OSWEGO, NY – Voters approved the Oswego City School District’s budget for 2018-19 school year by an unofficial vote of 1,391 yes to 900 no.
They also elected a newcomer, Tom Ciappa and former board president, Kathleen Allen earned the second open seat on the board of education.
The top vote-getter, with an unofficial tally of 1,324, was Ciappa.
He was followed by Allen with 854.
Allen said she is thankful for all the support she received.
“I’m am happy to be back on the board. There’s a lot of work that needs to be done,” she told Oswego County Today. “I want to help make the district more efficient; we can’t take a step backward. Our district is ranked low – that is something I really want to improve.”
“Thank you very much. I appreciate all the support,” Ciappa said. “It’s an honor, and very humbling. I am looking forward to bringing what I can to the board.”
He wants to help improve the district’s graduation rates and students’ test scores, he added.
“I think everyone (on the board) has the same goals in mind. They all want what’s best for our district,” he said. “We want to get it back up to where we know it can be.”
Rounding out the vote was Chris Joyce with 784, (incumbent) Tom DeCastro with 489, (former board member) Mike McLaughlin with 408, and Jeffrey King with 351.
Incumbent Lynda Sereno didn’t seek re-election.
The budget was approved in all four voting districts.
The $84,115,075 budget is a 2% larger budget than the 2017-18 budget. However, the current tax rate of $20.46 per thousand is anticipated to remain the same in the 2018-19 school year, Dr. Dean Goewey, superintendent, said in his budget newsletter.
The 2018-9 budget has a zero dollar tax increase.
The district can only control the tax levy, the superintendent pointed out. Changes in assessments in July may impact the tax rate from what the district projected, he added.
Voters also approved (1,423 yes to 851 no) the purchase of buses:
One 34-passenger mini bus at a maximum estimated cost of $53,656; One 34-passenger mini bus with wheelchair lift at a maximum estimated cost of $64,781; Four 64-passenger full size school buses at a maximum estimated cost of $111,226 each at a total combined total maximum estimated cost of not to exceed $681,106.
And the public library vote ($1,299,199 to operate the library) passed 1,479 yes to 784 no. Two board candidates, Mercedes Niess and Joe Sgarlata, were elected to the two open seats.