FULTON, NY – The Fulton City School District held a special meeting tonight (May 17) to announce the 2017 election results.
After Fulton voters took to one polling place for the first time, all casting their votes at the Fulton War Memorial on Tuesday, May 16, the votes have been tallied and the results have been determined.
Due to a circumstance in which only two candidates ran for three vacant seats on the board of education, district officials were delayed in their announcement after seeking guidance from district lawyers, Superintendent Brian Pulvino said.
“Each ballot was reviewed to ensure they were tallied in accordance with education law as well as Commissioner of Education’s decisions,” he explained.
Ultimately, the 2017-2018 school budget of $70,782,921, showing an increase of $446,421 from the previous year, has passed with a 542 to 165 vote, a 77 percent approval.
Taxpayers will see a decrease in tax rate at a value of $16.20 for a house assessed at $70,000 or a decrease of $28.35 for a house assessed at $100,000 as the result of a -1.34 percent tax levy.
“I think the process went well. I think we have a budget that will help us continue our growth toward achievement for every child, every day,” Pulvino said of the passed budget.
The board of education will see one returning board member and two new members after write in votes determined one vacant seat.
Two of the expiring terms not seeking reelection belonged to Robert Briggs and Barbara Hubbard.
Candidate Brenda Abelgore received 592 votes to secure a board member position as a newcomer.
Write in votes named Robbin Griffin to one of the vacant seats, having received 369 votes.
Current board president, David Cordone will return to his seat having received 352 votes, which will begin his fifth term serving on the board of education.
In a close race, Nick DeGelorm narrowly missed the opportunity to fill a vacancy having received 326 write-in votes.
“I’m pleased to be reelected,” Cordone said. “It took a long time to figure out the tallies, but I appreciate the support of the community in allowing me to continue representing them on the board.”
Robbin Griffin, while new to the board of education in recent years, had previously served as a board member for 21 years.
While she did not seek election to the board, she said she was approached by several people inquiring whether she would accept a write in vote, to which she agreed.
“I’m ready to come back and offer something of value,” she said.
“New board members bring new perspective and it will help us further advance the work that we’re doing here in this district,” Pulvino added.
All additional propositions on the ballot passed including a transportation proposition allowing district officials to purchase one passenger van and one mini bus at a total cost not to exceed $105,000 that passed 512 to 198.
Likewise, the Fulton Public Library Board of Trustees was authorized to spend $393,972 to operate the library after receiving 547 to 153 votes.
Robert Vaynor and Jacqueline Havener will fill two vacant seats on the Library Board of Trustees receiving 466 and 337 votes respectively, also running a tight race beating out candidate Nancy Whitens who received 335 votes.
Superintendent Pulvino was pleased with voter turnout recording 740 total voters. Though lower than last year, it was a number he felt was consistent with voting trends throughout the state and region.
District officials will begin laying the groundwork for a zero based budget for next school year beginning sometime in July, Pulvino said.
“It’s really about looking at all of our resources and seeing what’s the level of efficiency and our goal obviously is to maximize efficiency and then ultimately impact our kids in a very positive way,” he said.