, the establishment of a capital reserve fund at a maximum of $2.5 million over a ten-year term, 354 vote to 108.

Four candidates ran for three open seats on the school board in a close race. Ronald L. Cook (392) and incumbent Lynn Guzzetta (297) were the two highest vote getters and will begin their three-year terms on July 1. David Barnes (292), the third highest vote getter, will fill the seat vacated by Cindy Sutherland in March. His term commences immediately and will expire on June 30, 2021. The fourth candidate, Robert C. Field, lost by 32 votes.

PINE VALLEY

The proposed budget of $17,140,656 for the 2019-20 was approved, 184 votes to 139. Voters also approved proposition two for a non-voting student representative on the board of education, 249 votes to 74.

Eight candidates ran for five open seats on the school board. The three highest vote getters were elected to serve three-year terms commencing July 1: Lawrence Zollinger (227), Joshua Howard (226) and Gerald Clapp (211). The fourth and fifth highest vote getters were elected to two two-year terms commencing immediately to fill the vacancies of Shawn Howard and Justin Smith: Terry Howe (188) and Rose Kruszka (179). The remaining candidates were Patricia Krenzer (162), Angelo Graziano (133) and James Fisher (105).

RIPLEY

Voters approved Ripley Central School’s proposed budget of $9,399,854 for the 2019-20 school year, 195 votes to 131. Proposition two, which asked voters to approve the purchase of two buses in an amount not to exceed $262,100, was approved, 194 votes to 131. The third proposition asked voters to approve the setting of the parameter from where the district will bus students at a ¢ mile radius for students in pre-K through sixth grade. This was also approved, 221 vote to 99.

Three candidates ran for three open seats on the school board. Peter Dorman (222), Paul McCutcheon (219) and Michael Boll (169) will begin their terms on July 1.

SILVER CREEK

Silver Creek Central School’s proposed budget of $24,845,381 passed, 231 votes to 69. Voters also approved the second proposition (251 votes to 50), which authorizes the purchase of transportation vehicles at a total amount of $286,943.94.

There were two school board seats up for re-election. The two incumbents, Matthew Bogosian and Stephen Boothe, ran unopposed and were elected to five-year terms commencing July 1.

WESTFIELD

Voters approved the 2019-20 budget of $16,470,518, 442 votes to 107. Wendy Dyment (453) and Thomas Tarpley (317) were elected to the two open seats on the board of education. They will begin their three-year terms on July 1.

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