OSWEGO, NY – Voters in the Oswego City School District Tuesday returned two incumbents to their seat on the board of education.
The proposed budget for the coming year was approved also.
Garnering the most votes was Lynda Sereno, the current board vice president, with an unofficial count of 1,398.
Tom DeCastro tallied the second most votes with an unofficial total of 1,310.
In third place was former board member Fran Hoefer with an unofficial tally of 1,027.
The final count for the budget was 1,150 yes, and 1.079 no.
“I am so excited,” Sereno told Oswego County Today. “I am happy to be able to serve another term. I am also so thankful that the budget passed. It was close for a while.”
“I am happy to be coming back for another term,” DeCastro said. “Everything passed, thank God.”
The two board members agreed that the budget process must start earlier for the 2016-17 school year.
“We have to start earlier – a lot earlier,” DeCastro said. “Albany didn’t help this year. Not knowing where we are in negotiations doesn’t help, either.”
“We definitely need to get an earlier start on the budget process,” Sereno agreed.
The tax rate for this school year is $19.72 per $1,000 assessed and the tax rate for the 2015-16 school budget will be $21.19, resulting in an increase of $135.01 for a $100,000 home, according to Superintendent Ben Halsey.
Besides voting on the budget,
Proposition 2 was on the purchase of eight 66-passenger school buses and one wheelchair bus, at a total estimated maximum cost of $999,500. (1,212 yes to 993 no)
Proposition 3 was shall the board of education be allowed to liquidate $650,000 from the liability reserves to support the 2015-16 general fund budget. (1,244 yes to 871 no)
And proposition 4 – shall the annual proposition be approved authorizing an annual appropriation of $1,189,701 to operate the Oswego Public Library, and to support and maintain such library, which sum shall be raised annually by tax upon the taxable property of the Oswego City School District until changed by a further vote of a majority vote of the electors of the Oswego City School District, and shall be levied and collected yearly as are other general taxes? (1,262 yes to 804 no).