Voters OK school spending

GHENT—Voters around the county have overwhelmingly approved all six public school district annual budgets and ballot propositions. Incumbent board members also fared well.

The margin of victory in the New Lebanon School District was so large for the budget and a bus purchase proposition that, in a brief website letter to the community, schools Superintendent Andrew Kourt referred to the victories as “80%” and “70%” respectively.

The budget for Ichabod Crane (ICC), which is still in the midst of a major upgrade of school buildings at the Valatie campus, received strong support, winning approval with 1,155 votes compared to 597 voting no. A ballot proposition to purchase four school buses for a total of $443,926 was green-lighted by Ichabod voters with a margin almost as large as the budget vote tally.

Each of the six districts in the county kept its tax levy increases at or below the so-called “cap” required by the state.

The ICC board candidate with the highest number of votes—935—went to incumbent board member and Board of Education President Matthew Nelson. Also reelected was Elizabeth Phillips (899). Meghan Lafferty-Brown (698) was elected to an open seat. The story in Hudson was the election of write-in candidate Calvin Lewis, who will fill the fifth open seat on board, with 251 votes.

More results are listed below.

School district elections in Columbia County 2022

CHATHAM

Proposed budget $33,618,101

Yes 338

No 153

School board ( 4 seats)

Beth Hover 322 (3 yr. term)

Fred Hutchinson 333 (3 yr. term)

Marianne Pierro 288 (1 yr. term)

Murial Faxon 366 (3 yr. term)

Proposition #2

$5 million Capital Reserve Fund

Yes 338

No 153

GERMANTOWN

Proposed budget $16,904,170

Yes 272

No 108

School board ( 2 seats)

Andrea Foley 210

Lester Olsson 271

Lynn Polidoro 203

HUDSON

Proposed budget $54,125,024

Yes 432

No 267

School board (5 seats)

Willette Jones 413

Lakia Walker 409

Kjirsten Gustavson 384

Mark DePace 404

Calvin Lewis (write-in) 251

ICHABOD CRANE

Proposed budget $46,693,075

Yes 1,155

No 597

School board ( 3 seats)

Bill Schneider 611

Pat Schuler 564

Matthew Nelson 935

Jim Antalek 377

Meghan Lafferty-Brown 698

Elizabeth Phillips 899

Thomas Driscoll 581

Proposition #2:

Purchase of 4 buses for $443,926

Yes 1,182

No 560

Proposition #3

Student Board member (non-voting)

Yes 1,416

No 330

NEW LEBANON

Proposed budget $12,924,465

Yes 208

No 68

School board (3 seats)

John Kalisz 199

Robert Long 212

Charleen Kane 198

Proposition #2

Purchase 2 new school buses for $250,974

Yes 221

No 53

TACONIC HILLS

Proposed budget $39,684,157

Yes 396

No 202

School board (4 seats)

Ronald Morales 269

Brenda Halsted 227

Kevin Maisenbacher 302 (5-yr. term)

Diane Burfeind 281 (1-yr. term)

Alicia O’Rourke 288 (2-yr. term)

Molly Delaney 466 (5-yr. Term)

(5 write-in votes)

Proposition #3

Purchase 2 school buses for maximum of $393,500

Yes 445

No 152

Proposition #4

Capital Improvement: Building and Site-max estimated cost of $691,112 from fund Balance

Yes 411

No 188

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