Guilderland Central School District voters approved an $85,320,425 budget on Tuesday, May 19, with 1,994 affirmative votes, and 1,423 opposed (see related story, page 5). The budget represents a 1.79 percent increase in spending and will raise the tax rate close to 0.06 percent.
Superintendent John McGuire said he is happy the community decided to come out and support the budget. He said while many have acknowledged the tough economy, approving the budget affirms that the spending plan is in the best interest of the taxpayers and the students.
He said crafting a budget is an arduous eight-month process that begins in October and involves input from the board, the community and the citizens budget advisory committee.
I want to offer a sincere thank you to our community, said McGuire.
As residents left polling locations, they weighed in on the budget, with some in favor of the spending plan and others unhappy with any tax increase.
Ann Wood, a district resident for 47 years and longtime voter, said she did not support the budget.
"I can't afford it anymore," she said.
Peter Ryan, a district resident for 36 years, said he supported the budget because it provided students and staff with the resources needed for a good education.
He said he suspected many people would be voting against the budget, and he came out because he "wanted to make sure the school district was able to function."
Incumbent Richard Weisz, president of the board of education, who was re-elected to the board Tuesday, said he suspects the next three years will bring obstacles, but he and the district are up to the task.
"I'm looking forward to the challenges in the next three years," Weisz said. "We have a lot of energy in the district, a lot to work on. Let's play ball."