Voters back school budgets in 2021-22 year

NEW LEBANON—It seemed that the discovery of a “tax collection error” and other financial problems had doomed the New Lebanon Central School District budget proposal before this week’s vote. The spending plan carried a 6% increase in the tax levy, more than three times the nominal limit set by the state. With that much of an increase it would take at least 60% of New Lebanon District voters to approve the budget in order for it to pass.

The district didn’t give their school district in the far northeast corner of the county 60% approval… 386 of them voted Yes with just 141 voting No. The $12.1million spending plan for the 2021-22 school year received 73% support.

In a message to the community on the school website New Lebanon Superintendent of Schools Andrew Kourt thanked local voters and wrote, “This outcome is a testament to every member of our district community. Tonight’s vote reaffirms the community’s long standing commitment to our students and district. On behalf of the district, I want to thank you for your support of the New Lebanon Central School District. The approved 2021-2022 school budget will allow the district to continue the excellent academic programs and extracurricular opportunities for our students.”

Two New Lebanon incumbent school board members, William Buckenroth and Michael Brutsch, ran unopposed.

Voters in all six public school districts in Columbia County went to the polls Tuesday, May 18 to approve or reject annual school district budgets for the 2021-22 school year and to elect members of some school boards.

There were only a small number of additional ballot propositions in some districts.

Voters in the Ichabod Crane district were also strongly supportive of that district’s $43.8 million budget, approving it by a vote of 874 Yes to 402 No.

A ballot proposition to authorize the purchase of four additional school buses also won easily, 842 to 435.

Five candidates ran for three seats on the ICC Board of Education. Those elected are Jared Widjeskog, Jennifer Allard and Anne Schaefer. Each term runs for three years. The vote tallies for the individual candidates were not immediately available.

Chatham, too, saw the school board’s budget pass easily. And of the three candidates running for two seats on the board, Chris Spencer and Beth Hover were elected.

The Germantown School District and the Hudson City School District budgets passed and both districts had write-in candidates win board seats. In Hudson only one candidate, Lucy Segar, was on the ballot, which had three open seats. Write-in candidates Selha Graham and Mark Depace where both elected to the board. Germantown also had one candidate on the ballot. Linda Anderson won reelection and write-in candidate Carole Neville won the second open seat on the board.

Results from each school district are listed below:



Proposed budget $33,050,383

*Yes 461

No 159

School board (2 seats)

Denise Barry 335

*Beth Hover 373 (1-year term)

*Christopher Spencer 383 (3-year term)

Proposition # 2: reauthorizes the non-voting position of a student representative on the school board.

*Yes 560

No 58



Proposed budget $16,331,182

*Yes 249

No 69

School board (2 seats)

*Linda Anderson 231 (4-year term)

*Carole Neville (write-in) 91 (3-year term)



Proposed budget $ 52,244,404

*Yes 352

No 214

School board (3 seats)

*Lucinda (Lucy) Segar 504

*Selha Graham (write-in #1) 81 (3-year term)

*Mark Depace (write-in #2) 80 (1-year term)



Proposed budget $43,878,924

*Yes 874

No 402

School board (3 seats)

*Jennifer Allard 730

Resa Dimino 549

Regina Rose 573

*Anne Schaefer 629

*Jared Widjeskog 689

Proposition # 2: Purchase of 4 additional buses

*Yes 842

No 435



Proposed budget $12,122,588

*Yes 386

No 141

School board (2 seats)

William Buckenroth* 417

Michael Brutsch* 388



Proposed budget $38,956,006

*Yes 433

No 99

School board (2 seats)

*William Arp 295

Linda Lee 291

*Bonnie Torchia 322

Proposition #2: Purchase 2 school buses paid for from unallocated fund balance

*Yes 434

No 96

Proposition #3: Creation of Capital Reserve

*Yes 364

No 169

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