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CLIFTON PARK: Shen budget vote nears

On Tuesday, May 15, residents in the Shenendehowa Central School District will vote on a $137.9 million budget that would increase taxes by 3.85 percent. Voting will take place in the Gowana Middle School gymnasium from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m.

In addition to the district's 2007-08 operating budget, residents will vote on a $1 million bond to update Shenendehowa's school bus fleet and elect three candidates for three available seats on the board of education.

Transportation Director David Christopher said the district is asking to replace 13 school buses, some of which are older than the industry standard. Though the bus proposition would cost $1,005,000, district officials said that 64.9 percent would be reimbursed by state aid. According to the budget plan, the proposition would be bonded over a five-year period and carry a 0.10 percent tax increase that wouldn't take effect until 2008-09.

Superintendent L. Oliver Robinson said that the tax increase is the lowest that residents have seen in four years. Meanwhile, Gary DiLallo, who is on the district's board of education, said that the increase is largely due to the opening of Shatekon Elementary School.

A large chunk of it has to do with the opening of the new school, DiLallo said.

Candidates running for three of seven seats on the board of education include William Casey and Gary DiLallo of Clifton Park and Richard Mincher of Rexford. Casey and DiLallo are seeking third terms while Mincher is up for a first term. Casey, a retired assistant state comptroller, has served as board president for the last year. DiLallo is a retired social studies teacher who worked for the Mechanicville Public Schools for 28 years. Mincher has been district PTA council president for the 2006-07 school year.

To vote, a person must be a U.S. citizen, 18 years or older, and have been a resident in the school district for at least 30 days prior to the vote. While no registration is required, voters must bring personal identification. Absentee ballots are available in the Shenendehowa Central School District office located at 5 Chelsea Place in Clifton Park. For directions or more information, residents may contact the district clerk at 881-0623.

Information about the Shenendehowa Central School District 2007-08 budget can be found at www.shenet.org.""

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