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No Major Problems Reported At Polls On Tuesday

OSWEGO, NY – For the most part, voter turnout was relatively strong for Tuesday’s election.

“We had a good turnout. At the Pulaski Village office, the ink on one pad of ballots was smudged,” Legislator Shawn Doyle said. “More than 30 ballots wouldn’t work, and people had to do affidavits.”

Legislator Milferd Potter said the same in his district, good numbers with no real problems.

“Everything was going smoothly,” Dick Adkins, one the county’s election commissioners, said Tuesday evening. “There have been no real big problems.”

In Granby, some of the ballots were smeared, he noted.

They were taken out and replaced with no real issue, he noted.

“There were some complaints like people wanted more room or this or that,” Adkins said. “But overall, we haven’t had any big problems. I’m very pleased with the way things are going.”

Things were also going well in Mexico. Legislator Jack Proud reported a good voter turnout.

“We had a pretty good turnout in Mexico. There were a few problems, but nothing monumental,” he said.

For the most part, voting went smoothly, he said, adding that voters had already used the new machines for the recent primary elections and were getting more accustomed tot them.

“Everything’s going well,” added Legislator Mike Kunzwiler of Oswego. “I haven’t heard of any major problems at all.”

Independent Candidate Thanks The Voters

Although, there seems to still be some discussion about voter count, I do not believe this will affect my position in the recent 15th District race.

With that, I would like to thank the voters of the Oswego County 15th District for coming out to vote in the November 3rd general election.

I particularly appreciate those who had the courage to vote for me on the “Time for Change” Independent candidate line.

Although, I was not successful in my first run for political office it was a great experience.

At this time I am still assessing what I will do with all that I have learned these past six months and how best to serve our community with this knowledge.

Sincerely

Mercedes Niess,

Independent Time for Change candidate

Voters Reminded Of Deadlines For Absentee Ballots

Provided by Oswego County

OSWEGO, NY – The Oswego County Board of Elections reminds Oswego County residents who are eligible to vote on Election Day, Nov. 4, that if they will be out of the county or unable to get to the polls because of illness or physical disability, they may vote by absentee ballot.

Voters will receive an absentee ballot after submitting an application to the Oswego County Board of Elections, 185 E. Seneca St., Box 9, Oswego, NY 13126.

The deadline for mail-in applications is Oct. 28.

Applications may be hand-delivered to the Board of Elections until Nov. 3.

All completed absentee ballots must be postmarked by Nov. 3 and received at the County Board of Elections no later than Nov. 12.

Absentee ballots may also be hand-delivered to the County Board of Elections prior to the closing of the polls at 9 p.m. on Election Day, Nov. 4.

Applications for absentee ballots are available at the Board of Elections, phone 349-8350 or 349-8351, or by downloading an application at http://www.oswegocounty.com/boe/index.html

Voters Say ‘No’ To School Budget Proposal – Again

OSWEGO, NY – Voters in the Oswego City School District said no to the proposed budget for 2008-09 a second time.

Tuesday night the district’s second budget proposal for the next school year was defeated by 533 votes.

The unofficial results were 1,666 against and 1,133 yes.

SPECIAL MEETING SET

The Oswego City School District Board of Education will meet in a special meeting on Thursday, June 19 at 5 p.m. in the Education Center Board Rooms to determine the next step toward the 2008-09 budget.

There must be a budget in place by midnight June 30 and the board will move to a contingency budget with details to be determined on Thursday evening.

voting at th education centerThe budget failed in 9 out of the 10 voting districts.

In the city’s Third Ward the budget came out on top 82 to 73. (It was also the only place the May 20 budget didn’t fail. The vote then was 89-89).

Everywhere else more than 100 no votes were cast in each distict. The budget suffered the worst setbacks in the 9th district (Oswego Town) where 329 no votes were cast.

A total of 265 no votes were cast in the city’s Seventh Ward. That was the only district in the city where the budget received more than 100 votes (160).

In Oswego Town, 230 yes votes were cast. In Scriba, 151 people voted yes and in Minetto 135 approved of the budget.

With the exception of the Third Ward, opposition to the budget was in triple digits across the board.

Last month, voters said no (1,956 to 1,392) to a budget proposal that had a 3.81 percent increase.

The proposed budget defeated Tuesday would have reinstated two elementary art teachers, two elementary music teachers, one phys ed teacher, one elementary librarian, one high school technology teacher and three part-time hall monitors.

The tax rate per $1,000 assessed would have increased from the current $20.67 to $21.87 for the coming school year. That’s an increase of 5.81 percent per $1,000 assessed.

The school board can now either adopt the budget as currently is because it is below the contingency or meet and decide to reduce the budget.

Obviously, people aren’t happy. We have got to take a look at what we’re doing and find a better way,” board member Dave White said.

The board will have to go back to the drawing board, he said, adding he expects a special meeting to be called soon to address the budget situation.

“Some hard decisions will have to be made,” he admitted.

Board President Maggie Tiballi said she believes the budget should be lower than the budget of May 20 (which carried a 3.81 percent tax rate increase).

“My personal feeling is that the teachers and special interest groups got too greedy and didn’t consider that the taxpayers have been stretched way too thin,” she noted. “Their plan backfired and now they will have to see even more cuts than were proposed in May. What this district needs is for everyone to understand that education in general is important, but that their own personal interests may be just that – personal.”

“If we could just identify what is important to the student (reading, writing, arithmetic and music and art to a degree) and we all worked together to see that our students get all of the basics and as much of the enrichment pieces as we could afford, then we could craft a budget that works,” she continued.

When we have all of the competing special interests, with no one willing to give an inch, then the students lose, the out-going board president added.

According to Tiballi, what the district needs to do is to find ways to deliver the same basic education in a more efficient way.

That will probably involve closing a school at some point, she said.

“It may also involve touching the ‘sacred cows.’ Unfortunately, if the board is not allowed to explore the best way to do that, then we will continue to try to apply stop-gap measures every single year to save little pieces of the program instead of looking at the big picture to find a plan to deliver a better education that is more consistent,” she said.

School Board Sends Budget Back To The Voters

OSWEGO, NY – The school district’s 2008-09 budget is in the hands of the voters – again.

After meeting for more than two hours on Thursday and reinstating several of the cuts contained in the original spending plan, the board voted 4-2 to revote the  budget to the public.

Voting will be conducted on June 17 from noon to 9 p.m. at the same locations as the May 20 vote.

The new proposed $67,126,271 budget saves several positions, but would mean a 5.72 percent tax rate increase for the public.

Last week, voters said no to a budget proposal that had a 3.81 percent increase.

Board members Dave White, Dan Hoefer, Sean Madden, and Jim Tschudy voted yes.

Board president Maggie Tiballi and board member Fred Maxon cast the no votes.

Board vice president Sally Nettles was absent.

The vote was 6-0 for an amended budget.

The proposed budget would reinstate two elementary art teachers, two elementary music teachers, one phys ed teacher, one librarian, one technology teacher and three part-time hall monitors.

If the voters didn’t go for a 3.81 percent tax rate increase, they likely wouldn’t favor a 5.72 percent tax rate increase, White noted.

“I can’t see raising taxes as much as we’ve discussed tonight,” Maxon agreed.

Tiballi pointed out it was a 50/50 proposition.

Either the people who wanted lower taxes (more cuts) or those who were in favor of restoring the items that were cut from the budget would be angry with the board.

“It’s back in the voters’ hands,” she said.

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