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UPDATED: Guilderland voters pass $91M budget

District's $1M bus and equipment proposition approved, uncontested board race

Tony Grocki hands over his ballot to his daughter, Clare, at Guilderland Elementary School on Tuesday, May 21. Voters approved Guilderland's budget by more than 60 percent, but turnout continued to decline.

Tony Grocki hands over his ballot to his daughter, Clare, at Guilderland Elementary School on Tuesday, May 21. Voters approved Guilderland's budget by more than 60 percent, but turnout continued to decline. Photo by John Purcell.

— One house principal will be reduced at the middle school following a retirement. This change keeps one building principal but reduces the house principals to two. The restructuring is estimated to save $125,000.

Resident Michael Mathioudakis, 52, voted in favor of the budget and said the increases in his school taxes have been reasonable.

“My decision was based on the quality of education we are getting here, and that we’re getting for what we pay for,” Mathioudakis said.

He didn’t support the bus and equipment proposition because he said a similar proposition was recently proposed.

Last year, district voters approved $1.05 million bus and equipment proposition allowing the district to purchase 10 new buses and a maintenance box truck. In 2011, voters supported a $778,100 proposition to purchase nine new buses.

“The idea is to rotate out buses at the end of their lives and replace them with new ones,” Transportation Supervisor Danielle Poirier previously said. “New vehicles carry lower maintenance costs for the first five years, when they are still under warranty.”

The proposition approved by voters this year includes purchasing six 66-passenger school buses, two 66-passenger school buses with chains, two minivans and a commercial gang mower. The purchases totaling around $1 million will be bonded and paid back over five years starting in the 2014-15 school year.

Resident Bernard Kinlan said he voted against the budget primarily due to the district’s choice to use additional state aid to restore cuts and not to lower the burden on taxpayers.

“The state gave some supplemental aid, which we were not expecting, and instead of using that money to add to programs I believe they should have given that money back to the taxpayers,” Kinlan said.

Kinlan, 64, said it was the first time he voted “no” on the district’s budget.

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