Plenty of seats but no races in Chatham district

CHATHAM–Four candidates, three of them incumbents, will appear on the ballot for four open seats on the Chatham Central School District’s Board of Education for the May 21 election. District voters will also determine whether to approve the district’s proposed $29,175,016 budget for the 2013-14 school year.

Tuesday’s election and budget vote will take place from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. in the Mary E. Dardess Elementary School gymnasium.

The four open seats include three expiring terms, and one unexpired term needing to be filled due to the resignation of Francis Iaconetti last year. The candidates are:

Gail Day, an incumbent who graduated from Chatham and had three children attend district schools. She serves on the board’s Public Library, Policy, and Negotiations Committees

Muriel Faxon, an incumbent appointed to fill Mr. Iaconetti’s seat. She was born in Chatham and also previously served 15 years on the board

Craig Simmons, a lifelong district resident and has two children who go to Chatham schools

Melony Spock, current president of the board, has served as a board member for four years. She has three children in the district. Prior to serving on the board, she served as PTA President for the MED Elementary School.

Three of the seats are three-year terms. The fourth seat will run through June 30, 2014 and will be filled by the candidate who receives the fourth-most votes.

Voters will also decide on the fate of the board’s $29,175,016 budget proposal, which includes a 3.6% property tax levy increase. The proposed budget will cut a full-time bus mechanic and a part-time science teacher. It also includes a stipend for a new elementary school dean. The 3.6% tax increase is below the district’s tax cap of 4.34% for this year, so only a simple majority of votes will be required for passage.

Voters will also see a proposition on creating a position of a non-voting student representative to serve on the board. Chatham already has a student representative sitting on the board, but law mandates the position be approved by voters every two years.



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