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South Colonie approves budget

Buhner said the cuts in positions, are mostly being done through attrition and a hiring freeze, and the district predicted the need to do so early on in the budget process.

"We started freezing positions back in the fall, and we've done some layoffs," Buhner said.

Buhner has also said that hopefully, after the district begins the school year with this budget and depending on stimulus money that could come to the district, the amount of which is still unknown, the district will be able to hire back the employees who will be laid off.

In addition to approving the budget, voters also approved newcomer David Kiehle to the school board with 849 votes. His competitors for the seat were George Penn, who walked away with 406 votes, and Theodore Thompson, who received 574 votes.

Kiehle was not available for comment, but during his campaign, he pledged to encourage students to be more goal-oriented.

Kiehle, 63, also has taught mathematics and computer science.

"We want to congratulate Mr. Kiehle. I know he has many years of experience in education, and we certainly welcome him as part of the district," said Buhner.

Re-elected to the board was Board President Tim Ryan, who received 1,640 votes. Ryan is expected to keep his position as board president following a vote at the board's re-organizational meeting in July.

Buhner said the current economy did not have much of an effect on voter turnout in the district.

"It was pretty similar to previous years," said Buhner. "We [examine it] building by building and plus or minus, and it looks pretty consistent with previous years as far as numbers."

Last year, the budget passed with 1,439 votes yes and 910 votes no.

"This year, it's a little better percentage," Buhner said.""

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