School budget votes and Board of Education elections May 18

John Christensen
The Chronicle Express

YATES COUNTY – One of the most important elements of local politics comes before the public Tuesday, May 18 from noon to 8 p.m. That is when the school district voters will decide on the 2021-2022 budgets for school operations, bus purchases, and public library funding.


PENN YAN CENTRAL SCHOOL

In the district newsletter mailed to all voters, Penn Yan Central School Superintendent Howard Dennis outlined the decisions to be made by the people at the 2021-’22 budget vote and election of board members in the vote to take place at the Penn Yan Academy gymnasium.

Budget Proposals

“COVID and the State budget process have made this an interesting year to prepare the District’s budget for your consideration,” writes Dennis. “There are additional funds that are coming from the State and Federal Government for this coming year. This is great news; however, some of the funds do come with restrictions and stipulations on

uses for this money and stretching it over the next four years.”

According to Dennis, the average taxpayer will see a 1.54% increase in their tax levy with the proposed spending plan. Penn Yan currently has the lowest tax rate per $1,000 of any district in the Wayne-Finger Lakes BOCES, including the proposed funding for both the Penn Yan and Branchport public libraries. A more detailed breakdown of the revenues and expenditures is available at www.pycsd.org. Voters may also contact the District Office at 315-536-3371 for more information or to ask questions.

Reduction of Board of Education Members

Currently, the Penn Yan Board of Education is made up of nine members. In accordance with Education Law, boards of education can be comprised of nine, seven, or five members. 

“As demographics in our area have changed over the years and people have become busier, it has become more difficult to convince people to volunteer their time and run for the Board," said Dennis. "Since Penn Yan is one of only a handful of districts in our region that has a nine-member board, we are proposing a reduction to seven members beginning with the election and school year beginning in 2022.”

Propositions & Election of Board Members

PROPOSITION 1 - ANNUAL BUDGET

Shall the Board of Education of the Penn Yan Central School District be authorized to expend the sums set forth in the proposed budget for the 2021-2022 school year in the amount of $38,314,584 and to levy the necessary tax therefore.

PROPOSITION 2 - TRANSPORTATION VEHICLES

Shall the Board of Education purchase and finance four (4) student transport vehicles at an estimated cost not to exceed $455,000, including necessary furnishings, fixtures and equipment and all other costs incidental thereto and to expend a total sum not to exceed $455,000, which is estimated to be the total maximum cost thereof, and levy a tax for the foregoing in the amount of $455,000, which shall be levied and collected in annual installments in such years and in such amounts as may be determined by the Board of Education and in anticipation of the collection of such tax, bonds and notes of the District are hereby authorized to be issued at one time or from time to time in the principal amount not to exceed $455,000, and a tax is hereby voted to pay the interest on said obligations when due.

PROPOSITION 3 - CAPITAL RESERVE

Shall the Board of Education of the Penn Yan Central School District be authorized to establish a new ten-year capital reserve pursuant to Section 3651 of the Education Law in an amount not to exceed $5,000,000 to be used for the acquisition of machinery and equipment for and the construction and reconstruction of improvements and additions to all District buildings, grounds and facilities, such reserve fund to be funded from year-end budget surplus funds known as unassigned fund balance, as available, for the fiscal year ended June 30, 2021 and each fiscal year thereafter for the term of the reserve fund, (ii) transfers of excess monies from Board of Education designated reserves, (iii) amounts from budgetary appropriations from time to time, and (iv) New York State Aid received and made available by the Board of Education from time to time, all as permitted by law.

PROPOSITION 4 - REDUCTION OF BOARD MEMBERS

Shall the Board of Education of the Penn Yan Central School District (the “Board”) be authorized to (a) decrease the number of seats on the Board from nine (9) members to seven (7) members; and (b) reduce positions as current terms expire to achieve the reduction of positions, and, consistent with State law, to temporarily alter the length of terms of next-elected Board members during any of the three years next succeeding the adoption of this proposition (i.e., 2022, 2023 and 2024), as provided by Education Law § 2105 so that, as nearly as possible, an equal number of Board members shall be elected prospectively to the Board each year?

BOARD OF EDUCATION MEMBERS - VOTE FOR ANY FOUR 

There are three 3-year terms and one 1-year unexpired term to be filled. Six candidates are on the ballot. The person with the fourth highest number of votes will receive the one year term.

Candidates are (in random order): Karl Fleming, Alicen Yonts (incumbent), Marta Cramer, John "Jack" Clancy, Malia Spofford Xavier, and Stephen D’Amico.

Detailed candidate profiles can be viewed in the Mustang Newsletter and online at www.pycsd.org/apps/news.


DUNDEE CENTRAL SCHOOL

Dundee School Superintendent Kelly Houck said their budget process was much the same as in prior years but with the added consideration of costs associated with the ongoing pandemic. "We are pleased with the budget we are proposing, we are able to sustain all program opportunities moving forward while remaining tax cap compliant,” said Houck. 

Dundee’s vote is to be held in the district’s Public Meeting Room just as in past votes.

PROPOSITION 1 - SCHOOL BUDGET 2021-2022

RESOLVED, that the Board of Education of the Dundee Central School District adopt a proposed budget in the amount of $19,961,102 for the school year 2021-2022 and to authorize the requisite portion thereof to be raised by taxation on the taxable property of the district.

PROPOSITION 2 – SCHOOL TRANSPORTATION VEHICLE PURCHASE

RESOLVED, that the Board of Education of the Dundee Central School District be authorized to purchase four transportation vehicles, including related furnishings and equipment incidental thereto and expend therefore a total sum not to exceed $335,000 which is estimated to be the total maximum cost thereof, and pay for such vehicles by the use of funds from the 2013 Bus Purchase Reserve Fund and the 2019 Bus Purchase Reserve Fund in an amount not to exceed $335,000, with no tax levy impact.

PROPOSITION 3 - DUNDEE LIBRARY

RESOLVED, that the Board of Education of the Dundee Central School District be and hereby is authorized to enter into a “Contract for Educational Services” with the Dundee Library in the amount of $163,000 and to levy the necessary tax for the above purpose. (The current annual library appropriation is guaranteed at $159,000. Approval of the proposition would ensure additional funds of $4,000 for future years.)

BOARD OF EDUCATION 

Brittany Gibson (incumbent, unopposed)