Nyackers headed out to four polling places yesterday in support of the , with about 65 percent of voters choosing to pass the fiscal plan. Also, school board challengers Leeann Irvin and James Marshall were elected, and incumbent Tom LaColla lost his seat.
Don Hammond, a veteran Nyack School Board trustee who chose to voluntarily relinquish his seat, welcomed both new elects to the board, but noted the budget struggle has not concluded.
"It's been a long year, but it's not over," he said. Hammond added the board is already getting to work on the nuts and bolts of next year's budget.
Irvin, who has lived in the district for 35 years and has one Liberty Elementary student and one pre-schooler, ran on a platform that supported the budget, and a for freshman and certain sophomores.
"It's very exciting, I feel very passionate about doing this," she said. "This is a way to try and do something good for the community."
"I definitely want to build groups of people that talk to each other come up with solutions," she added, noting improved communication is a key issue.
Marshall also ran on a platform that supported the budget, block scheduling and a closed campus. He has one child in and one in .
Nyack Board of Education election, winners in bold (click the candidates' names to read a pre-election interview):Candidate # of Votes
Nyack Budget Vote:Yes Votes No Votes 1250 459
Nyack's budget by the numbers:
- 2011-12 budget comes in at $71,316,000 and includes a 2.9 percent tax levy increase and .8 percent budget increase.
- Health insurance, state retirement systems and contractual salaries were the main reasons for a budget increase.
- The budget was reduced through job elimination; 6.5 central office positions, seven special education teachers, six special education teaching assistants, 17 elementary level classroom teaching assistants, 3.5 secondary teachers and two high school security staff positions were slashed.
- The cuts are due in part to a loss in federal and state aid. There is a $537,000 loss in Nyack's state aid this year; over the past two years, the district has lost$1,116,000. Aid is now 10.3 percent of the revenue needed and taxpayers must pay 85 percent of revenue needed to fund the district's budget.