Local school districts held their breaths on Tuesday night, May 15, as the public voted on budget proposals, propositions and members to Boards of Education.
At the end of the night, budgets in Brocton, Chautauqua Lake, Clymer, Panama, Ripley, Sherman and Westfield all passed by wide margins.
Also on the ballot Tuesday, some boards will have new faces, while others remain unchanged.
Photo by Jenna Loughlin
Westfield Academy and Central School Board of Education Vice President Steve Cockram, far right, reminds 18-year-old high schoolers attending the board’s meeting on Monday, May 14 to vote in the school’s budget vote the following day.
Brocton Central School
In Brocton, the voters approved the budget by over a three to one margin - 357 casting votes for it and 99 against. There were no other propositions.
The contest for the one board seat was relatively close. Newcomer Steven Smith received 253 votes to incumbent Camile Belcher's 219.
"The numbers are extremely flattering and represent a vote of confidence from the residents," Superintendent John Hertlein said. "We have a school that cares about the community and a community that cares about the school."
Chautauqua Lake Central School
Voters in the Chautauqua Lake district approved the budget of $19,124,484 by a vote of 234 to 73. There were no other propositions.
Michael Ludwig and Jill Scott were reelected to the board with 213 and 194 votes respectively. Mary Lee Talbot was not elected with 159 votes.
Clymer Central School
In Clymer, the budget of $9,422,589 was approved 117 to 14, and proposition 2 regarding the purchase of a school bus also passed 107 to 18.
Incumbent Michael Schenck ran unopposed and won another five year term on the board.
Panama Central School
Panama's $11,998,913 budget passed with 136 votes for and 20 votes against. The district's bus purchase proposition also passed by a vote of 128 to 28.
Incumbent Julie Turcotte received 137 votes to win a five year term while Jeffrey Ireland only got one vote.
Ripley Central School
Voters in Ripley passed the $8,518,725 budget 158 to 76 along with a bus purchase proposition 170 to 63.
Michael Boll was elected to the board for a five year term with 118 votes to Dale Kozlowski's 105.
Sherman Central School
Sherman's voters approved the district's $8,939,224 budget with 134 voting for and 40 voting against. They also approved the purchase of two buses by voting for proposition 2 131 times to 40 against.
Incumbent Colleen Meeder ran unopposed and won another five year term with 133 votes.
Westfield Academy and Central School
In Westfield, the budget of $13,852, 872 was approved by over a three to one margin - 254 voting yes and 76 no. Proposition 2 to reduce the number of school board members from nine to seven also passed easily. The number supporting the proposition was 255 while 67 were opposed.
In the election for board members three-year terms went to Roger Jopek with 275 votes, incumbent Jeff Greabell with 274 and Phyllis Hagen who received 247. The two-year terms went to Brenda Backus with 238 votes and Marie Edwards with 213. Edward LeBarron, Jr. received 211 votes, winning the one-year term. Ron Catalano, Jr. received 185 votes and was not elected.
"I am delighted that the budget passed," Interim Superintendent Peggy Sauer said. "The community understands our position. This year our budget was less than last and the community understood that the board was prudent and frugal. I am glad that message was out there.
"As far as the board election, I am glad seven people stepped forward and they were all good people who ran for good reasons. I see positive things ahead for the school and community."