South Colonie's tax cap challenge succeeds

66.2 percent of voters approve of budget in excess of state tax cap

— As for extracurricular activities, modified sports teams will be consolidated, low-enrollment ninth grade sports teams will be combined with Junior Varsity teams and there will be some restricting of co-curricular and summer school opportunities.

Sheryl Traudt voted in favor of passing the 2013-14 budget and has two kids in the district. She said she understood why the cap needed to be exceeded.

“I think it’s worth it if there’s not going to be cuts to the staff and people they need to give the kids a good quality education,” Traudt said after voting at Veeder Elementary School.

Arnold Abate Jr. has two kids in the district and though he declined to say how he voted, he said he knows the school has been struggling with a reduction in state aid.

“With the fact that as I understand things the school districts have been forced to deplete whatever types of savings they've had. Now the increases that everyone’s seeing this year seem to be really just to try to build those savings back up,” Abate said after voting at Veeder.

Abate added that he was worried about what would happen to extracurricular activities.

“I’m interested in the extracurricular activities and the arts programs which always seem to be the first items that seem to hit the chopping block. It’s a tough decision when you’re weighing the type of increases that they’re proposing versus the services they’ll get,” he said. “I’ve definitely had some anxiety about it.”

Two seats are filled on the Board of Education. Shelle Jaquish, who ran unopposed for a new term, will serve another five-year term. Christine Badger Mele will replace current member Robert Domenici, who has served on the board since 1998 and did not seek reelection.

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