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Mohonasen budget passes

UPDATED 5/19/2010

Residents in the Mohonasen school district approved the $42.7 million budget on Tuesday, May 18, and school board candidates Mark Sabatini and Dominic Cafarelli will take the open seats on the board of education.

The budget reflects more than $2.5 million in cuts made throughout the district with the loss of funding at the state level totaling $1.9 million. Cuts included 17.6 full-time employment positions, including 7.2 full-time positions at the elementary school level, three at the high school and middle school level, 0.5 in special education, 0.5 at ESL, 4.5 in support staff and 2.1 at the administrator and supervisor level, according to information from the district. The tax levy in the budget includes at 2.47 percent, or 336,477, increase over the 2009-10 school year, totaling in $21.9 million.

A proposition to purchase seven 21-22-passenger buses at a cost of $390,000 passed with 1,358 votes in favor and 835 against. A proposition to purchase 36 acres of land with $1.425 million from the district's capital reserve fund passed with 1,118 votes in favor and 1,077 against.

Mohonasen Superintendent Kathleen Spring thanked the voters for coming out in support of the budget and understanding the importance of education in the community.

We are fortunate to live in a community where so many people recognize how important it is to support our schools, even in these difficult times, said Spring. "I also want to thank the voters for supporting our bus and land purchase propositions. Because of this support, we will be able to continue with our long-range plans and hopefully bring our district to the next level."

Of the three board of education candidates, Sabatini and Cafarelli were elected to the two open seats on the board. Sabatini was the highest vote-getter, with 1,487 votes. Cafarelli received 1,356 votes, and Rotterdam resident and deputy attorney for the town Michael Godlewski received 1,128 votes.

"We are extremely happy we passed our budget, our bus proposition and the land acquisition," said Cafarelli, who will begin his second term in July. "I'm looking forward to being on the board for another three years."

The board of education will meet again on Monday, May 24, at 7 p.m. at the High School LGI Room.

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