Guilderland, Voorheesville residents pass school budgets

He said he is "gratified" that full-day kindergarten was part of the final budget. It was something he fought to have included, arguing it was likely to be mandated soon and the opportunity to use federal stimulus money is limited to the next two years.

He acknowledged that it was a contentious issue, but said the approval of the budget shows a majority of the community is on board with the district's spending plan.

Guilderland voters approved a bus proposition for nine additional buses and a maintenance truck with a vote of 2,069-to-1,329. Voorheesville approved a proposition to purchase a new, 60-passenger bus, not to exceed $99,600 at a vote of 574-to-270.

Guilderland elected three members to the board of education: Weisz with 1,659 votes, Denise Eisele with 1,864 votes, and newcomer Julie Cuneo, the leading vote getter, with 2,266 votes.

Cuneo, who filled the seat of the late Hy Dubowski, was unavailable for comment.

Allan Simpson, a 10-year district resident who finished with 1,618 votes, and high school student Elijah Sharma, who received 1,431, also ran.

Simpson said he was proud of his 1,600 votes, considering he had less name recognition than other candidates.

"I think that's pretty good, almost beating an incumbent," he said. "I'm disappointed I lost, but am I surprised? Not really. To come that close on your first time, you can't beat yourself up."

He said as an accountant he wanted to bring a financial element to the board, someone to handle "budgeting, accounting and numbers."

He added he wanted to congratulate everyone who ran, and all the winners, and made special note of Sharma's campaign.

He commended him for "having the courage at age 18 to put his name in the hat."

Sharma, who would have been the youngest, and first openly gay, member to serve if elected, said he was thankful for the support he received and plans on continuing to try to affect positive change.

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