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
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
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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