Niskayuna school budget passes - NEWS10 ABC: Albany, New York News, Weather, Sports

Niskayuna school budget passes

NISKAYUNA, N.Y. -- The Niskayuna Central School District's budget passed Tuesday after receiving 66.7 percent approval. 

A total of 5,533 voters showed up at the high school to let their voices be heard, with 3,689 of them voting in favor of the revised budget.

"The school is the center of this community and our community certainly demonstrated that tonight," Superintendent Susan Kay Salvaggio said.

In May, the budget was overwhelmingly voted down, but Tuesday night the newly drafted budget received the simple majority it needed to pass.

The proposal only needed a simple majority of 50 percent to pass because the district proposed a tax levy increase below their property tax cap. For some voters, the choice was an obvious one.

"This was pretty much a no-brainer, because there was no upside to voting no," said resident Joseph Skumurski.  "It would have been a terrible, catastrophic thing for everyone – homeowners and the school system."

Skumurski said he was glad the community weighed the level of education students would receive over the increase.

"This vote was more about the character of Niskayuna rather than the fiscal part of it," he said.  "They basically aired their differences and this is the beginning of a new beginning."

It seemed that many voters shared Skumurski's reasoning in accepting the new budget.

"They have great program here," said resident Rebecca Pezzano. "I just think some things have been mismanaged. Taxes go up, no matter what you do."

Voting lasted until the final minutes before polls closed Tuesday night. Prior to the vote, there remained some questions as to whether or not the new property tax increase of 3.95 percent would be accepted by residents. Many of those who voiced concern spoke to the board of education for weeks about not being able to the constant increase anymore.

"I understand there was a message delivered to us earlier this year, and we'll pay attention to that and work together moving forward," Salvaggio said.

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